The Land: On The Farm, the art of farming.

December 6, 2020

The Land: On The Farm, the art of farming.

The Land is series telling the stories about local agriculture. It is a presentation of Peterson Farms, Inc., www.petersonfarmsinc.com.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP (Oceana County) — Bradley Youngstrom loves this time of year. He says winter is his favorite season, the colder, the snowier the better. Leading up to Christmas, his market, On The Farm, offers unique gifts, antiques, fresh flowers, home decor, herbal body care products, Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Bradley is amongst the third generation to be raised on the family’s 160 acre farm. His brother, Bill Wittkamp, operates most of the crop operation of Wittkamp Farms which includes asparagus, pumpkins, corn and other cash crops. Bradley returned to the farm six years ago to help take care of his aging parents, Thomas and Nancy Youngstrom. Thomas passed away on April 25 of this year at the age of 85.

“My grandparents bought the farm and raised six boys here,” Bradley says. “My father lived on the farm since he was 3-years-old.” Bradley’s paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Sweden. They first settled in Chicago but soon realized they needed to get their boys to a smaller community, Bradley says. So, they moved to western Michigan and settled in Mears.

“The fields were first worked by horses. Then my father bought his first John Deere in 1959.”

The family still owns the John Deere. A few years ago, Thomas wanted to sell it, so Bill bought it. The tractor was the center point when the family gathered this summer to celebrate and memorialize Thomas’s life.

Bradley is a florist and artist by trade with over 35 years experience. He spent several years operating his own flower shop in Pentwater and then Hart before moving to Grand Rapids. When his parents needed help he returned home. He converted the farm’s small repair shop into his retail shop and started On The Farm.

In the warmer weather, Bradley raises and sells flowers. He also offers a variety of art classes including floral arranging.

The business is a work in progress. He says he hopes to raise more flowers next year, offering more varieties. Community supported agriculture-style subscriptions are available for floral arrangements.

This time of year, his shop is filled with Christmas and other holiday gifts and decor. A warm outside fire greets customers with complimentary marshmallow roasting and hot chocolate available (following COVID-19 guidelines, of course); guests can have their photos taken on an antique cutter (a sleigh built for leisure).

Currently, On The Farm is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the other days of the week by appointment. It is located at 6894 W. Lake Road, about 1.5 miles east of North Ridge Road along the lakeshore.

Find out more at 231-923-0378, Facebook (@ontheruralfarm), Instagram or www.ontheruralfarm.com.

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This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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