What started as a maple syrup farm in the 1880s is still going strong, expanding, and taking on a whole new appearance and purpose. Take a look at Kistlercrest Farms’ new building, 4049 S. Pere Marquette Highway, now under the management of the 5th generation of the Kistler family.
The longtime roadside apple stand now has a new safer entrance, large pole building, and farm animals to add to the experience. Daniel and Jesse (Kistler) Burke hope to make Kistlercrest Farms a place where families not only shop but also take advantage of educational experiences.
“Our goal is to keep the syrup flowing, keep the farm in the family, help local farmers, and be educational,” Daniel said. “What started out as therapy for me has turned into something else. But we want to keep it small. There’s no admission. We just want people to come to learn something and have a good time.
“We hope to have a pumpkin-decorating event in October and fall-themed cookie decorating.”
Those who visit can expect locally grown apples (18 varieties), mums, pure maple syrup, local honey, maple cream candies and pumpkins. Kids can try out the 1800s corn shucker, then take their corn to feed three new goats on the premises, Captain Hoof, Vincent VanGoat, and Whoopi Goatberg.
There are also ducks and chickens on site, and eggs are sold daily. Burke says the goal is to add a Shetland pony and Highland cows.
“My in-laws have run the farm for 40 years, and they’re ready to have their weekends,” he said. “They’re still the owners, but we are the next generation operators. This gives us an opportunity to learn. I’m slowly learning a little bit of everything.”
The new building will serve as apple crate storage and hold a certified kitchen for syrup-making. Burke said there are 148 farmable acres, and the couple hopes to continue the long-standing Kistlercrest farming tradition for years to come.
The farmstand is always open. Kindly pay for your purchase using the cash slot after hours, or head to the Kistler home to purchase syrup. Can’t make it to the farm? Kistlercrest sells its pure maple syrup and candies online at kistlercrest.com.
Follow Kistlercrest Farms on Facebook for updates on fall crafts and events.