We are proud to be a fifth generation farm family operating a real working fruit farm, corn maze and petting farm in New Era, Michigan. The 700-acre farm is located in the heart of West Michigan, near the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and Lake Michigan — just north of Muskegon/Whitehall and south of Pentwater.
How it all happened …
Now owned by Scott and Cindy Lewis, the farm market was built in the 1970s by Scott’s grandparents (Winston and Alice Lewis) and parents (Gary and Brenda Lewis). It was closed for a few years (due to road closure and traffic rerouting) but reopened in 2003 when Cindy began selling sweet cherries at a fruit stand in the front yard! That was such a success, leading to the removal of one apple orchard to make room for a new market building. Lewis’ Farm Market as we know it today reopened in August 2004.
And what about the animals?!
Truth is — Cindy (being a city girl!) was not sure about selling fruit. What did excite her was the Petting Farm that was established then also! The collection of animals evolved (rather quickly) after Scott was persuaded to construct the first barn — which was built with wood planed at a saw mill right here in Oceana County! Baby goats were first, taking up residence in the garage until the barn was completed! Next came a miniature donkey and a miniature horse (who camped out in the front yard, awaiting barn space)! Next, an alpaca showed up to claim an empty barn stall. Farm guests loved the petting farm, and that spurred Cindy on! Road trips were scheduled to collect more animals.
The zebus came from Walmart in Kentucky — well, from their parking lot, anyway! Next came a baby camel picked up at the Burger King parking lot in Hudsonville, MI. Our wallabies came from Ohio. Fallow deer were added from a farm in Howell, MI. Then there are the bunnies and a village for them to live in. And next — birds: peacocks, ducks, chickens, and pheasants. Our prairie dogs are eager to pop up and see you. The animal and bird barnyards truly make Lewis’ Farm Market a destination for adventure.
Our family will be here to greet your family …
Although growing fruit is our main focus, the Petting Farm and our many seasonal attractions make it a full time business. During the summer, you may find sons, Tyler and Brandon, helping Cindy in the market. Her parents, Lillian and Tim Zerkle (aka Grandma and Grandpa at the farm!) also work here during the summer — helping out in the Bakery and monitoring the Jumping Pillows.