It’s time to head out to the pumpkin patch at Bures Berry Patch in Barneveld, Wisc. Ed and Kathy Bures designed their farm with visitors in mind, especially families with young kids. It’s a low-key, scenic farm with a farm store, picnic tables, room to run and play, free hayrides, a corn maze, and chickens to feed. Pick out your pumpkins and snack on raspberries while exploring their wide variety of pumpkins and gourds.
Ed grew up on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. He really enjoyed the rhythm of farm life. When he left for college, he came to UW Madison to study dairy science and agronomy. He met his wife Kathy -– she grew up in the Twin Cities –- in the Agronomy department. They both dreamed of owning some kind of agricultural enterprise. “Kathy informed me we were not going to be dairy farmers,” Ed recalls. They married soon after finishing school, and two years later, in 2002, they started Bures Berry Patch. Their first planting was strawberries.
Ed still works part-time at UW Madison as an agronomy researcher. Kathy works on-farm except when she works in an office during tax season, helping to prepare tax returns. Kathy’s mom will soon join them. She recently sold her house in the Cities and plans to build a home on their property. She’s responsible for the farm’s gorgeous peony beds in summer.
“Soon there will be three generations working this farm,” Ed said.
They manage a huge u-pick operation during strawberry season. They grow several other crops including asparagus and raspberries. Kathy said she stresses when there’s an acre of strawberries to weed –- that feels daunting. And Ed tends to fret about the weather. She doesn’t, she said, since there’s nothing to be done about it.
“We’re a good balance in that way,” she added.
Bures Berry Patch is open 10-6 daily through October (the corn maze is open on weekends). There’s a farm store on site, and they also sell their produce at farmers markets in Mount Horeb (Thursdays) and Mineral Point (Saturday), and at the Dane County Farmers Market (Saturdays, across from Field and Table, on the State Street end of the market). They sell pumpkins, gourds, decorative corn, honey, maple syrup, pies, dilly beans, garlic, straw bales, and more.
For more information, visit their website at buresberrypatch.com or call the farm, (608) 924-1404.
Buy local! Your food dollars can be Little Green Soldiers for Good. Join a CSA, shop at a farmers’ market, or support a retailer paying local farmers fair prices (such as Willy Street Co-op ). Visit 5 Minutes on the Farm on Facebook.