Bonz Beach Farms started off as a retirement hobby for Gary when he bought the neglected farm on Bonz Beach Highway and started tapping his Sugar maple trees. As Gary became more involved with the Onaway & Black Lake community, he saw a need for quality, affordable produce. Since then, the garden really grew and the maple syrup has continued to flow!
Bonz Beach Farms is roughly 2 acres of a large, deer-proof garden, several hoop houses, and an edible playground for the chickens and ducks.
The farm yields a broad range of seasonal produce including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, garlic, squash, lettuce, carrots, radishes, beets, onions, beans, and herbs.
Pure Michigan Maple Syrup
Bonz Beach Farms consists of a well-managed forest of Sugar maple trees, which are tapped every spring.
The collected sap is cooked down to produce pure Michigan maple syrup, sugar, candies, and the signature Bonz Beach Farms maple BBQ sauce and mustard.
Stop by the farm today to get a tour of our maple syrup operation and to taste our delicious maple products!
Our Sustainable Farming Practices
Here at Bonz Beach Farms, we believe in being stewards of the land while farming it—leaving the area better than we found it.
In order to practice this, we rotate our crops yearly and take advantage of the benefits of nitrogen-fixing plants in our rotations. We leave fields fallow each season and also apply cover crops, such as rye and oats, to suppress weeds and encourage native insects and birds. We also test our soils each year and modify them using natural methods, such as compost and manure.
Our Maple Syrup Legacy
The best day to plant a tree was yesterday, the second best is today! Bonz Beach Farms takes this very seriously, so we have planted over 2200 Sugar maple trees in the past couple of years and are continuing this effort this year.
This reforestation project, partially funded by the Department of Agriculture, aims to reduce negative impacts from climate change while also sowing the seeds for a future maple syrup operation. With Sugar maple trees taking 20-25 years to mature, Bonz Beach Farms realizes that they will likely never sit in their shade or enjoy the syrup from their sap. Nevertheless, the Bonz Beach Farms crew invests time and energy to build a forest for the next generation of maple syrup makers!