MANTON — Summer wouldn’t be complete without a good, old fashion garden tour.

On Saturday, Aug. 17, that’s exactly what will be happening in Manton, as part of an effort to raise money to restore the Phelps Brothers Grain Mill.

Four Manton-area gardens growing hundreds of varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, fungi and flowers will be featured in a tour from 3 to 6 p.m.

As a special treat, each garden will provide samples for tour-goers to enjoy. The menu includes quiche, salad, shiitake mushroom soup, blackberry cobbler, and an herb-infused beverage.

According to a press release issued about the event, stops on the tour include:

• A beautiful walk-through garden teeming with perennial flowers

• A garden that makes the most of a small city lot by producing an abundance of berries and other edibles. It also makes the most of the sunlight with solar garden lights that illuminate it in the evening.

• A unique mushroom growing garden that is also home to honey bees and a wide variety of vegetables and herbs

• A large, diverse vegetable, herb, and fruit garden that provides enough food for several families. Pastured chickens are also raised here.

In addition to the gardens, tour-goers will also be invited to check out the grain mill to see why “it’s a building many believe is worth saving.‘

Tour-goers are welcome to visit the gardens in any order they choose. Two of the gardens, as well as the mill, are located within the Manton city limits. The other two gardens are approximately two miles northwest of town. The garden owners will be on hand to answer questions and serve refreshments. Directions to the gardens are included on the tickets.

Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple in advance; $20 per person or $30 per couple if purchased the day of the tour. Children’s tickets are half price with the purchase of an adult ticket. Advance tickets are available at Bostick’s Drug Store in Manton, or by calling Janice Heuer at (231) 824-3238. Tickets may be purchased at the grain mill on the day of the tour.

Built in the early 1900s, the Manton Grain Mill was a place where people purchased feed for their livestock.

Trains and trucks delivered the grain to the mill, where it was distributed to farmers through a series of wooden chutes and an old-fashioned pulley system.

Inside the building, much of the original equipment is still intact, including scales to weigh the grain and a rusty sewing machine that was used by customers to sew their feed bags shut for transport.

Eventually, the old pulley system and wooden chutes were replaced by an automated grain-mixing machine.

Several years ago, the building ceased operations and has sat unused since that time.

Cadillac News