Don grew up on a hog, dairy and cash crop farm in Sun Prairie. The farmer’s love of the land and need to till the earth was deeply a part of him. Theresa knew early in their courtship that to love the man would mean to love the land. Don’s family farm couldn’t be purchased because it was growing houses so three years into wedded bliss the search for land began.
The search came to an abrupt halt when one life-altering day in 1990, Theresa drove by the Gangstad farm as she did every day on her way to work. That day, however, there was a For Sale sign on the front lawn! Three days later, the farm became the Schuster farm — a dream come true for Don and the beginning of whole new world for Theresa.
In the spring of 1994, after three years of varying ventures, including growing tobacco, and pot-bellied pig and miniature donkey breeding, Don planted 1/3 acre of pumpkins — the crop he grew himself as a youngster and sold door-to-door using his little red wagon. After several years of adding different fall produce and decorations, Theresa convinced a reluctant Don to build a hay wagon. School tours started that year and we have been too busy to ever look back!
Now in our 26th season, we are working more on the farm than off. Don concluded his time working at UW-Madison a few years back. Theresa continues to love working part-time for Madison Schools as an occupational therapist.
Our first born has flown the coop! He is studying aeronautical engineering at Iowa State University during the school year and interning around the country during the summers. Sarah is our saving grace in the farm kitchen. She is the namesake for our farm bakery–Sarah’s Sweet Shoppe & Bakery. Christian has taken over the concession stand which is now called Christian’s Canteen!
Many new additions to the farm are in creation! Herman is whispering in my ear…told me to give you a sneak peak, ready? Race your sister or friend in the pumpkin maze or wind ‘er up at the ball zone!
We love our land, buildings, and the history it all represents. We’re excited to unveil the new and listen to our visitors reminisce about the old. Welcome to Schuster’s Playtime Farm!