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APPLE ACRES FARM
Apple Acres Farm is an off-grid, solar-powered, family farm located on 14 acres just minutes from downtown Houghton, the Michigan Tech Trails, and the Keweenaw Peninsula. We began our small-scale, regenerative farm in 2020 on a heritage apple orchard that slopes into a mature forest with 100-year old conifers and hardwoods bordered by a tributary to the Pilgrim River, a trout stream.
We believe that small is both beautiful and sustainable. Our farming practices are guided by what our land needs and can support. We use permaculture design principles to build topsoil, to improve our farm's resiliency, and to grow, forage, and raise nutritious and delicious foods.
If you've spent any time in farm country, you'll notice right away that Apple Acres Farm isn't your typical farm. That's kind of the point. The modern industrialized food system isn't our thing, especially since it forces farmers to "get big or get out" and relies on extractive practices that deplete, rather than build, healthy topsoil.
As regenerative farmers, we aim not to grow bigger, but rather to grow more diverse. To that end, we rely on the help of our farm animals. By harnessing their natural behavior, we work to integrate them into a sustainable farming system that promotes happier and healthier animals, people, and soil ecosystems.
We are also a mostly human-powered farm that works with and learns from the natural world. We figure Mother Nature has been experimenting and perfecting resource cycling for awhile so why not learn from the expert? Mimicking natural systems and working towards creating a closed-loop farming system is also just plain fun.
We love to share our joy of farming with others. As a small, but diverse farm, we set out to create a sort of learning laboratory (farm-oratory?) that allows others to connect with a human-scaled, sustainable food system as well as experience farm living, first hand. We promise we won't try to convert you to become a farmer, but we will inevitably share our passion for cycling "wastes" into healthy soil, growing and foraging nutritious foods, and humanely raising farm animals.
When you visit our farm, you'll be greeted by our friendly flock of free-range chickens, possibly spot one of our honey bees foraging for nectar, and see our goats happily browsing away. Our regenerative farm harnesses our animal's natural behavior to help us with various land management tasks. They also make farm life far more interesting!
UNIQUE TOURS AND EXPERIENCES
From backyard beekeeping to goat happy hour and wild mushroom foraging, we offer a variety of unique farm tours and experiences. Whether you're interested in growing your own food or simply want to learn more about how a diverse small-scale farm operates, we encourage you to check out our tour offerings.
OFF-GRID FARM STAYS AND TOURS
It's not just our crops that are powered by the sun, thanks to our 5 kW solar system, our farm is 100% off-grid. We offer a modern farm stay as well as farm tours for those interested in learning more about or directly experiencing what it is like to live entirely off-grid.
FARM FRESH PRODUCTS
We began farming because we wanted to eat safe, healthy, and nutritious foods. As first-generation farmers, we love sharing what we grow, raise, and forage, including our maple syrup, honey, free-range eggs, wild mushrooms, garden produce, herbal tinctures, and edible and/or medicinal perennial plant cuttings. All of our products are made in small batches from scratch right here on the farm.
Hi! I'm Heather, an environmental engineer turned accidental forager farmer. I'm naturally drawn to outdoor activities that challenge me both mentally and physically, and farming just happens to allow me to align my work with my values.
One of our goals with starting Apple Acres Farm was to inspire others to seek out a greater connection with their food - from composting food waste, to getting to know (or becoming?!) your local farmer(s). These small but important shifts in our food behaviors add up to collective positive change in our food system.
Farming isn't easy but it's rewarding, especially because it allows us to connect with others interested in sustainable living, small-scale, regenerative farming, and off-grid living. If you find yourself in the Upper Peninsula, come check us out! We love sharing the farm with others.
PLAN YOUR FARM ADVENTURE
Interested in experiencing farm life but can't visit the farm? We've got you covered with our periodic blog posts. Each post aims to shed more light on how we approach small-scale, regenerative farming as newer farmers with a passion for growing, foraging, and raising healthy, delicious and humane food.
You'll typically find new posts during late fall through early spring when Farmer Heather's normally doing research, reflecting, and planning for the coming season - summers are far too busy and beautiful for indoor computer work around here!
THE LATEST FARM HAPPENINGS
From our naughty, but adorable Nigerian dwarf goats, to our quirky free-range chicken flock, we share the ups and downs of the daily happenings on our small-scale, family farm. Besides the cute farm animal posts, we also provide information about specific regenerative farming practices we use, including ways we are working to create a closed-loop farming system.
Although we don't often carry a phone or video capturing device with us (one of the joys of farming!), we do our best to document farm life throughout the year. We welcome you to follow along with our adventures to get your regular farming fix.
Questions? Email us at:
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