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, our aim isn't to grow bigger for the sake of being bigger. We'd rather grow more diverse. To that end, we rely on the help of our farm animals. By harnessing their natural behaviors, 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 becoming 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.
EXPERIENCE FARM LIFE
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 animals' natural behavior to provide various land management services. They also make farm life far more interesting and rewarding!
UNIQUE FARM TOURS AND EXPERIENCES
From wild mushroom foraging to goat happy hour and backyard beekeeping, we offer a variety of memorable farm tours and experiences. Whether you're interested in growing and foraging 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. We also enjoy hosting small private events!
OFF-GRID FARM STAYS
It's not just our crops that are powered by the sun, thanks to our 5 kW solar system, our farm operations are 100% off-grid. We offer several farm stay options for those interested in experiencing life on a small-scale farm that also happens to be entirely off-grid. Guests can select to stay in our studio loft, a private room in our farm house, or sleep under the stars nestled in our wooded camp site.
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 there! I'm Heather, an environmental engineer turned forager farmer. After several years of soul searching, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that pursuing regenerative farming as a career would allow me to align my work with my values. It also didn't hurt that it meant I'd be exchanging a laptop for meaningful outdoor work (like cuddling with our goats!).
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 and strengthen local food systems.
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/or 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
THE LATEST FARM HAPPENINGS
Interested in experiencing farm life but can't visit the farm? We've got you covered with our periodic blog posts as well as our social media posts. 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.