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Caleb and Heather - Apple Acres Farm

Meet Your Farmer
and Builder

Apiary set in an apple orchard and meadow


- Est. 2020 -

Well hello! Glad you stopped by to see what we're all about here at Apple Acres Farm.

The idea of starting a small-scale, regenerative family farm was slow to germinate but really took root after finding almost 14 acres of amazing land just minutes from downtown Houghton. Most people wouldn't look at our mostly wooded and sloping piece of land dominated by ridges and swales and think "what perfect farming land". We however, are not your typical farmers!

We believe that small is not only beautiful but also sustainable and inspiring. Our farming practices are guided by what our land needs and can support. With training in permaculture design, our farm design and operations are based on permanent + agriculture principles to improve our topsoil to help sequester carbon, infiltrate rain water, prevent erosion and runoff, and increase our farm's overall resilience to a changed and changing climate. Rather than focusing on growing bigger, each year we look for ways to grow better and more ecologically diverse. This not only helps us reduce our risk but also makes our farming operation more resilient. 

To further improve the health and vitality of the land, we continue to look for ways to incorporate the natural behavior of livestock into our farming practices. We aim to leave our soils healthier and more productive than we found them while also raising happy and healthy animals on pasture. A nice outcome of our efforts is nutritious and delicious local foods grown, foraged, and raised without chemicals or synthetic inputs.

Currently, Apple Acres Farm is home to our resident honey bees (along with native pollinators) that are essential for pollinating our crops, including our heritage apple orchard. We are also pretty smitten with our free-range chickens that not only lay beautiful orange-yolked eggs but are also fantastic nutrient recyclers + manure spreaders. Our mixed laying flock love to spend their days foraging around the farm under the watchful eye of our rooster, Ghost. Finally, two cute Nigerian dwarf goats - Niko and Nibler - help us manage less desirable vegetation found in abandoned pasture land that is in the process of returning to a forest.

Despite our desire to remain small while sustainably diversifying our farming operations, we have some big dreams! In the future we hope to to expanding our fruit orchards and perennial food crops, adding a forest garden, growing grain crops, as well as constructing a root cellar and possibly adding ducks to help us manage slugs.

We love to share the happenings around the farm with others, so feel free to swing by to grab some of our homemade or homegrown products, take a tour, or enjoy your very own farm stay!


Heather and Caleb

Two lines
Apple and maple leaves
Two lines


Heather is an environmental engineer turned first generation female farmer. She first fell in love with the Houghton area as a Michigan Tech student. After completing her PhD in 2011 and moving to Minnesota for work, her and Caleb knew deep down that they would find their way back to the UP one day. Luckily during their time away Heather discovered the joys of growing and foraging food, including using hugelkultur raised beds that are now the backbone of our food production success.

Female farmer in a garden

While sustainability has been a long-time passion of Heather's, she never imagined it would lead her into farming! Especially not after her first failed gardening attempts back in her student days.

Apple Acres Farm was borne out of Heather's desire to create a simpler, healthier, happier, and more sustainable lifestyle. She figures that if a small vegetarian from the suburbs with no farming experience can grow or forage surplus healthy and nutritious food, then anyone can! Part of the appeal of starting a small-scale, regenerative farm has been sharing it with others who desire a greater connection with their food and the natural world.

Most days you can find Heather hanging out with her chickens and goats, tending to her crops, foraging for wild mushrooms or herbs, or riding her ebike (with trailer) to run errands around town.


Caleb is the farm's resident builder, tinker, and bike guy. He is also a Michigan Tech alumni and a long-time fan of the Keweenaw Peninsula thanks to his early days building and vacationing at his family's cabin near Eagle River. He definitely never saw farming in his future but is slowly warming up to the idea... very slowly!

Our dream of building an off-grid, passive-solar, super efficient home (as well as the other beautiful buildings around the farm) would not have become a reality without Caleb's hard work. His nerdy interest in high-performance green building design combined with his talents for turning an idea into a beautiful, functional, and efficient structure has been a major bonus for our farm.

Caleb is truly a jack-of-all-trades while also somehow managing to master many of them. This includes sizing, installing and maintaining our solar system (which also includes a small solar system for our barn!).

When he is not helping around the farm, Caleb can be found slinging bikes at Rhythm Bike & Board in downtown Houghton.

Man setting posts using a tractor
Apple Acres Farm logo
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