About Us

Our Journey….

 

After years of vacationing in beautiful Door County we decided to make it our home.  In 1994 we purchased an abandoned 100 acre dairy farm north of Sister Bay.   We had no intentions to operate a farm, just live and raise our children in a place we loved.

 

So what drew us to that old farm?  The lopsided 900 square foot log home with a seven foot high dump pile for a back yard?  The ramshackle barn entangled in brush with a 1950’s trailer resting by its side? Or eighty-seven year old Ignacio who lived in that trailer?  We contemplated many properties on our quest for a simpler lifestyle, but the lonely farm on Wildwood Road refused to let us go.  It clung to us like an orphaned child.

 

Friends and family thought we were beyond crazy to buy a place with a stranger on its premises.  But each morning when we peered out the kitchen window at the tiny trailer with red chili pepper lights twinkling in the pre-dawn glow, we felt warmed by its presence.  Ignacio wasn’t a stranger to us.  He belonged there.  He was our transition. We never had a plan for our farm or any idea what to do with 100 acres when we bought it, but Ignacio must have known. That fall he mowed the three foot tall grass and gave us a yard, in the winter he had our driveway plowed and in the spring he tilled up a garden plot.   The garden that was to cultivate our lives.

 

Our garden gave us more joy than we could have ever expected.  It became a sanctuary for us when we grew weary of battling the overwhelming yard and reviving the tired old barn and house.  We loved harvesting and eating food that we grew ourselves. Soon the garden began to give the farm a purpose and before long we began thinking of different ways to put the farm to use, restore its life.  By the end of that summer we had discovered Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  Come fall we were the proud owners of a shiny blue New Holland tractor and a neighboring farmer was plowing up a few acres of fallow land.  Over the winter we attended organic farming conferences and the following spring built a greenhouse.  Armed with degrees in English literature and History and our trusty seed catalog we were ready to be farmers!

 

Or so we thought.  Just because we owned a farm and grew some vegetables did not make us farmers.  We were to earn that status  through many trials and comedic errors, our most memorable being the time we attempted to secure a 300 foot row cover on a windy day with the aid of …… Dixie cups.  But we persevered and began our CSA supplying 60 families.  By our third year we had over 100 families subscribing to our farm.  After seven years,  we switched gears and focused only on farm markets.  Today, we supply wonderful local restaurants (see Farm to Table tab) and devoted patrons who love to “shop” at Wildwood Road Farm.  Through those first few years Ignacio quietly gave us advice; small offerings that were more valuable than any book or catalog.  The day he was to leave us on our own he handed us a few grainy photographs:  The house, himself standing near the granary and one with his wife near the barn where his garden grew.

 

Ignacio never owned the farm, but he was its guardian.  He watched over it until someone came along who would embrace it.  That someone was us.  Returning to a simpler lifestyle was not easy.  There were plenty of days when the call of suburban life loomed high, but adopting our farm was worth every risk, obstacle and inconvenience we ever encountered.

 

Ignacio has since passed away and the tiny trailer no longer rests beside the barn, but his garden still grows.  And sometimes, in the early morning, we catch a glimpse of red chili pepper lights twinkling outside our kitchen window.