unique wisconsin farms

Unique Wisconsin Farms to Visit

Wisconsin might very well be the Dairy State, but it’s also home to some innovative and non-dairy farm operations. Check out these unique Wisconsin farms that are serving up more than just milk and cheese. 

Rushing Waters Fisheries, LLC 

Rushing Waters Fisheries, LLC 


Fish for your supper at Rushing Waters Fisheries, Wisconsin’s leading producer of rainbow trout. Located just outside Palmyra surrounded by the beautiful Kettle Moraine State Forest, Rushing Waters is an impressive 80-acre trout operation. Hatched from eggs in the two on-site hatcheries, trout move through the various natural spring water ponds as they grow and are harvested at different times throughout the process. According to company president Peter Fritsch, the trout farm does not use hormones or chemicals and is as organic as you can possibly be, thanks to all-natural, ecologically responsible aquaculture practices. Rushing Waters is open year-round as the 56 natural spring-fed ponds are around 50 degrees even in winter, allowing them to raise trout through all seasons – even harsh winters.

If you have dined on rainbow trout at a Wisconsin restaurant, it is very likely from Rushing Waters as many eateries use its products. Guests can enjoy the fishing pond; no license is required. This unique Wisconsin farm provide poles, bat and buckets – but you must keep and purchase what you catch. No throwing those big fellas back! Rushing Waters will clean and fillet your fish or you can self-clean. Fishing is available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If fishing isn’t your thing, they offer by-appointment tours as well as free summer Friday tours to learn all about raising trout in Wisconsin. Make sure to check out the on-site shop offering many Wisconsin-made products including snacks, beer, wine, cooking ingredients, fresh and frozen seafood, salmon burgers and the farm’s smoked-to-perfection fish. Do not forget the melt-in-your-mouth trout jerky. Rushing Waters has a lovely outdoor patio to snack, sip and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, as well as the Trout House area that is available for private parties and special events. For more information, visit rushingwaters.net.

Thompson Strawberry Farm 


Whether this has been a family tradition for years or you are looking to start a new one, Thompson Strawberry Farm in Kenosha County should be on your summer bucket list. This seven-generation family-owned farm currently offers 21 acres of strawberries in a pick-your-own format. Employees will direct customers to the best picking areas, and they can pick at their own pace, looking for perfectly ripe and juicy berries straight off the vine – unlike anything found at the store. Pro tip: Look carefully under the leaves and along both edges of the row – that is where some of the best berries are hiding. Customers can also buy a limited amount of pre-picked strawberries. The strawberry season runs from mid-June through early July, but weather and crowds can change the amount of available berries quickly. This unique Wisconsin farm also offers acres of sunflowers, raspberry and pumpkin picking throughout the summer/fall season. For more information, visit www.thompsonstrawberryfarm.com.

LondonDairy Alpacas 

Two Rivers

Learn about beautiful and friendly alpacas at LondonDairy Alpacas, a century-owned family farmstead in Manitowoc County. Visitors can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of this working farm to learn what it takes to raise more than 50-plus alpacas in Wisconsin, understand the use of their fibers and fleece as well as interact and feed the animals. Tours are offered rain or shine with advance reservation by calling 920.793.4165 at least 24 hours in advance. Guests can also make an appointment to shop at the Alpaca Threads and South American Wine Store which features unique items such as alpaca fiber socks, scarves, gloves, toys and accessories.

LondonDairy Alpaca holds various events throughout the season, but its signature offering is Wine with the Alpacas. Save the date: July 15 and August 19 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and Sept. 16 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 and limited to 65 participants. Attendees sample six exclusive red and white wines originating from South American (which pays homage to the alpaca’s native homeland of Chili, Peru and Bolivia) and enjoy cheese/dessert pairings, live music and a silent auction. Guests can pet and take photos with the alpaca as well. Tickets can be purchased by calling the tour line above. For more information, visit www.londondairyalpacas.com.

fragrant isle lavender unique wisconsin farm
Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm 

Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm 

Washington Island – Door County

Stop and smell the lavender at Fragrant Isle, the Midwest’s largest single-site lavender farm. Visitors to Fragrant Isle can experience more than 20,000 lush plants and 14 different varieties of lavender at this working lavender farm. Check out the demonstration gardens offering up an educational look at the uses and benefits of this aromatic herb. Fragrant Isle never uses chemicals, and all plants are harvested by hand and the latest in farming technology. Guests can purchase lavender plants or pick their own bundles in the U-Pick field. Stop by the Fragrant Isle shop for hundreds of lavender products for bath and body, home goods, clothing and much more. Enjoy lunch at the on-site Le Petite Bistro offering daily a la carte menu items as well as dessert and beverages overlooking the lavender fields. Fragrant Isle’s lavender fields usually peak in July and August. For more information, visit fragrantisle.com.

Stoney Acres Farm


Pack your camp chairs and blankets and enjoy pizza on the farm at the iconic Stoney Acres in Marathon County. Once a working dairy farm, this third-generation family farm is now an organic produce farm, which also includes a 20-week community-supported agriculture program (CSA). Stoney Acres is open Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., April through early November, for pizza nights. Pizzas are made with the freshest farm ingredients all from Stoney Acres including tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, eggplant, garlic and zucchini, to name a few, and are cooked in a wood-fired brick oven right before your eyes. Grab a cold beer to wash down the pizza from the three-barrel onsite brewery, which produces small batches of beer focused on organic and local ingredients. Guests can also enjoy live local music, and shop from the market stocking up on fresh produce, meat, frozen pizzas and crowlers of Stoney Acres Brewery beer. For more information, visit stoneyacres.farm.

Sacred Blossom Farm 


Located in the Driftless area of western Wisconsin about 30 miles south of Eau Claire sits Sacred Blossom Farm, purveyor of various herbal teas. Sacred Blossom uses hand-scale farming practices of various herbs like anise hyssop, apple mint, ashwagandha, California poppy, catnip, chocolate mint, cornflower, echinacea, lemon balm, Scotch mint and thyme, among many others on its 20 acres. The unique Wisconsin farm prides its on great tea grown without any herbicides, pesticides or flavor additives. Tea farmer and founder Tony’s herbal growing, de-stemming and drying process is impressive, following a process of living and working in harmony with nature including inter-seeding strategies, minimal tillage, solar power and biodegradable bags. 

Most of Sacred Blossom’s herbal tea blends are found at grocery co-ops and Whole Foods in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Check out the signature chocolate-peppermint tea that uses a single variety of peppermint processed within an hour of harvest to preserve the fresh and complex flavor. 

Sacred Blossom Farm is not open to the public on a regular basis, but it does offer one to two open house weekends each summer during peak blooming season (typically late July). For more information, visit www.sacredblossomfarm.com.

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