If there was one positive outcome of graduating into the worst economic climate in decades, I guess it would be that the depressed real estate market made our dream of owning a farm a reality. Instead of lounging our spare time away in the sunshine of the Florida Keys, we were constantly searching for the perfect homestead and feverishly squirling away every nut in the hope our stars would align. After getting close to pulling the trigger on a couple properties that were close to what we wanted, in 2013 we found our diamond in the rough. Trusting our instincts, we pounced on the property sight unseen, quit our jobs, and returned home to chase our dream.
After reading an article on Wisconsin's once great hops industry, we became enamored with the idea of joining the micro brew revolution and set our sights on a piece of land ideal for the niche crop. Like the pioneers of the industry in the mid 1800s, we set our sights on sandy plains that now occupy the basin of the once expansive glacial Lake Wisconsin. While the soil there is relatively poor for growing typical Midwestern crops, the improved drainage benefits the mold and mildew prone hops plants. After getting to experience many of the "joys" of home ownership getting the old farmhouse back into livable shape, we set out on building the infrastructure for our hopyard. While we successfully navigated the many challenges of the massive undertaking, we began to realize we were fighting an uphill battle. Introduced pests, climate change induced extremes in weather, and altered groundwater acidity, all contributed to the sad reality...organic hops production wasn't going to be our gateway to a sustainable existence. But we pushed on.
In 2020 we took what we learned from our first foray into farming and much of the infrastructure and diversified into hemp production. By scaling down our size and stepping up our already stringent standards, we think we have found our path to redemption. Pick your cliche...get back on your horse, if at first you don't succeed, stay the course. But there was never another option. This farm wasn't about creating a business, it was about creating a lifestyle. And that kind of passion will always triumph for those willing to chase it. We hope that passion shines through in every bounty this great piece of earth provides. Stop by sometime and see the estate, you are a member of the Revival family now!