Family Owned Farm
Greg Reinke knew all about the little farm at 1011 48th Street South. His parents, along with three brothers and two sisters, lived just seven houses south. They often visited the ponies and the lambs, bought Farm Fresh Eggs, and saw the huge onions and tomatoes from the garden. Greg and his brothers often watched the old farmer working in the fields as they bow hunted nearby.
Greg went off to college, but decided to relocate back to Wisconsin Rapids in 1991. The farm was for sale at that time, and he decided to make an offer. The offer was accepted and that was a LUCKY day! The farm could have been turned into a 35 acre cranberry marsh.
Greg's mother Natalie said, "This farm can pay for itself." She wanted to pass on the gardening and farming skills she learned from her parents. realizing how few of today's children get a chance to hold and feed animals and visit a real farm, she saw that this could be a great experience for everyone.
Brief history of the land
First records of the farm go back to 1850 Federal Swamp and Overflow Land Act. It was divided into smaller parcels throughout the 1800's. First occupation began in 1855, purchased for only $300. During the depression, it changed hands many times for $1.00. The previous owners purchased the farm in 1957. They lived there until they could no longer take care of the farm.
When Greg bought the farm in 1991, the land had laid idle a long time. His family pitched in to help clear the clutter, brush and weed tangled fences, and clean many years of cobwebs, dust and dirt. Greg and his brother began to improve the land with old machinery as best they could. Soon, with a gift of a few black chickens and 2 rescued horses, the Farm was born.
Our signature annual event
The Harvest and Craft Sale
The first few years of the Harvest and Craft Sale were really Mom's Rummage and Crafts which included the ever-growing surplus of vegetables. During the spring and summer, a self-service cooler supplied passers-by with rhubarb, gladiolas, and freshly picked vegetables. The land produced better crops and the buildings were being repaired. With each year came more customers, new ideas, and experiences. Family and friends joined in to help create all of the crafts, activities, displays, and atmosphere knowing the happiness it brought to all.
The first hayride started because a teacher of handicapped children students asked if they could come visit the farm. Greg gave them a ride in a two wheeled trailer pulled by an old Allis Chalmers tractor. The Farm family saw the happiness and smiles and could hardly wait for the next year to come so they could add something new.
When Greg opens his farm to the community each year, he hopes the experience of visiting an old farmstead will create good memories for the youngsters and bring back great memories to the oldsters.
People seem very grateful for the opportunity to see farm life as it used to be and experience country hospitality.