Knuckle Head Farm (check us out on (website hidden)) is a working urban farm located along the Brightmoor Farmway in Detroit, MI, USA. If you are looking for a perfectly decorated and organized place don't visit us. There is always lots of activity in our household; kids, neighbors, animals, gardens, harvesting, cooking, crafts and remodeling. Your bedroom is very private and separated from the rest of the house. From your bedroom window and the breakfast table you can enjoy a view on the 3 acre backyard located on the Rouge River floodplain. You are welcome to play or help milk our Saanen goats, Stevie and Georgia and Macy, pet the rabbits, watch the bees, feed the chickens, throw sticks with Zak and Lucy, our (BIG) dogs, enjoy fresh eggs from our own chickens for breakfast and just roam around and enjoy the peace of nature. The bedroom is large with a queen sized bed, a sitting area and a desk and has a small private bathroom. There is internet access, lots of books and board games.
Brightmoor is a blighted, impoverished area in Detroit, but the Brightmoor Farmway community through their community organization Neighbors Building Brightmoor (check us on (website hidden)), is modeling a sustainable way of turning a community around.
As of the summer of 2012, we have created 50 market- community- and family gardens, wild flower patches, pocket parks and communal pumpkin and potato patches, all in a 20 block area. You can walk or bike and visit all the beautiful outdoor spaces, talk to the friendly neighbors and learn about growing organic vegetables,water management, perma culture, animal husbandry and community organizing. There is a one mile trail along the river into the 180 acre Eliza Howell Park, again created by the community, where you may see deer, raccoon, fox and dozens of species of birds. Detroit has a wonderful art museum and Greenfield village and the Henry Ford museum are close by.We are conveniently located close to highways, 20 minutes from downtown and the airport and we will provide transportation from bus or train stations, or airport and to downtown Detroit for a small fee. The Detroit bus system is pretty dismal, but the bus at the end of street does go downtown. You are welcome to borrow bikes from us. Breakfast is served in different locations; when it is warm enough on the sun porch, if it is really cold next to the wood stove in the living room or in our kitchen/dining room. Where ever it is served, you have a lovely view on the farm. This winter we installed a rocket mass heater between our kitchen and the sun room and that is a lovely place to hang out at all times.
The guests have the run of the downstairs of the house and the yard. They can use the kitchen for cooking.
We let our guests determine the amount of interacting they want from us. It does not offend us if they want their privacy and are not interested in hanging out. On the other hand we are a household where there always people around and there are always conversations around the dinner table or while I am cooking. We also host Woofers and often have neighborhood meetings at our house, so there are always folks and we love it.
As we said before, Brightmoor is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Anywhere from 30-70% of the lots are vacant which we in our corner of Brightmoor have put to use and created many garden etc. We have very active neighborhood organizations and are have cutting edge strategies for dealing with blight, community planning and greenspace development.
As I said before, the bus system is dismal, however there is a bus stop within 100 yards of our house which will take you downtown. The Farmway is fun to walk or bike. That way you get to meet some of the farmers and enjoy the beauty. We are very close to all the highways which shoots you to both downtown and the airport within 20 minutes.
Your room is isolated from the rest of the house, but we are a farm and that could means activity as early as 6.30 am. we try to be quiet, but cannot guarantee that we would not wake an light sleeper.
The Schumacks are wonderful people who are very committed to their neighborhood and Detroit! And they are awesome hosts. They have a very nice guest room, serve tasty self-made breakfast and it's a great experience to live on their farm. You can have your private time or spend time with the people or garden interns who are usually around.
I enjoyed every single day but also learned a lot from their passion and dedication to what they do. I can only recommend staying with them and will definitely be back the next time I'm in Detroit.
My stay, although brief, was very relaxing and I felt immediately comfortable with Riet and family, and her excellent dogs. The farm is every bit as beautiful as the photo, and the room is very clean and attractive, and has an interesting mix of books on the shelves. I really appreciated breakfast - fresh muffins and frittata, what a great way to start the day. I was on a business trip and it was very pleasant to be in my room working while Reit and the intern farmers were out in the yard working - I am sure they gave me a boost in productivity! The neighborhood is typical of Detroit - a mix of empty lots (many given over to urban farming and community gardens), and houses in various states of repair, with a few here and there showing signs of homesteading. I took a walk to look for some dinner, and the neighbors were quick with a wave and a smile. I hope to stay with Riet again soon.
Staying at Knuckle Head Farm was such a great experience! It is a calm and quiet retreat in Detroit. Urban farming in Detroit was something that I just had to see for myself because it's not what I would think of when I think of Detroit.
The farm is also very easy to find.
I was so excited to meet the goats, especially the babies. There were definitely some goat snuggles and time spent hanging out with their dog Zack in the quiet that I forgot I was in Detroit.
Riet is a great hostess with good communication from booking to my departure from the farm. I had the pleasure to get to know Riet a bit more when she'd invited me to share dinner with her and the WOOF-ers. There were definitely many laughs and stories shared that evening.
Riet also gave me plenty of space to do whatever I needed/wanted to, which is what I like, though I knew she would be accessible if I'd needed her.
My room was was just described. The bed comfy and wifi was easy to access. The breakfasts that were prepared for me were tasty and fueled me for the day -- a lot of it was locally-grown and good for me. I also felt quite safe, especially with their dogs, Zack and Lucy, in the house.
I could feel the sense of community within the neighborhood during my short stay. What Riet and her neighbors are doing is fantastic!
I can't recommend staying here enough. Really. It's such a little gem. Detroit continues to have a special place in my heart because of people like Riet and places like Knuckle Head Farm.
We had a wonderful one-night stay with Riet at Knuckle Head Farm. We enjoyed the goats, the dogs, and Riet herself.
The room was very cozy with candles and lots of nice human touches without being cluttered or "busy." The bed was warm and comfortable. Breakfast was simple and delicious apple filled crepes. We couldn't have asked for better.
We will definitely be back when our schedule allows.
We had a wonderful stay at Knuckle Head and enjoyed learning about the work they are doing in the community. It's a beautiful spot and Riet is an incredibly kind and thoughtful host. Will definitely visit again if/when we're back in the area!
My boyfriend and I had an amazing stay with Riet at Knucklehead Farm. Riet was very accommodating and made us feel completely at home. Our room was quite large, very private, comfortable and clean. The room was also very quiet and peaceful which we greatly appreciated as my boyfriend suffers a lot of head pain and was there to visit doctors. She did not mind at all that we were in and out with that and also needed naps. He breakfasts were amazing. It was such a treat to have such an amazing homemade breakfast! The farm was so exciting for us and our dogs. She was so kind she let us bring our boys! We really enjoyed reading the material that was left out in our room. It helped educate us about the amazing things she and her community are doing to come together! The community gardens and art are astonishing.
I could go on and on about what a positive experience this was. We were so moved and inspired by everything going on around the neighborhood and Riet's farm. I highly recommend staying here. We only wish she wasn't already booked for our next trip.
My friend and I came to Detroit to do a photo report about urban agriculture. Our stay at Riet's and meeting her has been one of the highlights of our trip.
Her house is welcoming and warm and will make you feel instantly at peace. And not even mentioning the delicious breakfast made with food from her own farm.
I highly recommend Knuckle Head Farm for a little place of magic in Detroit.
We were so blessed to be able to share in this peaceful and interesting home. Reit and Mark not only provide a serene place to sleep, but a delicious breakfast and the wonderful work they do in their community. Staying there provided us with a snapshot of the dream of urban farming and renewal that was very real and inspiring. Thank you.
This was great! My husband and I live in Chicago and we stayed for two days while we were in town to see a documentary. Riet is a wonderful host. She's very warm and makes a tasty breakfast and you can hear about some of the important work she and others in her community are doing around urban farming. We'll definitely hope to stay again.
Other commenters mentioned that it's nice that the guest room is off on its own side of the house -- I appreciated that also. The bathroom and bedroom were very clean. The dogs were friendly and the goats were cute. The room had heat and was kept at a pleasant temperature. The room had tea and fruit and nuts in case one needed a snack. What else to say? Hopefully we can come back in the summer and get to see the farm in working order -- still too much snow on the ground when we were there.
Tip 1: In the winter, it's not a bad idea to bring slippers. That bathroom tile is cold! :)
Tip 2: If you are from Chicago, don't forget the 1 hour time change! :)
Riet was amazing - friendly and warm from the moment I stepped in the door after a long flight and she offered me some of her dinner. Her urban farm is a wonderful, peaceful, and beautiful oasis and I was very comfortable there. Every morning I was treated to an amazing freshly baked breakfast, coffee, and either juice or homemade apple cider. Riet and her husband are also inspiring members of their community and have a great deal of wisdom to share. I felt very at home here and loved reading and making tea each night in the pleasant, spacious guest room. The dogs and goats are also very cute! Thank you, Riet!
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