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.
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!
Riet was absolutely amazing! I learned so much about the urban agriculture movement in Detroit... what she and the others are doing for those families is remarkable. I highly recommend paying a visit to Riet and the gang if you will be in the area. She cooked a delicious breakfast using only products from her backyard (goat's milk, eggs from her chickens, apples from the trees, etc.) It was a very comfortable stay and I even got to help her take care of the newborn goat. I will definitely stop back by next time I am in town! :)
They had a 5 day old goat when I arrived that was very cute. And their dogs were nice as well. Reit and Mark are extremely hospitable and the breakfasts were delicious. A soufflé and pancakes!
What an absolutely lovely experience from start to finish! Knuckle Head Farm is easy to find and convenient from the highway. Riet was so friendly and kind. The room is spacious, clean and cozy. Breakfast was a treat and included ingredients from the farm. I hope I get to stay with Riet - and meet the goats and chickens - again the next time I'm in Detroit!
Riet and Mark are stellar hosts, and their farm was a lovely reprieve during our stay near Detroit. My favorite part was waking up to the delicious breakfast Riet cooked on both days - frittata with breakfast buns and cider, with eggs, vegetables, goat milk, butter, and apples from the farm, and apple crepes on the second day :) it was also a pleasure chatting with her about her many community and farm projects over a cup of tea and interacting with her friendly dogs and goats. Her house (email hidden)ly place, but guests are afforded a lot of space because the bedroom along with the bathroom is located in a separate part of the house, with a back entrance. I would love to come back and stay with her again.
It was a great time! This is the perfect place to stay while beeing in Detroit! Very friendly host, great breakfast.
My son and I had a wonderful stay at Knuckle Head Farm. The room was comfortable and clean; and the breakfast/food was wonderful. But more important to us was to see what Riet has helped foster in this community. Seeing the community gardens and artistic enrichment to a neighborhood in need was inspiring. Riet is dedicating her time and energy (and finances I imagine) to enriching her community...and it feels good to in any small way support her efforts. So, not only will you get a very good value in accomodation, along with excellent food and company - you might give a little back to a very worthwhile and thoughtful experiment in community development. Highly recommended!
We had a fantastic stay in Detroit! Riet and her husband are really nice, easy going and lovely people. They made us feel very comfortable, it was like home. The room is very generous, you have a lot of space and everything you need. Riet prepared delicious breakfast.
It was really great! One day we would love to come back in summer. Thank you so much!
For me, it doesn't get much more perfect than KH Farm. Riet's home is clean, well kept, and has an organic atmosphere. The breakfast was outstanding and would have cost $20 + easy if you would have ordered it at a cafe or restaurant. Staying at KH farm was one of the highlights of our whole trip. Very much plan on returning at some point in the future.
This is the final rate, including any fees from the host and Airbnb.