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.
Interaction with Guests
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.
Other Things to Note
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.
We are very informal, guests have the run of the farm and use of the kitchen if so desired. Please let us know your dietary restrictions, likes or dislikes when reserving your room. We will cook breakfast if so desired or you can cook your own with the ingredients at hand in our kitchen. If you want to eat after 9 am, you might have to cook for yourself if Riet's schedule is hectic that day.
Check in time: 3 pm
Check out time 12 noon
We ask that you do not smoke in the house.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this delightful urban farm. The hosts were welcoming; the room was private, spacious, comfortable, and light-filled; the breakfast (featuring farm-fresh eggs!) was delicious. We especially enjoyed seeing the dedication of this household and their neighbors to the healthy renewal and care of their portion of Detroit. Inspiring! We particularly recommend staying with Riet if you are interested in good land use and in the efforts to turn back blight in this city.
My friend and I stayed at the farm for one night. It was a last min booking and everything went smoothly.
Did not meet Reit, but met her husband mark. They were very accommodating by putting a pull out in the room as well!!
Mark was very nice and provided both my friend and I history on the town and even provided us breakfast too! ( huge bonus).
This was my friend airbnb experience and it was great.
Thank you mark !
Riet met us as we drove up and made us feel right at home. I'm sure she was watching for us. The room was nice and the breakfast delightful. I learned all about life in Detroit, as was my hope, and had a great time. My wife helped milk the goats!
Staying with Riet was the highlight in a fantastic five days in Detroit. The room is lovely - clean, light and quiet. Riet is an inspirational bundle of energy and insight and is surrounded by motivated young people talking, thinking, farming. The neighbourhood is struggling but it was great to get a glimpse of how individuals are working together to shift the situation. Thank you so much Riet for your incredible generosity. oh and those amazing breakfasts....
We had a lovely stay with Riet and her extended family! We were ever so busy while in Detroit but the time we spent was very inspiring. True to other reviews, Riet enjoys feeding people and has a gracious and generous spirit. We enjoyed eating the fruits of the labor of the farm in the form of goat yogurt, milk and cheese! The large room with sitting area is in a private part of the house and the small but efficient adjacent 3/4 bathroom means that you will have space to create a retreat, if you need some down time from the lively household or a busy day. The spirit of community in the neighborhood is apparent and the progress that is being made there is a shining example of what can be accomplished with determination and dedication.
We will be planning a trip back to Detroit for a "staycation" at Riet's. It is possible to make your time there a learning experience, which makes this place unique amongst the others. Thank you, Riet and Mark, for helping to make our stay in Detroit such a wonderful experience.
The room was clean and well kept with a beautiful view of the garden. A wholesome breakfast was made for me every morning. A lot goes on in Reit's house, so it was interesting to get to know a few locals too. A very serene and idyllic place to stay, friendly neighbours, friendly animals, though difficult to make it into the city without a car.
Hostess Riet is Dutch by birth and has Dutch hospitality bred into her genes. She loves gardening, kids (see(website hidden)page Brightmoor Youth Garden), her neighborhood (see(website hidden)page Neighbors Building Brightmoor)and the love of her life, her husband of 32 years. If she ever has time again she wants to resume her spinning , knitting and other needle crafts. Her husband Mark is a mechanical engineer with a surprisingly poetic and artistic streak. He is a very proficient pencil drawing artist (http://(email hidden)/ ),a great woodworker and all laround handyman who loves his goats and other animals. Together they have 6 kids, 2 of whom are still at home.