Eric and Ann Kreidermacher consciously made a decision to live a simple life when they said their vows, which would allow them to raise a happy, healthy family.
Both Eric’s parents were raised on farms, his father on a dairy farm. The family farm on which Eric and Ann are raising their family was purchased by Eric’s parents in 1967. His dad milked cows for a few years but switched to hog farming in the ‘70s and there has been some type of hog farming ever since.
The greenhouse business started on his mom’s kitchen counter as a hobby and has grown over the years into a sustainable business. His mother still helps in the greenhouse but insists that she has never worked a day in her life. The greenhouse is open from April until the end of June. It is also open on select days in the fall, allowing their customers to purchase organic material for their gardens.
Eric stressed that he wanted his children to either work on the family farm as adults or at least want to come back to visit.
They decided not to pursue full-time jobs off the farm like many other farm families. In addition to working on the farm, Ann homeschooled their daughters Gabrielle and Nicole, and son Daniel. The two youngest children Ella and Caleb are still homeschooled.
The family lived in a trailer house on the farm until four years ago when the family worked together to build a log home. In keeping with their vision to live a simple lifestyle, the design of the new home is simple which Eric proudly pointed out was designed by their daughter. Eric explained that it was not a log house kit. The logs were purchased from a Wisconsin couple and the family did all the work getting the logs ready for construction.
The couple owns and operates Pork & Plants, a greenhouse business and raise soy-free pork and 100% grass-fed beef which are sold directly to the public. There are no middlemen.
Eric explained that he studied the traditional way of farming during college but noted with a laugh that he does not farm the way he was taught in college.
Eric emphasized that they do not farm the way other farmers do. Using a cliche, the Kreidermachers think outside the box. With a chuckle, Eric mentioned that he has been told that he is a “wannabe farmer” because he farms differently than other farmers in the area. Clearly, he is proud that he and Ann have blazed their own trail.
They do not invest in a lot of equipment because all that is grown on the farm is fed to the animals. None is sold off the farm.
Visitors will not see a lot of farm buildings because the pigs are raised in deep-bedded straw with open housing and the cattle are kept on the pasture year round. “The cattle never go in a barn or see a barn,” explained Eric. “It is fascinating to watch them. They love it and thrive in that environment.” The chickens are raised in covered shelters that are moved every day to protect them from birds of prey that would relish a fresh chicken dinner.
Ann introduced Eric to horses! The family’s latest project is the purchase of two draft horses for pulling. They have a wagon and sleigh. Just like every venture, they have learned how to pull infromation from researching, reading, and talking to others in the field.
They will be open on October 14 and 28 for both meat and fertilizer sales.
The Kreidermacher farm/greenhouse is located at 16378 County Road 114 in picturesque Altura, Minn. They can be reached at (507) 689-2678 or email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website for additional information at www.porkandplants.com.