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Sharing the benefits of homesteading with others

Aderman Acres offers fresh produce and clean products to members of the community

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November 1, 2023

CASCADE – Kristie and Jon Aderman’s homestead journey began in 2021 when they, along with their four children, moved to six acres of land in the Village of Cascade.

As the Adermans put in a garden to grow their own produce, Kristie said they began researching the benefits of keeping a clean and self-sufficient lifestyle – especially as she battled with Crohn’s disease, gastroparesis and pancreatitis.

Kristie said what she didn’t know, however, is that her family’s lifestyle would end up cultivating more than just veggies – it also helped grow a business of her own.

“In March of this year, I got sick, and I ended up in and out of the hospital,” she said. “(I) ended up losing my job… it was like a blessing in disguise.”

Being in charge of purchasing products for her family, Kristie said she knows that healthy and natural foods are hard to find.

“To get something that’s homegrown (with) no pesticides, you need to seek it out,” she said. “When I started making food for our family – it started with sourdough… I was like, ‘well, if I’m making some already for my family, let’s start offering it to other people as well because it is hard to come by.”

This, she said, eventually led to the family starting their own farm stand – Aderman Acres – located at W6613 Cty Rd F.

How it works
Before starting the farm stand, Kristie said she did a lot of research on Wisconsin farmer’s market and cottage laws to make sure she was following the rules.

“(There is) no license required (to sell products) like apple cider, baked goods (with some exceptions), fruits, veggies, grains, honey and jams and jellies,” she said.

Kristie said they set up Aderman Acres as a self-serve farm stand to make it easier for her and potential customers.

?“We live on a pretty busy road,” she said. 

Since starting Aderman Acres in April of this year, Kristie said she has had a lot of repeat customers, “which is great to see.”

“They’re happy they have someone so close,” she said. “That’s been great to hear, too.”

Kristie Aderman said what the farm stand has available is dependent upon how she’s feeling because of her illness. Photo Courtesy of Aderman Acres

?If customers are looking for something in particular, Kristie said they can send her a message on Facebook and work with her.

“We do offer (products) that way as well,” she said. “(Customers) can reserve it for a certain time or for an event they have.”

What’s offered at the stand, Kristie said, varies each week.

“I do deal with an illness, so it’s been a blessing because (I do) what I’m capable of,” she said. “(For example, one) week our sweet treat for the family was chocolate chip cookies. I’ll make an extra batch and then that might go on the stand.”

As for other products that Aderman Acres offers, Kristie said she’s been able to “dabble in different things” as a full-time homesteader.

“We recently got a freeze dryer, so we’re launching freeze-dried, dye-free candies for Halloween,” she said. “(I make) special things for the holidays and then (make) different kinds of arts and crafts things – I have some homemade cards on the stand. Next year, we want to attempt to grow birdhouse gourds.”

Kristie said she has also offered different kinds of butter, granola and sugar scrubs – as well as eggs from the family’s chickens – at the stand.

“We’re at the beginning stages of everything,” she said. “We like to see what works and see what doesn’t.”

Since starting in the spring, Kristie said the only challenge she has faced is dealing with her medical conditions while running the business.

“Sometimes (it’s hard) making sure things can get done around here if I’m not feeling well,” she said. “(Our family) has to work together in that aspect.”

The benefits of homesteading
Kristie said she’s recognized that eating homegrown produce and using homemade household products has given her family “more energy, and just an overall healthier feeling.”

“I think the biggest (noticeable change from a homestead lifestyle that we’ve noticed) is just overall the aches and pains. You start to feel better. You’re not sick so much.”

Though, she said, living a homestead-focused lifestyle isn’t any different than going to the store and trying different brands until you find the one you like, or going to the doctor and trying different medications until you find the one that works – which she said causes some people to give up the lifestyle quickly.

“I think sometimes people miss the point of natural medicines or natural eating,” she said. “It takes a lot of mindful research and continued reading.”

Sometimes, Kristie said products in stores that are labeled clean or “good for you” aren’t actually that great.

Kristie Aderman said she offers different goods at the farmstand each week, as it depends on what she is capable of doing with her illness. Photo Courtesy of Aderman Acres

“There are all those sneaky ingredients they talk about, or they change the wording of things like how they’ve done with Red (Dye) 40,” she said. “(Even with) fragrances, like Glade plug-ins, it just says fragrance. They do not have to list what they put in that fragrance.”

Growing and grace
As Aderman Acres continues to grow and find its footing within the community, Kristie said she and her family are already working on new ideas for the stand.

“At the end of this summer, we put in a strawberry patch,” she said. “So, we will be offering more types of berries (next year). And then we applied for a high tunnel grant and a wildflower grant through the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), so we are hoping to offer more flowers.”

With the continued focus of “we’re going to keep trying different things,” Kristie said the possibilities of what the stand will offer in the future are endless.

“We are a ‘roll with the flow’ family,” she said. “I feel like we almost have to be… a year ago I was working in an office… but I was still dealing with my illness, so I was no good to my family. I couldn’t have dreamed of being here in this place a year ago.”

Dealing with her illness, Kristie said, has also motivated her to live a healthier life for her kids.

“(I) think about the medical issues I have, and I do not want my children to ever have to deal with any of that,” she said. “That’s my motivation and my drive – to make it better for my kids.”

To learn more about Aderman Acres, visit their Facebook page.

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