Hidden Stream Farm started in the 1950s. Lisa's grandmother Helen Koenig bought the farm, because she wanted her sons' Dick and Everett to pursue their farming dreams. Shortly after, Lisa's dad Everett started growing his own feed and milking 36 cows, with his wife Rosemary by his side.
In the 1970s, Everett decided to quit using chemicals. Why? Well, first off, he marched to the beat of his own drum. He didn't want to do what everyone else was doing. Moreover, he saw the disadvantages. He saw how the chemicals had depleted the soil. It just didn't feel right. He didn't go "all the way", but he was at the forefront of the emerging organic movement towards more natural farming practices.
Everett continued milking cows with his 6 children for 40ish years (Lisa is #4 of 6). When his last kid left for college, he stopped milking cows. The dairy routine wasn't quite as fun without the kids around.
In the 1990s, Everett became involved with the Land Stewardship Project. He switched to raising beef cattle and growing row crops. Given his success, he started rotational grazing, bringing hogs and chickens to the pasture, too. This was the beginning of Hidden Stream Farm and its journey with regenerative farming, working to improve the health of the animals, the soil, the planet, and the people.
Hidden Stream Farm in the early 1980s
While Everett was thinking more and more about retirement, his daughter Lisa met Eric while studying agriculture at the University of Wisconsin. It was their dream to take over the family farm.
In 1997, Eric and Lisa were married and officially started making their dream a reality. They took over the family farm, and there were challenges at every step. How do we keep with the fundamentals that Everett started? How do we raised kids simultaneously?
With some hard work and problem solving, they eventually figured it out. They expanded on the principles that Dad had placed and started building and growing Hidden Stream Farm. They stopped using chemicals (besides a few "rescue sprays") and officially became certified organic in 2018. They have continuously expanded the farm operation.
In 1999, Eric and Lisa started selling direct-to-consumer. It started very small, at a little farmer's market in Plainview, selling meat out of coolers in the back of a pickup when their first child Andy was just 1 week old! They grew to take on wholesale with restaurants, schools, and grocery stores. As the growth of local food increased, they became a local food hub, growing their own food as well as sourcing foods locally from other area farmers for resale.
Andy, Ben, Lisa, Eric, Katy (from left to right)
All 6 of Lisa and Eric's kids are active on the farm. They can proudly say they are a 4th generation family farm, devoted for 3 generations to regenerative farming.
The Klein family wants to build on what they’ve already learned to do well—produce a wide array of delicious, nourishing, environmentally positive foods.
Lisa and Eric's first two kids are out of college. Andy studied ag business and works full-time on the farm. Ben studied horticulture/landscaping and works part-time on the farm.
Katy is in college now, getting a business degree. She (and her brother Andy) started our egg business, Katy’s Eggs, to pay for college!
Their three other children, Sarah, Isaac, and April, are still in K-12 school.
It's the Klein family's goal to maintain and grow their farm to not only sustain their family but all the families that they provide food to!
Sarah, Katy, Isaac, Lisa, Hazel the dog, April, Ben, Eric, Madison (engaged to Andy), Andy (from left to right)