Medicine Creek Farm began as Belly Rub Bacon, a pastured pig operation run by Hannah Bernhardt and Jason Misik with the help of friends, family, and neighbors.
Hannah grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Southern Minnesota and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts in 2004. She worked in politics and government in St. Paul and Washington, DC, grew her first vegetables on rooftops in Brooklyn, and fell in love with grass-based livestock farming as an intern at Kinderhook Farm in the Hudson Valley of Upstate New York.
She returned home to Minnesota and began her pastured pig operation, Belly Rub Bacon, in 2015 at beautiful Dancing Winds Farms outside of Kenyon, MN, formerly a popular goat dairy run by Mairi Doerr. She also milked sheep at Shepherd's Way Farm, harvested garlic and ginger at Seven Songs Organic Farm, helped her dad plant and harvest crops, and sold cheesemaking kits at Roaring Brook Dairy.
Jason grew up in Wisconsin where he helped the neighbors with chores on their dairy farm, worked part-time in a commercial egg operation, and spent two years in his 20s at the mushroom farm River Valley Ranch. He is a skilled builder, having built a barn and straw bale house on raw land in the mountains of California, remodeled numerous homes in Minneapolis, and works freelance jobs building and decorating sets for advertising commercials around the Twin Cities.
When Hannah and Jason met, a bigger farm vision quickly grew.
Together we traveled with the Practical Farmers of Iowa to Gabe Brown's famous no-till, rotationally grazed livestock farm in North Dakota, attended numerous field days and farm conferences through MOSES and the Sustainable Farming Association of MN, completed the Land Stewardship Project's Farm Beginnings course, and began searching for farm land of our own.
In spring of 2016, we bought 160 acres of beautiful rolling hay fields and wildlife-filled wetlands outside Finlayson, MN, and Medicine Creek Farm was born.
As raw land, Jason immediately began construction of our home with the help of his buddy Matt, while Hannah tended the pigs and a quickly growing menagerie of additional livestock.
In November of 2016, a new farmer joined the family -- baby Harvey! He rides along in the baby carrier for daily farm chores and loves being outside with the animals. We couldn't be more thrilled to have his spirit in our lives... and his babbling stories and songs to keep us company while we put up fence.
We're also so very grateful for the help and support of our parents while we've built our dream together. From painting to baby-sitting, new tractors to entire electrical systems, and feeding both us and our dogs, we've received more help than we could ever imagine. And they didn't once tell us we were crazy!
There is still much work to be done in terms of infrastructure like fencing and pole barns, decks and livestock corrals, but we love our new home and are excited to share it with you!