Meet The Locals: Hidden Stream Farm
Hidden Stream Farm is owned by Lisa and Eric Klein and tucked away on 180 acres in Elgin, Minnesota. The family has been farming sustainably for over 50 years, even before the clean food movement gained popularity. We recently talked with Lisa and learned about the farm’s history, her family, and their farming practices.
The farm’s history dates back to the 1950s when it was originally purchased by Lisa’s grandmother Helen so her sons Dick and Everett (Lisa’s father) could pursue their dreams of being farmers. Eventually, Everett and his wife, Rosemary, began growing their own feed and milking their herd of thirty-six cows on the farm. Fast forward to the 1970s, Everett decided to eliminate the use of chemicals on the farm and switch to more sustainable practices. He milked cows with his six children until the last one left for college, which is when he turned his focus toward involvement in the Land Stewardship Project and regenerative farming techniques. In 1991, he sold the dairy cows and started raising beef cattle, hogs, and chickens, started growing row crops, and introduced rotational grazing to the farm.
Lisa met Eric while studying agriculture and their dream was always to run the family farm someday. So, in 1997, they officially took over the business and two years later began selling directly to customers at their local farmers market in Plainview, Minnesota. They soon added a second market in Rochester before creating a local food hub on their farm to provide produce, eggs, and meat from their business and others in the area. They wanted to ensure that they both could be full-time farmers without needing additional income from off-farm jobs.
Today, Lisa and Eric have six children of their own who are all involved in the farm. They raise grass-fed beef, all-natural pork, pastured chickens, and laying hens while still collaborating with over a dozen small farmers in their area to provide more produce and meat options to their customers. Their products are sold to food co-ops, food service companies, restaurants, and schools, and directly to consumers at farmer’s markets and through their website. While the products are not certified organic, they do raise all of the animals on certified organic land without the use of antibiotics, hormones, nitrates, or MSG.
When asked what her favorite part about owning Hidden Stream Farm is, Lisa said, “One of the best things about what we do is hearing the compliments and the thank yous for farming the way we do: taking care of the land, treating our animals with care, and providing meats and products that are clean and safe for their families to eat.” Next time you’re shopping for pork products at our co-op, consider giving Hidden Stream Farm a try!
This article was originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.