About Mitten Acres
We are a small, newly established 10+ acre farm located in SE Michigan about an hour West of Detroit and a half hour North of Ann Arbor in Milford Township.
Having lived previously on a half acre lot in a lakefront community, we were limited in what we could grow and raise on our property. We knew we wanted to raise more of our own food and return to a more natural, self-sustaining lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of life in a subdivision.
In 2012, after looking at properties for over a year, we found a large parcel of vacant land that was an old hay field years ago. The 10+ acre lot was only a couple of miles from my husbands work and only a couple of miles from shopping centers, hospitals, ambulance service and major expressways.
Best of all the property was located in the quaint bedroom community of Milford Township that is located off the beaten path but still has its own fire, rescue and police department so it offered the best of both worlds.
We began the process of buying the vacant land by doing our research on zoning, land use, performing an environmental study, water, soil, perc testing, utility location access, utility costs and finally, a property survey.
Once those hurdles were cleared, we purchased the land and began the process of preparing to build.
The property was overgrown and filled with wild blackberry bushes, poison oak and poison ivy, autumn olives and a lot of trees.We spent a little over a year hand clearing the property of brush, cutting down trees, stacking wood, and laying out where we wanted to build the house and basically getting ready to build our new home.
We designed and built our own home. In a little over two years from buying the property, we moved into the new home.
Since moving here, it's been non-stop - We began designing and building a larger chicken coop, added fencing, and built a couple of goat sheds for the goats. We quickly realized the goat sheds were inadequate - we needed feed, equipment and hay storage, a place out of the elements to milk the goats and larger accommodations for the goats.
After watching a lot of videos on goat barns, researching goat barns and reading a lot of barn design books, I sat down and designed my own custom goat barn.
We still have work to do on the barn - it is a work in
We share our homestead with small herd of registered
Nigerian Dwarf Goats, French Black Copper Marans,
Honey Bees and what seems to be hundreds of different
species of wildlife like turkeys, sand cranes, skunks,
oppossumes, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, squirrels, snakes,
groundhogs, moles, hawks, eagles, turkey buzzards, owls
Starting a homestead from scratch on virgin soil so to
speak has had some challenges but has been well worth
Knowing so far in advance that we were going to move and build our own home allowed us the opportunity save a lot of money purchasing a lot of the finish items like sinks, vanities, plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinetry, knobs and such. We even bought our stove and refrigerator about a year before we actually were able to install them in the home.
This is an overhead view the land before we began clearing it.
Since we moved into our new home, we've planted an orchard of
apple trees, plums, pears and an apricot tree. We've lost a few trees to the deer - we gave up on cherry trees until we fence that area. Evidently deer love cherry leaves, branches and wood!
We've built two small chicken coops and after losing a few chickens to coyotes, foxes and hawks, we built a large coop with an enclosed run to pr