Welcome to the:

Hill and Valley Exploration Tour: A Celebration of Rural Living

Thank you for your interest and support!

Two Autumn weekends to explore farm traditions.
Area farms, artist studios, and rural businesses
open their doors to welcome you.
xperience farm living first hand!


The Third Annual Hill and Valley Exploration Tour
October 5–6 and 12–13, 2019.


The Hill and Valley Exploration Tour: A celebration of rural living is a unique opportunity to explore the vibrant and resilient small farm economy of Northern Sauk and Richland Counties! On the tour you can easily find local food and art producers, learn about the changing face of rural America, dine at a true Farm‐​to‐​Fork country eatery, find hidden gems, and visit a historic Folk Art site. Don’t forget to bring your cooler to hold all your farm fresh purchases, an extra sweater, and the mud boots; this is country fun — rain or shine!

Watch our Website, Follow our Blog and Facebook Page, and Join our email List for Updates Including Special Attractions and Events at
Participating Farms, Artist Studios, Restaurants, and Businesses!

Explore, Learn, and Buy Local; Come and Join the Fun!

Piglets at Dandelion Ridge Farm After the Tour with Farmer Peter Kinsman

Piglets at Dandelion Ridge Farm enjoying the Pumpkins Left Behind
Piglets at Dandelion Ridge Farm enjoying the Pumpkins Left Behind

Tour Venues

Meet Your Local Professionals

Lisa Buttonow

Branding Iron Roadhouse,
Farm‐​to‐​Fork Eatery,
Lime Ridge

Welcome to the Branding Iron Roadhouse, Main Street, Lime Ridge, WI, established 2011.  The Branding Iron is a true farm‐​to‐​fork restaurant serving delicious food, cooked to order, and made from locally grown beef and other locally‐​produced products.

Doreen and Michael Whiteside

Buck Wild Ranch,
Family Farmstead,
La Valle

New­ly found­ed in 2014 by Michael and Doreen White­side — two city folks with a dream to live a sim­pler life and a pas­sion for clean food and agri­cul­tur­al prac­tices. We grow buck­wheat, a pseu­do grain (actu­al­ly a seed) that is high in essen­tial min­er­als and antiox­i­dants and is gluten free. Buck­wheat has many health ben­e­fits and makes won­der­ful kasha, noo­dles, tea and PANCAKES! And while we love the deli­cious, healthy prod­ucts we get from our buck­wheat, its main pur­pose is to feed our bees.

Sid Cook, Owner; Patty Koenig, Business Manager

Carr Valley Cheese Co, La Valle

Nestled amongst the rolling hills and lush pastures of central Wisconsin, Carr Valley Cheese remains a staple of Wisconsin cheesemaking tradition.  Stop by our retail store and try any one of our over 100 varieties of cheese; you will be greeted with a warm smile and a staff eager to answer all your cheese related questions!

Edgewood College, David Wells, Director

Ernest Hupeden’s Painted Forest, Valton, WI

Come and visit this restored folk art treasure featuring imaginative murals by German immigrant and itinerant artist Ernest Hüpeden, painted from 1899–1901. Guided Tours and special activities!

Steve Fearing

Fearing Angus Natural Freezer Beef, La Valle

Fearing Angus Natural Freezer Beef is a family farm located in the unglaciated hills of NW Sauk County.  We raise Angus Beef and Club Calves.  All our animals are humanely‐​treated, naturally‐​grown, pasture‐​raised, and whole‐​grain supplemented.  That’s a lot of adjectives to describe our beef, but each one means something very specific for us, and, for you, the beef consumer.

Sandy and Melvin Smith

Narrows Creek Gardens,
La Valle

Narrows Creek Garden is a 3rd generation family farm operated by Sandy and Melvin Smith. We are focusing on growing Aronia berries, an emerging ‘super fruit’ that may aid in fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol, and helping control diabetes.  Aronia berries, also known as a chokeberry, are used for juice, jelly, wine, and additions for both color and flavor to yogurt, sauces and an endless variety of other food products.

Dean and Vicky Baumgarten

Narrows Creek Winery, Loganville

The winemakers and owners of this fledgling winery are Dean & Vicky Baumgarten.  We are just approaching our one year anniversary, September 15th.  We invite you to come and give us a LOOK and a TASTE.   We are located on Narrows Creek Road, about 1 mile off of Hwy 23, north of Loganville, WI.

John Bergman

Stoney Ridge Fruit Farms, Loganville

Rooted on the top of a ridge outside of Loganville, Stoney Ridge Fruit Farm is unapologetically simple. It is a stone’s throw from where owner, John Bergman, was born and raised. Inspired by the many heirloom and historic apples, and the thousands of different varieties, John started planting the orchard in 2008. There are now nearly 350 trees, including 130 varieties, in the ground.

Don and Dorothy Harms

Valley Springs Farm and Bed and Breakfast, Reedsburg

Don and Dorothy Harms operate a working dairy and beef farm which offers the sights and sounds of the country – from Sandhill cranes returning in the spring to newborn Red Angus calves frolicking in the pasture with their mommas.

Peter Kinsman

Dandelion Ridge Farm, Lime Ridge

Dandelion Ridge Farm was purchased by my grandparents, John and Jean Kinsman in 1954.  The farm was a small family dairy for 60+ years, milking approximately 45 cows.  The farm also hosted many other animals such as pigs and chickens in the early years.  My grandparents were environmental and local food activists, becoming early adopters of the organic movement.

Joyce Ihde

Old School Art Asylum, Lime Ridge

Visit Joyce’s Art Studio/​Gallery where she will be displaying her paintings of rural life. Take a little of the beauty home with you by means of a new painting for your wall or some greeting cards to share with family and friends. She will be doing two step‐​by‐​step painting classes for those who want to join in the fun. Guest Artists will also be there creating and selling their work!

Patricia Duren

Patricia Duren Art Studio, Cazenovia

I’m excited to be part of the Hill and Valley Exploration Tour 2018. Stop by my new art studio where I will be displaying recent paintings as well as demonstrating techniques each morning from 11:00 — noon.  Paintings and cards available for purchase.

Sue Louis, Student/​ Family and Community Relations Coordinator; Randi Osborne, Agriculture Educator

Weston School District, Cazenovia

The Weston School District, in beautiful Sauk and Richland counties, is situated on 60 acres in the midst of cornfields and woodlands. Even though the district is small, Weston’s 300 preK -12 grade students experience a challenging academic environment with a wide array of athletic, artistic, technical, vocational, exploratory, and college level course offerings. Our “hands‐​​​on” curriculum keeps students excited about learning.

Brenda Kraemer

Sandhill Fiber Farm, Reedsburg

Nestled in a picturesque valley near Loganville is the Sandhill Fiber Farm. The owner Brenda Kraemer has lived there with her three children for over 30 years. You will be greeted by the family dog, Leo, who loves visitors and the pastures are dotted with the animals that supply the raw wool for the industry; llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep and rabbits.

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