Buck Creek Farm

59761 Buck Creek Rd, Ferryville, WI 54628

The Ferryville, Wisconsin farm on which we’ll be married is owned by our dear friends, Robin and Liz Carlin Metz. Kelly helped them to create Vitalist Theatre Chicago, named to commemorate the passing of Robin’s second wife, Liz’s best friend, and Kelly’s undergraduate acting mentor, Elizabeth Jahnke, who was married to Robin on the farm. Liz and Kelly were colleagues during her teaching years at Knox College, and Robin was her Creative Writing adviser at the same institution when she spent her undergraduate years there. These two are among her best of friends, and having them get to know Peter has been among the greatest of joys to her. They each approached Kelly about us getting married on their farm, without knowledge of Peter’s proclamation after his first visit there in July 2016 (“Wouldn’t the farm be a beautiful place for our wedding?”). It is among a very few places she considers to be sacred and deeply spiritual to her; so, the consensus among us four brought about our serendipitous decision.  Along with many other artist-friends Kelly holds dear, Robin will read poetry of his choosing at our ceremony. We are earnestly humbled and deeply honored to gather our families, friends, and loved ones to this very special place for our wedding.

Buck Creek Farm–Owned by Robin Metz since 1969
The farm is located in the beautiful region of Southwest Wisconsin, known geolocically as “the driftless region.”  This is because none of the 5 North American glaciers came this far.  As a result the land is not sheered off flat as is much of the Midwest, and resembles the palisades of the upper Hudson River.  The area is marked by steep bluffs up to the ridges with innumerable “coolees” (French derivation) or valleys with creeks that drain to the Mississippi River.  Some of the nation’s best Blue Ribbon trout fishing is in these creeks.  The area was the heart of Wisconsin’s family farm dairy industry, though agribusiness put family farms out of business to the tune of 9 farms a day and now Georgia and California produce more dairy than “the cheese state.”  Currently the area is an all seasons recreational destination, second homes abound, and there is a resurgence of sustainable farming, largely lead by the Amish and Organic Valley, which originated in Crawford County.
The farm consists of 440 acres (about 140 acres under crop and the rest in timber) and is named for the creek in the valley, which is fed by natural springs.  The farm dates back to the 1850s when the Egge family obtained the land, and the homestead originally was a hand-hewn log cabin with one room up and down, the logs for which can still be seen today.  By 1913, the farm was a working dairy farm, still owned by the Egge family, who added a formal parlor and back bedroom on the ground floor and another bedroom on the second floor.  They also added a kitchen, though there was no bathroom or running water.  Eventually, a hand pump was installed in the kitchen. 
When Robin bought the farm, it had been abandoned due to the collapse of the diary industry.  In effect, he bought the land and got 8 buildings for free.
The farm house was in rough shape with the roof and floors caving in, animals living in the house, and a 5 foot beehive in the chimney.  The driveway was a popular turn around for traffic on the road and water rushed down the hillside right in through the front door.  
Over the years, Robin and his young family brought the farm back to a livable state and his daughters spent many years exploring the hills and valley, raising horses and other farm animals, and doing chores (and adding a bathroom).  They now live nearby in LaCrosse and their sons now do a lot of the exploring.  Robin became an award winning certified tree farmer and the family planted over 25,000 trees on the property.  
In 1992, Robin married Liz Jahnke here at the farm, and some significant upgrades on the house were carried out–the addition of the Morso stove in the dining room, sheet rock on the master bedroom’s raw stud walls, and the slate wall behind the Morso.  Liz died suddenly in 1993 and her ashes are interred at the Wedding Tree near the tobacco shed.
In 2012, Robin and Liz Carlin Metz decided to put an addition on the farm house and to winterize it so that living at the farm year round would not be so arduous and it could be turn-key for family visits during the academic year.  The recent addition includes geothermal heating and cooling, new well, new septic system, new walk-out basement (the old basement is now called “the wine cellar”) with two bedrooms and a full bath, Liz’s dream kitchen, a great room, Robin’s dream deck, and as Robin says, “the most spectacular bathroom since Babylonian legend.”  We also are proud to say that Buck Creek Farm is now a certified organic farm.  Welcome.