Paul and Laura Phelps’ lifelong dream came true in 2011 when they purchased a 126-acre farm in the town of Oconomowoc. Soon after establishing Serenity Farm, they sought the assistance of Tall Pines Conservancy to protect this unique piece of Wisconsin history - and the connections they have created between art and nature on their farm. In 2014, a conservation easement was placed on the property to permanently protect it from future development.
Art - and its reflection on nature - is what makes Serenity Farm a truly magical place. Paul is a highly respected stained-glass artist whose work is showcased in each of the gables of the iconic early 20th century restored barn. Guests to the farm also encounter sculptures, from a majestic spire to a menagerie of creatures, along the courtyard and among the gardens. In fact, there are more than 20 geometrical and meticulously designed gardens producing organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers. Turkeys, goats, chickens, pigs and honeybees all make their home here. The gently rolling landscape features lush wetlands and ancient oak savannah, with the meandering Ashippun River running through it.
The Phelps generously share their farm during Ride to the Barns. Held in August, this fundraising bicycle ride through Lake Country and rolling farmland benefits the land conservation work of Tall Pines Conservancy. Local farms serve as rest stops, where participants enjoy locally produced food and live music while connecting with those who farm the land.
“We were living in the city of Oconomowoc and had looked for years for a farm. We had a list of priorities and looked at hundreds of properties. When we saw this farm, we made a connection right away. It was meant to be, and we felt it was our destiny. We prayed about it and promised to be good stewards.” - Paul Phelps