Nestled in the beautiful hills of the St Croix River Valley, Rusty Bucket Acres offers a must see and visit, farm experience. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else. A visit to the farm will fill your bucket with hands-on animal interactions, educational and historical lessons and a renewed energy. All the animals at the farm are completely socialized and want to share time with you. Experience the farm, learn about its transformations and make memories.
Shelly & Lorna want to share their farm, animals, and unique experiences with you. Built out of reclaimed and reused materials by the two of them with the idea of providing a harmonious living environment for the animals that call the Bucket home. The idea of creating a farm came about during the pandemic as a way to deal with the lock-down and stress. The physical building process was, in itself, a stress relief, but the real stress relief was going to be from the animals that would live at the farm. When Shelly and Lorna began the barn-building journey, it was going to house 4 goats and a horse. After realizing the amazing relationship between the goats and the horse, the true value of the healing and comfort the animals provided, the farm became a magical place. Four goats turned into 5. The chickens moved in and suddenly all the animals would spend all day together.
Lorna's and Shelly's dream it to build a farm that has a rustic charm of century old farms. The gathering of all the materials to build the farm has also been an adventure. Many trips and traveling all over the Twin Cities, they gathered the rustic, charming fencing materials and loads of lumber from various sources. The main barn floor is made from flooring materials that were taken from an old theater in St Paul, MN. The horse barn floor is made from 2” thick, hand-milled oak boards that came out of an old garage floor in Buffalo, MN. The old barn wood and tin that covers the outer walls and main door of the barn are from an 1800’s barn in Lake Elmo, MN. The barn door came from Clayton, WI. The main barn is incomplete, as gathering materials is ongoing. The building materials for the chicken coop, home to 50+ chickens (all whom have names), were donated from a century old farm in Strandquist, MN.
While the animals all have independent shelters & feeding areas, they all have the ability to spend all their time together as one happy family. And… they do! We have come to realize that the animals thrive when they can experience everyone. Many of the animals, here at the farm, came from previous homes that provided typical interactions to herds of their own kind. The Bucket family knows only one herd... it includes everyone.
In an effort to provide the best situation for all the animals, the farm provides fresh fruits and vegetables and organic feed. It depends on contributions, donations of materials, sponsorship and memberships. To become a Bucket supporter, please inquire about all the ways you can become involved.
Spending time with animals proves to be good for your health. It is known to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and renew energy. We believe the animals will provide a relaxing and therapeutic experience for everyone who visits and spends time at the Bucket.
Want to be more than just a visitor? There are many ways you can become a part of the farm. Join us in providing the very best life for the animals and amazing experiences for our guests.
Owner and Animal Headrest.
Lorna was born in Philidelphia, spent her childhood in New York , moved to the DC area and raised three children, Deanna, Ross, and Evan. Lorna lived a very hectic life, with long commutes, while working in D.C. as an Assistant General Counsel for The Department of Justice. Although this was far from farm life in small town Minnesota, the idea of farming found a way to capture her heart and soul.
When Lorna retired from working for The Department of Justice, she created a retirement bucket list. She never thought farming, or creating The Rusty Bucket would be on that list.
Lorna has always had a love for gardening and animals, and she craved a quiet rural life away from the city. Now, when Lorna is enjoying her passion for gardening, her goat babies are quick to snack on her newly planted beauties. She’s found that law and order isn’t a concept goats are familiar with!
Although Lorna didn’t have a farming background, she was quick to contribute her ideas, skills, and efforts in creating the unique, beautiful homes for the farm animals. She wholeheartedly pours herself into the essence and creation of Rusty Bucket Acres and is always eager to share this passion and experience with others.
Lorna’s gentleness, love, and appreciation for all of the animals is part of what makes them so loving in return. She’s also the main instigator for getting “just one more animal”. We have her to thank for having over 50 chickens instead of five!
Owner and mostly Barnyard Animal.
When Shelly started a new chapter in her life, she was looking for a house for herself and two children, Maya and Cole. What she found was more than a house. She found a home and a personal sanctuary. Later, she transformed it into the sanctuary we all know and love, Rusty Bucket Acres.
Shelly grew up on a self-sustaining farm less than two miles away from The Rusty Bucket. This family farm is where her parents instilled in her the skills, determination, and self-confidence to conquer any situation life gave her. At the time, she couldn’t get away from farm life fast enough, but life has a funny way of transforming us in ways we least expect.
One day, Shelly woke up and decided she had to build a barn, although she couldn’t say why, or understand it at the time. Quickly, her farming background resurfaced and evolved into her own version of what it means to be a farmer. This is why what you see and feel at the Rusty Bucket, is such a unique experience.
Visitors often comment, “ I don’t know how to put this experience into words”. There truly aren’t words to capture the love, compassion, and joy that Shelly instills into the Rusty Bucket. The animals are more than creatures on a farm. They are her family. Each one exudes love, compassion, and oftentimes humor that fills her soul each and every day.
Everything you see on the farm, from the unique pallet fence to the rustic barn, has been created by Shelly and Lorna with their bare hands. Shelly's knowledge is what made this vision possible, but her heart is what made it what it is today. A sanctuary.
If you get a goat, they will come!
Annie was born and raised in Stillwater, MN and a favorite barista of many. When we met Annie, 6 years ago, we were drawn to her huge smile and remarkable interactions with customers she served every day. As we got to know Annie, it was evident that she was a unique and loving soul. As our friendship continued to grow, we began to share our life journeys with each other. We discovered that we had so many things in common and were excited to share them with each other. As the farm began to grow, occasionally we needed help. Annie would say “Pick me, pick me. I’ll do it!” So, just like that, she was spending time at the farm helping in any way she could.
When business would take us away from the farm, Annie would take on the daily tasks. Sometimes she would bring someone along to help with the chores. Laura, Annie’s mom, would say, “Pick me, pick me. I wanna go to the farm!” It took Annie 6 years to introduce her mom to us, but instantly we became the Quad Squad. Laura and Annie are the kindest, most helpful, loving people and instigators of getting new barnyard residents. Their commitment, humor, knowledge and friendship are what makes the Rusty Bucket special. They are a daily testimony to the circle of barnyard life. The way they care about each other, other people and all the animals is a true gift to the Bucket family and visitors.
Yes. We limit the number of people allowed in the pasture so the visit is not overwhelming for you or the animals.
Yes. We have visits that are contribution based visits and visits with set prices. The contribution visit allows for everyone to visit the farm. However, if you don’t make a contribution within 24 hours of your visit, you will automatically be charged $25/adult and $20/child for your 2 hour private Barnyard Visit. This charge will appear on the card you used to make your reservation.
No. We welcome everyone to visit the farm and ask that all visitors make a contribution to the farm following your visit.
YES. From the moment you arrive at the Bucket you will interact with the animals. It is likely, you will be greeted at your car by one of the barnyard friends.
No. All food and treats will be supplied by RBA when appropriate.
No open toed shoes are allowed in the pasture. This is for your safety and personal hygiene.
No. Although we love dogs and would love to meet your dog, we do not allow them as part of a visit.
Although the animals are required to pick up their spaces everyday, the pasture is dirty in general. You may have an occasional hoof or furry creature lay on you.
The barn was built from repurposed materials and developed as the materials became available for use. The exterior barn siding came from a barn in Lake Elmo, MN that dates back to the late 1800s. The floors in the front side of the barn were taken out of a theater in St Paul, MN. The cedar shakes that are on the inside and exterior walls came from the main house on the property. The windows and doors are all repurposed. The barn has as much personality as the animals who call it home.
Here at Rusty Bucket Acres, the animals are one big family. Unlike other farms where the animals all have designated pastures/pens our animals spend their days together as one big family.
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Before making a reservation, please double check the time and date with your availability. Making a reservation, means the time block is unavailable to others. To cancel or reschedule more than 48 hours prior to your visit you must call 763-334-6111. We do not take calls during chores or a visit so leave a message requesting the cancellation. If you DO NOT receive a confirmation of your cancellation, your scheduled time has not been cancelled and you will be charged for a NO SHOW. A cancellation made within 24 hours will be charged a NO SHOW.