How It All Started
Our family has been operating this farm as a pick your own berry and pumpkin ranch for 30 years. The farm is owned by the Schaefer family, including Ed, Tyson, Zach and their families. Ed’s brother’s family runs Roca Berry Farm in Lancaster County, where they too have been harvesting memories for their customers for over a quarter a century.
Our roots run deep in Nebraska’s frontier history. Our great grandfather along with one brother left a Nebraska homestead to start a new ranch in Dakota Territory during the early 1880’s. Ed’s father grew up on a ranch near Wall South Dakota, and after World War II he became Chief of Nutrition with the Public Health Service in Washington D.C. Ed’s father moved back to Nebraska, after retiring from the government, to establish the Swanson Center on Nutrition.
Our family is deeply committed to family farming, preservation of farm land, and the values of rural America. A visit to our ranch, while close to the Greater Omaha area, is like revisiting the past when farming was the main stay of the U.S. Economy.
We are not just a pick your own farm, we are a country experience where guests will see a variety of farm antiques, livestock and crops, as well as unique play areas patterned after what life was like for kids 40 to 100 years ago.
We offer hayrides through 20 acres of woods along the old papio creek bed. Unique tree houses can be visited along with our version of a small western frontier town and kids fun playgrounds, including a 3 story 120 foot long pirate ship.
The farm offers strawberry, Rasberries, Blackberries, sugar snap peas and asparagus pick-ur-own as well as the Great Pumpkin Roundup with over 20 acres of pumpkins and other fall crops. We also sell assorted vegatables at our stand at different times of the year. (See Seasons for more info)
The ranch hosts festivals beginning with the Renaissance Festival of Nebraska, the first 2 full weekends in May and the Midwest Pirate Fest. (check Festivals for more info). The festivals are weekend events, and have grown into the biggest of its kind in the Omaha Metro area. Each festival offers visitors a wide array of period acts and shows, as well as vendors which are all intended to entertain and educate patrons of all ages. It’s a place where your family can make their own festival a reunion. Dont forget we have the Great Pumpkin Roundup with the Ranch of Terror haunted house, Haunted Caves and the best Haunted Hayride anywhere around.
We also host catered barn parties including; barnyard bashes, weddings and receptions, class and family reunions, corporate events, birthday parties, bar mitvahs, quinceaners, Graduations parties and so much more. (see catered lodge parties) We have 4 different barn venues each with their own unique personality that we rent with a catered meal. All the food is prepared and cooked on site, by our ranch hands which are smoked and grilled to savory perfection for hours. The farm produces much of what it uses for our catering, so your group can enjoy only the freshest of ingredients. Schedule a time to come on out and take a look at facilities and what we have to offer you.
The Schaefer family and staff will be celebrating over 30 years at its current location. While much has changed around our farm, we are still committed to providing our visitors with a down home unique country experience.
Every building on our place has been reconstructed using old barns of which Ed, Ty, Zach and friends have personally taken down over the years from farming neighbors throughout Sarpy and Cass County. The buildings have been reconstructed and decorated with old farming tools and implements.
Ed majored in Agriculture Economics at Colorado State University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees and then spent the next 16 years working on farm problems in Latin America with USAID, and then on U.S. farm and agriculture issues on Capitol Hill with the U.S. General Accountability Office . The family lived on a farm in Maryland while he worked for GAO and was one of the first family farms to be put into the Maryland farm land preservation program. His wife Fabiolas famiy has a farm, close to Magdalena River in Columbia dedicated to cattle production, with water resources and natural forest.
Our dream here in Nebraska is to keep on farming and offering the people of Nebraska a truly family farm county experience. Ed often says: “local food cooked over an open fire, served in a barn that was built out of old historical barn wood, what more could anyone want!” Come on out and say hello to us at the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch and make some new memories with us! We look forward to seeing you…