I had the pleasure of visiting Airlie Farms Bed and Breakfast and meeting the wonderful hostess Nancy Petterson. When I arrived she invited me in for coffee and one of her delicious homemade pear muffins as she prepared breakfast for her guests. “This has been the most delightful version of going to grandma’s house” one of the guests said as they were finishing up breakfast. I couldn’t agree more, Nancy is a kind, warm and welcoming woman that makes you feel right at home. As the breakfast ended and the guests began packing up their things I prepared for a memorable interview and farm tour with Nancy.
Nancy and her husband Joe purchased the 226 acre farm 23 years ago and have offered their home as a bed and breakfast for a little over eight years. Their remodeled 1910 farm house offers a comfortable and cozy, yet luxury, stay. Their working Quarter Horse farm sits on beautiful rolling hills with spectacular views across some of Oregon’s richest farm country. Nancy takes pride in and has over 60 years’ experience as a quarter horse breeder. She also enjoys gardening and canning fresh produce. Her hope is to start offering bread making or canning classes so guests have something to take home with them.
As I took my shoes off and stepped in the house I was welcomed by the Petterson’s friendly farm dog, Molly, who just wanted to be pet and have her belly rubbed. We were friends for the remainder of my visit.
With single, double, suite and family accommodations available, guests have many options from which to choose. Because the house is more tailored to adults and older children, the Pettersons recently completed the Airlie Family Cottage for families with young children.
Does waking up to grandmas homemade country style breakfast with freshly brewed coffee and your choice of frittata with cheese, potatoes, farm bacon and sausage, spiced peach parfait, scones, and fresh squeezed juice sound exactly how a vacation morning should be? Breakfast is served in the main house for all guests, large and small.
The Airlie Family Cottage is perfect for families with children and has basic cooking accommodations, refrigerator, and a loft that kids love.
Aside from the wonderful accommodations, there are 226 acres to explore and family friendly farm animals abound. From guided rides, lessons in the arena, playing with the goats and chickens, or gathering your own eggs, there is plenty to enjoy and experience right here on the farm.
After the interview, Nancy took me out on the Gator to tour the farm and, of course, Molly had to join us. From one of the goats putting my ear in its mouth as I was taking a photo of another, to Barney the donkey chasing after us for the hay in the back of the Gator, to enjoying the spectacular views from the top of the hill, I’d say I had quite the farm experience during my visit.
If you decide to wander off the farm there are plenty of local attractions from which to choose. Airlie Farm sits in wine country so take a trip over to one of the vineyards for a bottle of wine and some tastings. Many hunters and judges stay as guests for the nearby Luckiamute Valley Pheasant hunting. Hunters and guests are welcome to bring dogs if they are leashed or in crates. There are also plenty of places to go hiking, fishing, birding, and visit covered bridges. Families with children may find themselves taking a short trip to Salem’s Riverfront Park or A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village to enjoy family-fun activities and a hands-on children’s museum with interactive exhibits.
In my short visit to Airlie Farm Bed and Breakfast I was able to appreciate what the guests had to say about their experience and how Nancy interacted with them. I don’t think one guest left without making sure they gave Nancy a hug and thanking her for a wonderful time and an amazing experience.
“You make us feel right at home.”
“She’s a great host.”
“You make people feel comfortable and relaxed.”
“We came downstairs and she’s making breakfast and then we look outside and she’s out driving the tractor (gator) around feeding the horses and animals. Nancy does it all.”
“I think I may move in here.”
“We’re packing up and then I’m giving you a big ol’ hug.”
“We miss you and this place already.”
My last question I asked Nancy was what she enjoyed most about the farm, Bed and Breakfast and living this lifestyle. She responded with “Well, I love it all. I thought the quarter horse business was my entire life until I went off with the B and B. I thought, why didn’t I start this out when I was 30, instead of 200. It’s wonderful. I love my horses, but I can’t be out there as much. Every guest is special.”
It was a great pleasure meeting Nancy, touring the farm and meeting the farm animals. Nancy truly has the “gift of hospitality” and if you have the chance to visit the beautiful state of Oregon I recommend a stay at Airlie Farm to experience it all for yourself.
For more information and reservations please visit Airlie Farm’s profile, the Airlie Farm Bed and Breakfast website or Booking and Questions.
Photo Credit: Airlie Farm, Anthony Mugica - USFSA
Nearly a mile high in the Southern Cascades, 440 acre Willow-Witt Ranch offers an experience you won’t forget. Whether you’re there for the spectacular views, a family-friendly farm stay full of activities, an event hosted on the ranch, or simply to just get away and relax, you’ll find it all at this off-grid ranch.
Through sustainable agricultural and forest management, energy independence, and wetland restoration, Willow-Witt Ranch has created quite the traveler’s dream of a rural getaway. This family-friendly ranch is a great place to bring friends and the kids along, but also offers a peaceful secluded location for couples and adults who just want to get away from it all.
Before Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt took over stewardship and named their Willow-Witt Ranch, dairy cows and beef cattle grazed this ranch valley for more than 100 years. Restoration included fencing livestock out of critical wetland habitat, prioritizing forest planting and re-growth, and practicing sustainable farm management. In 2009 the ranch was recognized with the Watershed Friendly Steward Award. For a more in-depth history of the ranch, you can visit its website here (Ranch History)
The ranch offers an array of goods, including farm-fresh eggs, goat milk, a variety of meats and organic compost.
Willow-Witt is a community supported agricultural ranch with sustainably-raised and organically fed livestock. If you spend the night at one of the multiple farm stay options, make sure to request a grocery list of farm-grown meats and vegetables and your fridge will be stocked for your arrival. Willow-Witt is hugely involved with the Ashland Growers’ Farmers Market. You can also browse through their online farm store and get a look at what they have to offer (Online Farm Store).
From birding and hiking miles of wooded trails with pack goats to farm stays, tours, and the occasional weekend event hosted on the farm, Willow-Witt is full of family-friendly and community-oriented activities.
Kids and adults are more than welcome to help out with chores, which they often end up enjoying. Who would have thought that doing chores could be so much fun! Playing with the farm animals and gardening are two other farm favorite activities for guests on the ranch.
Willow-Witt offers a variety of ways to stay on the farm: a furnished farmhouse studio with loft, the Meadow House, deluxe platform tents, and, if you want to pitch a tent, there are private campsites nestled within the trees.
The Farmhouse Studio sleeps up to six, features a wood stove and full kitchen and overlooks beautiful meadows.
The Meadow House, a beautiful three bedroom two bath is available for farm stay or just the day for events.
Glamping, or glamorous camping, is another vacation option on the ranch. Platform tents and campsites come with the use of a fully equipped kitchen, hot showers, towels, bathrooms, and a complimentary tour of the farm.
Your next adventure starts here. Plan your trip and (Book Now). If you’d like more information, check out their (Farm Stay profile here).
(Photo Credit: Willow-Witt Ranch)
Please join us in giving a hearty welcome to four new site
members who joined us in October! Here are some quick highlights
from their listings:
Triple Creek Farm
Berger Guesthouse at Triple Creek Farm is located in
Franklin County Missouri in the middle of Missouri Wine Country....
We are located just a few miles east of Hermann, Missouri or a few
miles west of New Haven, Missouri. We are a working farm. We have
an apiary (bees), berries, vegetables, eggs and sell at the local
farmers market. We have a two suite guesthouse and love to welcome
visitors to the area all year round.
Territorial Bed and
Breakfast and Barn
Junction City, Oregon
We have a cute and cozy 50's style farmhouse and a working
stable located in the heart of Oregon wine
country. Immerse yourself in country living, enjoy a morning walk
in the pasture, pet the horses, play with the goats, and experience
farm life. Plenty of opportunities to groom and help care for the
horses, help out with barn chores, work in the garden and green
house, or sit back on the deck or patio in the back yard, watch the
animals, and enjoy a good book or a relaxed conversation.
Fox Haven is a historic farm located along the Catoctin
Creek in Jefferson, Maryland. Organic gardens, hens, walking trails
and wildlife make this farm a must-stay. You are likely to see
nesting bald eagles, beaver splashing, great blue herons, foxes and
a multitude of birds during your visit. You may choose to help in
the organic gardens, gather eggs for breakfast, help plant trees in
our American Chestnut research orchard, or simply enjoy the peace
and quiet of the breathtaking landscape with a cup of coffee and a
B and B
Fly Creek, New
B & B Ranch, Guest House & Spa is a Country Inn in
rural Fly Creek New York. It's also a Community Supported Farm, a
producer of natural gourmet foods, a horse stable and riding
center, and an exceptional Central New York vacation on 340 acres
of forest, farmland and open pasture. We raise Piedmontese beef,
Berkshire Pork and provide a wonderful break from the ordinary with
our 5 unique guest suites and an indoor swimming pool. We can
promise you rest, relaxation, and the best the country has to
We love to see what our farm and ranch stay members are
up to. Today's guest blog post comes from Krista Arias of
Tierra Soul Urban Farm Guesthouse in Portland,
Oregon. We were recently chatting about canning and other
food-related activities, and Krista shared this information about
her Folklore Foods Workshop.
Your food shall be your medicine and your medicine shall be
You want to find
your own culinary rhythm that resonates with ancestral culinary
wisdom. You are committed to nourishing your growing family and
want to get clear about what traditional, nutrient dense, sacred
and healing foods are and how to prepare them properly. You want to
know the history and lore behind food and see it as a central part
of your connection to yourself, to others, and to the earth. You
have an inkling that the act of eating itself is ceremonial and
want to embody that knowing more. You want the very best for your
I mean, how do you
even know if a particular new fangled program will
actually help you and your family. There is soooo much information
out there its hard to know what's true unless you're a scientist.
No matter how hard you try you are still feeling lousy! OR maybe
you feel great but it is soooo darn expensive to keep everyone on
all those special supplements, remedies, and treatments, or maybe
you just can't find a good rhythm with your busy life, or perhaps
you are wanting to increase your fertility, or maybe your child (or
aging mother) has chronic illness of some sort and you want to get
to the root, or maybe you just have an intuition that something
isn't quite right and you want more radiant living. Whatever it is,
you'll find a simple safe and advice-free space to explore
traditional healing foods for you and your family.
I discovered Sally
Fallon's Nourishing Traditions 6 years ago when my first
daughter was six months old. I was walking home from the park and
had an epiphany, Oh
Goodness, I am responsible for this life. Right there and then
I made a vow to spend some time figuring out what I really truly
thought was the best diet for my child. Well, I got to work right
away, but my search didn't last long. The first book I read was
Nourishing Traditions, and I immediately and with complete
certainty knew it was right. And I wanted all the
other earth mamas to
know about it too!
Yes, I am a bit of
a Traditional Foods zealot, but it's also been over 6 years and
I've mellowed into a healthy 80/20 mama (that's: by the book 80% of
the time and free-for-all, with a few no-no-never exceptions,
the remaining 20% of the time). That very day I began my own
bootcamp starting with Chapter 1 of the Good Book (Nourishing
Traditions) and taught myself the Traditional Foods basics from
cultured milk and kefir to liver paté and fermented veggies, from A
to Z I learned it... and along the way, since I am a housewife
these days (not the Food Cart Chef of my
past life), I also worked hard to simplify as many processes as I
I also spent
considerable time learning about Farming and Permaculture and
connecting Sally Fallon's recipes to Stories and Myths from around
the world, to local and global folklore.
It doesn't matter
how sick you feel, or how bad of a rut you've gotten into. It
doesn't even matter if you're too busy to contemplate spending more
time in the kitchen. I have spent much of my time in creating this
program planning for YOU, busy mama! We will start with the basics
- simplified, and move through all the most important sections of
the book. I have pre-digested all the information, practiced with,
and on, myself, and my family, and perfected a way for you to have
the success and joy I've had bringing sacred foods into your
everyday life. I
Visit our website to get started! To sign up,
scroll to the bottom of the page, and choose the DIY option, or the
on-site LIVE option.
Wilson Ranches Retreat is our
featured ranch stay of the month! The ranch is a 9,000 acre cattle
ranch in Fossil, Oregon, with plenty of opportunity for scenic
horseback rides and cattle roundups, hiking, and scouring for
prehistoric fossils. The Wilson Family has deep roots in the area
and a fascinating story. Here's our interview with Nancy
Phil and Nancy's families homesteaded in Wheeler and Gilliam
Counties in the 1870's. They travelled on the Oregon Trail in
the early 1850's to the Willamette Valley before coming to North
Love of the land and Phil didn't have enough sense to
leave. Phil came home to the ranch
after graduation from college. This is a great life and the
Blessings are many!
Wilson Ranches has gone from the horse-drawn age to the
combustion mechanical age to the computer age. The only
aspect of ranching that has been little affected is the cattle
operation. The LE brand has been in the family for four
Wilson Ranches follows a "green-friendly, twice over" grazing
program to increase grass production. Each pasture is grazed,
rested, and grazed again in a rotational system with multiple
pastures. Wilson Ranches is managing the resources of the
ranch for future generations.
The deck at Wilson Ranches Retreat is a great place to watch the
cattle or deer grazing. The Retreat is shaded by trees, which
are often alive with a variety of birds as this is a songbird
migratory route. This incredible secluded scenic area with
spectacular sunsets and brilliant star-studded nights will
Our guests enjoy horseback riding in a geologically
and historically rich area of Wheeler County, or a quiet hike to
view the wildlife and diverse plant life on Wilson Ranches.
Guests are welcome to help move cattle from mid-spring to late
fall. A 4-Wheel Drive Sunset Tour is also available.
This tour is approximately five hours and will give you a
magnificent view of the Cascade Mountain Range (Three Sisters to
Wilson Ranches Retreat is a great place to headquarter your
exploration of the Clarno, Sheep Rock and Painted Hills Units of
the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It has the
richest find of prehistoric fossils in the world. Public
fossil digging is available behind Wheeler High School in the town
of Fossil. The John Day River offers world-class small mouth
bass fishing and river rafting trips.
Wilson Ranches is a diverse area with an extreme mixture of
geologies with formations from 50 million years ago to the present
time. Rolling hills to deep basalt canyons, high lava ridges
and buttes with amazing views of the Cascade and Blue Mountain
Ranges. The landscape is covered with wild flowers in the
spring and early summer.
The climate is semi-arid with an annual average rainfall from 12
to 16 inches per year. Temperatures in the winter are usually
mild but can go as low as 15 degrees below zero for short
periods of time. Summer temperatures vary from 70 to 100
Breakfast is served family style each morning at 8:00 am with
the Wilson Family sharing their experience of life on the ranch and
interesting and entertaining stories by Phil. The breakfast
menu includes bacon (sausage, ham or beef little smokies), farm
fresh eggs, biscuits (blueberry muffins, coffee cake or German
pancakes), fruit, and Bob's Red Mill oatmeal with all the fixin's
(pecans, brown sugar, raisins and craisins).
We were pleased to welcome four new members to the site in
Zion Hill Farm
and Gardens, Preston, Connecticut
This 200 acre farm, located about 30
minutes north of Mystic, Connecticut, features alpacas,
donkeys, and chickens, and is home to a Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) enterprise. Guests enjoy hiking along the
Quinebaug River, or just relaxing around the farm.
Zion Hill Farm can accommodate up to 4 guests in a private
bedroom and bath. A full breakfast each morning is included and
features fresh eggs and produce from the garden. Children under 12
are welcome, as are pets, and wedding parties.
Three Bear Holler,
Clyde, North Carolina
Situated on sixty private acres in the Smoky Mountains of
Western North Carolina, Three Bear Holler's settlers cabins are
full of vintage charm. Dating back to the late 1800s and early
1900s, they've been lovingly restored with modern amenities. The
farm raises their own beef, chicken, vegetables, fruit trees,
honeybees, and berries.
The two cabins at Three Bear Holler can accommodate up to 4
guests. Meals are self prepared in the full kitchen, and parties
and other groups or special events are welcome.
Hoehn Bend Farm,
This small working farm in Skagit County,
Washington, is home to a developing herd of heritage Irish
Dexter cattle (the smallest breed of cattle) and Shetland sheep.
Add in a friendly pot-bellied pig, barn cats, and a Collie puppy,
and guests enjoy a fun, active farm experience.
Hoehn Ben Farm can accommodate up to 6 guests in their remodeled
farm house. Meals are self prepared in the full kitchen. Children
under 12 are welcome, as are parties and special events.
"US" Organic Farm, Pleasant Hill, Oregon
This 100 acre organic farm, located near the
Willamette National Forest, grows organic forage crops and
practices intensive management grazing for livestock. Guests may
help with daily chores, such as feeding rabbits, horses, and barn
cats, and preparing soil for planting.
Guests enjoy lodge style accommodations with private master
bedrooms, with a capacity of up to 18. Meals are served family
style. Children under 12 are welcome. The farm allows weddings,
parties, and other events, and guests may bring horses or pets.
Country Farm, set at the base of Oregon's majestic Mt. Hood
about an hour from Portland, is a 3rd generation fruit
farm with a U-pick orchard, a farm stand, a small petting zoo, and
a four-bedroom country cottage guesthouse.
Roman Braun founded the family farm in 1962. Now his daughter
Theresa and her three daughters, Rachel, Crystal, and Stefanie, run
the farm. When I asked Theresa why she chose to take over her
father's farm, she says, "I can't really describe why. I think it's
in my blood. I always loved the farm ... if you love farming, it's
just something you want to do."
The farm is 40 acres, with 15 acres of apples, peaches,
nectarines, plums, apricots, and berries that visitors can pick
themselves. Theresa says that the sweet and juicy peaches, plums,
and nectarines are her favorites - she especially recommends Red
Haven peaches. She also loves their apples, the crop for which the
farm is most well known. Theresa describes her favorite variety
honeycrisp as "really crispy, and just the right amount of sweet
Draper Girls Farm is also known as one of Oregon's few remaining
licensed producers of non-pasteurized, unfiltered ciders. The farm
offers apple, pear, and cherry cider, as well as delicious blends
like cherry-apple, pear-apple, and the new raspberry-apple.
Non-pasteurized cider has a fuller, richer flavor than pasteurized
cider. Theresa says that drinking raw cider is almost like eating
an apple or a handful of cherries, but with even more
flavor. Unpasteurized ciders can start to ferment much sooner than
pasteurized ciders, but the farm follows strict licensing and
monitoring procedures to maintain its quality and shelf life.
For visitors who have a full day or week to spend in the area,
Draper Girls Farm is a stop along the Hood River County "Fruit
Loop", a driving tour with dozens of stops at orchards,
wineries, lavender farms, and even a chestnut farm and an alpaca
In addition to fruit, Roman Braun had always raised sheep.
Theresa and her daughters added goats, mini-goats, llamas,
chickens, turkeys, and geese. The Draper Girls sell their grass-fed
goat and lamb meat at farmers markets and at their onsite farm
Theresa has grown the farm through a rise in direct to consumer
sales. She started the U-pick operation, her favorite way to sell
produce. Theresa says, "The U-pick is really fun. People from the
city get a feel for how we grow things, and they bring their kids
to run around. Our yard has flowers all over it, we have a great
big swing, and we have an old tractor that kids like to sit on for
photos. We love that visitors feel at home when they visit our
In Roman Braun's time, says Theresa, there were no farmers
markets, and all their sheep were sold at auction. People came by
the farm to buy large boxes of fruit for canning and drying, but
direct-to-consumer sales were not a major part of the business.
In 2007, Theresa decided to add a farm stay. She invited guests
to rent the little farmhouse where she lived as a child and where
she raised her own children.
Farm guests are invited to feed the animals, pick fruit, roam
the farm, and participate in farm activities throughout the year.
Venturing off the farm, they can tour the Fruit Loop, taste wine,
visit the City of Hood River or Mt. Hood, and hike, bike, and wind
surf, among many other activities
Though many people wouldn't think to visit a fruit farm in the
winter or early spring, Theresa says it is a neat time of year on
the farm. To growers it is called 'frost season,' and it is a vital
time for ensuring that fruit trees yield a viable crop. During
nightly freezes, the Drapers save their crops by running wind
machines and overhead sprinklers that form droplets on the trees
and their buds. The droplets, as they freeze, release heat and once
frozen also provide essential insulation from the cold and
Theresa says that the farmhouse has everything guests could
want. She explains that she and her daughters fixed it up with
bright cheerful colors. It has a fireplace, lots of antiques, and a
big farm table where families can gather. The house is casual, not
fancy, and family friendly. According to Theresa, "People who stay
there really like it!"
For more information about visiting Draper Girls Country Farm,
check out their Farm Stay U.S.
listing or their farm website. The
Draper Girls cottage has four bedrooms and two baths and rents for
$150 to $275/night.
All photos in this blog courtesy Draper Girls Country
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