Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

Archive for tag: Tennessee

Six Farm Stays to Follow on Instagram

It can be difficult to say goodbye to your new "farm family" when vacation is over. You want to hang on to that feeling - the connection and quietude.

Farmers are sharing their daily lives with increasing frequency via social media, and one of our favorite ways to see what they're up to is to follow on Instagram. Here, in no particular order, are six farms (with farm stays) to follow on Instagram right now!

1. Toddy Pond Farm in Monroe, Maine

Sharing a mix of photos from animals, to farm projects, to products available for sale (dying to try their yogurt!), Toddy Pond Farm gives you a great glimpse into their diversified family farm and micro dairy.

ToddyPondFarmInstagram

See their listing on Farm Stay U.S.: Toddy Pond Farm

 

2. Rancho Dos Amantes in Paso Robles, California

This one is - so far - for all the wedding daydreamers out there. The Instagrammers at this beautiful central California wine country farm have focused their lenses on the happy couples and pastoral ambiance of farm stay weddings.

RanchoDosAmantesInstagram

See their listing on Farm Stay U.S.: Rancho Dos Amantes

 

3. Stillwaters Farm in Henderson, Tennessee

Follow along with farm stay host Valeria as she furnishes an Airstream glamping trailer, builds and furnishes a bath house for guests, or makes soap for her on-farm shop. Also making appearances are the livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) and the gorgeous Tennessee farm scenery.

StillwatersInstagram

See their listing on Farm Stay U.S.: Stillwaters Farm

 

4. The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm in Skamokawa, Washington

The photos posted on this Instagram account are alllllll about the food. Hosts Don and Kitty Speranza are professional chefs who now operate a 15 acre working farm. Holy cannoli!

CrippenCreekFarmInstagram

See their Farm Stay U.S. listing: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm

 

5. Inn at Valley Farms in Walpole, New Hampshire

The Inn at Valley Farms posts a little bit of everything. Weddings, farm animals, scenery, mushrooms. You'll easily experience every season on this working organic farm via Instagram.

ValleyFarmsInstagram

See their Farm Stay U.S. listing: Inn at Valley Farms

 

6. Stony Creek Farmstead in Walton, New York

"Let your family free range" is the hashtag you'll find on many of the photos from Stony Creek Farmstead. The animals aren't the only ones who get to free-range! Here you'll find farm stay guests helping out with the chores, photos of the "plush-rustic" platform tents, farm hands, barn kitties, and more.

StonyCreekFarmstead

See their Farm Stay U.S. listing: Stony Creek Farmstead

This is a start, but by no means the only farm stays on Instagram. We'll definitely have another post coming up soon, with even more accounts to follow! Meanwhile, make sure you also follow Farm Stay U.S. on Instagram! We mostly re-gram from our farm stay members, so it's a great way to find new places to add to your must-visit lists.

We'd like to give a warm welcome to a new member of the site, Chestnut Hill Ranch Bed and Breakfast!

Chestnut Hill B & B 1

Hosts George and Cher have created a true getaway in Only, Tennessee, just about an hour from Nashville. They provide fresh, delicious meals, romance packages, privacy, and there are lots of activities nearby.

Chestnut Hill B & B 2

The 53 acre working farm features a restored 1905 farmhouse with three themed rooms with private baths to choose from. Breakfast is included with the stay. The farm has friendly animals, and beehives for collecting fresh honey!

To learn more about Chestnut Hill Ranch, visit their listing here on Farm Stay U.S.

Stillwaters1Stillwaters Farm, located in Henderson, Tennessee, is 131 acres replete with green pastures, shady wooded areas, small ponds, and grassy hay fields. We spoke with Valeria Pitoni about what makes Stillwaters such a special spot.

Valeria shared with us that although the farm has a "way out" feeling, due to being nestled among approximately 1,000 acres of cropland, wooded areas, and other family farms, it's actually quite close -- only 2 miles -- from the city limits of Henderson. The farm, farm stay, and their animal inhabitants live on the front 25+ acres of the property, while the rest is considered hay fields and natural habitat.Stillwaters2

This "back 100+" acreage is an excellent place for a hike or golf cart ride, and, after being assessed by a semi-local ornithologist, Valeria says they can boast a good population of birds whose species are rated as in-decline. (Bring your binoculars!) Other wildlife in the area are deer and wild turkeys in abundance, an occasional coyote, and once in a great while visitors to the farm may see a red fox, an armadillo, or even otter or bobcats.

When asked what guests typically do when they visit the farm, Valeria said, "while many of our guests arrive with a list as long as their arm, most emerge from the Cottage after a couple of days with hair sticking every which-way, coffee mug in hand, stating -- emphatically -- that they can't remember when they've rested so well!"Stillwaters3

Aside from all that wonderful rest, guests receive "critter tours" to get to know the inhabitants and landscape of the farm, any questions they have are answered, and from that point on, they decide what they'd like to do. Guests are welcome to join in whatever farm activity is happening, whether it be hay season, bringing in the crop, animal feeding and/or grooming, trimming time for horses, gardening, animal babysitting, nature hiking and photography excursions, flower collecting, and much more.

The farm occasionally hosts artist's workshops, where they prepare and paint gourds that are raised on the farm. Off farm activities can include visits to Civil War monuments, such as Shiloh National Battlefield Park, a pearl farm attraction, Casey Jones Village and Museum, a minor league baseball park, and several state parks within an hour's drive. Guests may also enjoy horseback riding, canoeing, visiting the nearby Amish community of Lawrenceburg, or attending events at the West Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The town of Henderson boasts a new day spa, only 4 miles from the farm, where guests can find services like massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures.Stillwaters4

Local food enthusiasts can make their way to the West Tennessee Farmer's Market in Jackson, where dozens of vendors sell a wide variety of produce, grass-fed meats, arts, crafts, and products from Stillwaters Farm. The farm itself also has "The Silo", their very own on-farm store featuring their handcrafted artisan soaps, soy candles, art, photography, and more.

Guests staying at Stillwaters Farm enjoy a free-standing 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,000 square foot cottage at the leading edge of the farm. It's climate-controlled with central heat and air, and it offers an outdoor lounge area with views of the diverse gardens and pastoral vistas. A private drive leads to the private parking for Cottage guests. Stillwaters6

Inside, Valeria tells us, "the Cottage is furnished in period antiques, albeit touchable antiques, along with a 1917 cast iron claw foot tub for soaking." The bedrooms are spacious and the beds have premium mattresses for guests' comfort. There is a television and DVD/VCR player, along with a small library of videos, and a stereo hidden away in the living room, but there is no satellite, cable, or Wi-Fi service. A small, but eclectic, library is maintained for guests to use.

Stillwaters5Guests self-prepare their meals, and the kitchen is outfitted with all major appliances, cookware, tableware, and flatware necessary. The Cottage is stocked with coffee, soaps, and essentials like cooking oil, salt and pepper, and spices for guests to use, and guests are encouraged to partake of the fresh, in-season produce from the farm's garden.

To learn more, we invite you to visit the Stillwaters Farm listing here on Farm Stay U.S., as well as their website and Facebook page.

(All photos courtesy Stillwaters Farm)

Whit's End Ranch"This place is like an undiscovered gem," says Bridget McNees, who along with her husband Mac owns Whit's End Ranch outside of Clifton, Tennessee. Many of Bridget's "camping cabin" guests agree, and once they arrive they can't help but call on their friends to come join them, saying, "You're not gonna believe this place. You have to come out here." As Bridget tells me, one cabin rental often becomes three.

The Ranch is a 307-acre parcel of land. At Whit's End, there is plenty to explore: forest, trails, hayfields where a neighboring farmer cuts hay, 27 acres of pasture, creeks and rivers, and a beach perfect for swimming for kids and adults both. Guests choose from seven secluded cedar cabins made of wood harvested and hand-milled on the property by Bridget and Mac. The seven cabins combined can sleep up to 25. Bridget calls them "camping cabins," but these are far from roughing it in a tent.

Whit's End Cabin

The cabins are private, set back in the woods, and come complete with fridges, microwaves, linens, heat, air conditioning, and covered porches. There's also a communal outdoor kitchen and grill. Guests get the perks of a hotel room and of camping, both in one place, and they don't have to pack anything but food. Bridget, who has camped all over the U.S. and Canada, is a warm and amiable host. Guests seem to become quick friends with her (and with each other).

Bridget is more than willing to show guests her various building projects around the property, and to teach them what she knows about construction if they're interested. Guests can also learn to mill lumber and drive the tractor to help with forestry work and maintenance. But most of

Whit's End swimming

them focus on "kicking back and relaxing" on the creek side beach, Bridget says. She tells me she's not planning to build any more cabins, so that the kind of vacation Whit's End offers is always going to be an idyllic, "Pollyanna-type" experience.

The area around the ranch is full of activities: horseback riding at Green River Stables, where Whit's End guests get a special deal, canoeing on the Buffalo River, or golfing at a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Despite all the attractions, says Bridget, the area is very quiet for all it has to offer.

Whit's End 2

The town of Clifton is an historic riverboat port with well-preserved old-time lanterns and cobblestone pathways. The small town has everything you need -- restaurants, a dock, a pharmacy, and Bridget's favorite, a "beautiful little café" that she likes to recommend to guests for breakfast and lunch, and for the "eye candy" antiques that the café owner sells onsite.

Whit's End Ranch offers 7 cabins that rent for $75 (no kitchenette) to $100 (with kitchenette) a night. Cabins sleep up to four guests, and all are welcome to use the outdoor barbeque and common area kitchen.  For more information,including Bridget McNees' contact information, check out the Whit's End Ranch Farm Stay U.S. listing.