Thanksgiving... a celebration of coming together and giving thanks for the bounty of the year. It seems natural and right that such a gathering take place on a farm, doesn't it? But not everyone has the opportunity... maybe no family farm to visit while growing up, or simply no proximity.
My childhood Thanksgivings were spent with my grandparents. We had no river or woods to traverse; they hosted the festivities at their home in a Los Angeles suburb. Grandma's kitchen had cast iron pans, bacon fat saved in a jar on the stove, and my very own checked apron hanging behind the door, but it was no farm kitchen. She was a good cook, my grandma, making the most of our feast that emanated from freezer, cans, and boxes.
Oh, I loved it. LOVED it. It's still my favorite holiday, though we make dramatically different food choices these days. Access to farms and locally grown food is a vitally important component needed for people to make those choices.
Here at Farm Stay U.S. we're always checking in with our listed members to see what they're offering. The other day I ran a search on Thanksgiving Dinner to see which farms or ranches had checked that off as an activity travelers could enjoy.
The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire is one such farm stay where guests can enjoy a Thanksgiving feast and fully immerse themselves in farm life! During the entire Thanksgiving weekend, guests can stay any number of nights, and each overnight includes 3 meals, including Thanksgiving dinner.
Milk the cow and goat, collect chicken eggs, take a pony ride, jump in the hay, and help feed the animals. The jam-packed weekend activity schedule (link opens a PDF) is full of opportunities to hike, take a bread or cheese making workshop, make candles, camp fires with s'mores, and so much more. There is even a contra dance and a cocktail party!
Roast turkey, baked ham, all the sides, and all home cooked on the farm... what could be better?
To learn more, visit the Inn at East Hill Farm's listing here on Farm Stay U.S. You can also search through all our listings to find farms, ranches, and vineyards to visit all through the year. Happy Thanksgiving!
Photos courtesy East Hill Farm, except for that amazing 70s era photo which, as you may have guessed, is me and my grandpa goofing around over the Butterball.
Four miles south of Galena, completely surrounded by 500ft ridges and away from bright city lights and traffic you’ll find Ruth and Frank Netzel’s working Adventure Creek Alpaca and Goldendoodle Farm. Sitting on 45 secluded acres their farm has 12 hand-made log cabins perfect for a relaxing getaway. The farm's central location makes for an easy trip to tour the Mississippi River and Casper Bluff.
Local experts in relaxing, Ruth and Frank invite you to come and do the same! Experience beautiful sights, spectacular sunsets, soothing sounds and smells of nature and their star lit sky at night all in one stay at Adventure Creek Farm.
Each cabin is 800+ square feet. With queen beds on each main floor, a double bed in the loft, a gas log fireplace and a large separate bathroom with a double whirlpool bathtub you get to call this warm and cozy cabin your home for the duration of your stay. Their cabins offer the rustic look and feel with modern conveniences including: satellite TV, refrigerator, microwave and central heating. At night take a look out the four foot skylight and enjoy the night sky illuminated with stars.
Cabins are all hand-chinked hewn logs of cedar and red pine with pine floors and ceilings. Major parts are constructed without nails and loft beams are exposed to give a natural feel and cabin experience.
The Netzel’s love showing and answering any questions their visitors have about their alpacas. Their quiet, friendly and curious nature makes them great with families and children. Upon arrival and throughout your visit these alpacas are here to welcome and entertain you. You also have the option of hand feeding or taking them for a walk, which tend to be farm favorite activities for both the guests and alpacas.
Ruth and Frank also raise and breed goldendoodles, which are hybrid dogs. They breed male golden retrievers with female poodles to create these adorable, loyal and lovable dogs. If you’d like you can check out one of their litters of 11 puppies from this short video available Goldendoodle Pups Video.
If you happen to visit in the early spring, morel mushrooms pop up for a few weeks. They go for about $75 per pound at your produce market! Yes, guests have found them on their property and yes guests are allowed to pick them as long as they tell the owners where they found them.
Adventure Creek Farm offers a number of activities on and close by their property. From hiking the winding creek that passes through their 45 acres and enjoying nature and wildlife along the way to touring the nearby Mississippi River, Casper Bluffs and local wineries and towns.
Famous for its beautiful fall colors and rolling hills, storybook winters and star gazing and adventure seeking springs and summers, Jo Daviess County and Adventure Creek Alpaca and Goldendoodle Farm is the perfect destination for anytime of the year.
Adventure Creek Alpaca & Goldendoodle Farm have had guests from all over the world with nothing but good things to say.
"Having the opportunity to meet you during our trip was one of the more remarkable moments of it. You both are kind and pleasant folks. If someday you drop by our country, give us a call! Best regards," E. E. M. & H - Brazil
"What a superb place for a family celebration. Frank & Ruth, a very big thank you for your hospitality. A memorable weekend. We will travel back to England with fond memories." T, C, P & A - England
"This place is a wonderful getaway! Our time here was too short. We danced under the moonlight, got cozy by the bonfire, fed the alpacas, and breathed in the fresh air --- rejuvenated our souls. Thank you to Ruth & Frank for providing this great experience. Looking forward to visiting again. Good things..." C & B – US
"We want to appreciate you for all your kindness! The cabin is beautiful; it's so cozy and warm, I felt like I'm at home. We had great breakfast; it was so nice of you to bring that lovely basket with food! The cabins are close to ski resort where we spent unbelievable day of snowboarding." O, A, A, V & Z – Lativa & Moldova
For more information and reservations visit their Farm Stay Site or website Galena Log Cabins and if you’ve already made your decision you can Book Now. From relaxing getaways to family vacations to couples retreats, Adventure Creek Farm Stay and its surrounding areas offer a destination for just about anyone.
Photo Credit: (Adventure Creek Alpaca & Goldendoodle Farm, Galena Log Cabins, Galena.org)
Rustridge Winery & Ranch is the getaway from getaways as one of their guests called it. Rustridge is a vineyard, winery, thoroughbred racehorse ranch and a bed and breakfast. Just 20 minutes from Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail, the once large racehorse ranch is now a combination of the owners, Jim and Susan’s, two passions wine and horses. They continue to breed and race thoroughbreds and have over 20 years of experience producing award winning wine.
Cooler nights and higher elevation allow for a later harvest than most grapes in Napa Valley which gives the distinct quality and flavor you’ll have to try and enjoy for yourself!
Rustridge Ranch & Winery is known for their organically grown grapes and award winning wine. They offer a variety of wines through their Rustridge, Racehorse and Library selections including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. The Rustridge wines are their current barrel selected premium wines that bring out the best elements of the Chiles Valley. Their Racehorse selection includes their everyday wines. The Racehorse Red is a blend of Zinfandel and Carbenet and the white is a Chardonnay with a touch of oak. A collection of both Rustridge and Racehorse wines make up their aged Library wines. More information on their selections, wine purchases and Rustridge Wine Club memberships can be found at their website (Rustridge.com).
In order to exercise the young horses they run them through the vineyard aisles. Fifty acres stretching down the valley make for a great run. For strength, they run the horses up and down the steep hills that ring their valley.
When visiting the ranch, make sure you take advantage of the wine tasting, property tour and the many other activities they have to offer. The tastings are by appointment so make sure you plan ahead of time and reserve a spot (Schedule Your Tastings). If you’d like, you can learn about breeding and training horses or the process of growing grapes and making wine. Another option is to take a hike through the vineyard and the surrounding hills and enjoy beautiful views and bird watching or bring a bottle of wine, set up a picnic and just relax.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway you’ve found it. The Rustridge Bed & Breakfast offers a sunlit breakfast room with a ranch-style breakfast to start off the day right. Tennis, hiking, barbequing and other fun farm activities are available throughout the day. Take the edge off lounging in the sun by the pool or relaxing in the eucalyptus sauna. Then gather in the country kitchen for an evening of Rustridge wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres.
The B & B offers several options for overnight stays including bedrooms with comfortable queen size featherbeds, private bathrooms, adjoining rooms, beautiful views and direct access to the pool and sauna. For more information and availability look at their options here (Rustridge Bed & Breakfast).
It’s hard to beat a nice warm and cozy fireplace in the bedroom, a private deck looking out over some amazing views and access to a relaxing sauna. Add a bottle of wine and you’ll think you’ve found paradise.
Your getaway from getaways is here at Rustridge Ranch and Winery. For more information on the ranch and booking information here is a link to their Farm Stay profile.
Photo Credit: Rustride Ranch & Winery
Gently rolling Kentucky bluegrass and antebellum charm abound for guests who visit The Farm, LLC in Danville, Kentucky, an 1825 working farm home with a modern addition.
Roy and Angela Martin are the owners and hosts at The Farm, LLC, and Angela tells us that Roy has "always been a farmer, like his father and grandfather before him." Roy is a cattle rancher, raising mostly Angus cows. Over the years, they've added chickens (and an egg business), goats, and a couple of Jersey dairy cows which provide milk for farm-made butter, cheese, and yogurt.
Other animals include ducks, rabbits, guineas, pigs, kittens, Great Pyrenees dogs, and a peacock family!
Angela and Roy love to give their guests a true farming experience with a daily barn tour, milking goats, collecting chicken eggs, or - depending on the time of year - taking part in an instructional class such as cooking, canning, and making butter or cheese.
But guests don't have to stick to farming... the property has a pond and two walking trails, as well as sitting porches for relaxing, and a tire swing and playhouse for kids. In the evening, there's a bonfire and stargazing (and fresh goats milk ice cream!) Offsite adventures - if you can tear yourself away - include the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Keeneland.
The Farm, LLC offers 7 large in-house rooms for guests, with spacious formal and informal dining and entertainment areas, and multiple fully equipped kitches. For private lodging, there is "Belle's Cottage" (that's Belle in the photo above, next to her namesake cottage), which sleeps 4 and has a kitchenette and bathroom.
To learn more about what The Farm, LLC has to offer, check out their listing here on Farm Stay U.S. - fun, relaxation, and a good old fashioned farm experience in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region await!
(Photos courtesy The Farm, LLC)
NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT!
Farm Stay U.S. was happy to welcome Waihuena Farm in Haleiwa, Hawaii to the site in 2013.
Just across the street from Pipeline, neighboring the Pupukea Paumalu nature reserve, Waihuena Farm runs a small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program featuring their organically managed crops. The farm is also host to a weekly yoga class and monthly permaculture workshops and events, including guest chef dinners.
Waihuena Farm has a lodge, which can sleep up to 12 people, a beach house, which sleeps up to 6, and also welcomes campers. Guests of all ages are invited to stay.
To learn more and plan your farm stay in Hawaii, visit the Waihuena Farm listing here on Farm Stay U.S. Aloha!
(Photos courtesy Waihuena Farm)
Please give a warm Farm Stay U.S. hello to Harmony Fields in Bow, Washington!
Growing herbs and specialty produce, and raising lamb and ducks, Harmony Fields is an organic farm located in the Skagit Valley of Washington. Guests can help feed sheep, ducks, and donkeys, and explore the herb and vegetable beds. In the summer, there is a workshop focused on health and creativity.
Located near the town of Edison, the farm has views of Mount Baker and there are other farms nearby that guests can visit for fresh berries, cheese, and other treats.
Harmony Fields welcomes guests of all ages in their seasonally available guest cottage. The cottage has a full kitchen, bath, and loft bedroom.
To learn more and plan a visit, check out the Harmony Fields listing here on Farm Stay U.S.!
(Photos courtesy Harmony Fields)
We'd like to invite you to come like our page on Facebook, if you haven't already. We love to chat and hear your stories, and we often share great photos and info from our farm and ranch members there.
Are you as addicted to Pinterest as we are? It's a little dangerous, actually, because we can get to looking at the various pins and following them back to their sources, and an hour (or more, shhhhh) goes by in a blink!
Recently, Pinterest rolled out maps for place-pins. It's a really cool feature that lets us pin our farm, ranch, and vineyard stays and have them show up on on a map.
We're still working on getting all the pins linked to their spots on the map, but we're having lots of fun with it! (Looking at the screen-shot above, we clearly need to get that middle area populated!)
Anyway, we love to find new folks to follow, so either post links to your Pinterest profiles here in the comments, or give us a follow over there and we'll find you that way... happy pinning!
We have another new member to spotlight today - Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm in San Cristobal, New Mexico. Please join us in welcoming them!
Nestled in the Sangre De Criston Mountains, just 11 miles from Taos, the Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm raises organic goji berries, chickens, and goats. Guests will enjoy taking in the surrounding creeks and ponds, aspens, flower gardens, and orchards, and bird watchers will be happy to discover that this is also a bird sanctuary!
Taos Goji Eco Lodge welcomes guests of all ages. They have three cabins, as well as a 3 bedroom adobe Artists Residence with adjoining log cabin, and an Artist Retreat Casita. Meals are self-prepared, and there are lots of activities. The farm welcomes weddings and other special events.
To learn more and plan a visit, check out the Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm listing here on Farm Stay U.S.!
(Photos courtesy Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm)
This Farm Stay Story was sent to us by 12 year old Kelly Kirk, who recently vacationed at Windysage Farmstay B&B in Mackay, Idaho with her family. Take it away, Kelly!
This Farm Stay Story was sent to us by 12 year old Kelly Kirk, who recently vacationed at Windysage Farmstay B&B in Mackay, Idaho with her family. Take it away, Kelly!
Hi, I’m Kelly. I live in Texas with my mom, dad, and older sister. This summer I had the most wonderful vacation ever and I want you to have fun also. So, if you’re looking for a place out in the country to relax, enjoy the scenery, have fun with your family, play outdoors, and be with animals: well I think I know just the place for you. There’s this new organization called Farm Stay U.S. that has bed and breakfasts which are on the land of a farm, ranch, or vineyard.
My family and I traveled to a goat farm in Mackay, Idaho. There, we played with the chickens, ducks, cats, bunnies, turkey and goats. The turkey made the most beautiful cooing sound. I learned how to milk a goat and filter the milk afterwards. Miss Karen and Mr. Adam, the owners of the farm stay, made extra sure to make us feel right at home. They gave us fresh eggs from their chickens and fresh milk from their goats. We also received homemade bread and sausage. At dark we sat around the campfire and ate the ice cream from the goats’ milk Mr. Adam made for everyone, and enjoyed the moonlit mountains.
When it was time to go to bed I slept on the pullout couch in the living room of the little cabin we stayed in. My parents slept in the bedroom and my sister slept across the lawn on a bed in a small building fashioned to look like a covered wagon. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t hear the rumble of cars or the neighbor's lawnmower. There was no sound. Everything was calm and peaceful. When I went outside I felt a slight breeze and the warm sun on my face. The chickens were moving around and occasionally the turkey would make its soft cooing sound. There were no cars on the dusty road or a neighbor to be seen. It was just my family, Miss Karen, Mr. Adam, animals and the mountains.
Time went by so quickly I didn’t even realize it was our last day in Mackay. We gathered our suitcases and put them in the car. Miss Karen and Mr. Adam were waiting for us and we hugged them goodbye. We thanked them for everything they had done for us and how they made us feel so at home. Right before we left we gathered hands and prayed. They prayed for us and our safety getting home and we thanked God for bringing them into our life. We left with tears in our eyes but in our hearts we knew we couldn’t be happier. They blessed us in so many ways and they can do the same for your family. Go stay with them on their farm, you won’t believe what you’ll find in just a little town in Idaho.
(Words and photographs copyright Kelly Kirk.)
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