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: food

12 Days of Christmas (on the farm) - Day 2

Everyone who celebrates... did you have a good Christmas surrounded by friends and loved ones? Hope so! Here at USFSA HQ and its satellite office (AKA, my house) there was lots of tamale making - a big group effort - and then gathering around the dining table to polish them off. Holiday gatherings around here never seem to stray far from the kitchen!

With that in mind, today's post centers around food... and of course it should, since farms and ranches are all about the production of food. What wonderful places, then, to go and connect over a cooking class, or gather around a wood-fired oven!

tamales1 tamales2
Yeah... we Instagrammed our tamales. No shame.

We have many farms, ranches, and vineyards listed on the site which offer all meals as part of their farm stay packages, and some are even offered as family style dining, which really make guests feel at home with their hosts.

Cooking school at Cold Moon Farm.

It's easy to find a farm to visit that appeals to exactly the kind of connection you want to forge with your traveling companions. On our search page, click on "show more search options", then choose from the Food options. Be sure to check under Amenities and Activities, too. (Just a note: select one or two options to narrow your search - the search results bring back only members who match ALL your criteria, so pick the one thing that's most important to you and then narrow it down by looking through those results.)

Pass the nog?

Thanksgiving on the Farm

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.

Stylin' 70s ThanksgivingMy 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.

East Hill Farm Thanksgiving tableThe 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!

East Hill Farm Thanksgiving leaf pile East Hill Farm Thanksgiving chicken coop

Roast turkey, baked ham, all the sides, and all home cooked on the farm... what could be better?

East Hill Farm Thanksgiving rolls East Hill Farm Thanksgiving Pie

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!

East Hill Farm Thanksgiving fall colors

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.

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 your food.
~ Hippocrates

Do you dream of embodying ancestral culinary wisdom for feeding your growing family nutrient dense, traditional, sacred and healing foods?

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 family.

But, right now the thought of changing your family's eating habits seems like a major intimidating hassle.

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 know how it feels:

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!

That's why I created Folklore Foods.

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 could.

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.

What you'll get in Folklore Foods:

  • 6 virtual DIY classes of 2 hours each (or 4 days LIVE at Tierra Soul if you do the LIVE version)
  • Notes and recipes for what we make in class
  • Invitation to a special Facebook group for Folklore Foodies
  • Email access to me for 2 months during the class.

What you will come away with:

  • All the basics required to make the shift away from processed food toward the rewarding rhythms of nutrient-dense, bio-available and deeply nourishing food.
  • An overview of the Nutritional Science behind why these foods are so perennially good.
  • A start to finding your own nourishing culinary rhythm that will feed, not drain, you.
  • The basic hands-on knowledge of Sacred Food preparation.
  • Stories and Rituals to add depth and meaning to your daily and seasonal routine.

What to expect:

  1. Raw & Cultured Milk: Pros and Cons of Raw milk, keeping it safe, Lazy Lady Yogurt, Kefir, creme fraische, cream cheese, whey and more.
  2. Cultured Vegetables: Science of Kitchen Kulturing, Sauerkraut, Spicy Carrots, ginger carrots, lacto-fermented pickles.
  3. Fermented Grains: Lower gluten content of your grains to protect your family from gluten intolerance, increase bio-availability of nutrients in grain, discover the incredible balm of grinding and loving your grains! Yogurt Dough, Injera, pancakes and non-horrible-for-your-body granola.
  4. Traditional Fats: Learn the value of traditional fats and why they were considered sacred in traditional cultures. Learn which ones to use for what kinds of tasks. Butter, Cream, Tallow and Lard here we come.
  5. Bone Stock: Every healthy culture used either dairy products OR bone stocks for adequate mineral intake. Learn how to make fish, chicken and beef bone stock and get ideas of how to incorporate stock into your culinary rhythm. Also: The Why, but more importantly, the "HOW" to get those organ meats to have a not-disgusting taste! Paté, meatballs, raw liver smoothies and more.
  6. Traditional Sodas: Refreshing, vitamin / mineral rich, and highly bio-available, lacto-fermented sodas are fun to make. And your family will love them more than juice or cola!!!

You can do it!

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 promise.

Who Folklore Foods is for:

  • Mamas and Papas who want to feed themselves and their family the very best!
  • Expectant parents wanting to build fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
  • Anyone wanting to learn the art and science of Traditional Foods.

What Folklore Foods is NOT for:

  • People wanting a hardcore guilt-ridden self-deprivation diet: Traditional people enjoyed their food and its place in community and connection to the earth. Let's do that too!!!
  • People looking for an overnight solution: Like all real transformation, changing your foodways takes time. What I can promise is that as you implement a new relationship to food you can gain a wonderful rhythm that nourishes you and your family rather than a food plan that takes a lot of time and money and drains you!
  • People who can't make a basic time commitment: You will need AT LEAST one hour a day devoted to the kitchen. If this is too much, then this might not be the right time or place for you.

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.