After a whirlwind Labor Day weekend in which we photographed a wedding and a multi-day music festival, we were in need of a farm stay vacation. Not wanting to travel too far away from Seattle, we found our rustic getaway in nearby Sedro-Woolley. Located just a short hour and a half (65 miles) north of Seattle, Sedro-Woolley is a sleepy town that we re-discovered during our prior weekend adventure to find Taylor Shellfish oyster heaven. We fell in love with the area so much during that trip that we decided to search for a farm stay in the area. That is how we happened upon Hoehn Bend Farm.
About Hoehn Bend Farm
A 30-acre working farm, Hoehn Bend Farm is run by Jean and Terry, two retired Washingtonians who currently love working on the farm raising their herd of heritage Irish Dexter cattle. In addition to the cattle, Jean and Terry also keep a handful of fluffy Shetland sheep that love to have their chins scratched. There is also a very curious and sociable pot bellied pig who, we learned, is actually among the cleanest animals on the farm.
The newest additions to the farm are 3 miniature donkeys that you'll want to bring home with you! Unlike large donkeys, these miniatures are like oversized dogs--they love affection and keep their braying and stubbornness to a minimum. A flock of hens also call the farm home; every day, they ride the chicken transport to move from their indoor coop to an outside coop, and vice-versa. They deliver fresh eggs regularly, and some will be available for your consumption. Head into the barn and you'll find several friendly barn cats who keep the farm's affairs in check. Lastly, the farm's lovable guardian is Maggie the collie who is full of energy and loves to run across the large expanses on the farm!
Working Farm Stay Vacations
Farm stays vacations, they provide travelers the opportunity to spend a period of time sleeping and helping out at a farm. This can be done as a volunteer arrangement, or as a form of tourism. In the case of Hoehn Bend Farm, their farm stays are geared toward tourism. Guests pay a fee to sleep in a bed and breakfast style farm house and are invited to shadow Jean and Terry during their daily chores. Jean and Terry are passionate about farm stays as a way of providing a country-side retreat for locals and visitors, and especially kids. did what we expected in that they
As one might suspect, farm chores are never the same each day. They vary according to the season and what's going on with the animals. For example, if you stop by during calving season, you might just get to see a little calf being born, or meet a herd of newborns. During our early September visit, we did see some relatively young calves in the herd, but no bonafide newborns.
Our Farm Stay Vacation
During our farm stay, we got to help out with the feeding of all the animals. We also watched as a bull was loaded onto a trailer and transported over to Hoehn Bend Farm to get acquainted with the female cows in time for mating season. Despite having been relatively close to cows before, this was my first time watching a cow roundup in action! We also had a great time going on a hayrack ride through Jean and Terry's other, older farm property. Touring this property is limited due to the on-site residences. But if you stop by at the right time, you might be lucky to get to poke around the other farm!
After a solid half day of farm action, we retreated into Hoehn Bend Farm's lovely Farm House, where we would be spending the night. I admit, I expected that we might be sharing the Farm House with Jean and Terry, but it turns out they actually live out in La Conner, so we had the entire place to ourselves!
Farm House Accommodations
The one-story Farm House was originally built at the turn of the century. It was recently remodeled with great amenities to really make you feel at home. There are 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom in the house, so it comfortably sleeps up to 8 people. The house also has lots of open communal spaces in the living room and the outdoor patio. An expansive yard with a picnic table is also nearby. I can totally imagine hosting a mini family reunion or college classmate get-together here.
Eating on the Farm
We were left with a half dozen fresh eggs, some bottled water, and an otherwise pretty well-stocked kitchen. Although food is not provided, the Farm House's huge kitchen comes with basic cooking supplies. We cooked up some store-bought food for dinner. The next morning, rose with the sun early the next morning to whip up the fresh eggs into omelettes. We enjoyed our breakfast with plums and apples picked fresh off the trees outside. What a way to start the day!
We only stayed at Hoehn Bend Farm for one night. The next morning, we fed the animals and then jetted back to Seattle via a stop in the nearby Mount Baker National Forest for a picnic lunch. Hoehn Bend Farm is a great location for enjoying not only a farm stay experience but also nearby outdoor activities. We highly recommend Hoehn Bend Farm to be experienced by anyone, especially children and families craving a quick countryside escape from the city!
Hoehn Bend Farm Photos