Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Saw this story in the Times today. I would love to do this. Invite people up for classes and music lessons and work side by side. Not sure how big of a market there is for this sort of thing, but some folks are willing to pay up $300+ a night to milks goats or pick weeds. My friend Nisaa is coming up Labor Day weekend from Brooklyn and I wonder if she plans to pay me for it?! I kid, Nisaa. You come help turn over the gardens and I'll buy you dinner at the Perfect Wife in Manchester.

Read the story here

photo from


Anonymous Isabel said...

That sort of thing is actually quite popular here in Belgium. Not sure about the chickens in the guest rooms, but there are definitely farms that have guests milking the cows along side the farmers. The tourism department even has a special website dedicated to it:

August 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think its a brilliant idea! Just look at the response you got this summer from people wanting to learn the fiddle. I'm sure they would be even more people wanting to learn basic homestead skills but need someone to hold their hand through it. Hey, that's me!

August 26, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's definitely something I would do, especially if they offered experience opportunities in areas that, well, I need the experience in.

August 26, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I think it's a great idea as well....only maybe a bit less then $300/night. I've been kicking around the idea of volunteering at a farm in order to learn about goats and chickens but it makes sense to pay for the farmer's time. It's like taking a class that has more application to real life than the philosophy and sociology I took in college. You could teach bread baking, pie making, fiddle playing, animal husbandry and I'd come (if I didn't have such a long commute). I'd even pay to learn how to dog sled with Jazz and Annie.

August 26, 2009 at 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Celia said...

Hi. I just found your blog the other day and it is great! I am having so much fun reading it. I have always wanted to have chickens! And everybody thinks I'm crazy. I am extremely jealous that at your young age you know exactly what you want and you are getting it! I will be 39 in October and I am a long way from knowing what I want in life...much less having it!I bought your book today and look forward to reading it.

August 26, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Kalee said...

If I weren't clear over in Idaho, I'd sign up for a CAF "haycation" SO FAST. I think it's a brilliant idea.

August 26, 2009 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

It often amazes me what people are willing to pay for, but I don't doubt you could convince people it's worth it. I bet you could even include some cooking classes. :)

Also, you've inspired me to start a little blog of my own:

August 26, 2009 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Erica in San Jose said...

Jenna- I would come stay with you in order to learn homesteading skills.... esp on my list would be soap making, bunny-keeping, dog-sledding, sheep shearing, gardening and cooking, etc. Although I can't play a fiddle due to an old elbow fracture, I might just bring my cello and join in the fun thataway. Umm.... not sure I can afford 300/night but I'm sure we could work something out! :)

It's a fabulous idea, and could help you pay your farm mortgage!!

August 26, 2009 at 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Kat P said...

There's a working farm near here (in central NY) that also runs a small B&B operation. According to their website, "The farm is a destination in and of itself. Come see how vegetables grow in the fields, visit our flock of free range chickens and gather eggs. If they want, we welcome visitors to help with chores which can be fun and informative."

They also offer CSA's and sell their produce at area Farmer's Markets. I'm sure it's a lot of work but I think it shows that there's a way to make a go of it, even today. (And this is in NY, with our horrendous taxes). Anyway, the website is It might give you some ideas.

August 26, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

I saw this too today and laughed heartily when I saw the price tag for a nights stay but then when the idea lingered on me I could see that it wasn't just a big trendy rip off but rather an ingenious way at subsidizing small organic farms. We need the support somehow, why not spread the knowledge while we're at it? I mean, that is the biggest deficit in our food chain. The small farms have been turned into large agribusinesses with little wisdom and forethought other than to profit.

It's a great way of connecting people with their food and allowing them to see how hard/labor intensive it is to actually produce! Who couldn't go back to the city without a greater respect for farmers and their food after an experience like that? Plus, who wouldn't want to stay in one of those amazing tents?! I live on our own farm in Vermont and I still want to ;)

August 26, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

Btw, how cool is that locker coop? Keeping my eyes out for salvage now ;)

August 26, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

I'd be interested as well, although I'm not anywhere near the $300/night range!

I have a friend in S Burlington and was hoping to get back to see him by spring. Just in time for spring planting!!

You continue to inspire me!

August 26, 2009 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Artful Gathering said...

Jenna, I think the idea is a great one. You could help pay for your farm with the additional income. Thats how we bought the home of our dreams. We bought it and then opened it to the public as a bed and breakfast! We live on a small farm and it is amazing how many people come to learn about farming and the farm animals. I think its worth looking into. Good luck in your hunt for a farm. Some times it will take awhile so don't give up....

August 26, 2009 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Rois said...

I am with Dawn (comment above mine) you could earn the money to buy a farm of your own.
Heck we get $30 a person teaching how to butcher your own chickens.

August 26, 2009 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Ana Pana said...

Hello! like Celia says, I am sure you are aware of how lucky you are to be able to do what you want to do at your age, of course, this is when one should do these things. I just turned 40, live in a city and am a full time parent to farm in my future just yet...just know that many folks, myself included, live vicariously through you and can only hope to some day be able to do something similar. I enjoy your blog immensely. I think hosting folks for homesteading classes is a great idea! sort of a cross between a bed and breakfast and a hands-on class, food for thought.

August 26, 2009 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

i love getting people started. I think a full day workshop with animals and gardens for 100 bucks is fair. that's like ten dollars an hour for a full day outside teaching and laughing. Let's do some! I already have an idea!

August 27, 2009 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger TheRaspberryChicken said...

Okay Jenna I have an idea that I've been tossing around for some time... Is anyone interested in learning how to make cheese? I realize that it would involve spending money when you are trying to save, but Ricky Carroll (the cheese queen) teaches cheesemaking somewhere here in Massachusetts. Wouldn't it be fun if a group of us CAF groupies attended the full day workshop together??? What do you think???


August 27, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Ashfield is close to me, like less than 2 hours. I'll make a Saturday of it? let me email the queen. Since we both write for the same publisher maybe i can get us a group rate.

August 27, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Might work if you find the right customers. Remember to vet them and get insurance.

But chickens in the kitchen are disgusting.

August 27, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

saw this yesterday too. It is run by my high school friend's sister. I think it is a great concept.

August 27, 2009 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Perfect Wife is one of my favorite restaurants!! I'll come weed and clean doo doo for a free dinner there too!

LOVED, LOVED your book and took up the dulcimer this summer. How cool is that little instrument?

August 29, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

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