Independent farming in the U.S. is now the exception rather than the rule. So the “farm stay”—visiting a farm overnight and participating in farm life—has an adventurous allure for city dwellers. There are many of these hands-on bed-and-breakfasts throughout Pennsylvania Dutch Coun-try. One can learn about the traditions of the region and support local, organically grown agriculture without sacrificing on comfort or convenience.
Olde Fogie Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn, roughly 45 minutes from the tourist hubs of Bird in Hand and Intercourse, is located between sleepy Maytown and Marietta in Central Pennsylvania. After a warm greeting by owners Tom and Biz Fogie and two wildly energetic dogs, I settled into the chicken coop suite.
A family operation, Olde Fogie is small enough to feel intimate, yet offers privacy and amenities comparable to any commercial establishment. Antique furnishings, hand-painted artwork and an eclectic assortment of decorations create a distinctive theme in each guest room. The coop’s fully equipped private kitchen adds to an overall effect of relative luxury. Even a masseuse is available upon request.
On the night of my arrival, my first order of business was diving into the delicious, stream-fed pool with a cascading waterfall and fish so tame you could pet them. Rejuvenated by the icy water, I retired to the gazebo to take in the sunset, the twinkling fireflies and the goat kids returning from pasture.
The next morning began like a typical day on any farm—with a rooster as an alarm clock. The optional farm chores consisted of bottle-feeding calves, milking goats, collecting freshly laid eggs, feeding chickens and turkeys and grooming the Vietnamese pig. As a thank-you, typically hostile llamas were trained to kiss the guests.