Saturday, July 16, 2011

Little Cabin in the Woods: A Practical Guide to the Farm B&B

So in an interesting twist on the traditional farm business plan, Susan and Dean also have a cottage that they use as a B&B. And this week, I had the opportunity to stay there when my parents came to visit for a couple days.

Normally, my experience with the cottage has been limited to cleaning it. Staying there was phenomenal - leisurely breakfasts of farm-fresh eggs, sitting on the back deck with a steaming mug of tea and seeing a bald eagle fly down the Robinson River, staying up until midnight (gasp!) to finish reading my book. No internet, no phone. Pure heaven, if you ask me.

But quite apart from the very enjoyable act of inhabiting it, the cottage has something else going for it. It happens to be the most profitable enterprise on the farm.

A little background: the cottage started out as a small, delapidated A-frame back when Susan and Dean bought this property ten years ago. Based on the original cottage, they designed a new and improved model with significant expansions, including a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and back deck. Their daughter and her boyfriend did the actual construction, which included using timber from the property and reclaimed lumber (including chesnut).

Once the construction was finished, they had to purchase everything that goes inside: furniture, decor, linens, microwave, refrigerator, oven, plates, pots and pans, cutlery, games for the kids... well, to make a long story short, they dropped a pretty significant chunk of change on the place to get everything ready. And now, five years later, they have just finished paying it off.

That being said, the amount of money that they must put into the cottage now is minimal. Cleaning supplies, cute little bars of soap, food for the breakfasts (some of which - eggs, for example - comes from the farm)'s easy to see why, in terms of net profit, the cottage is the most profitable thing happening on the farm. It's also one of the enterprises that takes the least amount of time... and time, as we all know, is money. Especially on a farm.

So how much does an evening in the cottage go for, anyways? I think it's actually pretty reasonable. Sunday through Thursday is $110 a night, and Friday/Saturday are $150 a night, not including a 10% lodging tax.

Mostly the cottage guests are what Dean calls "refugees from DC". Lots of couples out for a romantic weekend, and families with small kids who want to help feed the animals. In any case, it's the perfect getaway for anyone who wants to turn off their phone and laptop for a few days.

It's no Red Roof Inn, thank God. You definitely get what you pay for, and then some.


  1. Looks gorgeous! Maybe we'll come out and stay there so we can visit you sometime. ;D