234: Ruth & Grace Pepler on Agritourism
Experiencing life on the farm as a vacation destination
IN THIS PODCAST: We meet two very special ladies in the mother-daughter team with Ruth and Grace Pepler who are helping us understand the concepts of Agritourism and Guest Farms. Ruth is inspiring with her story of transforming their small homestead into a very active community building resource and agriculture education resource in the guise of something akin to a bed and breakfast vacation spot. Her daughter Grace is a delight as she shares her knowledge and passion of teaching kids of all backgrounds the joys of farm life
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Ruth has been a registered nurse, private chef, and caterer, and has taught cooking classes, managed a farm, and homeschooled her daughter. She and her husband Thomas started their homestead near the Buffalo National River in Arkansas ten years ago. Shortly after moving there, they bought the adjoining property and opened Dogwood Hills Bed & Breakfast; Which they call a “guest farm” offering their guests a chance to experience life on the farm in a relaxing atmosphere.
At sixteen, and having grown up on the homestead, her daughter Grace has taken a lead role in the daily functioning, guest relations, and marketing of Dogwood Hills Guest Farm. She is a wonderful agri-tourism ambassador speaking about Dogwood Hills and how it functions, with everyone from the local & county 4H, county chambers, multiple tourism conferences and she even did a personal tour for the Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture.
Since opening they’ve added many more cows, goats and chickens, a fodder room of hydroponically grown barley, a “high tunnel” hoop house, a visitor friendly milking room, and they are currently adding a new certified kitchen. With a complete farm to table operation, Dogwood Hills Guest Farm helps people from all over the world experience life on a family-owned dairy farm.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/DogwoodHills for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to find our other great guests.