Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Introducing Farm Week at Camp Doug(h) - Sign up now!

Iowa is considered the Heartland of America. Zoom in a little closer, to the southeast corner where the Iowa, Illinois and Missouri borders meet, and you will find Camp Doug(h). Previously known to Doug’s friends as Camp Doug, the (h) was added when Beth moved in as a nod to her baking.

Photo credit: RAYGUN. Check out their site for more cool stuff!

Camp Doug(h) is part of a 1,000-acre Century Farm, owned and operated by the Seyb Family for over 100 years. It is a fully operational working farm with corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, cattle, and pigs. Here, they still do many things the old-fashioned way, like baling hay into square bales and stacking them in the barn loft. 

There are planted fields of crops that grow taller than your head in rich, black soil. There are forests of cedar, maple, oak, hedge, and birch. There are ponds and creeks noisy with croaking frogs, pastures filled with cows peacefully grazing, and skies, free from light pollution, so black at night it’s easy to see shooting stars—and so quiet you can hear hooting owls. Iowa is understatedly picturesque and it’s not all flat! This is the landscape, with its gently rolling hills, that inspired Grant Wood’s famous works of art.

Come see for yourself during a weeklong farm immersion hosted by farmer Doug Seyb and author Beth Howard.


There are two farmhouses on the property with accommodations, including 2 guest rooms in Doug and Beth’s house and a bunkhouse-style set up in what was Doug’s parents’ house. To give you the best, most immersive experience, we are starting out with only 4 participants per session, though we can host up to 8 in the future.


All meals are provided—including wine, whisky, coffee and espresso drinks—except for the 2 nights we go out for dinner. (Our local spots are cheap and casual. You’d be amazed at how far $10 will go!) While our growing season is too short to do 100% farm to table, the food we prepare will include as many ingredients from the farm as possible.

We are offering a special introductory price of $1,000 per person for our first two sessions. Spots are extremely limited to 4, so reserve yours now. (We will be adding more dates for summer, and eventually increase the number of participants. Contact us for more details.) 

The week starts with Sunday night dinner and ends after breakfast on Saturday.

Session 1:  April 22 – 28, 2018

Session 2:  May 20 – 26, 2018


CLASSES   A one-week session will include a combination of the following:
·      Pie (Beth will teach 2 classes: fruit and cream pies)
·      Quilting (make your own pillow cover)
·      Artisan bread making (make rustic-style crusty wholegrain bread)
·      Rug weaving (make your own hand-woven rug)


EXERCISE and ACTIVITIES  (depending on the season and special requests)
·      Hiking in Shimek Forest and other nearby reserves
·      Kayaking and canoeing on Des Moines River and Skunk River (weather permitting)
·      Yoga (Here’s your chance to try goat yoga! Or piglet yoga!)
·      Biking (mountain bikes and beach cruisers available)
·      Swimming in the ponds (summer)
·      Walks around the farm fields and trails
o   Wildflower walk (April—June)
o   Mushroom picking (April)
o   Arrowhead and artifact hunting (year-round)
·      Fishing
·      Writing/Journaling

FARM EXPERIENCES
·      Cuddle with baby pigs
·      Tour the farm on a side-by-side (think 4WD golf cart)
·      Feed the cows (in March during calving season, you might get to bottle feed a calf)
·      Ride on a tractor or combine (ride along during spring planting, summer baling, or fall harvest)
·      Feed the goats

FARM TO TABLE MEALS (*must love meat!)
·      Pork chops
·      T-bone steaks
·      Hamburgers
·      Sausage
·      Bacon
·      Farm fresh eggs (from our neighbors)
·      Fish (blue gill from our ponds)
·      Garden produce (when in season)
·      Homemade bread
·      Homemade pie
·      S’mores around the bonfire


SHOPPING and SITESEEING
·      Visit to the American Gothic House (have your photo taken in costumes in front of the house featured in Grant Wood’s iconic painting)
·      Drive through the Villages of Van Buren County (bucolic scenery in authentic, non-touristy Amish country)
·      Shop at the Dutchman’s Store (an old-fashioned general store run by Mennonites)
·      Taste cheese at Milton Creamery (a small cheese factory run by Mennonites)
·      Eat at a rural tavern and eat a plate-size pork tenderloin sandwich (an Iowa specialty)
·      Watch the barges go through the locks on the Mississippi River (in winter, watch bald eagles fishing)
·      Listen to live Americana folk music (we have a variety of rural venues)

FURTHER AFIELD    (potential add-ons to extend your week)
·      Hannibal, Missouri (visit Mark Twain’s childhood home)
·      Saint Louis, Missouri (The Arch, good BBQ, and major league baseball)
·      Fairfield, Iowa (Home of Transcendental Meditation/Maharishi University)
·      Iowa City, Iowa (UNESCO City of Literature)

*** To reserve your spot, contact Beth. ***

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