A Christmas Story at Dogwood Hills

We have been so blessed here on the farm this year. Things have been moving forward with our plans for agritourism and life on the farm has become very busy. A few years ago we were introduced to this wonderful couple who had moved out here from South Carolina. Danny and Sandra first came here to help us by building the barn. After the structure was up they headed back east. In the meantime, we proceeded with our farm stay here in Arkansas. Things have grown to where we will be opening for group tours in the spring. However, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done first. We are putting in a teaching/ catering kitchen in the barn loft. As we got closer to seeing this project become possible, the rest of life became busier. I called Danny and Sandra out east and told them I was desperately in need of help. They packed up and moved back out here! They live with us on the farm now and are as much a part of what is happening here as my very breath. Now this team of five is moving forward with the same goal ~be a blessing to those in need. Needs show up here in many different forms, but the most common is fellowship. Many days our plans change as at a moments notice when the top gate swings open and someone pulls down the driveway. Sometimes to pick up milk (and chat a bit) or stop in for a cup of coffee. Sometimes to see the animals, or stay for supper. It doesn’t really matter, we are pleased that they have chosen this place to rest a moment. We are blessed to have our friends and family. We are purposed by God to be right here, right now in this very place. We are anxiously waiting to see what is on the next page.

Jim Dailey

 This is what Christmas is all about … Sharing, Giving, Loving

And it happens every day at Dogwood Hills Guest Farm near Marshall, Arkansas.  Just check out this quote from Ruth Pepler who, along with husband Thomas and daughter Grace demonstrated the true meaning of the Spirit of Christmas:

Christmas was unexpectedly wonderful.  We have a potluck supper in the barn loft every 2nd and 4th Sunday.  Everyone had said they had plans for Christmas, so we canceled it.  Saturday night, one of the ladies posted on Facebook that they were looking for a place to eat in Marshall on Christmas and mentioned about it being hard not having family in the area.  My husband had to work Christmas at the Hospice House in Harrison, so it was going to be a quiet day here.  I called the lady and asked her to come for dinner. She started crying…

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You have people stay on the farm?

People ask us all the time.  “Why do you have people come stay on your farm?”  The reasons are quite simple~ people are curious about farm life. They remember their parents or grandparents talking about growing up on a farm. They want to connect with their kids. They are tired of the fast paced technological life. They want to breathe fresh air, take long walks and see the stars. They want to do that “something different” for vacation.

We hear so many people tell us that they remember grandma or grandpa talking about growing up on a farm, milking cows or goats, collecting eggs, growing a garden, canning the bounty, making butter and cheese, spinning wool and quilting.  Guests on the farm can get a taste of the old-fashioned way of doing things.  TV and the computer connection take a back seat to exploring the farm and learning about a different way of life.  “The way it used to be”.

When kids come to the farm there is the initial “I have no WI-FI on my phone” and “They don’t have cable!” which is quickly countered by “There are cows out here!”.   They quickly forget about the TV show they may be missing and become part of the happenings of the farm, memorizing the names of the animals and picking their favorites.

There are several ways to take part in life on the farm.  Most guests like to join us in the mornings for barn chores. This involves milking, feeding, helping tear up the fodder for the cows and collecting eggs.  From there, many guests head out to explore the local area, go fishing, swimming, hiking or floating on the Buffalo National River.  After a day exploring beautiful Searcy County they can come back to the farm for a campfire dinner or a movie night in the barn loft.  There is always the option of relaxing in the hot tub and watching the shooting stars.

For our family, guests on the farm keep things fresh, sharing what we do every day with children that are eager to learn ( parents too).  All of the things that may seem everyday become true treasures.

So yes, we have people stay with us on the farm.  We love it and so do they!