Farmstay Find: Piebird Farm
Nipissing Village, Ontario
At Piebird Farm, an 8-acre Canadian spread, you’ll mingle with chickens, goats, turkeys, and the like. But when it comes time to eat, you won’t see any of those critters on your plate. Piebird sets itself apart by following a purely vegan philosophy—even the soil is fertilized with plant matter, instead of manure. It follows, then, that this farmstay doubles as an animal sanctuary. Those goats are guests, just like you.
Husband-and-wife proprietors Yan Roberts and Sherry Milford own and operate Soggy Creek Seed Company. One look at the brand’s wild, witty packaging and you’ll probably guess Roberts’ previous career as a graphic designer. Milford’s background as a nutrition consultant and whole-food educator fuels the farm’s honest all-vegan menu. She prepares breakfast for guests and other meals as requested. “We jokingly call it ‘the 100-meter diet,’ ” says Yan, “because nearly everything’s grown on-site with our heirloom seeds.”
Though furnished with antiques, the three bedrooms in the 1902 main guesthouse feel anything but stuffy. The two-bedroom Birdhouse Cottage, which sits just across the goat pasture and includes a kitchen, has a more modern look. All bedding is washed in rainwater and line-dried. Guesthouse rooms start at $136 per night; the Birdhouse Cottage sleeps two couples for $186 per night (meals cost extra).
Stay as busy or remain as chilled-out as you choose. The farm is located less than 2 miles from Lake Nipissing, and Roberts and Milford are happy to loan out one of their canoes. Or you can pluck a bike and cycle to the village in only 5 minutes. If you really want to get your hands dirty, the couple will lead workshops on topics such as yurt-building (him) and vegan-canning (her). Naturally, the seasons dictate the schedule: Summer guests might help harvest berries, while March visitors have the opportunity to assist with maple-sugaring. “A lot of people come with a long lists of things they want to do and see in the area, but most of them end up never leaving the property,” says Milford.