Our First Harvest Host Stay

Aka No Alpaca but Other Cutie-pie Animals

Last night was our first—and fabulous—experience using our membership with Harvest Hosts. The way this works is we pay an annual fee to this organization, and they give us access to their network of businesses that welcome RVers to park with them overnight for free. What the businesses get is possible purchases from us while we’re there.  

Think small business with a lot of land: farm breweries, wineries, golf courses. 

Yeah, you heard me: breweries! Can make our way across the country moving from to another once that’s safe? 

Last night we stayed at Westwind Farm and Fiber, a small-animal farm outside of Muncie, Indiana, and we loved it there. 

We pulled in right alongside a huge storm so we had to stay in the Airstream for the afternoon; our host Kylee kindly offered her house, but we didn’t need to take her up on it.  Plus we got to watch the wind move rain across farm land from inside our multi-windowed viewing pod.  🙂

After the storm passed, I did ask Kylee to show me around and describe what she and her children do for the business.  It involves adorable miniature animals and super-soft fibers.  My kind of farm.

This is Tulip and Philip, who are Kiko goats. I don’t think that translates as “googly-eyes” but I’m not sure. (The farm’s website has more photos and actual descriptions of breeds.)

And these are Pygora goats: a cross between Pygmy and Angora.  Kylee tells me their wool is as close to cashmere as you can get in the U.S.  

She prepares and spins fiber with large wooden tools in her work barn and sells the products on her website.  She learned how to turn wool into yarn from a woman she saw spinning; now they’re friends and business partners for the online store.

I bought two balls of yarn from this guy, Telsen the ram.  Ain’t he a force to be reckoned with?  He’s about three feet tall at the most and sports some mean Kiss-style makeup.

Kylee and her kids also raise chickens, Angora rabbits, and quite a few sheep.  

I’m especially honored to have met the hired help who lives with and cares for the sheep, Elsa.

Elsa was raised in the house as a puppy but then moved into the barn as a working dog.  She doesn’t enjoy spending time with the goats, just the sheep.  

She clearly loves her job, or I would have kidnapped her.  She weighs exactly what I do (thanks, coronavirus), so Banjo wouldn’t have a choice, really. I might even give her my outdoor sofa.

Seriously, if you knit, crochet, or felt or want a cute felting kit to give to a child, check out Westwind and Fiber’s online store, which is having to substitute for the in-person farm store and the birthday party offerings that are all on hold during the virus. Normally the farm kids here would be raising money for college through their 4H and state and county fair animal showings, so this year they’re helping with the online farm store as much as they can. 

After Kylee’s personal tour, Tracy and I spent the night in the driveway, which was not the least bit creepy thanks to having so much space. 

We had a beautiful view of the fields around us and that storm that kept dancing around the periphery.  

What a cool way to see the country. And I have new yarn for knitting, plus I met the ram the yarn came from. 

And I have our travel growler out for when a farm brewery crosses our path.

Next up though is a state park in Illinois where we can wait out the weekend. Doug, it’s named after Abe Lincoln—I think he lawyered there.  We’ll find out.

12 thoughts to “Our First Harvest Host Stay”

  1. The adventure creeps out of hiding, showing its potential in farm animals and hospitality. Bravo.

  2. Breweries? Wow, like and AiBnB (Air Beer n’ Brew). What a cool critter stop 🙂

  3. Good to know the knitted scarf you will make me for Christmas comes for such unique surroundings!

    1. Ha! Unfortunately I didn’t buy enough yarn for a scarf. Fortunately I know that your lovely daughter in law made you one last year!