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What Opens in Ithaca at 6 am That’s Not Starbucks?

Closed sign

Apparently Ithaca is a town that likes to sleep in, or at least that’s how it may seem if you’re traveling here and want to grab some coffee before 7am.

We’re not a huge city and it’s full of foodies, so the demand for cafes that open at the crack of dawn isn’t that high.

I don’t have any actual data on this, but it seems like a very feasible explanation.

After 7 your choices begin to open up a bit.

The field widens around 8 and by 9 you’re golden, you can get your fill just about anywhere.

Given I-Town’s reputation for local foods, these hours can be frustrating.

You may find yourself wondering what opens in Ithaca at 6 am that’s not Starbucks?


Where The Locals Power Up

If coffee at 6am is your thing, then you’ve got 2 options that aren’t Starbucks.

One is as local as it gets, the other is the darling of the Ithaca grocery scene and totally worthy of your time.

Where to Get Your Java on Like a Local

Ithaca Bakery is an experience and eating there is worth the hop/drive from wherever you’re staying.  

Start your morning off right by discovering local culinary creativity in it’s full & super useful glory.

Open from 6am to 8pm you’ll find everything you need to fuel your day.

They’ve got everything from coffee to gluten free muffins, smoothies to bagels and most things in between.

Wegmans is a grocery store with a coffee shop within it. This may not sound thrilling, but it’s a fun place.

Hitting it at 6 am is also the perfect opportunity for a study in the severity of CNY winters and the art of grocery store marketing.

Pure brilliance.

If you can hold out till 6:30…

Collegetown Bagels is another local favorite that opens at 6:30.  They’ve got 3 locations, take your pick.

Wherever you end up, if you’re going to be here all day, remember to pace yourself.

This town knows food. 

It would be a shame to be too full to try the next bite of local yum that crosses your path.

Courtney Sullivan is a farmers wife, mother of 6 and the matriarch of Humble Hill Farm.  She loves helping people escape the city lights and experience the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Courtney and her family run a Farmstay where people can come and experience small scale farming in action. She’s a passionate home cook, lover of the unmatched flavor of local foods and the one who cooks your breakfast during your stay at the Lodge.


“Where’s The Pancake Recipe?” It’s on our website.

I have a love hate relationship with texting. Partly because it can easily throw a monkey wrench into an otherwise perfect off farm adult moment of speaking to other humans and partly because it takes me much longer to type the answer than speak it.

I know there are voice features, but those take data to send.

Plus I’ve never really gotten into the habit of using them on the farm, they’re not a reflex; yet.

I’ve jotted it down on my mental “to learn” list.

But I do appreciate and love texting for it’s simplicity and silence.

“Where’s the Pancake Recipe?”


This text asking “Where’s the pancake recipe?” alerted me that I’ve failed as a mother.

How even my smallest children don’t have this recipe memorized by age 5 is beyond me. The official, growing like a weed resident chow hounds have no excuse.

But, naturally I answered the text. Recipe written in full, from memory.

They will all be drilled on the recipe before ever being allowed to eat pancakes flipped by my hands again.

Those little pancake munchers  will be required to know the basic recipe that feeds a couple, up to 4x the recipe that feeds our family.

We’re talking basic life skills here people!

Our family has been talking about writing a cookbook for years and years. Each time we post about it there’s a positive response and  people beg me to get organized enough to finally do it. All I can say is it’s on the list.

2016 just might be the year it happens 🙂

I used to publish recipes here on the blog and I may get back to that someday, but for now I’m shifting into stories of farm life and adventures in the Finger Lakes.

I really want to help people easily discover all the amazing spots in this area and travel like a local when they visit.

But this one simply has to be on here, so I never get a text like that one again.

The Pancake Recipe

Serves 2

Heat up your griddle before you mix up your batter and in a medium bowl combine:

1 cup of flour ( I love Bob’s Red Mill All- Purpose Flour)

2 tsp baking powder

1/8 -1/4 tsp stevia, it’s a bit more than a pinch (skip if you don’t have it, but add a teaspoon of something else sweet instead)

1/4 tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients together, create a well in the center and pour in the milk & oil.

1 Tbls canola oil (+more for the griddle)

1 cup milk ( you can use a non dairy milk here like rice milk etc, but if you do add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to it to increase the fluff factor. Apple cider or rice vinegar are best)

Whisk the mixture together until sooth and thin enough to pour easily. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk.

Transfer some of the  batter into an easy to pour vessel such as a 2 cup measuring cup and pour onto a hot, oiled griddle.

Watch them closely and it should take about 45 seconds to 1 minute for bubbles to appear in the cooking pancakes. Confidently flip those flap jacks with a spatula and cook for another minute or 2 depending on how fast they’re cooking.

The awesome thing about pancakes is they’re filling and relatively cheap & easy to make.

Keep at it till you’re a pancake master.

If you want to get fancy and add things to your pancakes, don’t add the extras to the batter as a whole. Rather add your berries, bananas, chips etc while they’re cooking on the griddle before you flip them & go easy on the extras. That way you won’t get any of those nasty uncooked patches around the berries or bananas.

Pancakes for a Crew

Serves 8

Heat up your griddle before you mix up your batter and in the biggest bowl you own combine:

4 cups of flour ( I love Bob’s Red Mill All- Purpose Flour)

2 Tablespoons + 2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp stevia powder (skip if you don’t have it, but add a couple tablespoons something else sweet instead, more if you wan to taste the maple syrup, like a 1/4 cup)

1 tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients together, create a well in the center and pour in the milk & oil. Whisk the mixture together until sooth and thin enough to pour easily. If it’s too thick add a splash of milk.

4 Tbls canola oil (+more for the gribble)

4 cups milk ( you can use a non dairy milk here like rice milk etc, but if you do add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to it to increase the fluff factor. Apple cider or rice vinegar are best)

Whisk the mixture together until sooth and thin enough to pour easily. If it’s too thick add a splash of milk.

At this scale you want to really mix well and make sure you have no clumps of flour on the bottom of the bowl.

Use a rubber spatula and a whisk to mix these like a boss.

Transfer some of the  batter into an easy to pour vessel such as a 2 cup measuring cup and pour onto a hot, oiled griddle.

Follow the same directions for flipping up your stacks as above.


Pancake ProTips

#1 Cool pancakes on a wire cooling rack typically used for cookies.

This tip changed my entire pancake game and I’m embarrassed to say it took me as long as it did to learn it, but it’s amazing! Of course I currently  have no photos of this #protip in action, something I’ll take care of on my Instagram today.

#2 Pancakes freeze well.

Make a big batch when you’ve got the time & toast to warm deliciousness on the run when you don’t. Freeze on cookie sheets, bag up in freezer bags when frozen.

#3 Add the maple syrup to the batter.

Maple syrup makes a mess and if you’re on the go, it’s a deal breaker. If you’ve got to jet, but still want your maple, put it in your batter.

Eat well, see you soon!

Kill the Messenger, Fire the Storyteller

Change is challenging. Some people love it, some fight it, and the successful embrace it one way or another.

Our business is currently in the midst of a generational transition of sorts.

Within the scope of family farms our farm is very, very young. None of our ancestors worked this land or made a home here before us, but we’re still a multi-generational business.

This shift is happening on the physical, operational and managerial levels.

My mother is retiring from inn-keeping and summer childcare.


There’s a lot of growth that needs to happen and she very wisely recognized that it’s not going to happen if she’s still heavily involved within the day to business operations.


Beginning, Again

Faced with these major changes, I hedged my bets on a mild winter and enrolled in an evening business class for beginning farmers.

Groundswell has classes for existing farms, but I felt that since I was never in a position of managing all aspects of our business before that I needed to begin with beginners.

Working through each week’s assignments has been formative for the business as a whole, but it’s changed my inner life.


Kill the Messenger

The class has introduced me to the skills I’ll need to face the issues that are confronting the long term sustainability of our farm.

It’s also put me in the uncomfortable position of being the one who must re-frame the conversation.

I’ve always had a knack for bringing up things people don’t want to discuss, but it’s been especially tough to have these honest, by the numbers conversations, without emotion, in a very businesslike way.

Farming is personal, everything I say is offensive.

And if all that wasn’t enough, then I started writing these posts.


Fire the Storyteller

It’s tempting to think that it would be easier to simply shut down this blog, fire the storyteller and kill the messenger fresh from farm business school rather than embrace the change that’s coming.

But change is coming anyway.


Change is Good, Just Don’t Get Too Personal


I hear that.

This is more than just a farm, it’s a legacy project and our identities are very wrapped up in the story of the farm.

But I’m writing from the heart anyway.


When Your Opinion is Seen as a Liability

This is a tense time on the farm.

Weather dependent to-do-lists are a mile long, hopes (and anxieties) are high, Spring is playing catch-me-if-you-can within our end of winter schedules.

We’re all milling around at the seasonal starting line, mentally preparing up to take our places whenever Mother Nature fires the gun.

And when she does, each and every day counts.

We’re all painfully aware that there aren’t all that many days before the first frost comes again.

We know we have to earn a lot more money this year and we must achieve that with one less adult actively working full time within the project to keep everything going strong.

The pressure is clearly on and it’s easy to understand why the opinions expressed on this blog could be seen as a liability.

But I’m sharing them anyway.


Authentic Perspective

Farming hasn’t killed our marriage; yet. It is stressed, but it’s not dead.

I’m a willing participant in this life.

Writing these posts isn’t me playing the victim, rather it’s me claiming my role as an architect within the project.

Will this turn some people off?

No doubt, I’m certain that it will.

But the thought of starting off yet another season pretending that farming life is without stresses, seen & unseen and that we live an idyllic life in the country is soul crushing.

That’s not to say that at times my fingers don’t tremble when I write these posts, they do.

But I’m hitting publish anyway.


Wise Counsel

“Not to get too personal, but maybe you and your husband should get counseling.”

I agree, great idea, yes, maybe we should.

In the last 20 years we’ve been there, done that 5 different times, with 5 different therapists.

We don’t have the time, money or childcare to pull it off anymore, but I’m always open to working on things.


It’s Complicated

The truth is, it’s complicated, traditional solutions aren’t “easily” applied in a farm situation.

You can give up on everything you have worked so damn hard for and not have a farm which is a huge part of your identity, your way of life, how you earn your income, and  a huge part of your legacy that’s filled to the brim with sweat equity that the market will never reflect.

Or you can continue to move forward despite your weaknesses and grow your strengths.

Hoping that your strengths grow rapidly and your weaknesses don’t wreck everything.

Everyone has problems.

The choices are: do you keep the ones you already have and deal with those or trash everything and get ready to meet more the complex ones that accompany the destruction of everything?

I’ve chosen to keep the ones we have.

Magnetism of the Land

All personal issues aside, the reason farmers duke it out with the numbers each year and continue despite the odds, is only part economic.

The other part is much deeper, more spiritual.

There’s a certain magnetism to farmland.

If you’re drawn to a piece of land, or it draws you to it, it’s really hard to break that bond.

You’ll go through hell not to lose it, and many of us do.


First World Problems

I’m a student of history. Not a Jeopardy level history buff who’s a master of dates and events, but the human side, the story of history fascinates me.

Through it all, I’ve always known that most of the problems we face, regardless of how they wear on us personally, are still first world problems.

That hasn’t made them easier to deal with on the day to day, but it has kept me sane.

I’m still actively seeking solutions because certain situations like not having heat and/or AC in our cars, still seduces me to try to radically improve our financial reality seasonally.


Joy Comes in the Morning

Each morning that I rise early to create these posts and other projects, I’m reminded that the future is bright.

The brilliance of the sunrise is a sight of unmatched beauty around here and the mathematics of this Universe blows my mind.

And so another day begins, another chance to get it right and grow our strengths.


Courtney Sullivan is a farmers wife, mother of 6 and the matriarch of Humble Hill Farm.  She loves helping people escape the city lights and experience the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Courtney and her family run a Farmstay where people can come and experience small scale farming in action. She’s a passionate home cook, lover of the unmatched flavor of local foods and the one who cooks your breakfast during your stay at the Lodge.


More Blasphemy

On many farms at least one person works off farm or from home at another profession to support the farm. That used to be the case for Humble Hill. Farming is one of those tricky occupations that demands your all to gain ground. However it’s often not profitable enough to be your one and only gig. But on the flip side, it may seem like it won’t ever become your one and only gig if you don’t give it your all.

Catch 22 defined.

When the twins were little part of the big draw for me to learn online story telling was that my husband left his day job. It had been happening slowly over time and then he finally took the plunge into full time farming. At the time we had 6 children under 14.


I hadn’t looked deeply at the numbers, but I knew lean, lean times were ahead. Working the farm full time was Rick’s dream and he was going for it. I was looking at my options for earning an income and they were really limited by hours of availability, location and level of education.

There were no quick and easy solutions.

Clearly I needed to learn new skills by any means necessary.

That of course was going to take time and money, both of which were in short supply.

More Blasphemy

Driven by this deep need to do something meaningful beyond childcare and household chores, I forged ahead.

Aided by sleep deprivation, stress and people pleasing, naturally I made many, many mistakes along the way.

But I did learn new skills!

Which felt like a win, because wasn’t that the goal all along?

Well, I guess it’s depends on who you ask. 😉

Hungry for Knowledge

As a rebellious kid who questioned everything, traditional schooling was never really my thing, but I was always hungry for knowledge and loved to learn new things.

Thankfully my mother loved libraries, bookstores and historical societies. So with those settings as the backdrop to my childhood, my knowledge seeking instincts were nurtured in fertile ground from a young age.

During this time in the valley of decision I came across a science called Symptometry that fascinated me and I boldly decided that this was a subject that I was going to formally study. At first there was a glimmer of support and the whole family even attended a Symptometry Symposium together.


Stormy Weather

Not only had I spent time and money learning how to do online marketing, but now I wanted to become a Doctor of Symptometry.

Right after after the Symposium in NC, I applied to the American School of Symptometry.

I managed to pass the grueling entrance exam, I was awarded a generous scholarship, ordered my books, started my studies and then realized that I was the only one who was thrilled by this level of academic achievement.

The heat was on, and my life hijacked my plan.

There was no support for this new found passion of mine.

It was seen as a threat to the success of the farming operation and it had to stop.

Seeing that I wasn’t going to win this battle either, I retreated, again.

I wasn’t about to give up, but for the sake of outward peace I agreed to withdraw from the school.

That didn’t mean I had any inner peace around the decision, but I was hopeful that I could start again, someday…

Thankfully a less intense learning option took root.

Mama’s Healthcare

Years later the American School of Symptometry opened up a Certified Health Coaching program.

This was my chance.

I had taken as part time nanny job watching a set of triplets during this in between period, so this time I had the means to continue my education.

I knew I was going to be very unpopular around here again, but I enrolled right away.

Thankfully I wasn’t on this journey alone.

After completing the course my dear friend Jahnan Derso and I founded Mama’s Healthcare.

Other People’s Projects

Since the growth for my full vision of marketing the farm was stunted, and I simply couldn’t keep all my creative ideas inside, I began to work on other organizations marketing projects.

I worked with the Ithaca Farmers Market on their Instagram and that evolved into being the co-chair of the IFM Marketing Committee.

I worked with Symptometry on their marketing and of course on all aspects of the marketing for Mama’s Healthcare once it was founded.

This work I do on other people’s projects continues to grate upon the hard feelings about me not being a right hand field wife.

Working on these “other projects” makes me extremely happy. I love being useful and appreciated, it brings me great joy.

Vision & Strength Come Full Circle

I envision a farm where everyone’s strengths shine bright. That’s the beauty of this life, we can create options for ourselves.

Farming is a full time occupation, but we only have significant income half the year.

It has has to share space, it can’t be our one and only gig.

Not now, not with a family of this scale.

It’s possible for us to have a thriving farm, a welcoming Farmstay and live our strengths that enrich and diversify the project.

That’s still a hard sell at this point, but I have faith it’s all going to work out amazingly well.

Courtney Sullivan is a farmers wife, mother of 6 and the matriarch of Humble Hill Farm.  She loves helping people escape the city lights and experience the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Courtney and her family run a Farmstay where people can come and experience small scale farming in action. She’s a passionate home cook, lover of the unmatched flavor of local foods and the one who cooks your breakfast during your stay at the Lodge.


Getting Back in The Saddle, Confessions of a Farm Storyteller

IMG_6510I have a confession to make. I like the work that’s connected to telling the story of our farm much more than the actual farm work.

To a non-farmer this may not seem like such a big deal. Do what you love, live your strength, go for it, you know the drill… But in my situation claiming this truth is a big deal.

We’re a family farm, and at this point we don’t hire outside labor.

Translation: “We’ve got this. We can work ourselves into the ground, grow our business a bit more each year by working even harder and someday hire help.”

This methodology is fueled in large part by cash flow realities, a strong aversion to debt, and the long breaks to recover between seasons (which help you totally forget how insanely hard you worked last year and how hard that pace was on everyone.) The urgency of our short window of good weather, cash flow realities and sleep deprivation in season seals the deal.

No matter how flawed the plan, there’s been no time to question things or do it differently.

Quite simply the plan is; Work harder, now!

It was really dicey when I started getting into telling the story of our farm online.

Basically, it was the equivalent of blasphemy.

In theory there were literally thousands of tasks I could have been doing instead. Except for the small fact that I had six children, many of whom are with me most of the time and there was a very slim chance, if any, that I would have actually been doing farm work instead.  

Those facts and all others aside, it was a very unpopular decision.

Women of The Soil

We live in an area full of amazing farms, run in part or fully by equally amazing women. Their farms are stellar, and the amount of food they produce is a testament to their vision and strength.

When people are pushed to their physical and emotional limits, and in our case day after day for 6 months +, unhealthy communication happens. I understood why it was really easy to compare me to those other women of the soil and say that if I was more like them our farm would be great. But that didn’t make it any easier to deal with.

It’s true that if I was more like them our farm would be a very different operation, but the fact remained that I’m not like them. Yes, I can do field work  and occasionally step in and cover all aspects of our farm if Farmer Rick injures himself or isn’t available, but that’s a pretty rare scenario. I have knowledge and skills, but it’s not my strength.

 Reclaiming My Strength

Part of my homework for Groundswell’s Farm Business Planning Course was to answer the question “What kinds of things do you get excited about?”. Without thinking about it I lit up and launched into writing all about storytelling, content creation and marketing with a capital M.

The years of weekly battles where I’d try to convince an overworked, stressed out farmer that my Youtube videos, all the work on social and a newsletter was a wise investment of time and money was exhausting.

The truth is, I lost most of them.

I retreated, vowing to be stronger for the next one because I love this “stuff”.

I never gave up, but I did fade out a bit in 2015.

In all honesty it made me not want to farm anymore. Another totally unacceptable conversation…

I was always longing to work on the same type of storytelling within an organization that valued my efforts.

So other than Instagram I didn’t do much consistent creative marketing for the farm in 2015. But I did begin to put my skills to use for other people’s projects.

More blasphemy.

Queue up the Cat Stevens song Can’t Keep It In. 

I did do the basics: children, home, reservations, field work and worked the stall each Sunday at Ithaca Farmers Market.

Agritourism & Allies

Yesterday there was an amazing conference on Agritourism or in non marketing speak: How People Can Visit Farms in The Finger Lakes.  I was super pumped to attend, it was the best 40th birthday present my husband could have given me. 


Not only was I gone from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Which meant he had to take care of the twins all day, pick up the kids from school, deal with music lessons, the after school feeding frenzy, and everything else I normally take in stride, all on a day when it was 65+ degrees and sunny in March. 

Not that he doesn’t love his children, but seriously. The nicest day of the year to date is the day I pick to be gone 

A remarkable sacrifice to say the least.


I seriously needed that conference, I’m so grateful for the time away. To be in a room with so many people who love both agricultural bounty and marketing was affirming.


Real Food Hustle
During a recent meeting with one of my instructors, he remarked how he admired me for being able to have as he put it “a foot in both worlds” and how it’s not something that he sees very often.


I told him that’s because the majority of my learning time hasn’t been spent among farmers, it’s been spent on the internet. 


It all started with Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It.


After that, I was hooked. 


During my days of endless chores and tasks in the real food hustle, I always had an ear bud in.


Class was in session.


It may have looked like I was doing the dishes, baking bread, processing food, cooking, mopping, washing, weeding, harvesting, sweeping, etc…


But I was being schooled by amazing minds. 


Guys like Eric Walker, Seth Godin, Ryan Hanley and Marcus Sheridan.


I’ve listened to every single episode of Ryan Hanley’s podcast Content Warfare, most of them at least 3 times. 
no watermark canva hanley


Their words sparked something in me, especially Hanley’s.


I thought that if this dude who’s in insurance can be pumped about content marking, the same has to be true for it’s power in Agriculture. 


Mission Accepted: Be Authentic
Despite all the instruction over the years to tell an authentic story, I’ve still struggled to find my voice here on this blog. Family farming is full of drama, I never wanted to share any of that. To me that raw story was embarrassing. But over time, I’ve come to peace with the ugly and nurtured the good. 


One of the last presentations at the Agritourism conference was a 10 minute crash course in online marketing.


He dropped a lot of knowledge, said a bunch of somewhat cryptic information. Since I’d already invested so much time into learning about the basics, it all made sense! I realized that I knew what he was talking about, and in that moment I knew that I could finally do this.

It totally revived me.

When I looked at our numbers for 2014 (when I was storytelling) vs 2015 (when I’d retreated) clearly there was a difference.

A major difference.

Sure we could point to other factors as to why business was down, (everyone but me did) but that was all the ROI data I needed.

I’m back. The work I do for the farm matters. Marketing is real work. 🙂 This is what get’s me out of bed at 3am, this is my strength.

At the end of the day I knew exactly what I needed to do to get back in the saddle. When I started receiving texts asking “Where’s the pancake recipe?” clearly the first step was pulling myself away from this new found tribe.


So instead of hanging out at at the bar eating wood fired pizza, talking marketing and taking selfies, I drove home to deal with my family. That night I set my alarm for 3:30 am because I’d finally accepted the mission to write a truly authentic post and cultivate a new blog. 


I’m still looking forward to sitting around eating wood fired pizza with friends, but the reality is I don’t have much time for that kind of off farm fun. So we’ve decided to build a pizza oven at the Lodge!
cob building


It seemed like way too much fun to have all on our own, so we’ve created an awesome, hands on workshop so you can join in the adventure. Get the details here
Courtney Sullivan is a farmers wife, mother of 6 and the matriarch of Humble Hill Farm.  She loves helping people escape the city lights and experience the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Courtney and her family run a Farmstay where people can come and experience small scale farming in action. She’s a passionate home cook, lover of the unmatched flavor of local foods and the one who cooks your breakfast during your stay at the Lodge.


Holiday Cooking With Little Ones

Thanksgiving recently passed here in the U.S. and the holiday cooking season is fully underway. As I was checking out all the tantalizing posts about how to make each dish of this year’s feast amazing, I remembered the year I served PB&J for Thanksgiving dinner.

In 2010 I had 6 children under the age of 14. My twins were 8 weeks old and the idea of cooking up the feast everyone was expecting was overwhelming, but the thought of cleaning up after it, well that pushed me over the edge.

I simply couldn’t do it. No way.

In a moment of remarkable sleep deprived clarity I made an executive decision that there would be no cooking that day. None.
no cooking
So in a very non dramatic way I cancelled Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute. Instead we had a huge stack of delicious organic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Ezekiel bread.

I know I felt happy to serve them up and let the expectations go.

Except each time I’d remember it I was tempted to whip myself for it, again. As passionate home cook who loves to feed her family it was a hard call to make.

I probably could have at least made something right, a pie maybe?

But I didn’t make anything. Not a single thing.

The kids were full and mommy didn’t lose it . It was a total win!

Here’s the clincher:
In an effort to process my guilt about it once and for all when I finally brought it up this year, my kids don’t even remember it. Not one of these food loving kids or my food producing husband even remember the meal or lack thereof. They’re even debating me that it ever happened.

“You never did that!” PB & J for Thanksgiving? No way, I don’t remember that.”

I’m sharing this to say that if you have little ones and you’re feeling overwhelmed by cooking (and of course cleaning!) during the holiday season or even by the daily stuff, it’s okay and understandable. Don’t stress, keep it simple. Focus on the quality foods that brings your heart joy and keep it simple.

Do yourself a favor and get off Pinterest (for a while) and don’t look at Instagram late at night when you’re nursing and hungry.
Do yourself a favor and get off pinterest (for a while) don’t look at Instagram late at night when you're nursing and hungry.
I know you already know this, but I’ll remind you again. It takes hours to get stuff looking like it does online, many people have a crew that helps them make it look like that and bloggers who don’t put major time into doing it solo.

That’s not your season of life right now and the reality is many of us don’t have the support we need to navigate it all.

We are our own worst critics and few people who you truly care about will even remember, so please don’t stress yourself out.

Give thanks.
Kiss your babies.
Hug your kids.

This season will pass.

Be gentle on yourself.

I’d love to cook for you, come visit me at Humble Hill. I’ll even leave you a late night snack from my Instagram feed in the kitchen 😉

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Farm Storytellers

Real Food Hustlesmallerfont






Every farm has a story, but most of the time everyone there is too busy working to tell it.

In 2015 it’s no longer enough to just grow pure foods, now you’ve got to connect with people online.

There’s no hard and fast rule about how you tell your story, or even which platforms you use.

What matters most is that you tell it.

Create something somewhere, connect and share stories about your farm.

For farmers working 60+ hours a week in June, the idea that storytelling is important is a hard sell.

The only thing burning hotter than the noon sun is the feeling of burnout and overwhelm many farmers face while trying to keep up with the season’s workload.

Admittedly, I’m not the farmer here at Humble Hill.

I’m the support, the observer, the skilled helper, the marketer, the understudy who’s always ready, but really I’m a struggling wife who became the storyteller so the farm would survive, and thrive in the long run.

The long term health consequences of the sustained emotional stress that often goes hand and glove with farming is rarely talked about in the popular back to the land magazines.

I know why.

No one wants to go there because it won’t sell magazines, but it’s time we at least acknowledge it.

We can learn from one another about how we moved through it, how we deal, what we changed, that we’re not alone in feeling this way.

Most importantly what does it’s prevalence mean for the future of farming.

A couple weeks ago  my friend John Suscovich made the issue plain on his Growing Farms podcast when he shared about what he called his big meltdown.

As a result he got tons of mail, apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking about it!

I was one of the folks who wrote to John thanking him for his boldness, and his willing to start the conversation.

He invited me on the podcast and last night we got to talk farms, marketing, storytelling and burnout.

My biggest take away from the show was that even though farm marketing and storytelling is a time intensive task, it’s been one of the things that’s kept me going through some pretty rough times.

The more I focus on it, the more positive I feel about why we are farming in the first place.


-The food movement is missing,






How Much Does It Cost To Stay At Humble Hill? + Other B&B Questions

How much are your rooms?

We have 3 rooms in the Lodge at Humble Hill.

The Master w/ private bath

Monday-Thursday $140= tax.

Friday-Sunday  $160+ tax

The Tempur-pedic Room & The Humble Hill Room Farm Adventure Package w/ shared bath  

Monday- Thursday $220+ tax  

Friday-Sunday $260 + tax


How many people do your rooms sleep?

Two. Each room in the Lodge has a queen size bed. Double occupancy.

How far are you from Ithaca ?

We are 18 miles from Ithaca.

How long does it take to get to Ithaca from the farm?

We are 30 minutes from Ithaca

How far are you from Watkins Glen?

We are 45 minutes from Watkins Glen

Can I get a roll away bed?

For an extra $25 dollars we can add a small fold out bed to the Master suite. We only offer this in the master because:

  • it’s the biggest room
  • the shared bath  for the other room is for 4 people, we cannot add additional people to that arrangement. 

Can I get a pack and play?

Yes, we do have pack and plays available. Please request it when you make your reservation.  

Do you allow children under 12 at your B&B?

Yes, we welcome children to come stay on the farm. We have 6 of our own.  

How much does it cost to rent the whole house?

Whole house rentals of the Lodge are $330 a night + tax  June-Nov

$475 + tax a night in May and 3 night minim for graduation weekends. 


How many people does the Lodge sleep?

The Lodge Sleeps 8 adults. Each of the 3 bedrooms have queen sized beds and the living room has a queen size pull out couch. 

The layout of the Lodge.
The layout of the Lodge.

I eat Gluten-free, can I get a gluten free breakfast?

Yes, you sure can! One of the inn keepers Patty Sullivan is gluten free too and she’ll take care of your gluten free breakfast needs.

What time is check in? Check in is at 4pm 

What time is check out? Check out is at 12pm

Please call  (607)738-6626 or email us at if you have any further questions.