Venture to the tip of horseshoe-shaped Orcas Island for an overnight stay at Pebble Cove Farm, an organic four-acre farm and inn set right on the water in Eastsound. Rent paddle boards or kayaks or take the rowboat to explore nearby Skull Island. After a day of adventuring, soak in the hot tub under the twinkling stars. Traveling with a group? You can also rent out the Enchanted Forest Cottage which sleeps six.
For couples who love animals, you-pick organic gardens, bonfires, and kayaking, Pebble Cove Farm is a slice of paradise. The four-acre estate butts up against the water’s edge, offering private beach access to guests. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent. A vegan animal sanctuary, it’s home to a wide range of rescued animals, including a pony named Hank and two mini Juliana pigs. Five on-site accommodations are available, allowing the wedding party to home base at the farm for the weekend while guests visit for everything from rehearsal dinners to post-nuptial Sunday brunch. Pebble Cove Farm’s rustic elegance will make your unique wedding truly unforgettable. View full article
You don’t need to choose between farm fun and a beach vacay at waterfront Pebble Cove Farm on Orcas Island. Set on a private strip of beach with its own cove, which is perfect for combing for seashells, Pebble Cove also offers kayaks, rowboats and a paddleboard as part of a farm stay. On top of those pursuits, save time for stargazing and s’more roasting. View full article
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Dogs, cats and farm critters find refuge and new homes with Pasado’s Safe Haven
Bernie and Herman are two pigs who aren’t bacon in the making. They live at Pebble Cove Farm, a small farm and bed-and-breakfast on Orcas Island, where as owner Lydia Miller says, “they just wander around all day getting pets and scratches,” and interacting with family members and guests alike. The pigs are so much a part of the family that Herman was bestowed an old family name. (Bernie is in honor of Bernie Sanders.)
While Bernie and Herman are treated like pets, Miller sees them as doing important work.
“Animals should be treated with respect and kindness,” she says, “but there’s a disconnect for so many kids and adults about where their food comes from, and how those animals are treated. Our guests leave here having had close contact with animals. That’s gotta make an impact.”
The Millers’ three teenage boys have grown up with animals, doing chores and interacting with them. Once, the family had breeding goats, but as vegans found it hard to sell the babies because prospective buyers wanted to eat them. The goats multiplied.
“At one point, we had 25 goats,” Miller says. The numbers eventually dwindled, but not quickly, since as she says, “everyone has a long, happy life here. No one is eaten on our farm.” She adds that her neighbors have a small-scale meat operation. “Their motto is ‘Our animals just have one bad day’ and I respect that. It’s the factory farming I have a problem with.”
Unlike the multitude of goats, Bernie and Herman didn’t start life at Pebble Cove. They were born at Pasado’s Safe Haven, where their mother was given sanctuary after being rescued.
Pasado’s Safe Haven is an animal refuge and advocacy organization in Sultan that rescues and rehomes animals of many kinds, from dogs and cats to cows, goats, and roosters. They provide sanctuary for 200 to 250 animals at any given time on their 85-acre refuge an hour northeast of Seattle.
They also do many other kinds of what they call “pro-animal, anti-cruelty” work, including investigating animal-cruelty cases and educating and advocating against animal cruelty.
The organization is named after Pasado, the beloved donkey of Bellevue’s Kelsey Creek Farm who was tortured and killed by three teenage boys one night in 1992. Pasado’s death shocked and horrified people across the Puget Sound area, but it served to galvanize them as well.
The day after his death, plans began for what would become Pasado’s Safe Haven. In operation since 1997, the organization has helped pass six animal-cruelty laws in Washington state, as well as preventing the slaughter or abuse of the animals they bring to their sanctuary. They are able to rescue many more animals than the refuge can hold through their animal adoption program.
Pasado’s Safe Haven offers many ways for kids and families to get involved, including tours and vegan cooking classes, classroom presentations, volunteer opportunities, advocacy calls and educational resources. Supporters say that adopting an animal is a great way to make a difference.
Not only does adopting ensure that an animal will have a happy home, “families that adopt make space to bring in the next animal,” says Laura Henderson, the nonprofit’s executive director.
While dogs and cats are the most popular choice for animal adoptions, the Hargrove family of Snohomish was looking for something different.
In April, Madalyn Hargrove brought two male goats home to her family’s 2½ acres as a birthday surprise for her husband, Mark. Their 2-year-old daughter, Matilda, promptly dubbed them Woody and Buzz, and treats the goats (and the family’s two basset hounds) like her brothers.
“They love on her, she loves on them,” says Madalyn. “These goats are the most loving goats in the world.” She credits their friendliness and charm to the nurturing the caregivers at Pasado’s Safe Haven gave them. “Pasado’s did a great job. Woody and Buzz are people-friendly and happy, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.”
Woody and Buzz were among 24 male goats that Pasado’s Safe Haven rescued from a dairy farm in December. Dairy goats must be bred to produce milk, but dairy farms don’t have a use for male babies and most are killed.
Not Buzz and Woody. They not only survived, but are sure to have very happy lives. They have a quarter-acre pen, but spend much of their time freely roaming the property. They come up to the porch and eat the overgrown pasture. As Madalyn explains, “They’re, like, in heaven. They eat different things all day long.”
The Hargroves chose to adopt rescued goats out of a commitment to helping animals, but also feel it’s good for Matilda. They wanted to teach their daughter how to be kind to animals, and not to be scared of them. They both grew up around goats and other animals themselves, and felt animals were a positive thing to share with their daughter.
Henderson agrees. “Children are naturally drawn to animals,” she says. “Animals are a relatable and fun way for kids to think about being kind and compassionate, which impacts the whole world.”
Or as Lydia Miller puts it, “How we treat animals and how we treat people are interconnected.”
An Organic Oasis on Orcas Island
After two days living in the treehouse at Doe Bay Resort and trying to blend in with the clothing-optional crowd, I ventured out to explore the western side of the island, and landed at the tranquil Pebble Cove Farm. A labor of love with an absolutely unbeatable view of the Puget Sound, Pebble Cove Farm is an organic farm that practices what it preaches. The whole property is entirely absent of chemicals and pesticides, towels and sheets are line dried, compost feeds their chickens and pigs, and guests help themselves to whatever is in season in their garden. The farm animals roam the grounds freely and a small sign at the entrance asks you to be mindful of their pony who has tendency to escape. Pebble Cove Farm manages to be an extremely comfortable boutique property with zero trace of pretension. Hand drawn maps left on fluffy down beds greet guests upon arrival. More
The best organic farmstays with bed and breakfasts for families with young kids.
In Washington’s Salish Sea, this farm offers a luxe family suite, with French doors opening onto a deck with 180-degree waterfront views. Row to nearby Skull Island, rent kayaks–or meet the farm’s animals, including goats, chickens and the farm’s own pony. Kids can help pick berries and beans from the organic garden and orchard or soak in the hot tub under the stars. Wake to a breakfast of home-made granola and locally roasted coffee.
People are talking about Pebble Cove Farm!
Seattle Magazine August 2015
“On the western edge of Orcas, the horseshoe shaped island, Pebble Cove Farm,is almost laughably bucolic. A sample view from the Studio Suite deck: A red pony and a silly white rooster respectively, munch and peck their way across an Ireland-green pasture that ends at a saltwater beach. A rowboat moored out front is free to use for a paddle out to the uninhabited islands nearby.
The farm also features goats, lots of colorful chickens and an orchard and big organic garden that guests are encouraged to harvest.
In your pretty room, the kitchenette is supplied with thoughtful goodies: oil, vinegar, OJ, milk, homemade granola and a basket of healthy snacks.”
We are recommended in the March 2015 issue of EveryDay with Rachel Ray magazine!
“Pebble Cove Farm is a “Must Do!” when visiting The San Juan Islands, the Gourmet Archipelago.”
“A pet-friendly farm, Pebble Cove encourages visitors to take leisurely walks on the property and visit their organic garden, pet their animals, go kayaking from the private beach and relax in a hammock or hot tub.”
“Owners John and Lydia Miller have three boys of their own, so they totally get kid-friendly. They’ve tricked out their B&B with indulgences that have complete kid-appeal, like a rowboat, a private island, even a horse to hang with. Plus, without the grandfather clocks, fragile antiques and frilly fixings of a typical B&B, parents can indulge and relax just as much as the kids do”.
“Pebble Cove Farm is one of my favorite places to stay on Orcas Island. Pebble Cove Farm is an active organic farm hidden on 4 acres with its own private beachfront. Friendly animals may join you in the yard, and you are welcome to pick a vine-ripe tomato while on a leisurely walk.”