the farmhouse inn at hundred acre farm
crystal and ellis johnson
1051 meadow lane
twenty years ago, ellis johnson was looking for the right land. he raised his sights, and when he discovered this portion of heaven in madison, he knew he was done looking. it was nothing but land - all 100 acres - that bordered the lake oconee and the apalachee river, so he offered his brother the back part of the land to build upon while he took the front. then, what next? soon, the idea of a b & b was batted around, and it stuck. with help from family, the guest farmhouse and cottage grew into a home for hundreds of guests each year who discovered this out-of-the-way nook.
gardens and fruit trees, along with chickens and horses, played a significant role in their offerings for weddings, family reunions or simply a destination for much-needed solace. guests have the run of the place to enjoy which includes 80 acres of walking and river trails as well as some of the best bird watching in the southeast. named as one of the top ten bird watching places in the country by birds and bloom, hundred acre farm is the stopping point for blue heron who migrate each year from the caribbean to minnesota
"there's value here," states ellis johnson. "[it's a] different way of life, slower, living closer to nature. i did some bird watching before, but here, we keep with the birds. we feed them. we keep up with the morning star and the evening star. we love our animals."
although life is slower, it's non-stop for crystal. "i never stop working," she says. from morning until night, whether it's the guests who require assistance, eggs that must be gathered, or horses that must be fed, labors of love run this farm.
why is it named hundred acre farm? for ellis, it holds many connotations. it references his family farm, located on what is now timothy road in athens, where his parents took root in georgia. "it's harkening back to the farm we grew up on - the hundred acre woods and christopher robin," he says with fondness. as a working farm which includes a portion that is a protected land trust that protects the natural environment, the estate's goal is to "preserve a piece of americana".
the johnsons are excited about their sliver of heaven. with plans to expand the guest facilities, they are busy with spring planting, planning and organizing spring and summer weddings, and caring for their chickens, horses and goats - recreating an authentic working family farm with open doors.
contact crystal johnson at hundred acre farm for reservations at the farmhouse inn, as well as for group events including weddings, reunions and conferences.
experience your slice of americana at hundred acre farm in madison.
if you're longing to get away from it all, this is the place. the silence is palpable and renewing. for groups, it's perfect for large family reunions or other celebrations; you come and stay and never have to get in your car. and for the weekend wedding, the bride and groom can gather friends and family in one location and allow everyone to be part of every wedding moment.
hundred acre farm has been growing vegetables, fruits and colored free-range eggs for most of its 16 years in business. they provide produce that is pesticide free and that has been grown using naturally with composted fertilizer produced from their own livestock. hens are a mixture of araucanas, rhode island reds and barred rocks.
the farmhouse inn
there are 86 acres to explore and the johnsons invite you to enjoy every bit of it. there are walking trails (look for maps in the gathering room or red barn), fishing (two ponds as well as the apalachee river and lake oconee), plus water sports (canoes are available in advance). if you're rather ride in the open air, they have a golf cart to scoot around in as well. remember this is a natural area and you never know what animals you'll encounter.
spring is a wonderful time to meander through the counties of the heartland. tour through working farms, take home some produce, and understand the passion of those who live off the land. for more information, visit here.