Country Style: get away from it all right in your own backyard

Community Health: Allegheny County Schools | Summer 2009

As reported by Mark Hornung, in Community Health  Summer 2009:

” Less is more at Weatherbury Farm Vacation.

Nestle amid the serenity of 104 acres of rolling farmland a mere one-hour drive from Pittsburgh, Weatherbury Farm is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. Its meadows, gardens, fields and valleys combine to create a perfect setting for tranquil relaxation.

It also teaches visitors about the basic necessities of life.

Operated by the Tudor family — Dale, Marcy and Nigel — since 1992, Weatherbury Farm is both a vacation destination and a working beef and sheep farm. Animals are grass-fed, boisterous and everywhere. Vacation stays at the farm range from one to six days and are designed to help generations of family members relax together and learn about the connections between rural and metropolitan life.

‘ We now have two generations of Americans who have very little knowledge of where their food comes from,’ says Dale Tudor, a former strategic planner at a big pharmaceuticals firm who is now known at Weatherbury as Farmer Dale. ‘ When families stay here, we want them to take it easy, but also to learn how and where their food comes from.’

At Weatherbury, guests can experience farm life without having to rough it. Vacationers can choose from five different rooms or suites, all comfortably appointed with antique furnishings, down-on-the-farm breakfasts, educational packets and various farm activities. Guests are presented with personalized packages from Marcy, the bookkeeping and marketing brains behind the operation.

‘ We treat out guests like family, ‘ Marcy says.

More than 700 customers stay at Weatherbury Farm every year, with repeat customers accounting for about half the business.

The typical Weatherbury day begins as 8:30 a.m. with breakfast in a charming wooden-floored and tabled livery hall. Then it’s a short walk to the barn, chicken coop and milk house to bottle-feed the sheep and other animals, gather eggs and pump water.

And the activities are for everyone. On a recent spring morning, this intrepid 49-year-old reporter had his ankles nipped by a pair of playful geese as he held a bottle of formula for a famished baby sheep.  Visions of future visits with children and grandchildren are easy to imagine.

Afternoons and evenings are wide open.  Fro those who just want to hang out, a swimming pool, open-air porch and expansive, rolling fields are just what the doctor ordered. For adventure -seekers, biking trails , fishing streams and antique stores are only a short car ride away.

Weatherbury Farm Vacation is located just two miles for Avella, Pa., about 30 mile southwest of Pittsburgh. Vacation season runs from May through the end of October. Rates depend on the length of stay and number of visitors per family. For details, call (724) 587-3763 or search”