There’s always been something idyllic to me about farms. My understanding of the average day involves waking up to the call of a rooster, strolling through a burgeoning crop, perhaps stopping to pet a new calf with eyes that’d make your heart explode, before making your way into a country-style kitchen only to be served a bounty of fruits, toasts, cheeses, and homemade frittatas. However, this is all spoken from the lens of someone that has clearly never lived and worked on a farm. Although my visions of farm life are romantic in nature, I’m also fully aware that producing and growing food is in reality — a lot of hard work — and that is why Be Love Farm is such a magical place.
Nestled in rural Vacaville, somewhere between Napa Valley and Sacramento, Be Love Farm is a regenerative farm stay experience that lives up to picturesque ideals and also offers its guests a peek behind the curtain through its farm tours and workshops. The farm is stewarded by Terces and Matthew Engelhart, the hearts and minds behind California’s beloved Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre. Similar to their restaurants, their farm stay is both mission and heart driven, a true extension of their legacy of love, nature, and community.
The farm hosts a number of gorgeous and kid-friendly guest rooms that emit a warm, elegant, and cozy aesthetic. However (with the exception of an afternoon nap), you’re most likely not going to want to spend too much time in your suite.
Be Love Farm is a working farm that provides produce to the local community and their California based restaurants. As part of your farm stay experience, you are welcome to join Terces and Matthew as they go about their day; be it milking cows, planting or harvesting their crops, feeding the sheep, making wood fired bread, or prepping for that night’s country-style dinner. Of course all of this is optional and if you’re more the relax by the pool with a good book type, the Be Love Farm pool is chlorine free and UV and ozone filtered. They also have a wood fired sauna and hot tub to enjoy in the evenings.
It’s this hands-on and real-world aspect of Be Love Farm that separates it from other boutique farm stays and a true gift to spend time living off the land and understanding the connection between nature, food, and home. However, it’s also an incredible opportunity to learn not just about farming, but to also specifically understand the practice of regenerative farming. Terces and Matthew are developing a model of a diverse food production system, believing variety builds crop resilience in today’s modern climate. It’s the reason they produce dozens of different foods, unlike many farms that focus on more homogenous crop production. Honestly, Be Love Farm has basically everything you’d ever need to live the good life including their own wine, olive oil, micro-dairy, nuts, fruits and vegetables, chickens, ducks, and sheep.
Although committed to supporting environmentally sustainable farming, Terces says, “[Our] ultimate goal is to have friends come to visit us, stay awhile, and experience the earth’s bounty immersed in the beauty and community that is Be Love Farm. This is our family home and we love hosting guests and meeting new people.”
If you have ever visited one of their cafes or restaurants, you have experienced the authenticity and love that the Engelhart’s pour into every one of their hospitality outposts. If anything, Be Love Farm only deepens that connection between their mission, their guests, and the earth as you are quite literally becoming an extension of their family home.
Each day, you are able to enjoy a family breakfast or lunch with most guests saying that the farm-to-table meals are a true highlight of their stay. If you want to go and spend the day on the farm, consider picking up one of their picnic baskets with homemade bread and farm churned butter.
Outside of the food, spending time gathered in the kitchen talking to Terces and Matthew is a true teaching moment, especially for the children. If they are not travelling and you get the opportunity to chat to either of them, you’ll benefit from their skillful, humble and earnest ability to share their knowledge with people of all ages. If you’re unable to make it the farm, check out Terces’ podcast Unreasonably Grateful. You’ll find she shares the same kitchen table and heartfelt wisdom that she learnt through her 35-year journey of recovery and her new perspective that allows her to find gratitude in the everyday.
It’s been a wild ride for many in the last couple of years; if life is now calling you to take some time away from the city and the tolls of modern life, Be Love Farm is the place to visit. Prepare to make new friendships, reconnect you to yourself and the natural world, unwind or roll up your sleeves and get your hands in the soil. One thing is for sure — a visit to Be Love Farm is going to nourish you in some shape or form.
If you’re interested in booking a stay or event at Be Love Farm, all bookings can be made here, for Terces’ podcast check it out here, and if you’re looking for a dose of farm stay inspo, recipes, and some quality baby goat content, follow them on Instagram.