A LITTLE HISTORY
We purchased our 1900's vintage farmhouse in 1986. Having sat unoccupied for almost four years, it was in need of extensive renovation. We immediately set to work and over the years renovated the main house, then in 1991 added a sunroom that we now use for meals and for weddings. We are both avid gardeners, having planted in our yard ~60 trees, a large variety of shrubs and vines, and numerous flower beds. We have also maintained an organic garden and orchard since 1986 that supplies much of the food for our personal use, as well as for our guests, and for use in Guia's catering. In 1996 we added a gazebo which served as the chapel for our oldest daughter's wedding ceremony, then in 1999 we transformed the least appealing area of our yard (for some reason nothing grew well there) into a water garden that is now the highlight of the grounds.
In 1995 -1997 Guia studied culinary arts at
the Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts school in nearby Joliet. Shortly after that our son Warren left for college leaving us
empty nesters and wondering what to do with this big house?? Our friends
and family who stayed with us from time to time remarked that with our rooms and many gardens, we should run a
bed and breakfast. Since the idea appealed to us, we renovated the bedrooms,
and in 2001 opened the doors to business. We both enjoy raising
food, serving our guests and hearing their experiences.
We try to live simply on our three acres. We maintain a closed loop nutrient system where food scraps from the garden are fed to our flock of chickens, whose waste in turn we process into compost, which then is returned to the garden. We freeze and can fruits and vegetables from our orchard and garden, that we utilize for our personal meals along with chicken and eggs from our poultry flock, and honey from our beehives.
We also dry our clothes, including bed linens and towels, on a clothesline in the backyard whenever possible, which minimizes energy usage and gives the laundry a fresh, natural smell. To further conserve energy we heat the house primarily with wood in the wintertime. The woodstove in the dining room is always a favorite place to keep warm on a cold winter night.
We have discovered that one of the most pleasing aspects of running a bed and breakfast is getting to know our guests. Because the layout of our house is designed for a family, when you stay with us you become part of our family. We have met people with the most interesting backgrounds and stories, and are grateful for the many long term friendships this has inspired. Often we are sad to see our guests leave. If you are attracted to or resonate with our lifestyle, perhaps a stay with us will establish a lasting friendship with you as well.
We welcome your visit and make every attempt to help your stay be an enjoyable one.
Mark and Guia Hoffman