Itineraries in the Country

Tonight I went to a meeting at TownsEnd Winery.  There were 10 of us from different businesses that sat around, drank some good wine and discussed itineraries.  We call ourselves the Partnership Group (I know, but all our creativity is going into creating working partnerships).

We meet once a month, roughly, and build relationships and figure out ways to get people into our county and into our businesses.

There’s Country Heritage bed and breakfast, TownsEnd Winery, Carlson’s Tree Farm, Cathy’s Country Cook’n, Cornerstone Cottage and Cornerstone Cottage Kids, Latham Hi Tech Seeds, Debworks and Val Plagge (2012 ASA/Dupont Young Leaders of the year for the state of Iowa recipients) representing Franklin County at this meeting.

I promise by the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’re gonna want to travel to Franklin County Iowa and take advantage of one of many kick butt itineraries we’ve got coming.  Now we haven’t set prices yet, but we do promise you’ll get way more than you’ll pay for.

Here’s just a few of our ideas:

City to Farm Excursion

See how the new pig farmer raises pigs.  These little piggies cross over a scale and take their weight first.  Then they get to go to the food court for a little nosh.  Tired from all that weighing and eating, they retire to the lounge area.   What? Yes – the pig barn is set up with a food court in the middle and a couple of lounge areas to the side.  It’s great for weighing, eating, and sorting.  You won’t want to miss that.

Next take a ride on a tractor.  A nice big tractor pulling either a planter, a disc, a plow or maybe even a combine.  This ain’t your grandpa’s farm partner — we’re taking big, hunkin’ heavy duty machinery that will make a sailor blush, it’s so stinking big.

While your out there, walk up the stairway to the top of the grain bins.  That’s right – these farmers have circular stairways going around the bin so you can walk clear to the top and see three counties!

Bike Trail with a Twist

You’ll stay at the world famous Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast.  True to their name, they are out in the country only one mile away from the bike trail that traverses through Franklin County.  After a big country breakfast, take one of the bikes and head to the trail.  Go west (young man) and find your way to the Carlson Tree Farm.  It’s only a few miles away and once there, you won’t want to leave.  Perhaps you’ll take part in a scavenger hunt, and find all kinds of treats, coupons and fun things along the way.  Or maybe you’ll toast marshmellows over the open fire and make s’mores kids only dream about.  Be sure to visit the lodge and relax with a cup of hot cocoa or maybe a toddy.  There’s a tractor and haywagon that leave all day long taking folks on hayrides around the property.  See where they grow their own wheat and make their own bread.    Tag your own Christmas tree – and come back to get it during the holidays!  At the end of the day you’ll sit around the fire and listen to some truly scary ghost stories!  Don’t worry about getting home – the fine folks at the B and B will just come get you.  And yes, you’ll feel like you’re right at home.

Or go east and find yourself in the lovely town of Hampton.  Swing on downtown, just a few blocks off of the bike trail.  If it’s warm, stop at the aquatic center and go for a dip (try out that two story slide while you’re there).  Pop into one of the many specialty shops and pick up a neat gift for your loved one.  Hungry?  We’ve got Mexican, American, Chinese and fast food — we can fill your belly up!  Make your way east to Hansell and find TownsEnd Winery.  They promise good wine, great company and plenty of stories.  Once again, don’t worry about getting home — the fine folks at the B and B will come get you.

You can sit around and wait for something to happen, or you can get together with a group of committed friends – and MAKE something happen.  That’s what we are doing in Franklin County.  Making things happen.

See you soon!


  1. MissDazey on January 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Shouldn’t that be “From Farm to Your Table” tour? just saying.We watch a show on RFDTV that is about horse tours and resorts. They usually have a wagon or buggy ride in the show.

    Of course, I know the point of this article is to work with other business people to promote your area. Good ideas will flow from your group because you smart business people.

  2. Deb Brown on January 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Maybe it should … we just like the idea of bringing city folk out to the farm. Thank you for the kind words as well!

  3. Pamela warwick on January 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    This is a great beginning to taking in the Franklin County experience. This will only grow over time, I have no doubts!

  4. Deb Brown on January 19, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Thanks Pam – and I love what you’re doing with the plunger concept!

  5. Katy Flint on January 23, 2012 at 2:26 am

    I love the ideas! Can I be a part of the group??

  6. Deb on January 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Katy – yes you can! Have a great honeymoon and we will talk about it when you get back. Or I’ll text you on my new phone 🙂