Author Archive

Comments from guests of Hillside Homestead

February 27th, 2016 by Susan Odom

From the Guest book

Over the years we have collected lots of comments in our guests books, some short, some long, some funny and some that make me cry. I would like to share some with you.

Thank you so much for an amazing stay This weekend was a fabulous mix of living on the farm with a relaxing vacation. Your hospitality is beatable and your knowledge of farm life and cultural history is unmatched. Thank you again for providing us with tasty meals, kind company, warm conversation and a truly relaxing weekend. – Christian and Keriann


Susan, thank you so much for sharing your Homestead with us! Between the new piggies, Clark, piere, the hens, the food (delish!) and Peterson Park, you mand our stay so memborable! We look forward to our fall visit and seeing the pigs again – wink wink! – Annemarie and Mike



What the press has to say about Hillside Homestead

February 27th, 2016 by Susan Odom


Maple Sugaring FarmCation

February 26th, 2016 by Susan Odom

Maple Sugaring FarmCation: March 18-20

Maple sugaring time at HIllside Homestead.

Maple sugaring time at HIllside Homestead.

Step back in time at Hillside Homestead and experience a small-scale maple sugaring.  This all-inclusive, hands-on weekend offers an authentic getaway which will be educational, fun and super tasty! We will set taps in the maple trees around the farm house and collect the sap. Inside on the wood cook stove we will boil that sap down to syrup and maybe even reach the successful sugar stage. We will make maple cream and maple snow candy. Of course we will be tasting our maple products as we go! Maple sugaring is a fun way to get outdoors during late winter.



Boiling Maple sap at Maple Sugaring time.

Boiling maple sap on the wood burning stove at Hillside Homestead



All meals are included and even late night snacks as we sit by the wood stove and relax. Breakfast will feature waffles with syrup and our homemade maple syrup cured bacon, all hot from the wood stove! You will also have the chance to learn some basic wood stove cooking as you can help prepare meals if you desire. Outside, in the farm yard there are chickens, ducks and geese to tend. Our Maple Sugaring FarmCation is a unique immersion experience and will create lifelong memories.


Maple Sugaring
Farm-Cation Details


A galvanized steel maple sugar bucket used for collecting sap, all with a lovely orchard view. during maple sugaring time.

A galvanized steel maple sugar bucket used for collecting sap, all with a lovely orchard view.

March 18-20, 2016. Arrive between 4pm and 7pm on Friday. Program over at 11am on Sunday.


Two nights lodging is included. Either single or double occupancy. Four guest rooms available.


All meals included, supper on Friday night. Breakfast, lunch and supper on Saturday. Breakfast on Sunday. Of course snacks are always available.


The Orchard room, one of the four guest rooms at Hillside Homestead. Stay during maple sugaring time.

The Orchard room, one of the four guest rooms at Hillside Homestead.

A full schedule of maple sugaring based activities with time for relaxing too. Lots of farm fun. We can make time on Saturday for some Leelanau Peninsula exploring if we like.


$600 for single room-occupancy and $800 for double room-occupancy. This price is all inclusive.


Please contact Susan Odom at 231-271-1131 or to make a reservation or to ask questions. A deposit of half is due when making the reservation and the other half upon arrival.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Full refunds if the FarmCation is cancelled due to inclement weather
  • If you cancel more than two weeks before the FarmCation you will receive a full refund
  •  If you cancel less than two weeks before the FarmCation you can apply your deposit to another event or stay.
  • If you cancel within five days of the FarmCation you forfeit your deposit.

Got Snow? Make Snow Ice Cream!

January 21st, 2016 by Susan Odom


A big winter storm they they knighted as Jonas is coming and it will effect much of the East coast. This is the perfect time to make snow ice cream! Snow ice, snow cream, snow ice cream, however you call it, is made with fresh, newly fallen snow! If you have that, than you have the main ingredient.Just remember to buy some cream when you run out for your milk and bread!  I made it for the first time just a few days ago (Jan 18, 2016).  Here is a photo of the original recipe for snow ice cream or snow ice as they call it here:

Recipe for Snow Cream

Recipe for Snow Ice Cream

Buckeye Cook Book Cover 1904

Buckeye Cook Book Cover 1904




This recipe comes from one of my favorite books, the Buckeye Cook Book! I have a large collection of just this cook book! It was first published in 1876 and the last publication was about 1905. If you ever make it out to Hillside Homestead for a visit we can delve into my collection and have a good time discovering old foodways! I’m open all year and am always scheduling overnight stays and classes.  I do love this book, but lets get to the ice cream…



fresh snow and cream

The fresh snow on the left and the cream mixture on the right

Here is how I made my Snow Ice Cream:

1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of Vanilla
4-6 quarts of fresh, fluffy, newly fallen snow

Mix together the cream and the sugar and the vanilla. Stir till sugar dissolves. If you think about it before hand, mix these together and heat slightly to help dissolve the sugar and then let it cool for several hours.


Mixing in the snow

Mixing the snow into the cream mixture. Work fast. Don’t hesitate. Eat it right away!

Now mix in the snow. Mix in big scoopfuls of snow at the time. Add snow, mix well, add more snow, etc. Till you think it looks done! Then scoop it into bowls and serve it up! Your own homemade snow ice cream!





Snow ice cream (3)

A sad picture I know, but I was in a rush to eat my bowl of snow ice cream!   I’m so excited to publish this blog post because of the upcoming storm that my pictures are not polished! Later on I hope to re-read a few of the Little House books, because I know the Ingalls family enjoyed this recipe too. I hope to edit this post soon. Looks like a big storm coming so If winter is going to give us snow then we should make ice cream!


Home-Grown Pork for Sale

October 29th, 2014 by Susan Odom

At long last I am able to offer my home grown pork for sale! Fresh Pork that was raised right here at Hillside Homestead. I have 3 pigs available for purchase. They were raised right here on my small farm with feed that was grown in Grand Traverse County and purchased from Send Brothers in Williamsburg, Michigan. I supplemented their regular ration with scraps from my kitchen, cherries (seconds that were discarded for imperfections) and lots and lots of windfall apples and a few pears. They will be butchered on Monday Nov 3, 2014 at Ebel’s in Falmouth, Michigan a USDA approved facility, The meat will be available about a week later. There are two ways to order, a side of pork (a half of a hog) or individual cuts.

Home-Grown Pork for sale

Home-grownh pork for sale at Hillside Homestead! These hogs lived a good life and ate well on a small farm.

A side of pork will yield about 75 to 100 pounds on my hogs. There are two fees to pay. The first fee goes to me, the farmer for raising the meat and that fee is $300 per side of pork. The second fee you pay directly to Ebel’s for butchering and processing your meat and their fee will range from $200-$300 depending on your order. If you are interested in a half a hog fill out this cut sheet I will deliver your pork free of charge if you live in Leelanau or Grand Traverse Counties. Please contact me with questions, I am glad to help.

Also individual cuts of home-grown pork, pork chops, ribs, tenderloin and ground pork, will be available to purchase from my freezer. The price for individual cuts is $10 per pound. Please contact me directly to purchase, 231-271-1131 or

I am sorry for the late notice on this pork opportunity! But please do let me know as soon as possible if you are interested. I realize the prices I have listed here are much higher than grocery store prices, but these hogs have lived a good life and eaten well, plenty of space, fresh air, clean water and a muddy, watery wallow on hot days. I have cared for them every day. And the prices listed here represent the true costs of feed and labor. Thanks so much for your consideration