The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 4, 2009

On the Bright Side: Area farm featured on Good Morning America

By Patricia Breakey

When Betsy Babcock answered the phone at Handsome Brook Farm in Franklin on Monday, she was astonished to discover that her bed-and-breakfast had just been featured on "Good Morning America."

Babcock said she had received an inquiry earlier from a public relations firm in Manhattan wanting information about the farm for a budget travel article.

"They asked for information and photos and wanted it overnight," Babcock said. "I told them the Franklin Post Office doesn't have overnight service, but I would e-mail it."

Babcock said a guest who stayed last summer had recommended the Handsome Brook Farm for the article.

"They never told me it was for Good Morning America,'" she said. "Or we would have told everyone to watch. We could have had a party."

Babcock said she has satellite television and receives her news from the West Coast, so she had time to tune in and TiVo the appearance.

One of the photos featured on the show was of her mother-in-law, Nita Babcock, feeding a lamb and another was of Betsy Babcock with two pigs.

"My mother-in-law is a celebrity among her friends in Tennessee, and I had my 15 seconds of fame with two pigs," Babcock laughed. "But it was a great moment. I was kind of dancing and jumping around all day."

For four hours after the show aired, Babcock said, the phone rang constantly.

"I booked 40 nights, and our website had more than 800 hits," she said.

The brief feature focused on four eco-vacations that are economically and environmentally family-friendly. The show mentioned the name of the farm and its location.

"People Googled Franklin and Handsome Brook Farm and found us," Babcock said.

Patty Cullen, Delaware County tourism director, said she was excited about the Handsome Brook Farm exposure.

"Eco-tourism and sustainable agriculture are exactly what people want their children to be exposed to," she said. "They want their kids to keep in touch with where their food comes from.

"One businesses success can be shared by so many others," Cullen added. "It's a wonderful thing when you get to share, and if people are coming here and staying at the farm, there are so many really cool family-friendly things to do in this area."

Babcock said she and her husband, Bryan, bought the farm about six years ago when her husband was going to New York University to earn his doctorate. They moved in full time a year and a half ago, and the bed-and-breakfast evolved.

"We realized we had something really special and we like people," she said.

During a stay at the farm, guests can help feed and care for the animals, pick organic berries, work in the vegetable garden and enjoy staying in an addition that opened in fall 2007.

"People seem to be looking to recapture a simpler time," Babcock said. "Children have freedom to roam, gather eggs, touch the animals and at night, everyone gathers in the kitchen while I bake cakes and pies.

"We get to meet people from all walks of life that we never would have had an opportunity to meet," she said.

The bed-and-breakfast is at 4132 E. Handsome Brook Farm Road in Franklin.