Dream of a vacation from your iPad? Nothing conjures the simple life like the rustic charm of a farm.
You don't have to count sheep to sleep like a baby in the quiet countryside, but it's an option. Visit Fairmount Bed & Breakfast near Minnedosa in the springtime and you might hold a newborn lamb, help gather eggs for breakfast and sleep on feathery pillows courtesy of the farm's own geese. In summer, guests who take in culinary weekends learn to make preserves, bake bread and cook up a spread from local meats and vegetables straight out of the garden.
Learn to groom, saddle and ride a horse at Fraser Family Farm, close to Boissevain and the International Peace Garden. Nearby, stay in a guesthouse made from straw bales at Room to Grow, where you can learn about organic gardening and, if you're so inclined, take a wilderness skills course.
Frenchs Farm at Kelwood, near Clear Lake and Riding Mountain National Park, is home to natural-living grass-fed cattle and rare-breed Hereford pigs, and its cozy Farm Cottage Guest House can be your temporary home - board in one of three guest rooms or rent the entire house.
Enjoy river views and long walks at Rustic Retreat guesthouse in Souris. Go fishing or deer hunting at Willow Point Farm near Fisher Branch, or enjoy golfing, country garden tours and winter sports at Walkinshaw Place, a restored Victorian farmhouse right next to Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. Wherever you choose to stay, the welcome mat is always out.