Get a glimpse of frontier life at the Twin Falls Pioneer Farm

Authentic farm life and guests from all over the world make living at the Pioneer Farm a full-time vacation for the Mullens Family.

The Pioneer Farm at Twin Falls Resort State Park is a place where the pictures you see online don’t compare to the real thing. Once you see the farm in person and hear the animals and the sound of wind rustling in the garden, you’ll be transported back to a simpler time.

The farm is taken care of by live-in homesteaders Mike and Lisa Mullens. In addition to making sure this historic location is preserved for years to come, Mike and Lisa raise and homeschool their two kids, Maria and Marcus, on the farm too. Here’s what Lisa Mullens had to say about her family’s experience on the farm.

Do you have a favorite thing about living on a farm at a WV State Park?

LISA: People spend their whole lives building a life they don’t need a vacation from. We have that! We get to learn about people from all around the globe and we can share our journey with everyone who comes to the farm. We homeschool and a big part of education has come from our visitors. I can’t express how wonderful the people we meet are! We have met people from every continent but Antarctica!”

What’s a typical day like on the farm?

LISA: “It depends on the time of year. Spring is when we plant everything and it’s the start of tourist season. The animals shed their winter coats too, so lots of brushing. Summer is the peak tourist season and there are morning chores typical to any farm, like garden and fence maintenance, and of course visiting with the visitors. Maria and Marcus are in charge of answering questions, telling the history of the farm and sharing the stories of each animal.

Fall is harvest season and we pick everything in the garden and preserve what we don’t sell. Lots of canning and dehydrating. Winter is our downtime, so we get to enjoy seclusion and privacy. We live so closely with nature and get to experience the beauty of every season, like the migration of birds and spring awakening of the forest.”

How many animals do you have and do they have names?

LISA: “We have five ducks. There are two sheep that keep the grass trim. Dave and Sugar are our two mini potbellies that were donated by an elderly couple who thought they would be good house pets. They were not!

Miss Piggy is our potbelly pig, donated by the Raleigh County Humane Society. She was a house pet that was abandoned. Pioneer Pete is a handicap donkey. Abby, is a rescued paint pony. Dreamer is an Icelandic horse donated to us for safety and protection.

Dakota is an American bulldog that just wants to be petted. Lenabelle is a mutt that is the protector of the farm and takes her job seriously. Big Kitty is a chill cat that feeds on mice and squirrels. He event catches them and puts them in his food bowl. Elizabelle is our other cat. She likes to catch live animals and release them in the house. Lemon is a parakeet that only likes his mirror. You can hear him sing in good weather when we put him on the porch.

All the wildlife that come around have names too, but we don’t own them so I won’t list them!”

What kind of vegetables and plants do you grow? Can people buy your produce anywhere?

LISA: “We grow green beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, gourds, pumpkins, and sunflowers. Mike plants different things every year and he keeps certain seeds and has developed them into his own.

We sell produce to the lodge restaurant, so you can eat our vegetables there. The rest we keep for ourselves. If we have a bumper crop and have extra, we sell to people who come down to farm. Usually, we put a sign out if something is available.”

Any interesting facts you’ve learned about the farm while you’ve lived there?

LISA: “Everyone thinks it’s haunted. We know it’s not. But the farm is a living spirit and the house is too. There’s a lot of history and we tell the basic facts to anyone that asks.”

Any advice for visitors to make the most out of their time at the farm?

LISA: “Bring treats! The animals are friendly and love to get treats from visitors. They can all eat Cheerios, but carrots, apples, grain, corn and sugar cubes are good too. Just watch your fingers. And be sure to sign the guest book!”

Is there a certain time of day people should visit to see animals or catch you all outside working on the farm?

LISA: “Sun up to sun down and during park hours. If it’s hot, the animals will be in the shade and not very active. We have a cow bell on the fence if you need us and don’t see us.”

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