Some goats, a cow and a labrador watch solemnly as we holler out for the Acres Wild people. Already well-known for the cheese they make, they have now opened up their farm to people who want to share their love for the good earth

ACRES WILD

Near Coonoor

USP: Invigorating farm stay

Some goats, a cow and a labrador watch solemnly as we holler out for the Acres Wild people — Mansur and Tina Khan. Already well-known for the cheese they make, they have now opened up their farm to people who want to share their love for the good earth, especially the 22 acres that they own.

Munching still-warm-from-the-oven banana bread we accompany the Khans on a tour of their property. There is the main house, besides two cottages. A cow shed perches prettily on the slope as does the place where they make the cheese.

The fact that the setting is picture-perfect and the weather magnificent, is a given. It is the Nilgiris, after all. But, what makes Acres Wild different is the lifestyle they offer. You are invited to help out on their farm. Serve the ducks their lunch as they swim in the pond that is plopping with fish, feed the animals, or, even milk the cows. “We would love it if our guests would help us plant trees and vegetables,” they say. Everything is organically grown. The cheerfully done up cottages have big picture windows framing the scenic world outside.

Here is the best bit. Acres Wild offers a cheese-making course, where you learn how to make at least two varieties of cheese. The course costs extra and the duration depends on how long you can stay.

Bed and breakfast is the deal, and what a breakfast it is! Freshly drawn milk, home-made muesli, fruits, bread and eggs all served with pats of creamy butter and a selection of cheese. It is seriously wholesome!

There is no TV at Acres Wild, yet. Personally, I hope it stays that way. Only some bird chatter and the odd mooing breaks the perfect quiet. A stay at Acres Wild is guaranteed to put the roses back in your cheek. You may put on some weight which you can workoff on the farm.

Things to do

Make cheese; watch birds; work the land; enjoy the clean and quiet ambience.

How to get there

From the Coonoor Bus Stand take the Barlows Road . Hundred metres up the road is a fork on the right. Take the Manni Mariamman Kovil Street and carry on for about a kilometre (past a temple and a small bridge) till you come to a 3-pronged fork in the road. From there, follow the bright yellow Acres Wild Farm sign board.

For details log on to www.acres-wild.com or call Mansur at 09443232621