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Saving Farmland One Farm at a Time

Saving Farmland One Farm at a Time

For those following along, last week I wrote about a unique and fun way to help save our farmland: agri tourism. As I mentioned, agri tourism is very broad but basically involves visiting a farm for a specific activity, class, lodging, entertainment, or even to just buy fresh-from-the farm produce.

As I also mentioned, agri tourism is one of the most creative ways to help save our farmland because it not only boosts the income of the individual farmer, but a region’s local economy as well.

My goal here is to highlight the diverse types of agri tourism sites available throughout the United States. And, last week I started with California, because it’s not only my home state, but the nation’s largest agricultural producing state, with over 30 organized farm trails.

But, as I said, California is not the only state with a well-organized system of farm trails and regions. Even Hawaii now has an Agritourism Association and it is organized around both location and commodity.

Hawaii is well known for two very popular commodities: coffee and chocolate, and there are several growers who have opened up their farms so you can see for yourself how they are grown and processed.

Specifically, in the Kona region, coffee farmers have organized to have their farms open for visits. One of these, the Holualoa Kona Coffee Company is a certified organic Kona coffee plantation that offers free tours and tastings.

Aside from coffee, there are a wide range of crops grown in the Kona Coffee Belt some of which can be tasted and purchased at the South Kona Fruit Stand an organic farm with fresh and dried tropical fruit including papayas, snake fruit, eggfruit, and abiu.

For those people that live in or are visiting the East Coast, Vermont offers a wide variety of farm experiences, ranging from farm stays and picking your own apples, to picnicking with a llama and visiting a winery.

While Vermont is best known for its maple syrup, there are many other commodities that the state is also recognized for, especially dairy products. You can find these at Vermont Farms! Association which has 75 members.

But, if you don’t want to miss the quintessential Vermont experience and want to taste maple syrup at one of its sugarhouses, there are plenty of listings on the site to choose from.

Or, if you’d like to learn more about maple, you can visit the New England Maple Museum. And, since Vermont is also famous for being home to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, you might want to take a tour to see how it is made.

We’ll continue exploring some other great agri tourism states next week. Please comment here to let me know if there are specific places, activities, or crops that you want to learn more about.

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Food, Nature, Outdoor Activities, , , , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
10:42AM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

How interesting. I'd totally take a vacation to see a farm.

12:52AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010


2:41AM PDT on Aug 18, 2010


8:15AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Good arable farm land like Fossil Fuels is not a renewable resource.
We must protect /preserve it for Future Generations.
Food Security is a MUST!

5:15PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Patricia R, im totally in agrement with u. All open spaces need saving. and all animals.

9:05AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

I agree a thousand per cent - save the farms, but END THE SLAUGHTERHOUSES AND ANIMAL AGRICULTURE.
According to the 2006 United Nations agricultural report, ANIMAL agriculture (that is slaughterhouse production) causes MORE global warming than ALL TRANSPORTATION. In fact, it is so energy intensive, that two recent reports put its aggravation of global warming at 51% of the cause.
Like the extreme heat across the country? Tons of mosquitoes, wildfires destroying forests and wildlife in Russia, a million people displaced by flooding in Pakistan, 532 dead in Belgium from heat, a destroyed Gulf of Mexico and dying oceans from agricultural run-off and overkill...this is EXPONENTIAL.
Google the article, "LIVESTOCK's LONG SHADOW" and realize that the DAIRY push to add cheese to everything is MISERY for farm animals. The male babies are taken behind closed doors where they NEVER know their mother or any kindness, chained by the neck for 16 weeks, fed an anemic diet and killed at four months of age. If you say, "BUT I don't eat VEAL!" - no matter - veal is a BY-product of the dairy industry and inextricably a part of the financial bottom line. The veal will be used in bratwurst and sausage to maximize profits. The white huts you see are NOT veal huts - they are for the "lucky" milker calves - the little girls also taken from their mothers to produce an obscene amount of milk for humans so that they are worn out and slaughtered for their gifts at age 4 or 5. Some thanks

4:15AM PDT on Aug 6, 2010

Interesting, thanks!

1:01AM PDT on Aug 3, 2010


10:27PM PDT on Jul 31, 2010

Buy local:

6:58AM PDT on Jul 31, 2010

Interesting, thanks =)

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