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Stay At a Farm This Summer

Stay At a Farm This Summer

As I wrote about last summer, saving our farmland is vital not only for the food it gives us and the livelihood it provides our farmers, but because it can promote and protect regional food systems, play a role in environmental quality, and provide fiscal stability to a region by boosting the economy.

It does this by contributing to a community’s infrastructure and helps a local economy through sales, job creation and support services or businesses. One of the most unique of these support services is tourism, or more specifically, agri-tourism.

Traveling to a farm provides the urban or suburban dweller with a completely different vacation experience. We get to take advantage of seeing how a farm operates without the responsibility of having to run our own farm.

There are plenty of places that people visit to see rural scenery or to enjoy the food or drink of a specific region including the wineries in California’s Napa Valley or the popular farm stays found in Europe, especially Italy.

But agritourism takes many forms and includes such diverse activities as farm tours, agricultural/historical museums, petting farms, farm markets, food festivals, pick-your-own produce farms, roadside produce stands, nurseries, greenhouses, and wineries in addition to farm stays. There are even farms that provide lots of outdoor activities to people interested in things like horseback riding, kayaking, or fishing.

Since it is the summer vacation season, you might want to consider a farm stay. The great thing about a farm stay is that it offers something for all ages and you can pick the type of farm that suits your interest and fits in with how far you want to travel.

A farm stay is just what it sounds like; you stay on a working farm. Depending on the farm, each offers a different type of accommodation and experience. Some are bed and breakfast inns; others offer rooms and/or space in the farmhouse, while others are actually converted barns or other farm buildings made into an inn or guest facility.

Some are very family friendly and provide all kinds of activities for kids, while others are only for adults and offer more of a quiet retreat. Some farm stays are operated as a working arrangement where people can come and stay and actually volunteer on a farm for a certain amount of time in exchange for food and accommodations while learning about farming.

Check out this site to find a farmstay near you, check out Farm Stay USA. If you are interested in a working vacation, check out WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOF).

Read more: Do Good, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, 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.

25 comments

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11:12PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

I've always been in the city, so the grass does look greener on the other side~ no pun intended. I think I'd be amazed how much harder life is, and the work is, compared to the rat race that we run in the city.

12:13PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

I'd love to do this one year. Working on a farm in exchange for room and board would suite me fine.

9:41PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Oh, that looks like so much fun. I can't wait to have my own farm.

3:50PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:46AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

This is something I'd love to do.
Thanks

11:58AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

would love to stay on a farm but only for a few weeks, the seaside is my place

7:36AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

i am trying to find very cheap self-catering , 3 pets allowed....a cottage/cabin per day $15-$25, including the dogs , no big luxuries......farm or country mountain - can not find anything yet

1:08PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

A great place to take the children.

12:18AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thanks for sharing this article.

2:13PM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

i'm staying and working on a farm this summer. =)

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