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Want To Save Farmland? Visit A Farm

Want To Save Farmland? Visit A Farm

As I wrote about last week, saving our farmland is vital not only for the food it provides us all and the livelihood it provides our farmers, but also because it contributes to environmental quality, provides fiscal stability to a region, and it can promote and protect regional food systems.

I also mentioned that one way it provides fiscal stability is through agritourism. Agritourism takes many forms and includes such diverse activities as farm tours, bed and breakfast farm stays, Christmas tree farms, corn mazes, agricultural/historical museums, petting farms, farm markets, food festivals, pick-your-own produce farms, roadside produce stands, nurseries, greenhouses, and wineries.

Many farms also enhance the visitor’s experience with home-cooked meals, pies and desserts, gift shops, picnic areas, hayrides, train rides, and even cooking and gardening classes.

Through your support of local, sustainable agriculture land will be preserved for agricultural production. You can also see how farming fits into the natural landscape while providing a living to farmers.

I also mentioned I would be looking at some specific agritourism regions. Since I am from California and have been writing about California farms for over a decade, I am very familiar with the agritourism regions throughout the state. And, California is still the nation’s number one agricultural producing state, so, I am starting with my home state.

The most well know agritourism areas in California are the Napa Valley for wine tasting and Apple Hill for apples, but associations have been formed throughout the state in Sonoma County, El Dorado County, Placer County, Brentwood, Oak Glen, and the Central Coast to produce farm trail maps and to market their farms.

The state now has nearly 30 organized farm trails to make things easier for travelers and locals alike, with trails from San Diego in the south up to the Gold Country. One way to find these is through UC Davis’ California Agricultural Tourism Database. It allows you to search by category or region so you can search by activity or commodity such as type of produce, wine, educational activities, or accommodations, or, you can search by area. There is also a link to California Farm Trails on this site.

Different regions of the state are known for certain commodities: Oak Glen and Apple Hill for apples, Sonoma and Napa Counties for wine, and lesser known areas such as Edna Valley’s vineyards in San Luis Obispo County and Leona Valley for cherries, For those not familiar with these, organized sites like these will help you identify and find these regions.

But, California is not the only state with a well-organized system of farm trails and regions. Even Hawaii now has an Agritourism Association. Other states where you can find plenty of farm destinations include Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

We will explore these other states and more over the next several weeks. In the meantime, if you know of a great farm, region, or state, let me know. And, to get you started on our nationwide hunt, you might want to think about a farm stay. Here are a couple of new blogs that will help you find one. The Farm Stay Project focuses on farm stays in the eastern United States from Florida to Maine. The other is Farm Stay USA, which has a menu you can search by state.

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Food, 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.


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12:54AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010


12:23PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Interseting thanks!

9:10AM 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

3:02AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Thanks for the article.

11:59AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

Thank you, my fondest memories are when we worked on a farm during harvest

7:05AM PDT on Jul 31, 2010

Good article. Went to an organic farming college's open day last week, and heading to a large organic farm in a few days, so looking forward to that as we'll make a family day out of it =)

7:51PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

Thanks for the article.

12:24AM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

Your suggestions, comments are highly welcomed.

We will soon have an also an own associated foundation "WWWEC" in place which will serve as a platform to help most of all the underprivileged human beings for all their related questions/problems of HAVING TOO MUCH WATER & NOT HAVING ENOUGH WATER whereas we will offer solutions for their problems.

We look forward to join hands with all of you who wish to support our GEREMCO GREEN vision 2010 - 2050 - 2110.

Sincerely Yours

Marco Russ & Kuno von Wedelstedt

12:23AM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

Dear friends & green environmentalists,
dear farmers from all around the globe,

Water scarcity is an increaisng problem in the world and over 100 countries have already been extremely affected. Not only as of old-fashioned farming techniques and with-on-surface-irrigation instead of subsurface irrigation systems in many countries (Middle East & Africa) whereas the water scarcity is the main caus by the global warming caused resulting as of human over-consumption and mass animal production beside other causes (

Please see attached the beginning of a new series of our GEREMCO youtube videos about our "Original patented GEREMCO DUNE SAND product technology for agricultural/landscape and many other applications as part of our global marketing strategy and business expansion with many GREEN events and projects taking place in the near future on global level based on our mission and "Greening the Deserts, Steppes, Savannahs & GEREMCO GREEN vision 2010 - 2050 - 2110 "Turning deserts green...

7:00PM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

people just take for granted food will always be there... a food shortage is coming for sure. There are not enough farmers, there is becoming too many people with vast appetites.

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