What's HOT in vacationing this summer is agritourism. Agritourism is defined as the act of visiting agricultural based businesses for enjoyment and education. Being an agritourist is a great way to support U.S farms, ranches and vineyards as many of the owners use agritourism to supplement their income and stay in business. It's an easy way to support U.S agriculture AND have fun too. Visit your local farms to keep our food (and wine!) made in the USA.
Agritourism: Make memories while supporting our nation's farms
There are many activities that fall under agritourism. Here are five of my family's favorite.
1. Plan a morning or afternoon visit to a local “Pick your own” farm.
At a “Pick your own” farm, visitors are allowed to go into the fields, or orchards and pick their own fruits or vegetables. This is a fun activity for all ages. Most farmers sell their produce by the weight. And trust me, since this doesn't count the amount eaten DURING the picking, this is a good deal! If you are concerned about pesticides and fertilizers, contact the farm and ask questions. To find out what is in season, and to locate a “Pick your own” farm near you, visit www.pickyourown.org
2. Sign the kids (or even yourself) up for an educational class or a day camp at a local farm or ranch.
Kids can learn about raising chickens, tending a garden, churning butter, among other farm or ranch related activities. For adults, classes in bee keeping, bread making, canning, and sustainable gardening can be found. Run a search on the internet to find a location and classes near you. Not only is this supporting US agriculture, but farming and food traditions are being passed on to the next generation of US agriculturalists.
3. Take some horseback riding lessons and/or spend the day trail riding (or prairie riding).
Horse farms, ranches, and even hobby farms, have been hit especially hard with the increases in food and fuel costs. Many are offering private lessons and guided rides to help make ends meet, as well as to introduce visitors to the beauty of horses. Confession: riding lessons will be penciled in for my kiddos, and the day spent trail riding is reserved for “Mommy's time with friends”.
4. Attend a food or wine event at a local farm, ranch or vineyard.
A vineyard near us hosts a family friendly wine + music festival. The vineyard allows guests to bring food and lawn chairs to set up camp for the day and relax while listening to bands. They offer wine tastings and visitors purchase a bottle of their favorite variety to drink while there. This is a great way to spend a summer day with family + friends while supporting local agriculture!
5. Plan a ‘farm stay' get away.
Forgo the crowded commercialized theme park vacation this summer and enjoy fresh air and nature. Stay on an a working farm, ranch or vineyard instead of a hotel. Some locations have guests stay right in the farm house, some have cabins or camping right on site. Visitors can go hiking, fishing, hunting, horse back riding, even help out on the farm by milking a cow or collecting eggs. Options vary depending on what a particular farm offers. There are locations all over the USA. Check out www.farmstayus.org for more info and to find a farm, ranch or vineyard that suits your family.
Please share with us in the comments if you and your family have plans to support US agritourism this summer. I still have plenty of days to fill on my activity calendar and could use the ideas!
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We were just talking about a farm stay vacation! Thanks for this great resource
These are good ideas. I remember picking blackberries as a kid & going to a local apple orchard to pick apples.
That’s a fun and educational idea for both kids and adults.
Thank you for the pick your own link! We just love taking our Grands out to pick strawberries every year at a local spot. They have really come a long way there . They have a big play area and pony rides now! There is also a wonderful apple orchard not too far from us that we enjoy in the fall . They also grow pumpkins that we enjoy picking as well. I am pleased to see that there are several other farms near us that we did not know about listed on the link! I am following you on Google+ now so I can stay up to date with ya! Have an A+ kind of day!
This is a great idea…what a great field trip for schoolkids but also great for all ages to get in touch with where food comes from.
When I was healthier I used to pick strawberries and blackberries every year. It was hard work but so satisfying! I still go to the farms, but I have to purchase the prepicked ones. I am lucky that my uncle is a farmer so I get to visit his farm all the time. It’s lots of fun, though I have to steer clear of the chicken houses. Sooo many chickens it smells really bad.
What a worthy thing to promote. I raise my own chickens ducks and geese and veggies too and I try to buy from the local farmers around my area.
Love these ideas! What a great way to get to know a new place and meet some locals while traveling!!
In Delaware, we have the Delaware Agricultural Museum which is LOADS of fun for kids of all ages!
I’ve been doing organic farm stays in Europe for a while now, not knowing you could do the same in the US. I stoked!
You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.
We've been doing “pick your own” since the kids were tiny. I didn't want them growing up thinking strawberries came from a grocery store!
My recent post What you should be shopping for now… Floral denim for fall!
Thank you Theresa!
I will stop by and link up 🙂
We went strawberry and boysenberry picking which was a lot of fun. This is a great post. Please stop by and link it to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3. It is a new weekly linky featuring posts about arts, crafts and play activities. Picking fruit is playful fun. I hope to see you there.
: 0 ) Theresa http://www.multiples-mom.com
My recent post The first ever Artsy Play Wednesday
Thank you for sharing
What a helpful site. I took my girls to pick cherries here in MD in early June. They had so much fun and I will never again buy cherry filling from a can, the homemade was fantastic. The kids even seeded the cherries!
Mmmmm, cherries! I wish we had pick your own cherries here! We are at the end of strawberry season. Peach and apple picking are our favorites. 🙂