Back to Basics: The Farm Stays and Agritourism Trend
Most people purchase their food and beverages in grocery stores and markets. During our daily grocery runs and mealtimes, we seldom think about the source of our sustenance. A study of 3500 people between the ages of 25-45, revealed that 54% of respondents have never seen a live farm animal, like a cow or a chicken. Many people who live in urban areas believe that they are missing out on essential life skills and experiences by being so far removed from farmland. This sentiment is the impetus behind the growing Agritourism trends.
Agritourism is a form of tourism that revolves around activities like farming, ranching, historic, cultural, or natural attractions that that the public takes part in for educational, recreational, or entertainment purposes. Farming Agritourism is offered by people who own hobby farms, working farms and ranches. Some farms offer very nice free accommodations and meals in exchange for work.
Why do people vacation on farms?
- to get away from the city
- to relax and unwind
- to be outdoors and in nature
- to arrange weddings and reunions
- to be around animals
- to learn how to take care of animals
- to enjoy the simple, peaceful life
- to experience farm-life
- to learn how to plant and harvest food
- to pick and eat farm fresh food
- to work and get their hands dirty
What people learn and do on farms:
- Groom and ride horses
- Feed chickens, hens, and collect eggs
- Help with free range animals
- Clean pens and stables
- Plant, harvest grains and vegetables
- Pick fruit, store fruits and vegetables
- Drive tractors and other equipment
- Collect sap and make syrup
- Haying, fencing, plowing, threshing
- Livestock management
Indoor and outdoor Cooking
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Some Fun Farm Activities Include:
- Corn, sunflower or evergreen mazes
- Petting zoos
- Sleigh rides
- Dirt biking
Kids and Farming
What does farming teach kids?
A Lilly Den Farms teacher explains what farming teaches kids:
- Where food comes from
- How to care for animals – feeding, watering, grooming, sheltering and TLC
- Working hard, communication, troubleshooting, teamwork, practical problem-solving
- Planning and time management
- Appreciating food and what it takes to grow it, harvest it, and store it
- Safety and security skills in farming
- How to manage things people cannot control (like the weather)
When choosing a farm-stay, there are many options:
- Small local hobby farms
- Luxury Farms with Bed & Breakfasts and Gourmet Dining
- Farms designed for couples, singles, families, kids 1, 2, 3-week camps
- Day-trip farms
- Education farms/museums like Greenfield Village near Detroit, MI
Any Halal Farm Options?
We have not found any Halal farms open to tourists in North America. Internationally, there are some farm tourism options in countries like Turkey and Lebanon. There are also many opportunities to work on farms as volunteers with non-profits like World-wide Organic Farms. Working on farms internationally is a great opportunity to learn different techniques in countries with different climates, soil quality, and other characteristics.
Staying on a farm will change how you see food. You will have a greater appreciation of the food on your plate. People see first-hand the effort it takes to grow and cultivate food and ingredients. If you have a farm and would like to know more about Halal agricultural processes, contact ISA. We would be happy to provide information about Halal farming techniques.