Vacations can be a time for learning as well as relaxing. Many vacationers desire a green, educational experience while traveling. Environmental holidays and the recent boom of agritourism can provide just that. I grew up in a farming community and the life lessons learned are invaluable and life changing. Here are a few Mindful travel examples of farming vacations.
The Agritourism Trend
A few years ago, the U.S. Census of Agriculture reported that agritourism and recreation services were valued at $566 million. Furthermore, popular agritourist events include farm tours, corn mazes, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own-berry farms, but there are also agricultural vacations. They vary from a leisurely, country retreat at a bed-and-breakfast to farm stays where you can help pick the crop, assist with livestock, tend gardens or do other tasks.
These types of vacations are becoming increasingly popular for vacationers from the city. Some people like learning and experiencing a more sustainable lifestyle. Others are interested in reconnecting with the agricultural practices of their ancestors. Agritourism also provides a great opportunity for foreign travelers. They can learn more about the country’s agricultural history by getting hands-on experience.
The tourists aren’t the only ones who benefit. Agritourism provides supplemental income for farmers. Studies show that the average U.S. “farm household will get only about 13 percent of its income from farm sources.” Thus, the New York Times reports that agritourism has become popular with some farmers as it’s a good way to generate more funds and limits the need for off-farm jobs.
Ideas for Farming Vacations
Some Mindful Travel examples of farming vacations are listed below.
- Bed-and-Breakfasts. If you want your holiday to be relaxing and luxurious in a rural area consider a bed-and-breakfast in a farm-like atmosphere. You can find such accommodations in New York, Connecticut, Italy, or France.
- Farm stays. If you want to be a part of a local harvest or simply want to experience farm life first-hand there are many options to consider. Consider working on a vineyard in California. You can pick wild berries and feed calves in Vermont, Ireland or Australia.
- Ranch stays. These stays offer a great opportunity for animal lovers not only you get to live with the animals closely you can work with them. You can participate in horseback riding and cattle drives in Montana or Argentina. You can travel to New Zealand to work on a sheep station. Or for a ranch experience that also offers fishing and archery consider visiting Colorado.
For more ideas consider this Mother Nature Network article and the Farm Stay U.S. website.