Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

Why Vacation on a Farm?

We asked our farmer, Kim Goodling of Grand View Farm Vermont, whether we could 'borrow' her blog post. We feel she clearly sums up what many of us have observed for the reasons our guests seek the farm stay experience. 

The events of the past two days has caused me to ponder why people choose to stay on a farm for their family vacation and why our family opens our home, lives, and farm up to complete strangers. As I think back over all the guests we have had since this spring, there seems to be two motives behind their spending time with us:

 

Grand View Farm - logo1. The first set of families want to support small family farms, and they are here to lend a helping hand where needed. They recognize the hard work involved in farming and they want to experience it, first hand.These parents have thoughtfully chosen to bring their children to our farm, so that they can experience life "outside of their comfort zone."

Their children have worked in our garden and greenhouse, and have tended to our many animals. These families have taken in with gusto, the fresh air, dark starlit nights, beautiful sunsets, fire flies, naps on the porch, weaving and felting lessons, the babbling brook, amazing mountain views, our wooded trails, and the adventure of traveling on dirt roads.

 

2. The second set of families seem to be on a food adventure! These families live, for the most part in large, bustling cities where the bulk of their groceries are purchased from the market around the corner. They express a "disconnect" with the source of the foods they eat, and they want very much to make that connection. Grand View Farm - eggs

Some of their children have never seen vegetables growing, or have given thought to how food is raised and produced. They do not know that an asparagus grows up out of the ground, and that peas grow from a vine in a pod. They do not know that hens lay one egg a day, and that it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup. They have never seen piglets racing around, chasing one another, or heard the tiny peeps of small chicks.

These parents have chosen to stay on a farm where food is raised, and to visit neighboring farms who do the same. They see Vermont as setting the standard for high quality foods. Grand View Farm - garden produceTwo sets of our guests, have enjoyed visiting some our friends' larger market gardens. They call ahead to place an order with the farm, and then drive over to pick up their food. An added bonus for driving out to the farm, is to get a personal tour of the farm and to meet some of Vermont's finest, most knowledgeable farmers.

They revel in the idea of being able to eat vegetables that have just been picked, and they are amazed at how fresh everything tastes. We share with them the secrets of where to find the best goat's milk cheese, the best organically grown meats, and the locally brewed beers. Then, we provide a grill for them to cook their dinner while taking in the mountain views.

Grand View Farm - on the grill

Whether here to help with chores, or to enjoy a feasting vacation, both types of families have one thing in common; the parents want to spend time with their children. These parents could have chosen to stay in resorts with all the amenities, pools, televisions, internet access, and numerous kid engaging activities just outside their hotel door.

Instead, they chose to come to our farm, to work together alongside a farming family, to visit with and make friends with farmers who care about how food is grown, and to help their urban raised children make connections that would otherwise be impossible. They have spent 24 hours a day with their children, embracing rural Vermont farm life, and thoughtfully planning each day's adventure, whether exploring the far reaches of Vermont tourist spots, or the dirt road outside our front door.

 

Whether it's Vermont or a farm or ranch stay in some other state, we truly believe that the connection made with our guests, both personal and agricultural, benefits us all in the long run. Our goal here at Farm Stay U.S.: to bridge the urban-rural divide one night, one meal, one family at a time.

1 comment for “Why Vacation on a Farm?”

  1. Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:35:52 PM

    I have never thought of taking a vacation to anywhere other than the beach! This is a great idea! I have no problem with spending family time together on the beach, in our normal Cape Cod rentals and haunts, but a working vacation, especially one that takes everyone a little out of their comfort zone is a great idea! I think I may have to discuss this with the family. I know that my kids will not see what they are gaining out of it now, but maybe some hard work is good for them!

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