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.

Archive for tag: farmer's markets

Walpole Valley Farms posterWhile farm stay lodging can be an added source of revenue, most farms focus on growing for their living.  Many sell wholesale, but, more and more, local farmer's markets are offering a direct farm to table revenue outlet that allows small-scale production farm to cover costs and even make a profit.

Farmer's markets, once seen as the hippie alternative, have gone main stream in the past 10 years, tripling in numbers between 2000 and 2009. It is estimated there were 5300 farmer's markets across the U.S. by fall 2009 (Farmer's Market Coalition). As of summer 2010, the Chicago Tribune reports there are 6132, a 16% increase from a year ago!

Many of the farms on this site sell at their local farmer's markets.  We are highlighting just a few, but an Advanced Search for Activities/Farmer's Markets will let you know many who sell this way.

At Bee Green Farm, in Three Rivers CA, all produce is grown and certified organic. Seasonal fruits includes apples, apricots, oranges, persimmons, plums, and mulberries.  Culinary herbs are also available.  Bettina sells at the Culver City and Echo Park farmer's markets on Fridays and Saturdays.Serenbe Farm Market

Dog Mountain Farm, in Carnation WA, serves the Snoqualmie Valley community and Seattle area by providing farm-fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, herbs, flowers, and poultry meat. The farm uses sustainable, organic growing practices and their poultry ranges free all day. They can be found on different days at four Seattle farmer's markets: Queen Anne, Phinney, Magnolia, Broadway.

Serenbe Farms, in Palmetto GA, is a certified organic farm in the rural Chattahoochee Hill country.  The farm produces over 350 varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs, mushrooms, and eggs on about five of the 25 acres. The Serenbe Farmers and Artists Market is an eclectic market comprised of small local and sustainable growers, artisans, and craftsmen and is open from May to November

Whitefish Bay, in Sturgeon Bay WI, produces Corriedale sheep and thus participates in a different sort of market, the Door County Shepherds' Market every spring. The Market is held to promote products from sheep, goats and camelids, and to educate the public about the animals, the fibers they produce, and the traditional handcrafts that use these fibers.

Whitefish Bay Farm wool

As a creative extension of the farmer's market, Nina DeBar, of Ambrosia Farm in Bridgewater NY, was awarded a USDA grant to launch a company called Farmers Frozen Foods that freezes the day's left over produce from farmers markets and packages it for home freezers, thus extending the life of the harvest bounty.

No farm sells all its produce at a farmer's market so usually there is some remaining for farm stay guests!  Whether you are allowed to graze the gardens or are charged for what you pick, you'll be eating about as fresh as it comes.

Want to know more about farmer's markets? There is a great site on Face Book with over 47,000 members, all sharing regional information. It's called, I Support Farmer's Markets.  Join in and become part of the conversation!

Gardens to Tables

Whitefish Farmers MarketI just found a wonderful website for garden farmers and cooks interested in sustainable techniques and fresh produce. It's called Gardens to Tables.  Ann Shepphird, affectionately known as the Community Gardener, is one of several writers encouraging a hands-on approach to producing your own food, whatever size plot you own or borrow.

Because Farm Stay U.S. is about reconnecting with the land (and the land provides our food), and because Ann's article below specifically talks about farmer's markets (and many of our farms sell what they produce this way), I thought this was a good fit.

After you have read her piece, check out the farm and ranch stays we have listed in Montana.  You will find a wide variety of offerings, from the large operations of Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork to small ones like Serenity Sheep Farm in Belgrade.

Beyond the Farmer's Market in Whitefish, Montana. By Ann Shepphird. Originally posted 19 July 2009

A great way to get to know a community is to visit its Farmers Market. The Farmers Market in Whitefish, Montana, located in Northwest Montana, is no exception. Held every Tuesday evening from May through September, there are booths with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, baked goods, arts and crafts -- even soap made from buffalo tallow. Music is playing and it often appears everyone in the town has come out.
But Whitefish has taken the farm-to-table concept one step further and also provides a map to the farms and fresh food found throughout the Flathead Valley, produced by an organization called FarmHands, which has as its mission "connecting people with working lands." (Note: they also offer a groovy "Who's Your Farmer?" bumper sticker.)
The map identifies more than 70 farms, plus seasonal farmers markets in Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, West Glacier and Columbia Falls, a harvest calendar AND the names of local businesses -- restaurants, hotels and markets -- that buy from local farms. The map and the groovy bumper sticker are available at the farmers market and in businesses throughout town. For more information on FarmHands, contact Barb Brant at barbb@coffeetraders.com
The town of Whitefish is ideal for those who love outdoor adventure -- with summer offerings that include hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting and horseback riding, plus easy access to Glacier National Park, which is celebrating its centennial in 2010 -- and for those who enjoy returning from those adventures to a great meal in a number of wonderful restaurants (that use local produce!). For more information, visit www.explorewhitefish.com