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Take a Family Farm Vacation By Marcia Passos Duffy
Take Your Family on an Unforgettable Vacation:
Visit a Farm!
As you are planning your next
vacation do you get sticker shock from the cost of
accommodations, airfare and meals?
Are you tired of the usual
resort or theme-park destinations where you are passively
entertained (and constantly opening your wallet)?
Are you searching for a
vacation that will be relaxing for you and an
unforgettable experience for the kids?
Do you want to be at a place
that is real and not manufactured?
What you need is a good old-fashioned farm
Staying at a farm - even if you just
stay a weekend - is an experience your family will never forget. If you
have kids, it is a chance for them to experience firsthand where
food comes from and even help with farm chores, such as feeding
baby lambs and collecting eggs. It a way out of the hustle and bustle of
modern life; it is a retreat that brings you and your family back to
America's farm roots and a calmer, simpler way of life.
Farm vacations are not new. In fact,
50 years ago city dwellers who needed a break would call their country
cousins for a respite from urban life. However, today, with less than 2%
of the U.S. population now living on working farms, finding a relative
with a farm is unlikely for most people. But now more than
ever -- with the frenetic pace of suburban & urban life at full tilt --
we all desperately need a vacation "away from it all."
Luckily there still many farmers who,
in addition to farming, love to play host to their urban "cousins."
These farmers are part of an ever-growing trend of agri-tourism.
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe the farm vacation is
increasingly becoming a popular getaway among suburban families. This
trend is being fueled by a surging interest in environmentally-conscious
tourism and the increased enthusiasm for local organic food among
suburbanites and urban dwellers - who rightly believe that children
ought to know and understand where food comes from.
What's it like to stay on a farm?
Imagine for a moment waking to the
sound of the rooster crowing and chickens clucking. How about rolling
out of bed and collecting fresh eggs with your kids for your breakfast?
You can then stroll around the farm, go fishing, milk a cow, sip
lemonade on the rocking chair on the porch, feed a baby lamb out of a
bottle, or go for a hayride.
The pace and pressures of everyday
life slip away. This is a place you can really "let go" on vacation,
participate in some real down-to-earth activities, eat wholesome
home-grown & cooked meals, and probably have the best sleep you've had
Many parents who have taken a farm
vacation report that it is more relaxing than a traditional vacation
(such as at a Club Med or Disney World), plus farm vacations promote
simpler values they want to instill in their children - like hard work
and respect for nature.
A farm vacation is not only relaxing,
but it is a true bargain. The average middle income American family
spends hundreds of dollars annually in its two weeks' pursuit of fun and
relaxation. You probably lay out even more money on camping equipment,
special vehicles, boats, motorcycles, gasoline, motels,
restaurants, camping fees, portable TVs, movies, liquor, repair bills
and more. Sometimes you need a vacation after your vacation to recover
from the stress of spending all that money and not really having a
Your farm vacation helps not only your family, but
small family farms.
Taking a farm vacation not only
benefits you and your family - but farmers as well. For farmers - the
influx of guests who are willing to pay for lodging and the "farm
experience" is becoming vital to their economic survival and preserving
the rural landscape. In fact, farms who include some kind of "agri-tourism"
(such as farm stays) are managing to stay afloat and even thrive.
With many independent farms on the
verge of extinction, cash-strapped farmers are finding a good stream of
income hosting urban/suburban guests who actually want to milk their
cows and gather eggs!
So this season, instead of taking your
usual vacation, pack your bags, your muck boots, and your sense of
adventure and head for the nearest farm. It will be an experience you
and your kids will be talking about for years to come.
About the author:
Marcia Passos Duffy is the author of the e-book,
"Farm Stays: Northern New England. Your Guide
to an Unforgettable Farm Vacation"