As I mentioned in my previous guest post, the concept of farm stays began in Italy after World War II. It was developed as a way for farmers to earn a secondary income while remaining on their land and producing cash crops and livestock.
Today farms that offer accommodations to travelers are quite diverse. Some offer playgrounds and mini-chores for guests with children such as feeding the chickens and gathering freshly laid eggs from the chicken coops. Some farms work the land in organic and sustainable ways and will teach their guests how to do the same at home. Other places cater more to adults seeking a yoga-type retreat or food-and-wine pairing courses. Prices are competitive with local hotels.
If you wish to search online, there are several platforms you can use, such as Farm Stay Planet or Reids Guides. Even Booking.com has a category for farm stays!
In this post I am presenting below a few farms and links where you can reserve a guest room and have your first "agriturismo" experience. These are located in the UK, Ireland, Canada, or the USA. Enjoy!
- South Penquite Farm in Cornwall offers a campground for tents and also offers cabins and yurts; activities range from fishing to training on how to raise lambs and calves using organic methods.
- Lower Shaw Farm in Wiltshire provides weekend activities for families as well as classes like cooking and yoga for adults.
- Newton Farm, located in Scotland, is where you can have an Alpaca experience.
- Muckross Riding Stables, found just inside the Killarney National Park, is a local horse-riding center doubling as a farm with sheep, goats, ducks, and pot-bellied pigs on the property.
- Bunalun Farm B&B, located in County Cork offers a B&B guest house on a working farm property.
- Rigney’s Farm, with its rare-breed, pasture-fed animals, is located right next to Curraghchase Forest Park in West County Limerick. An ideal place for daily walks and bird-watching.
- Green Mountain Girls Farm in Vermont offers various types of guest accommodations, a space for events, and numerous farm-to-table addresses within easy driving distance.
- S&S Homestead Farm in Washington state is a biodynamic working farm that teaches aspiring farmers and offers guest quarters for overnight stays.
- North Country Farms, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, sells organic produce directly to local residents. They offer wooden cabins to rent for visiting travelers.
- Gordon’s Beach Farm Stay B&B, located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, offers hiking, bicycling, and even whale-watching opportunities.
- Peace Valley Guest Ranch, located in the province of Alberta, is a working cattle ranch with rugged cabins for guests on the property. You can play miniature golf, ride a horse, go fishing, or take a river cruise.
- Cassis et Melisse, located in the province of Quebec, is a working goat farm and organic cheese factory not far from Quebec City. They offer a self-catering apartment and the opportunity to feed and milk the goats..
Shahnaz Radjy is a writer based in Portugal and the co-founder of an ecotourism project. She describes herself as an adventurer, foodie, bookworm, and horse lover. You can read more about Shahnaz on her blog Farmaventure and follow her on Twitter @sradjy.
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