What is a Farm Stay?
Farm vacations are well known around the world but not so for many Americans. ‘Know your farmer. Know your food.’ is a current rallying cry in the U.S. as urbanites look for connections to their food and to the countryside, and farmers look for avenues to sustainability.
While farmers markets bring fresh food to the city, farm stays invite guests to stay overnight in the country and experience the lifestyle – for a night, for a weekend, or more. Where else can you milk a goat, hold a lamb, drive cattle, see the stars, or hear a rooster crow?
But we are not all the same. Lodging ranges from rustic to luxury and from farm houses to tents. Breakfast may be prepared for you or the ingredients provided. Some farms offer classes in cheese making, spinning, gardening, cooking, even animal photography! Most are unstructured to allow you your own discovery. None are boring.
What a farm stay is not is a bed on a non-working farm or ranch. Rather it’s about the rural experience and putting a personal face and story to farming. It’s about meeting in the middle – farmer and guest. Everyone benefits.
What’s going to happen when you get to your farm or ranch? Will it be boring? Will it be dirty? Will you have to ‘work for your supper’? Will you be out of your comfort zone? No – no- no – and maybe at the beginning, in that order.
From smells, to food, to chores, no Farm Stay is like another. The good news is that variety allows you to find a vacation that perfectly suits your group. Please look around our FAQs to get an understanding of what a Farm Stay experience is like, and for specific questions regarding a Farm Stay location – like whether you can bring pets – contact the specific farm. They’ll be happy to talk with you!
What does a farm stay cost?
Costs can vary widely depending on what you are paying for with a low of $20 for camping to a high of $400 for 5-star lodging. An average rate for double occupancy on the Farm Stay U.S. site looks to be around $125/night, which may or may not include breakfast. We think this is a smokin’ deal for what you get!
How can I find what dates are available for a specific farm stay?
Similar to the online booking, many farms and ranches have availability calendars linked to their websites. We recommend, except for the sites with online booking (handled in real time), that you check directly with the farms as sometimes it is hard to keep these calendars up-to-date when farm chores are calling.
Can I book my reservation online?
If our farms offer online booking or access to their booking calendar, we link to this through the Book It button on their Farm Stay U.S. listing. You will be dealing directly with the farm and not with us at this point…which is a good thing. Due to these existing systems, we do not expect to offer our own booking engine anytime soon, but, please consider our Book It button to work like any other travel site’s.
How do I contact farms or ranches for a farm stay?
You can message farms directly through the ‘Contact’ tab on each farm’s listing page. You have other options as well: phone, email, and their personal website (also listed under the Contact tab). Caveat: if the farm is a complimentary member, you best solution is to use the Contact form for further information. Please mention where you found their listing as we would dearly love to have all our farms well represented with full information about what they offer.
Are children allowed on these farms and ranches?
Not all farms and ranches allow kids. Check under the ‘Allowed’ heading to see whether children are welcome. It is best to ask as well since sometimes there is a specific age restriction that may be less or more than 12 years old (the site’s cut off age).