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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 (and ranchers) 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 might you be able to 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 and ranches allow up-to-your-elbows hands-on experiences, while others are happy for you to observe but don’t want you getting caught up in the automated milking equipment. 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.
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What to Expect
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 or ranch 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!
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What does a farm stay cost?
Costs can vary widely depending on what you are paying for with a low of $25 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 $150/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?
Each farm listing has a Check Availability button. The farmer/rancher has determined where this link goes. It might be to a booking site like Hipcamp or you might be directed to the farm’s website where they take reservations directly. Either way, there will either be an Availability calendar or someone at the end of a phone to help you with reservations.
Can I book my reservation online?
If our farms offer online booking or access to their booking calendar, we link to this through the Check Availability button on their Farm Stay U.S.A. listing. You will be dealing directly with the farm and not with us at this point, as we serve as a referral site only. Our goal is to send preferred guests to our farm and ranch members, preferred because you have selected a farm or ranch experience from our site.
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).
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).