Many people have an unfulfilled dream of living in the country. As you are beginning to think about your next summer vacation, here is an alternative to consider. You can make your dream a reality, if only for a week out of the summer, with a farm vacation rental. A farm vacation is one in which you actually spend your vacation on a family farm, either in the same home with your hosts, or better yet in a separate, private dwelling on the farm. You may spend an agreed-upon amount of time with your hosts at various times during your vacation, shadowing them to see the work of the farm, or even taking part in some of the activities of the farm. Some hosts will offer specific learning opportunities, as well as possible entertainment including hayrides, campfires, and/or attractions in the area. Among the many benefits of making your next vacation a farm vacation:
1. Enjoy fresh air and sunshine, peace and quiet. Get away from the noise and speed of the city and experience “the slower pace of life in the country.” It’s a much-used phrase that contains a lot of truth. If your job or lifestyle requires going through your days at breakneck speed, taking the time to slow down and just “be” for a few days can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
2. Get to know your hosts as “real” people. A farm family that provides a home away from home for vacationing guests will enjoy sharing their knowledge of farm life, and will also have the inside scoop on what to see and do in their area.
3. Enjoy fresh produce that you may help to harvest. Your hosts will inform you of what is available in their fruit and vegetable gardens, depending on the time of year. They can show you how to harvest it, and may even teach you how to preserve foods such as in making jams or canning vegetables.
4. Expose your kids to life in the country. Give them the opportunity to learn that “blackberry” doesn’t always refer to a handheld electronic device, but may be one of the berries grown on a berry farm, along with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Have they ever had blackberry pie with homemade vanilla ice cream? They may even set that electronic device aside for the chance to help hand-crank the ice cream!
5. Help decide if country living is for you. If you are seriously considering a permanent move to the country, a farm vacation can give you a taste of farm life in a small dose. You may want to spend a week or at least a weekend at various times of the year, to experience the different seasons and what they have to offer.