The events of the past two days has caused me to ponder why people choose to stay on a farm for their family vacation and why our family opens our home, lives, and farm up to complete strangers. As I think back over all the guests we have had since this spring, there seems to be two motives behind their spending time with us:
|Taking a Walk Up the Road|
1. The first set of families want to support small family farms, and they are here to lend a helping hand where needed. They recognize the hard work involved in farming and they want to experience it, first hand. These parents have thoughtfully chosen to bring their children to our farm, so that they can experience life “outside of their comfort zone.” Their children have worked in our garden and greenhouse, and have tended to our many animals. These families have taken in with gusto, the fresh air, dark starlit nights, beautiful sunsets, fire flies, naps on the porch, weaving and felting lessons, the babbling brook, amazing mountain views, our wooded trails, and the adventure of traveling on dirt roads.
2. The second set of families seem to be on a food adventure! These families live, for the most part in large, bustling cities where the bulk of their groceries are purchased from the market around the corner. They express a “disconnect” with the source of the foods they eat, and they want very much to make that connection. Some of their children have never seen vegetables growing, or have given thought to how food is raised and produced. They do not know that an asparagus grows up out of the ground, and that peas grow from a vine in a pod. They do not know that hens lay one egg a day, and that it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup. They have never seen piglets racing around, chasing one another, or heard the tiny peeps of small chicks. These parents have chosen to stay on a farm where food is raised, and to visit neighboring farms who do the same. They see Vermont as setting the standard for high quality foods. Two sets of our guests, have enjoyed visiting some our friends’ larger market gardens. They call ahead to place an order with the farm, and then drive over to pick up their food. An added bonus for driving out to the farm, is to get a personal tour of the farm and to meet some of Vermont’s finest, most knowledgeable farmers.
|Fresh From the Garden|
They revel in the idea of being able to eat vegetables that have just been picked, and they are amazed at how fresh everything tastes. We share with them the secrets of where to find the best goat’s milk cheese, the best organically grown meats, and the locally brewed beers. Then, we provide a grill for them to cook their dinner while taking in the mountain views.
|Grilling Fresh Vegetables|
Whether here to help with chores, or to enjoy a feasting vacation, both types of families have one thing in common; the parents want to spend time with their children. These parents could have chosen to stay in resorts with all the amenities, pools, televisions, internet access, and numerous kid engaging activities just outside their hotel door. Instead, they chose to come to our farm, to work together alongside a farming family, to visit with and make friends with farmers who care about how food is grown, and to help their urban raised children make connections that would otherwise be impossible. They have spent 24 hours a day with their children, embracing rural Vermont farm life, and thoughtfully planning each day’s adventure, whether exploring the far reaches of Vermont tourist spots, or the dirt road outside our front door.
Visit FarmstayUS to find a farm for your next vacation!
Below is a vacation guide which we sent out to our email list subscribers of our favorite spots to visit, eat, and hang out!
Our Favorite Farms to Explore
- Fat Rooster Farm-We love Jennifer Megyesi, farmer extraordinaire, who offers organic vegetables and meat.
- Fat Toad Farm-amazing caramel sauce and goat cheese
- Neighborly Farms-yummy cow’s milk cheese
Ten Places to Visit 15-30 minutes From the Farm:
- Chelsea Farmner’s Market every Friday from 3pm-6pm
- Tunbridge Fair Grounds which hosts numerous activities throughout the summer and fall including the famous “Tunbridge World’s Fair” and the “VT Sheep & Wool Festival”
- Silver Maple Icelandic Horse Farm for horseback riding and lessons
- Barre Antique Mall with three floors of antiques
- Millstone Mountain Biking Trails
- Groton State Park with swimming, canoeing, and hiking
- Rock of Ages Granite Quarry and stone cutting
- Quechee Gorge State Park
- Golfing in Randolph, VT
- Covered Bridge Tour along Rt. 110
Five Places to Visit 30-45 minutes From the Farm:
- Doll House Factory and Outlet
- Cedar Circle Farm-strawberry picking!
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
- Morse Farm Sugaring (they make the BEST maple cremees)
- Marshfield School of Weaving
Wonderful Chef Owned Restaurants within 30-40 minutes From the Farm: