Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Agritourism Gets Attention; Kenyon Farm Featured

The July/August issue of AAA Living - Minnesota* magazine features a Kenyon farm in an article titled "Getting Back to Our Roots," focused on agritourism:

"As more people seek escape from their daily lives and find it in environments close to the earth, a new travel trend has taken shape—agritourism. ... In many ways, the time is ripe for agritourism. Americans express concern about rising obesity, reliance on highly processed foods and rampant inactivity among ourselves and our children. To farmers and others, the connection between agricultural ignorance and our fattening society seems obvious. Decades ago most people had family who lived on a farm—not so today. But agritourism stands ready to address these issues and educate the next generation."

Agritourism could involve staying overnight at Dancing Winds Farm in Kenyon and learning to milk a goat, or picking your own blueberries at a beautiful site like Rush River Produce (overlooking Lake Pepin at Maiden Rock, WI -- one of my favorite day trips), visiting a living-history farm like the Oliver H. Kelly Farm near Elk river, or a farm that's part of a park district, like the Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista, or joining and helping out at a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm like Valley Creek Community Farm or Big Woods Farm (both still operating last I knew, but post a comment if you have any updates or other local CSAs to add).

The AAA article mentions that Wisconsin’s departments of agriculture and tourism are collaborating to develop "culinary trails." For example, Bayfield, Wisconsin, a stop along one of these trails, offers orchard, berry and flower farms that attract both locals and out-of-state visitors.

What a good idea.

* - Looks like despite my link you have to enter your zip code on the AAA site before you can navigate to the article, either via the AAA Magazine link at the bottom of their web page, or by coming back here and clicking on my link again.

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