Vacation Destinations for Homesteaders
Vacations as a homesteader can take a lot of prep to ensure your farm is prepared for you to be gone for a few days. When planning a vacation, you’ll want to make the most of the time away from home. One of the best ways to do that is to make other farms a vacation destination for inspiration and a look into how other areas of the country operate.
Check out some of these exciting farms to visit while vacationing.
Virgina Vacation Destination: Polyface Farm
Some of our best trips have included farm visits while in a new area. One of the most memorable ones we’ve visited is Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia. This farm focuses mainly on meat production, with various animals on site.
When we visited, we were able to watch the chicken processing operation, which was fascinating. They offer a variety of different tour types to meet your preferences:
- Self-guided tours all day, Monday through Saturday
- The Grass Stains Tour, a two-hour private walking tour
- Monthly Lunatic Tours, a driving tour
They even have an on-site tiny house available for reservations if you want to see what it’s like to stay at their farm for a few days. Polyface Farms prides itself on its transparency to the public, so guests are welcome to visit anytime. They focus on the integrity of the food they produce and are willing to showcase it at all times.
Colorado Vacation Destination: The Living Farm
Out west, check out The Living Farm in Paonia, Colorado. This farm has a variety of animals and plants, intending to become completely self-sufficient and work off the grid. They offer many on-site courses and shows throughout the year for visitors to learn about their organic produce and production.
The Living Farm also offers self-guided, interactive tours, which give you a behind-the-scenes look at how their organic farm runs. You can see the unique ecosystem they’ve created and their sustainability practices at work. Tours are available from June through September on Fridays and Saturdays.
In the fall, they offer beginner-level Felt Classes. These classes involve learning about sheep, meeting the ones on the farm, and learning the history of felt and how to felt. This is a fun, hands-on way to see if felting is something you’d like to incorporate into your farm.
Missouri Vacation Destination: Green Dirt Farm
If you’re a cheese lover or wondering what it takes to run a creamery, check out Green Dirt Farm next time you find yourself in Missouri. You can indulge in award-winning sheep milk products and glimpse what it takes to go from sheep to cheese.
Green Dirt Farm focuses on making sure their sheep live happy lives where they can roam tended pastures at their leisure. Their founding principles focus on the well-being of their animals, inspiring homesteaders everywhere.
You can get a guided tour of the farm and sheep dairy when you visit, including a glimpse at the milking parlor and their cheese kitchen. The guided tours even include a cheese tasting, accompanied by the story of how to turn sheep milk into cheese.
Montana Vacation Destination: Graze & Roam Ranch
Get an up-close and personal look at the cattle and other animals at Graze & Roam Ranch in Victor, Montana. The farm specializes in ranch-raised, grass-fed beef and pastured chicken. They strive to provide the highest-quality meat while also improving their land season after season.
The farmers believe in being transparent about their processes, so people know where their food is coming from. Plan a tour with them to take a guided walk through the ranch and learn about their process. Meet the ranchers and the resident animals as you get a look at how integrity plays a role in Graze & Roam Ranch.
Pennsylvania Vacation Destination: Old Windmill Farm
As homesteaders, there’s a lot that can be learned from an Amish farm. If you find yourself visiting Pennsylvania, make plans to visit Old Windmill Farm in Lancaster County. This authentic Amish farm grows and harvests all of the food that feeds their family.
There’s a variety of farm tour options for you to get the perfect experience. Opt for their one-hour working farm tour to see what life on an Amish farm is like. You can help milk cows or gather eggs while learning about the Amish culture. Then, ride around the farm on a hayride to get a glimpse at all that goes on.
You can also include a garden tour to get some knowledge on the produce and other plants grown at this property. Kids can even help plant in the garden, allowing for even more hands-on fun.
Why Visit Other Farms?
If you’re a homesteader already, you may be wondering why you should visit other farms. While you know your farm best, it never hurts to see how others are working their farms. You may get inspiration for additions you’d like to make to your homestead or get an idea for other ways to do a process you already do.
Plus, visiting with other farmers and homesteaders can help grow your community. The homesteading community is spread throughout the country, and it’s always fun to meet others who live similarly to you. Seeing how homesteading can be the same and different from state to state can be an exciting learning experience.
Are you just beginning your research into having your own homestead? Visiting these farms and others should be part of your research before you take the plunge. Seeing other farms can help you learn your “why” while helping you see what you need to do to get started yourself.
When planning to take a farm tour, it’s always best to call ahead before you make your trip. This can help you make any reservations needed and get the most out of your visit. Next time you make a trip, see if you can find a local farm to check out!