I've been hearing about this for a year or so now. The big trend for farmers is to start getting into the agritourism business. Not only do they make money working the land, but also buy charging people to do things like run around in corn mazes and the like.
I was just curious what other activities people create for this "agritourism"? Are there things other the mazes? Fields of Dreams, maybe?
I've always wanted to check those mazes out. It seems like a real cool idea for farmers. Not a bad income stream either, I bet.
I know of one farmer, who i've been told, makes enough money in October/November from his corn maze and selling of pumpkins to pay all the bills for a year.
Wow 2 months - pumpkins and corn mazes - that's spectacular. What does he do the rest of the year with his land (I'm assuming he also sells the corn).
i honestly don't know. but outside of the the corn season (from seed to harvest) there isn't much of a growing season out here... so my guess is nothing!
there is another farmer on the eastern side of the state over here with 60 acres that does the same thing. although his feat is less amazing has a home like that is less than $200k in that area.... :violin:
I would think having X-Mas tree farms and pumpkin patches would fall under the same category of Agritourism. Those also usually do really well from what I've heard.
There is a cosmic shift occuring in American agriculture, and it should have happened decades ago. Micro-farms and community-supported agriculture (CSA) are popping up everywhere, due to skyrocketing demand for organic, locally-grown food. The demand is a result of subsidies for corporate mega-farms and produce grown overseas under God-knows-what kind of conditions, both of which have contributed to the demise of the independent farmer. People are re-learning the art of growing efficiently on smaller parcels with nature, not against it.
I believe these are the types of farms that generate the most interest for "agri-tourism". My wife and I sell plants at a local CSA in Tampa. Visitors are always blown away to see a 6-acre organic farm in a city of over 1 million people. The demand for their produce vastly outweighs the supply, and people show up week after week just to spend time in such an amazing oasis.
We're currently planning on getting a property with just under 2/3rds of an acre so we can expand our nursery business (we grow native plants and potted herbs) and get into growing organic herbs for local restaurants. The demand of restaurants for harvested, fresh herbs is huge and the local precious few local growers can't even begin to supply enough product for everyone.
Anyway, eco-tourism, agri-tourism, micro-farming, CSA's, and organic growing are exploding right now and, in my opinion, they all go hand-in-hand.
I'm currently looking for advice about selling our home and buying this new property in the following thread:
I would appreciate anyone and everyone's advice!
Agri-tourism is hot. You can have (depending on what zoning allows), bed and breakfasts, equine facilities, up close and personal with animals, you pick em fields (tomatoes, strawberries, etc.), as mentioned CSAs, produce stands with all sorts of local grown and produced products (esp. as the "eat local" movement grows even larger), and so on and so on and so on. Key Key Key is Zoning and approval of proposed use.
This is something I am extremely interested in. I love going to farms to see what nature has to offer. I know of many types of farms (not organic) in the area (NW IN) that offer maze rides, pick-yourself-vegetables, they sell small decorations, big inflated jumping things for kids (can't remember what they are called, LOL). They are like small fairs or carnivals! Huge market for those. In addition, organic farming is much better for the earth, typically healthier, but is a bit more intensive work wise. Organic products sell for more and more and more people and businesses are interested in using them. I'd love to do something like this too!
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