As family farms continue to disappear across North America, diversification has never been more crucial to keep these small-scale operations afloat. One innovative avenue farmers are exploring to boost their income is agritourism. Here’s a look at how tourism is changing the agricultural landscape.
Agritourism is a commercial enterprise offering visits to rural environments or settings where visitors can partake in activities, events or attractions not readily available in urban areas. For instance, visitors can engage in farm activities like fruit picking, feeding animals, wine tasting and tree planting.
How does it help small farms?
By integrating recreational or educational components into their operations, farms can diversify their income streams, offsetting the challenges of traditional farming and unpredictable crop yields.
Guided tours of a working farm can also generate revenue while helping consumers understand where their food comes from. Additionally, self-pick fruit gathering experiences provide fresh produce to visitors, while reducing harvesting costs and labour for the farm.
Furthermore, agritourism can breathe new life into rural economies, attracting visitors from near and far and injecting much-needed capital into local communities. Farms can also share their stories, traditions and the history of their land with visitors, creating a sense of continuity and cultural significance.
Look for agritourism experiences to try out in your area to support your local farmers.