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How about a "Haycation"

By: Skylar Zwick
By: Skylar Zwick

In these tough economic times, farmers and families are among the hardest hit. We’re all looking for a way to make a buck and a way to take a unique, fun, maybe even exotic vacation, so why not do both?

A writer for the New York Times went on this new kind of family vacation. It’s an interesting and thoughtful article that I couldn’t help but want to share with all of you. The best part, within three hours there are two farms that you can help sustain while you learn and vacation. Check it out and post your comments below.

Kim Severson’s family farm vacation, now known as their “haycation,” begins by throwing bales of hay into the back of the truck. The first lesson: bring comfortable shoes.
“Of course, there are those who might say throwing bales of hay is a stupid way to spend a vacation — especially a vacation where the accommodations cost $332 a night, tax and fresh eggs included,” she says. “They might also say I was a fool to pay the farmer an additional $35 so I could dig up the beets and carrots she would later sell at a farmers’ market. It did have a little of that Tom Sawyer fence-painting quality to it. But I got a little education in the process. And I got to keep a pile of spectacular Tuscan kale, some tender stalks of fennel and a few crookneck squash.”
But, this adventurous NYT writer has a good point. We’re living in times when farmers are going hungry and people are hungry to know where their food came from. So, why not benefit everyone and learn something at the same time?
This type of farm vacation is not completely out of the ordinary. Severson found, “of the 2.2 million farms operating in the United States, about 8 to 10 percent offer some kind of agritourism, like apple picking, school tours, a farm store or letting hunters on the land.”
It seems to be a fairly profitable endeavor; farms in Georgia and Florida are already onboard.  Severson ever spoke to a tourism specialist at Auburn who said he had been trying to convince Alabama farmers to take part, but had little success. Why?
Post your thoughts below and if you’re interested in learning more about “haycations” check out the national farm-stay registry called Ruralbounty.com.
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