Oklahoma Agritourism Map (cover)

related: agriculture, food, travel
flickrgroups: World food, World Markets
flipboard: World Food
slideshare: food, health and community (28,000+ views)
editing: http://planeta.com/agritourism

According to the American Farm Bureau, agritourism is “an enterprise at a working farm, ranch or agriculture plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates income for the owner.” The people that choose to visit farms are often seeking “authentic” experiences. There are many types of agritourism. The most popular agritourism activities include 1) bed and breakfasts, 2) meals featuring farm products, 3) hayrides, 4) farm/ranch tours, and 5) direct sales (e.g. roadside vegetable stands and pick-your-own produce). Agritourism entrepreneurs are constantly redefining their products.

Elsewhere on the Web

Minnesota: http://greenislandpreserve.com
North Carolina: http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/agritourism
Oklahama: http://www.oklahomaagritourism.com










North Carolina

"Agritourism is Value-Added Agriculture"





Oklahoma Agritourism Map

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World food
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Some thoughts on Agritourism -

Here are some stories on Agritourism gleaned from two stays, one in Italy and one in Slovenia.

In our first Agritourism experience, we stay in Italy on a working farm where the grandparents work the farm while the younger generation run the Agritourism accommodation as well as holding down non-farming employment. Rebecca, our hostess, welcomes us on our arrival at our self-catering apartment. She gives us an overview of the farm and things we need to know, and we meet her mother in law. Our welcome pack comprises fresh eggs, olive oil and some wine from the farm. The apartments are on one side of the yard opposite the hay barn and cowshed. The farm itself practices mixed agriculture. It is home to a small herd of the local breed of cows, but there is also a vineyard, olive groves, a substantial vegetable garden and hens roam freely in the daytime. There is a herb garden from where we could source some herbs for our cooking.
Rebecca explains that their cows used to roam freely but that some had fallen into the steep gullies at the edges of the fields that lacked fences or hedges. Now they are kept inside and are fed with hay from the farm.


Having grown up on a mixed farm that became less and less diverse and increasingly dependent on artificial fertilizer and mechanisation, I have lots of questions to which she happily provides answers. She also advises on local walks, places to visit and restaurants.
Vineyard - Agritourism

The second Agritourism experience we stay at an apartment on a small farm in the foothills of the Alps in Slovenia. Irena, our hostess, runs the apartment rentals and along with her husband Jerzy and son Mathieu also looks after four Cika cows. The cows are an ancient breed native to this area of Slovenia and the family get a grant from the government to help preserve the breed. Just like in Rebecca's Agritourism farm the cows are kept indoors as there were also instances of cows falling into steep gullies. Wildflowers abound in their pre-Alpine pastures. Walking the trails around the apartment I venture across Jerzy and Irena loading cut grasses into a tractor and trailer to feed the cows. I tell Jerzy that I am impressed by the assortment of flowers, and he explains that they do not add artificial fertilisers and never take more than three harvests a year from the pastures. As a result the flowers flourish.
Wildflowers - Agritourism

Sometimes in the morning, wild deer would pop out of the forest in front of the apartment. We learn much about the history and agriculture of this part of Slovenia from our hosts who invite us into their home for a discussion over some beers.
Apartments - Agritourism

Both of these Agritourism businesses practice farming that is much more sustainable than the monoculture farms that dominate much of Europe. The farms as a standalone business would be barely profitable, but the income from Agritourism enables them to protect land and animals for posterity. The soil does not get degraded by over cultivation, artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. The wildflowers and fruit trees support bees, when on monoculture farms the food sources for bees are extremely limited and leading in great part to the decline of bee colonies. The guest gets the chance to learn about organic agriculture in the most effective way possible. These farms help to preserve biodiversity of the land, and that has to be a big plus. Guests probably will not learn much about the factory farms where a lot of our food comes from but then there's always The Meatrix to tell the story.