Last weekend, my wonderful mom and I hosted a Farm Stay U.S./Farm Stay Project booth at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Resort in PA. We talked with hundreds (thousands?) of people about farm stays, and they had lots of questions for us. I'm going to do a series of little posts in the next few weeks trying to answer some of these questions. Here's question number one.
Q: How is a farm stay different than a B&B? How is it different than WWOOFing?
A: The term 'farm stay' is pretty broad - it just means you're staying on a working farm for a short time. The 'farm stay' might be interactive, with the guests helping out with chores, or it might not be, depending on the needs and wants of the guests and the farmers. The 'stay' could be in a B&B, or it could mean camping as a WWOOF volunteer. On this blog, I talk mostly about farm stays where guests pay for their lodging, like a farm B&B or cabin rental, and there's absolutely no work requirement. These farm stays are great for people who want to escape to a farm to relax for a weekend, while getting a closeup view of the source of their food. Many of these farm stays are especially suited for families with kids, though some are retreats specifically for adults.
There are some great resources out there for people interested in working farm stays, where there's usually a minimum work requirement and length of stay, and in return the volunteer gets free or very cheap lodging. For short-term working farm stays, in addition to WWOOF, check out GrowFood.org.