Lots of people don't know what a farm stay is. For all of you, here are some farm stay FAQs answered.
Q1: How is a farm stay different than a B and 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.
Q2: So, how expensive are these 'farm stays,' anyway?
A: Farm stays are a broad category of accommodations, ranging from a spot to pitch a tent to luxurious resort with five-star amenities and service. The unifying factor is that the accommodation is situated on a working farm, i.e. a farm that produces food or fiber. Accordingly, price varies tremendously. For a American farm stay, you can pay from $10-15 for a tent site at a place like Four Springs Farm in VT or D Acres of New Hampshire, to upwards of $1000/night for an all-inclusive stay at the Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. Of course, you can find all prices in between as well. The most typical range is something like $70-150/night, so comparable to other B&Bs you would find in the same area. There's a farm stay for every type and every budget -- what a relief!
Photo: View from the fields, Four Springs Farm, Royalton, Vermont