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Homegrown Travel: Farms and Agritourism

To celebrate harvest season, The Travel Word has been spending some time on the farm. Why? Because farm stays are fresh, there’s nothing like local harvest festivals and farmers’ markets worldwide are our idea of travel fun. Why else? Because we believe in the benefits of agritourism for local farmers.

We’ve heard from our local partners -- ground-level travel experts all over the globe -- about agritourism in their destinations. We’ve found farm tours cropping up in Panama, tractor safaris in Cyprus, sustainable gastronomy in Peru, how to pick figs in Croatia, farm internships in Costa Rica, fanciful farmsteads in Lithuania, a portrait of rural life in Kyrgyzstan, and a citrus farm in South Africa.

Enjoy this cornucopia of farm travel ideas. And keep the rural countryside in mind for your next getaway from the big city.

All the best,

Cynthia Ord, Editor, The Travel Word newsletter

agriculture, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Malta, markets, Romania, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam

Our Favourite Farmers’ Markets from Around the World

WHL Group 18 Sept 2012

To culminate our agritourism theme, The Travel Word asked everyone in the WHL Group network about their favourite farmers’ markets. The answers we received are as varied as the places they identify, but they all have some common roots: shoppers and vendors love to meet locally to exchange their fresh goods in the open air. Which one of these is most like the farmers’ market where you live?

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agriculture, Asia, ecotours, Europe, Italy, opinion, outdoors, South-Eastern Asia, Southern Europe, Thailand

Can Agritourism Save Small-scale Farming?

Cynthia Ord 4 Sept 2012

For those who are not convinced that a farm tour or farm stay is for them, there’s one side of the story they may not have considered – the supply side. Agritourism brings great benefits to small-scale farmers all over the world. Researchers and policymakers hail this eco-friendly form of tourism as a useful tool for rural development. Here are three ways that agritourism helps small-scale farmers sustain themselves.

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agriculture, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, festivals & events, food & drink, Indonesia, Latvia, local knowledge, Malaysia, Malta, personal experience, top five, whl.travel

Seven Hidden Harvest Festivals to Celebrate Locally

WHL Group 2 Sept 2012

In the northern hemisphere, late summer and harvest time are upon us. We are reminded of the earth’s bounty as agriculturalists reap the fruits of the land. Across cultures far and wide, harvest is a time of feasting and merriment. The best thing about harvest festivals is that they are local and small-scale by nature. Every region has its own seasons and crops to celebrate, with its own customs and rituals surrounding the harvest.

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agriculture, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Colombia, India, local knowledge, Panama, personal experience, top five, whl.travel

Seven Farm-Fresh Farmstay Getaways

WHL Group 9 Sept 2012

The best fruits and vegetables are those locally grown and fresh off the farm. Aside from produce, however, farmers worldwide have something else to offer frazzled urban travellers: a valuable escape into traditional rural life. Within the WHL Group network, we found seven great farm getaways through which you can get your hands dirty and immerse yourself in the real farming lifestyle of remote rural places.

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agriculture, Croatia, Europe, food & drink, local knowledge, outdoors, personal experience, Southern Europe, traveller tale

Picking Fresh Figs Through Agritourism in Croatia

Gina Douglas 19 Aug 2012

Through our travel guide in Croatia, we had found this family-owned and -run agritourism farm called Villa Solo. I was about to learn that by staying at an agritourism farm you get past a place’s small talk and first impressions. It envelops you as a local, particularly if you get off the beaten tourist path.

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agriculture, Central America, Costa Rica, forests & jungles, local knowledge, North America, opinion, outdoors, personal experience

Biodynamic Farm Internship at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, Costa Rica

Antonio Marxuach 22 Aug 2012

Here at Luna Nueva, we are preparing ourselves to be conscientious cultivators, dedicated to the seed, defenders of the soil. Farming in the biodynamic tradition empowers us with tools for healing and restoring the earth. Walking these grounds awakens one to the vitality of a living Earth and the necessity of maintaining an open dialogue with Her.

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agriculture, Europe, Lithuania, local knowledge, Northern Europe, outdoors, personal experience, whl.travel

Farmsteads Thrive in Rural Lithuania

Kestas Lukoskinas 27 Aug 2012

There are hundreds of farmsteads for various tastes throughout Lithuania’s five regions and their national parks. Aside from the pleasure of relaxing in nature, such farmstead stays offer many possibilities to experience the traditional way of life in Lithuania, as locals have lived it for centuries. Almost every farmstead or homestead in Lithuania is family-owned and -operated.

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adventure travel, Asia, children, food & drink, Kyrgystan, local knowledge, mountains, personal experience, responsible transport, South Central Asia, traveller tale, weather extremes

Rural Life Along Kyrgyzstan’s Pamir Highway

Catharina Robbertze 28 Aug 2012

If you’re looking for a historical, unusual, challenging and epic path to follow by bicycle, the Silk Road has to be it. As one on a 12,000-kilometre Silk Road bike trip organised by Tour d’Afrique, I couldn’t have anticipated that the journey would be so eventful, varied and memorable… especially when meeting and learning from locals like those we met along the Pamir Highway in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

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agriculture, Central America, ecotours, food & drink, indigenous culture, local knowledge, North America, Panama, personal experience, whl.travel

Agritourism in Panama: Pick the Newest Crop

YARISETH ACEVEDO 16 Sept 2012

While farming has deep roots in the green rural regions of Panama, agritourism is just starting to bud. TUCAYA Panama is excited to nurture the seeds of several sustainable agritourism projects and watch them grow. TUCAYA’s small tours visit a hand-picked selection of worthwhile farm hosts throughout the country.

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agriculture, Cyprus, ecotours, Europe, festivals & events, food & drink, islands, local knowledge, personal experience, Southern Europe, whl.travel

Meet Mediterranean Farm Life in North Cyprus

Andrea Barden 11 Sept 2012

Whether you are interested in a full-blown agritourism holiday or would like to experience a few days of the rural Mediterranean in between relaxing on the beach or by the pool, North Cyprus can provide a holiday perfectly suited to your needs. As one of the most untouched destinations in the Mediterranean, North Cyprus has so much to offer, and responsible travel is actively encouraged.

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Africa, agriculture, ecotours, festivals & events, food & drink, national parks, safaris, South Africa, Southern Africa

Touring the Agricultural Region of Eastern Cape, South Africa

Neil Lyon 18 Sept 2012

The Eastern Cape province of South Africa is a diverse and sunny region where travellers can sink their hands into the earth of farm life in our beautiful country, South Africa. A stay on a citrus farm can be fantastic way to experience life in this premier agricultural region. The Sundays River Valley is one of the most well established citrus areas, from which a large amount of the citrus is exported to Europe.

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agriculture, cities, food & drink, health, local knowledge, markets, opinion, Peru, South America, whl.travel

A Chef in Peru Shares Sustainable Gastronomy

Sara Linares 13 Aug 2012

Some of Lima’s local food comes from local farms, local fishermen and local producers in our city, but a lot comes from farms in different parts of Peru. Since we have more than 30 microclimates on our coast and in the Andes and the Amazon Rainforest, we count on an array of seasonal products from different regions of Peru that make their way to the giant marketplace of Lima (which counts for almost half of Peru’s population).

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