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Are You a Homeschooling Agritourist?

Ary You a Homeschooling Agritrouist? #homeschooling #fieldtrip #roadschooling

Written by Chelsea Gonzales.

Up until this point, agritourism has been a well-kept roadschooler secret. But, it's such an amazing educational tool every homeschool family should take advantage of. It’s perfect for stationary homeschoolers as it is a great way to dip a few toes into the world of roadschooling without having to wander too far from home.

What is agritourism, why should I tie it into my curriculum, and how do I go about that? you ask.

Well, consider this an agritourism primer for beginners.


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Ary You a Homeschooling Agritrouist? #homeschooling #fieldtrip #roadschooling

What is Agritourism?


Simply put, agritourism is the act of visiting various farms, vineyards, and orchards as attractions or field trip destinations.

Sometimes, agritourism might include picking fruits and vegetables or milking a cow. In other cases, it could mean learning how ciders and juices are made, or witnessing what it takes to care for farm animals. In all cases, this type of travel is perfect for homeschoolers.

Ary You a Homeschooling Agritrouist? #homeschooling #fieldtrip #roadschooling

Why Agritourism for Homeschooling?


There are many solid reasons for visiting an area agribusiness. Here are just a few to consider:

Learn where food comes from. 

Far too many kids are growing up in urban environments with no idea where their food comes from. By touring a local farm, you can introduce your kids to an agrarian lifestyle at an early age, and in the most natural way possible.

Develop an appreciation for the work that goes into creating food.

Besides not knowing where food comes from, many kids also have no idea about the amount of effort that goes into creating a simple piece of fruit, vegetable, or cut of meat. Seeing farms and farmers in action can help your kids develop a true appreciation for the food on their plates.

Gather important life skills that may not be learned elsewhere.

Visiting a farm will give your young kids an opportunity to learn skills they may never learn otherwise. These include proper harvesting techniques and other gardening skills in order to ensure a successful yield for years to come, as well as how to milk a cow (or another animal), and potentially even how to make various dairy products or plant-based foods.

Create opportunities to discuss healthy eating habits.

Spending time collecting your own fruits and vegetables and seeing how other foods make it to our table will open up countless opportunities to discuss healthy diets. Additionally, gathering their own food encourages picky eaters to try new things.

Introduce kids to career opportunities they may not be exposed to otherwise.

One of the less obvious perks of visiting a farm is the ability to chat with different types of farmers and learn about what they do on a daily basis. In some cases, this might even spark a newfound passion in your kids.

Ary You a Homeschooling Agritrouist? #homeschooling #fieldtrip #roadschooling

How To Add Agritourism to Your Homeschool Plan?


So how can you find agritourism opportunities to add to your homeschool plan? Depending on where you live, this might be super easy, or it could be a bit more difficult and require a small amount of travel. Either way, here are a few suggestions to help you get started:


Search for “U-Pick” farms and orchards.

Kids love picking their own food. Search your area (or areas you’ll be visiting) for u-pick farms. U-pick farms allow you to pick your own produce, and some even have activities such as bounce houses, hayrides, and pony rides. Pumpkin farms are especially well known for doing these types of activities during the fall.

Call local vineyards.

It may seem a bit odd to visit a vineyard with kids. However, some offer tours that allow guests to see how juice is made from plant to bottle. You may even get a sample of some at the end!

The same can be said of orchards. While visiting an apple orchard, for instance, you'll be taught the proper way to spin the fruit off the tree in order to not damage next year's growth bud. And you'll see how apples are pressed to make cider.

Check out dairy farms.

Dairy farms are another great place to check for tours. Some dairy farms will not only allow children to visit their commercial operation, but also let the kids milk a few cows by hand. If you’re lucky, you may get to witness butter, ice cream, or other dairy products being made.

Join Harvest Hosts.

If you have access to an RV (even a small one) and are interested in doing a lot of agritourism, I highly recommend joining Harvest Hosts. This camping membership allows you to park your RV at countless farms, vineyards, and orchards, where you can learn about farm life while you camp.

Before Your Agritour


Before heading out with your kids to your first farm or vineyard, check out some of these resources. They will help lay a good foundation for farm-life and agroindustries.

Bean Time Lapse



Chick Embryo Development


Reading Rainbow: The Lifecycle of the Honeybee


Living Books About Farm Life



Roadschoolers aren't the only ones who can enjoy the educational benefits of agritourism. Plan a day to head out of town to visit a farm, vineyard, or orchard and get a back-stage pass to agrarian living.



2 comments:

  1. Just want to say that, as a dairy farmer, I LOVE this idea! So many people go to blogs and advertisements for their agricultural education but there is nothing better than talking directly to the farmer to learn why and how he/she does thing. We host 1-2 school tours on our farm a year and love showing the kids everything but one of the beauties of homeschooling is that parents get to experience things too.

    Thanks for getting this idea out there.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I took my kids to a dairy farm years ago and my daughter still talks about feeding a calf with a bottle.

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