Agritourism in Ohio: Just peachy
By Abbey Roy

Agritourism in Ohio: Just peachy

Chances are you’ve been an agritourist without knowing it.

This definition from the Ohio Tourism Toolbox website sums it up pretty well:

“Agritourism is the crossroads of tourism and agriculture — where the public visits working farms, farmers’ markets, wineries, community festivals, or other agricultural enterprise to experience the out of doors, enjoy entertainment, participate in educational or recreational activities, shop at a country store or stand, eat locally grown or locally prepared food, and perhaps make overnight stays for an authentic experience.”

Sound familiar? If so, congrats! Keep up the good work supporting local agriculture and economy.

If not, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. You-pick farms. In the fall, of course, you can stop by a farm to find your perfect pumpkin (or head to Circleville for its famous annual pumpkin festival) or a bushel of apples. In the spring and summer, a number of farms offer the chance to pick and take home the ripest, juiciest produce on the property (as determined by you, of course). As the days grow colder–a lot colder–remember to visit your favorite local tree farm in time for Christmas. Check out a list of farms here.

2. Wineries. Ohio’s wine business is on the upswing, and chances are that wherever you’re headed in the state, there’s a winery along the way. Stop into a tasting room to sample what these hard-working folks have to offer, take a stroll through the vineyards or take a tour to see how it’s all done. For more information about Ohio wines or to find a winery near you, visit tasteohiowines.com.

3. Other farms. Farms aren’t limited to grapes and orchards. The state now boasts at least three lavender farms, wherein guests can wander through fields of the sweet-smelling herb, taste lavender-infused cuisine and purchase lavender products. Marmon Valley Farm in Zanesfield offers a hands-on farm experience, specializing in trail rides–the farm is home to 150 horses and ponies waiting for riders of all ages. Hitch up your wagon at Bonnybrook Farms in Clarksville–or borrow one of theirs for a signature “Chuck Wagon Dinner Ride.”

4. Farmers markets. In today’s world, it’s quick and easy to run to a big-box grocery store to pick up everything on your list. The beauty of the farmer’s market isn’t that you can use your double coupons or do self-checkout, but that you can talk to the folks who grew the food that you’re taking home. You’re putting money into your local community, and you’re showing your kids that food comes from farmers–it doesn’t just materialize on the grocery shelf. Many farmers markets offer much more than produce–baked goods, crafts, meats and canned goods, among others, are awaiting your approval. See a list of Ohio farmers markets here.

Whether or not you’re a “country person,” chances are that Ohio’s burgeoning agritourism scene has something for you. For a great comprehensive resource on agritourism, visit agritourismworld.com and select Ohio.

Photos, from top: Velvet Ice Cream, Pigeon Roost Farm, Terra Cotta Vineyards, Szalay’s Farm Market

 

About the Author

Abbey Roy is a Kent State University journalism graduate. She writes a weekly column entitled the Bargain Advocate for the Newark Advocate and Media Network of Central Ohio and enjoys spending time with her family - her husband, Seth, and two daughters, Analeigh and Aria - reading, being outdoors (especially in the woods, water or both), bicycling and photography. She also makes a mean zucchini bread. You can email Abbey at abbey.m.roy@gmail.com.