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Field Guides to Food

Farmstay Manual (summary & metadata)


In the simplest terms, a farmstay is lodging available to paying guests on a working farm. Beyond this, a farmstay can take many forms. A farm family may convert a room in their farmhouse to accommodate overnight guests, repurpose an outbuilding into a sleeping cabin, or build a new structure specifically for guests. A managed forest, too, can be working land, and in this manual we refer to guest accommodations on such land as foreststays.

Starting a farmstay need not be a monumental undertaking. Most of the farmstays in operation in Minnesota began on a small scale. Some have remained that way, while others have expanded as their owners have gained the knowledge, interest, and resources to manage larger operations.

In this publication, we will:
• explore the farmstay concept,
• highlight diverse examples of farmstays and foreststays in Minnesota,
• outline what one needs to consider before going down this road, and
• provide some guidance on how to establish and run such an enterprise

This manual is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather a first stop for those considering a farmstay in Minnesota. Since we won’t cover everything you’ll need to know in this guide, we will refer you to other publications, organizations, and agencies that can aid in the various aspects of developing a farmstay.

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ID#: 4005

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