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.
- Authors: MISA, Renewing the Countryside, STEP (Stimulating Economic Promise)
- Published: 2011, MISA, Univ of Minnesota
- Intended audience: Small MN farmers, tourism business, community members, B&B owners
- Goals / purpose: To introduce the concept of a farmstay, offer basic recommendations, and point readers to more in-depth resources if interested.
- Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
- Credible because of the pertinent case studies included, as
well as the variety of sources used in the manual production.
- From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
- Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (2)
- Translate between diverse perspectives? (2)
- Address conflicts across perspectives? (2)
- Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (4)
- Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (3)
- Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (4)
- Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (4)
- Consider the larger context as necessary? (3)
- What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
- The farmstay focus, which is rarely mentioned in conversations about farming and food, should be highlighted.
- What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
- What has already been done?
- How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
- What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?
See http://www.misa.umn.edu/Publications/ for this and other resources from MISA.