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Agritourism & farm stays

© SA Tourism© SA TourismAgriculture is the basis of civilisation and – now that very few of us are hunter gatherers – it’s the food chain. But sadly, most of us are so far removed our origins that we hardly realise those neatly packaged, evenly sized celery stalks that we buy in the supermarket actually come from a bushy plant with leaves. And we won’t even discuss eggs, cheese and lamb chops. So, a farm stay is a way of getting back to our roots a little – it’s a way of affirming our place in the food chain.

Farm accommodation is often in comfortable, characterful, renovated labourer’s cottages, old farmhouses, barns or other outbuildings. Usually there are great walks – or even mountain bikes trails or horse trails – and eating fresh farm produce is all part of the experience.

Some farm stays may include the opportunity to get your hands dirty, for example, learning skills like herding cattle on horseback, milking cows or making butter, while others simply offer a charming rural atmosphere and a peaceful place to explore on foot, on horseback, by bike, quad bike or even canoe.

Of course, some farms are set up for day visits, with ostrich farms being the most popular. Perhaps that’s just because these huge birds are so weird. A picking trip is also great fun and is fabulous for families. You spend the day harvesting cherries, strawberries, apples or whatever, and then walk off with a huge quantity of freshly picked, bargain-priced produce.

And, don’t forget that wineries are also farms, and it isn’t all just about tasting the end product. Some farms offer informative tours of the vineyards or cellars.

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