A funny thing happened on the way to modern life—people forgot where their food came from! (Hint: It's not the supermarket.)

Have you ever visited a working farm? Whether it's for an hour, a day, or a week (some farms offer working vacation packages!), it's fascinating to see fresh, local food grown nearby and to experience farm life firsthand.

Before you say "there are no farms near here" (if that's what you are thinking), take a look online. No matter where you live, you can find family-friendly farms by searching online. Whether you are interested in visiting an old-fashioned and historic farm or one that's modern with state-of-the-art technology, organic farming or using conventional methods, a place where you can pick your own produce or a farm where you can just watch what's going on, you'll find plenty to choose from.

Some states even have their own search engines where you can find farms with exactly the kind of crops that interest you (Plums, corn, almonds or zucchini? Dairy, berries or herbs?).

A few things to keep in mind

  • Not all farms are able to host uninvited visitors, so be sure you select a farm where you'll be welcome and time your visit according to the posted schedule.
  • Dress appropriately! Farms are outdoor, all-weather operations.
  • Don't help yourself unless you're invited to do so—farming families support themselves by selling the food they grow.