Walton, NY (PRWEB) July 23, 2012
Parents are finding a new way to get their kids to eat their vegetables... give them a farm stay vacation.
“When children help tend an organic vegetable garden, they naturally want to taste what they’ve harvested from the field,” says Gijs van den Broek of Feather Down Farm Days a company that provides authentic farm stay experiences at 54 farms in Europe and farms in New York state and Illinois. A third American farm opens soon in California.
“Kids don’t just want to ‘try’ vegetables they’ve grown, they are eager to do so. That often surprises parents who’ve never seen their kids so enthusiastic about eating vegetables,” said van den Broek, “It’s all because the kids get caught up in the experience of farm life.”
At Feather Down’s Stony Creek Farmstead in New York, farmer Kate Marsiglio shows visiting families how an “intensive garden” is able to produce a broad array of vegetables in a small space. “Every square foot of it has been planted to maximize space” says Marsiglio. “Kids find out how much better things taste when they come straight from the garden.”
Van den Broek explained, “Our farmers see their role to be as much about educating guests about healthy eating and how family farms operate, as providing a relaxing getaway.” Each Feather Down farm is owned by family farmers who are committed to introducing others to farm life.
Guests stay in Euro-styled tent cabins that sleep up to five adults and a child. The tents are equipped with nostalgic farm furnishings, comfortable duvet-covered beds, oil lanterns, indoor flush toilets, a cast-iron wood-burning cooking stove and 19th-century farm character. Family shower houses are nearby.
Produce fresh off the farm and other locally sourced food items are stocked in the farm’s Honesty Store, where children shop for meals with their parents, writing down what they’ve taken and settling the bill on the day of departure. “Kids love helping put together their family’s meals and recording what they’ve taken. They learn so many lessons about healthy choices, responsibility and helping out,” said van den Broek.
“Kids love every bit of it,” added Marsiglio, “from collecting eggs for breakfast, to helping in the garden, to feeding farm animals, to making responsible decisions about what to eat. Parents often tell us that staying on the farm convinced their kids to eat healthier.”
For more about Feather Down Farm Days, visit http://www.featherdown.com or “Like” on Facebook at “Featherdown”.