Agritourism: A Growing Niche Industry

by Jill Kozak

Dec 19, 2014

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, Hawaii © Palms | Dreamstime

Food & Drink

It’s no secret travelers like to eat. In fact, a main reason why people travel is to sample a region’s unique cuisine. Tracking that food to the source, though, has become even more popular. The growing Agritourism movement — when people travel to a region to visit farms and ranches —gives travelers the experience to find out where food comes from while directly sustaining local farmers.

For instance, in Maui, Hawaii, the appeal of this tropical island now extends beyond white-sand beaches and 5-star resorts. With the help of Hawaii’s Agritourism Association, visitors are able to visit an array of unique farms scattered throughout the island.

In lush upcountry Maui lies Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm on the slopes of Haleakala volcano. At 4,000 feet elevation, visitors can stroll amongst soothing lavender fields while enjoying crisp, mountain air.

Could there be a more whimsical name for Surfing Goat Dairy, a gourmet goat cheese-producing farm in lower Kula? Guests can take a tour or even participate in farm chores and milking duties. Not every day offers a chance to milk a goat in Maui.

Sleeping amongst a grove of coconut, mango and avocado trees might be one of the best ways to relax. At Haiku Plantation Inn Bed and Breakfast, guests are invited to take a step back into “old” Hawaii and sample some of the best bounty the land has to offer like bananas, papayas and herbal teas.

If you’re curious about where that amazing bed of wild arugula on your dinner plate grew, a visit to Evonuk Farms won’t disappoint. This farm is where gourmet chefs do their herb shopping and produces more than 25 herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, dill and sage.

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