I will admit it, the last time I saw my friend’s Facebook post of her lying under a palm tree, I was a little jealous. Although I am always traveling, the photo hit me on a gloomy day, and I started oozing for a green getaway.
There are places to soak up the sun, put my feet in the sand and enjoy my drink with the pink umbrella, but I was looking for something refreshing, engaging and totally new. A friend told me about farm-to-table excursions, where delicious, locally sourced food is shared in glorious settings with complete strangers. I was hooked.
Yes, strangers. Culinary excursions are now one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, and you can find them across America and around the world. California started the trend, offering agritourist adventures in outdoor settings, but now you can find organic food experiences all around you just by Googling “farm-to-table near me.”
California’s Outstanding in the Field, Farm-to-Fork Capital and Healdsburg Food and Wine Tours offer outdoor dinners, cooking demos, hiking and more. But every state, including Michigan, offers new ways to become deeply connected to the environment.
Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours in the Leelanau Peninsula immerse guests in local food, culture and history by tramping across fields, dining in barns, tasting from kegs and picking from the vine on one-to-three-day jaunts with local chefs, farmers, distillers and wine experts. If you are looking for a natural one-day getaway, check out Salt of the Earth in Fennville. The kitchen cooks everything from scratch, including the artisan bread. Even the bank is locally sourced.
What better way to experience a new place than through the stories of folks who live and love their local food? I just booked my first agri-adventure, and I cannot wait. To complete the trip, I plan to bring great friends, an open palate, a grateful attitude and the joyful expectation of meeting a stranger.