Photo Credit: Jay Parker

While the idea of going to a farm may not seem very “vacation-y,” to some (read work), farm stays are all the rage in Vermont. While some offer straightforward homey accommodations similar to a bed and breakfast that’s a more personalized getaway than your basic hotel, others offer work exchange programs for free or cheap places to stay.

A growing sector of ecotourism and agritourism in the northeast, here are 3 exceptional, earthy farm experiences in Vermont:

Photo Credit: Putneypics

Pick your own produce

If the idea of sleeping in a barn doesn’t get you jazzed up, at least make it a point to stop at one of the many “pick your own” fruit and veggie farms in Vermont to try their delicious, fresh local produce. With hundreds to choose from, they offer everything from the standard pumpkins and apples to gooseberries, cherries, currants, and peaches. More than just farm to table, it’s literally pasture to plate in Vermont.

Photo Credit: Howard Ignatius

Help out around the house

A family friendly experience, Shepherd’s Hill Farm has plenty for you to help out with if you’re so inclined, whether it be collecting fresh eggs from the henhouse or tending to the zucchinis and tomatoes in the garden. Actual tasks depend what season you visit, but can include everything from honey-making to feeding baby lambs. With a beautiful location right on the Ottauquechee River Valley, it’s about as far as you can get from the chaos of city life.

Photo Credit: Howard Ignatius

Indulge in a farm-to-fork sunset dinner

Using produce grown on the farm and other local ingredients, the sunset dinner party at Sandiwood Farms has grown from 20 people at it’s inception to more than 60 each night and is now one of the most coveted dining experiences in New England. A true family run operation, it’s a full community affair with culinary enthusiasts from around the world. Each menu is specially crafted based on what’s freshest at the time and concludes with a tour of the garden.