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Staycations for foodies support small farmers

Work & Lifestyle

By connecting growers with consumers, Farmcation boosts small businesses and builds community through meals, workshops and tours.

Consumer preferences are shifting towards eco-conscious habits, and more and more are prioritizing sustainability over price and convenience. We have already seen an app that helps diners find local restaurants that share their values, now Farmcation is going a step further and connecting those wanting a stronger connection with the source of their food with the passionate, knowledgeable farmers who produce it. Farmcation’s founders know that even when a labor of love, farming is difficult work.

Despite sales of local food more than doubling in the past few years, most small farmers continue to struggle financially on an average net income of USD 20,000 per year. Many small-scale farms already seek to supplement their livelihood through market stalls and pick-your-own produce. At the same time, interest in the locavore movement continues to grow. Farmcation’s founders saw an opportunity to bring the two together in a way that would increase local sustainability and create stronger communities.

Farmcation works with both hosts and guests, matching up interests with specialty knowledge. Activities include farm tours; fruit picking; canning, jamming, pickling and cooking workshops; cheesemaking classes; and farm-to-table meals. Development plans for the company will focus on increasing support for farmers who want to participate but have too little time to develop their offerings. “We want to scale thoughtfully and patiently,” says the company.

A number of companies have begun operating in the space between food producers and consumers, creating a sustainable local food chain, such as this an online marketplace designed to connect producers with local buyers. How else can startups foster stronger local supply chains?

Email: grace_lesser@berkeley.edu

Website: www.farmcation.us

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