Get Back to the Farm

Make one of these five fantastic farms your next travel destination.

Get Back to the Farm

Cooking class, lunch

Photo by Tara Donne

In “Maine’s Homegrown Revival,” Michael S. Sanders visited Maine’s Salt Water Farm. Here are some other places you can discover your inner agrarian.

1. Willows Inn and Nettles Farm

Lummi Island, Washington

Blaine Wetzel worked with René Redzepi at the acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant Noma. At Willows, Wetzel prepares hyperlocal five-course dinners of dishes like lettuces with “dirt” (a mix of crushed hazelnut and malt) and pickled Hamersley Inlet oysters. The restaurant is in a sublime setting: a 1910 craftsman-style B&B in the San Juan Islands. Guests can go on foraging expeditions via kayak, or walk five minutes to Nettles Farm, the source of most of Wetzel’s produce. Doubles from $285; Farm work- shops $50. 2579 W. Shore Dr., (888) 294-2620,

2. Ballymaloe Cookery School

Shanagarry, Cork, Ireland

Ireland’s prominent celebrity chef Darina Allen opened her renowned cooking school 28 years ago in the middle of a 100-acre organic farm. Today she offers more than 30 courses, from half-day classes to five-day intensives ranging from “forgotten skills” like butter making to such classic techniques as pan grilling and preparing a perfect omelette. Students can opt to stay in self-catering cottages on the school grounds or up the road at the gorgeous Ballymaloe House hotel, run by Darina’s family. Rooms from $153. Classes from $160. Shanagarry, County Cork. 353/(0) 21-464-6785,

3. Blackberry Farm

Walland, Tennessee

Local ingredients are so revered at this grand farm resort at the foot of the Smoky Mountains that Blackberry Farm employs a gardener, a cheesemaker, a beekeeper, a butcher, and a preservationist who pickles and makes jams. An 18th-century Amish barn doubles as a dining room and a cooking school where visiting wine experts and chefs, including Judy Rodgers of San Francisco’s Zuni Café, lead multiday classes. Rooms from $745, two-night minimum. 1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., (800) 273-6004,

4. The Agrarian Kitchen

Lachlan, Tasmania

The Agrarian Kitchen, a sustainable farm–based cooking school located 45 minutes from Hobart, has Barnevelder chickens, British Alpine goats, Wessex saddleback pigs, and an heirloom vegetable garden and fruit orchard. An old schoolhouse has been converted into a kitchen where owner Rodney Dunn and guest chefs give lessons on everything from cooking with fire to butchering a whole cow. Full-day classes start at $313. 650 Lachlan Rd., 61/(0) 3-6261- 1099,

5. Castello di Vicarello

Maremma, Italy

Aurora Baccheschi Berti gives hands-on cooking lessons in the enormous stone kitchen at her 12th-century castle in the Maremma region of Tuscany. Aurora keeps extra mud boots so guests can stomp through the gardens picking herbs and heirloom greens. Her seasonally inspired pastas, risottos, and tarts are paired with wines made by her husband, Carlo. Adventurous guests can accompany Carlo on a wild boar hunt at his nearby hunting lodge. Rooms from $667. 58044 Poggi del Sasso, 39/0564-990-718,

>> Next: A Quest to Cook Like My Grandma Led Me to an Italy Most Travelers Miss

AFAR Staff
From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR