A crowing rooster instead of an alarm clock, view from a window not on a busy street, but on a garden full of red poppies and yellow sunflowers; milk not from a carton, but straight from a cow; add peace and quiet, and relaxation among people who love countryside, and who spread this selfless love to nature among city dwellers. Agritourism is an interesting alternative for people who seek an original way of spending a weekend. Because, contrary to popular belief, countryside can fascinate, surprise, and it isn’t at all boring.
“Fair village, peaceful, and yet gay,
What words can thy quaint charms convey?”
The words of the Polish poet, Jan Kochanowski, from his “Saint John’s Eve” , although coming from the XVI century, don’t seem to have grown stale. Countryside is fascinating, it lures with its tranquility, soothes the mind, and puts things into a different perspective. And although today, most people living in big cities can’t imagine moving to the countryside, they do appreciate all the traits of calm, healthy, countryside lifestyle. Hence the growing popularity of agritourism.
Bake a loaf of bread, learn embroidery
Agritourism is simply recreation in the countryside. You can enjoy yourself in the hosts’ house, spend time with them, observe them at work, eat everyday meals, thus becoming somewhat part of a family. At the same time you can reap all the benefits of a farm and its surroundings. You can also take a more active approach, and put your shoulder to the wheel by taking up the challenge of working on a farm. Where else will you learn how to milk cows, bake fresh, healthy bread, groom a horse, or create beautiful embroidery according to the traditional, Kashubian pattern? Those are all activities that many of us have read about in books, otherwise unable to even take a peek at how they’re done. Enjoying yourself at a farm provides an opportunity to taste the real countryside lifestyle through participation in everyday chores, or folk rites.
In the past, when the Polish society was only beginning to work its way up, most people had relatives living in the countryside, and children used to spend their entire holidays there. Times have changed and today spending time in the countryside is an authentic, although meticulously directed range of possibilities to spend your time surrounded by nature. Pomorskie region is as of now the third-largest agritouristic base in Poland, which makes it worthwhile to learn of its specifics.
Horses, landscapes, and lavender
Diversity of agritourism farms is astonishing. In the town of Przywidz, Barbara and Bartosz Idczak grow lavender. In their Lavender Colony, they organise workshops on growing, using, and processing lavender, as well as on traditional methods of production of food and other goods.
“Iskra” stud in Sztumskie Pole, on the other hand, will awaken your passion towards horse riding. However, Jakub Gossa, the owner, offers a lot more than that: horseback trips around the neighbourhood and workshops in the stable. Such complex offer allows to experience horse riding from A to Z.
Creative spirits should stop by Smołdzino, in the guesthouse owned by Biernacki family. Open air painting, sculpting, and photography workshops are held here on a regular basis. And unlimited access to breath-taking panorama is provided by Słowiński National Park, one of the largest in Poland.
A trip to an agritourist farm provides not only great vibes to one’s life, or attractions that we would otherwise be unable to gain access to in a city. Resting in the countryside is pure health, meaning not only the climate, and fresh air. Quality of food served in such places is not without relevance, too: products are always fresh, bred and grown ecologically, and come from either hosts themselves, nearby farms, or just straight from Mother Nature. Such as at Zagroda Śledziowa (Herring Enclosure) located near the town of Ustka, whose owners provide herring in any form and shape. It is fresh, and full of local products that go along with it. The hosts often hear compliments from their guests about naturally grown vegetables and fruit, and any products that they supply. It turns out that food served in the countryside gains new taste.
We can say without hesitation that agritourism soothes both body and mind.