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Agritourism in East Central Indiana

By Chris Flook

East-Central Indiana is known for many things, but our long, historic and strong tradition of agriculture lends itself toward a special kind of tourism, agritourism. Agritourism is generally defined as tourism that brings visitors to a farm, ranch, or to visit/purchase agricultural products that are not often available in traditional supermarkets. Visitors will often visit for “farm demonstrations, harvest festivals, farm vacations, school group tours, hayrides, pick-your-own crop harvests, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, crop mazes, and a host of other products or services.” Purdue’s extension office has a pretty extensive guide and resource for visitors and farmers wishing to expand their operations to include new options for visitors wishing to connect to Indiana’s farms, vineyards, and rural destinations.

Over the past two decades, a sharp increase in agri-tourism in the United States has generated millions of dollars in income for local farmers and agricultural based-tourism. The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center cites that over 13,000 farms in the United States grossed approximately $674,000,000 in 2012.

There are many advantages in agritourism and the state of Indiana even offers official ‘Indiana Grown’ – a statewide branding initiative designed to certify Hoosier farm products. Along with increasing revenue for area farmers, agritourism allows visitors to connect directly with nature during the warmer months, but also allows for East-Central Indiana residents to get fresh produce, meat, and other farm products from their neighbors.

Across East-Central Indiana, there are numerous destinations for those wishing to spend an afternoon, or even a weekend connecting with nature and sourcing local food. In some instances, area farmers allow for individuals to pick their own produce like strawberries and around the holidays, a family trip to a pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm often becomes a local tradition.

We’ve compiled a list of several destinations – perfect for a family trip, a romantic afternoon, or just a quiet visit by yourself!

Bastin Honey Bee Farm in Knightstown:
Bell’s Strawberry Farm in Hagerstown:
Boondocks Farm in Knightstown:
Brown Family Farm in Montpelier:
Engleking’s Country Beef Shop in Charlottesville:
Fagan Family Farm in Cambridge City:
Golliher Farms in Cambridge City:
Drennen’s Pumpin Kington in Montpelier:
Landess Farm in Daleville:
L&K Produce in Newcastle:
Pumpkin Kingdom in Montpelier:
Russell Sheep Company in Eaton:
Spangler Farms in Yorktown:

Dougherty Orchards in Cambridge City:
Grabow Orchard in Pendleton:
Hainlen Orchard in Converse:
Jacobs’ Family Orchard in New Castle:
Rusty Acres Orchard in Connersville:

Clearview Family Tree Farm in Henry County:
Millbrook Tree Farm in Yorktown:
Sickels Tree Farm in Lynn:
Whitetail Tree Farm in Springport:

Belgian Horse Winery in Middletown:
Downing Vineyard and Winery in Fairmount:
J&J Winery and Noble Order Brewing Company in Richmond:
Madison County Winery in Markleville:
Oak Hill Winery in Converse:
The Stable in Pendleton:
Tonne Winery in Muncie:
Victoria’s Vineyards in Hartford City:
Wilson Wines in Modoc:

One of the most common ways to connect to East-Central Indiana produce is at a farmer’s market. In many communities across the region, farmer’s markets pop up at courthouse squares, parks, and other central locales from May until October (see the full list below).

The Henry County Farmers’ Market is the quintessential example of an East-Central Indiana farmer’s market. Local produce growers assemble each Saturday morning to the east of the Henry County courthouse to showcase their produce grown throughout the region. As the summer months turn to fall, more vendors, with more options appear to sell their produce to local residents.

Alexandria Farmers’ and Artists Market
Anderson City Market
Dunkirk Farmers’ Market
Elwood Farmers’ Market
Fayette County Farmer’s Market
Marion Open Air Market
Minnetrista Farmers’ Market (Muncie)
Portland Farmers’ Market
Henry County Farmers’ Market (New Castle)
Richmond Farmer’s Market
Heart of Rushville Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market
Winchester Main Street Farmers’ Market
Yorktown Farmers’ Market

Whether you’re looking for fresh, locally sourced produce, or you want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, East-Central Indiana offers a plethora of agricultural related events, markets, and farms to connect better with nature!