Come & Get It: What You Need to Know to Serve Food on Your Farm

Talk about paradise for the local food enthusiast: dining directly on a farm, savoring specialties made with that farm’s fresh-raised fare, and chatting with the farmer who grew it.

It’s appealing from the host farmers’ perspectives as well -- you can foster the intimate opportunity to share both your farm home and bucolic setting while loyal customers taste your harvest in the freshest possible manner.

Add these two motivations together and you see a vibrant movement of on-farm food events, from informal “pizza farms” selling wood-fired pizzas made with farm-raised ingredients to pricier white-tablecloth, multi-course dinners.

But while the concept of sharing a meal around a table reaches back through centuries of history, in today’s business and regulatory reality it isn’t as simple as setting out an extra table and chairs and collecting cash to get something started. Adding any form of on-farm food service to your farm business mix requires a well-thought-out and strategic planning process to bring you to long-term success.