With tobacco sales in a state of decline and the ability to make a living from traditional farming becoming increasingly difficult, Kentucky farmers are looking for new ways to maintain their livelihood as well as their traditions. For many of these farmers, agritourism is the path to the future. It allows them to keep their farms and the lifestyle they love, while allowing city folk to get back to their roots, or at least to get a better idea of where their food comes from. As Kentucky’s agritourism website so plainly puts it, farms are fun. Check out these agritourism ventures, and you’re sure to agree.

Boyd’s Orchard

From the first strawberries of the spring to the last pumpkins of the fall, Boyd’s Orchard in Versailles grows and sells some awfully fine produce. You can venture out into the fields to pick your own or choose from the selection in the farm market. Fall is celebrated with festivals that feature hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a giant kids’ play area. You’ll want to stay for lunch, the creative café menu making the most out of what’s fresh.

Inside a barn, a farmer stands beside a small dairy cow.

Carl Chaney (and Miss Glimmer) of Chaney’s Dairy Barn teaches folks about dairy production. Photo courtesy of kentuckytourism.com.

Chaney’s Dairy Barn

Chaney’s Dairy Barn is the place to get ice cream in Bowling Green. Each of the rich flavors, from straight-up vanilla to Wow Now Brownie Cow, is made on-site with milk from the farm’s cows. Take a tour of the farm to meet and even milk the cows. Special events like Ice Cream and a Mooovie are family favorites.

Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese

For another delicious dairy product, try some of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese. Some of the finest restaurants in the state serve these delicious cheeses, which come in a variety of styles. Try the Kentucky Rose, a creamy light blue cheese. The cheese is made in the old-world style with the farm’s own milk. Call ahead to arrange a tour when you’re in the Barren River area.

Lavender Hills of Kentucky

The first lavender farm in the state, Lavender Hills of Kentucky brightens up the Northern Kentucky countryside with its gorgeous fields of flowers. Enjoy the scent and the sight, and then browse the gift shop to see the many ways in which lavender can be used.

Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery

Located in Lawrenceburg, Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery is a fun alternative to all the nearby bourbon distilleries. Visitors are welcome to wander the 20-acre vineyard and sit for a tasting. If you’re interested in the process, don’t be shy about asking for a peek at the machinery

Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Kentucky.