The growth of the cities and the abandonment of the village has brought us a society quite far removed from the work of the fields and livestock. More and more boys and girls have never seen a cow up close. So, a great resource to get closer to this world is a visit to one of the many farms that open their doors to us in Galicia.
Many are known as school farms, focused on the dissemination of life in the country and on leisure activities beyond the farm. Above all, they host groups of students, family or friends. Between them:
The Berganda farm, in Negreira, near Compostela, apart from agricultural activities and caring for animals, offers leisure and free time activities such as: horse riding, workshops, celebration of events, etc.
The Barreiros farm, in Sarria, Lugo, has an ecological garden, animals of native breeds, fields, fruit trees… They have a weather station and everything.
O Souto farm, in Ortigueira, in addition to being a center for equestrian tourism, offers the possibility of doing camps, routes, visits, classes, courses… Many farms, such as this one in O Souto, abandoned the dairy activity, where appropriate, and they became a center for tourist equestrian activities.
The Belelle farm in Neda, A Coruña, also has horse riding and beekeeping.
The Fervenza Aventura complex, in Silleda, Pontevedra, near Fervenza da Toxa, with its growth, has gone from a farm to a «center of activities in nature».
El Kirico farm, in Fornelos de Montes, Pontevedra, is also of this style, where, in addition to feeding the animals, watering, kneading bread… we can go canoeing, climb in the climbing wall, or jump down the zip line.
Other farms are more focused on their production. Some organic producers took notice of the possibilities that the wine tourism sector had opened up, for example, and began to open their farms to the public. And it seems to be working. Seeing the manufacture or obtaining of the product first-hand, gives confidence to the public as a consumer. Among them, for example:
The Big House of Xanceda. It is an agrarian house from the 18th century transformed with the new times. It has an ecoshop, an ecozoo, where you can get in touch with the animals, meadows, a milking parlor, a cheese cellar, a pantry, stables… and activities appropriate to each time of year. In it we see the production process of their yogurts, butters and cheeses.
In some of these farms, you can also take home something made by you (many times edible and everything), as in the House of cheese of Grixalba, in Sobrado dos Monxes. It offers leisure activities, production (wool processing, sowing…), gastronomy (working with cheeses, sausages…), history (with guided routes through the mills…).
At the Arqueixal farm, where they have different houses, they are dedicated to organic cheeses and yogurts, and they also invite the participation of the tasks of peeling corn or making artisan cheeses.
Another farm dedicated to cheese is that of Grixeira, in Cospeito, Lugo. By the way, it became famous for being the one that produces some of the cheeses of a well-known hamburger chain (it starts with eme).
In these farms we are not only talking about animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Bees are also protagonists in some farms that can be visited, such as in Apípolis, in Santo Estevo de Xeve, Pontevedra. It opens between March and October, because in the rest of the months the bees are not very active. Another is Abellamoura, in As Pontes, in A Coruña. Here you can immerse yourself in beekeeping for a day, including honey tasting.
There is also talk of family farms. They are the ones that go from production for self-consumption to the direct sale of quality organic products. Some also offer accommodation. In addition to the sale of capons, calves, pigs, potatoes, etc., there are also mushroom crops, for example, in the Casa de los Mushroom House, in Melide, A Coruña, or of flowers, as in the Flower House, in San Sadurniño, A Coruña.
Nowadays we also refer to these sites as «ecoagrotouristics», since they promote sustainable living. For example, in the Cultural Association of Millo Corvo, they take advantage of it so that we learn or return to old customs and traditions. Others, such as Orballo, in Paderne, A Coruña, propose an innovative and sustainable crop for the production of infusions, spices and aromatic plants.
A curious farm to visit is the Vázquez’s House, in Láncara, Lugo, a producer of organic apples and beef, which houses the living and integrated Museum of the Countryside and Agricultural Locomotion, dedicated to life in a traditional peasant house and the history of the tractor.
And, by way of warning, we must bear in mind that visits to farms are always made by prior confirmed appointment, and more so in current times. So come on, choose your destination!