5 Ways to Experience Arizona, Agri-Tourism Style

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Arizona is not just a barren, dust-covered state. Take some time this summer to check out all the bounty our state has to offer. From lettuce and peaches to goat's milk and grass-fed beef . . . This state can be delicious.

Agri-tourism is on the rise, and visiting farms and ranches is a great way to support one of Arizona's largest industries. If you've ever dreamed of producing your own food, like animals, or just enjoy day trips and eating local, here are five places around the state to check out. Be sure to call ahead before making a trip to confirm hours and for special events.

See also: - Want to Start a Farm? - A Hipster's Guide to Farm Animals

Strawberry: Fossil Creek Creamery Goat cheese, fudge, and hikes with llamas are on the itinerary. There's a $5 for fee for the Saturday tours (make a reservation), and for a small fee you can feed an adorable baby goat. This creamery makes all the tops lists of great agri-stops. Warning: You may want a goat after visiting.

Winkelman: Double Check Ranch A working organic ranch with a lovely guest cabin available for rental, this place is the real deal. The processing is done right on the ranch and there's an Audubon-designated Important Birding Area too. It's a great retreat with a modern twist. You can enjoy the wonderful grass-fed beef and the spring-fed San Pedro River during your stay. (Summertime is cheaper!) There's also a series of events in the winter, including farm dinners. If you can't get to the ranch, Double Check often sells at Phoenix area farmers markets.

Wilcox: Apple Annie's Farm At Apple Annie's, you can pick your own produce, the orchard opens July 6, and there's produce available most of the year. Summer is a great time to visit, the Sweet Corn Extravaganza is July 13-14 and July 20-21. Take home some sweet corn and pick other vegetables. Peach Mania in the orchard is July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28; August 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18. There's also pancake breakfasts and apple-smoked burger lunches available on the weekends. It's a great trip with kids, and pies, fudge, and bread are available for purchase.

Dewey: Mortimer Family Farms (formerly Young's) This 300 acre farm and farm store has a sweet corn festival on August 17 and 18 and offers squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, potatoes, watermelon, fudge, angus beef, and eggs for purchase.

Concho: Red Rock Lavender Farms Culinary lavender can be hard to come by, but Red Rock grows several types of lavender including the French lavenders, Provence and Grosso and the English lavenders, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista, Vera, and pink Melissa. The farm was Arizona's first commercial lavender farm and the lavender is harvested by hand each summer. There's a great festival happening though June 30, and you can even order a boxed lunch that includes lavender cookies.

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