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Agri-tourism growing in Saskatchewan

On a grain farm south of Rosetown, Sask., April and Darryl Anderson run another business.

Created as a way to showcase agriculture, Anderson and her husband opened Alive Sky Lodge in 2015 – a bed and breakfast that sits right in their farmyard.

READ MORE: Ag in the City a hit with Saskatoon residents

“It’s pretty hard to relocate your farm, so I just decided we are going to bloom where we are planted,” April Anderson said.

Two years later they added BINcredible. A rustic, metal grain bin converted into an accommodation. Among the many surprising features, you’ll find a fireplace, chandelier, bathtub and kitchen area – it’s also the only one in Canada where you can stay in year-round.

A rustic, metal grain bin has been converted into an accommodation.

Nicole Stillger / Global News

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Their unique operation fits into a component of the tourism sector called agri-tourism.

READ MORE: Tourism Saskatoon excited for potential growth with WestJet buyout

“Any of our guests can ride on any of our equipment,” Anderson explained. “You get a complete farm experience where you can be part of seeding, harvest or anything in between.”

“The food aspect of it [is] something that’s really been growing a lot in the last number of years,” Tourism Saskatchewan industry consultant Tim Ouellette explained.

“People have the opportunity to not only see how a farm operates, but participate in some of that food production activity that goes on.”

According to Ouellette, there’s a growing number of people who want to know more about where their food comes from – something Anderson said is at the heart of their operation.

“We want them to know we care about what our family eats, we care about what they eat, we care about what we produce and we really think they are interested,” she said. Adding, organic vegetables and fruit are grown in their garden.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Pulse Growers optimistic about the future of plant-based proteins

For many, the draw may simply be wanting to experience life on the farm.

“Farming for a lot of people is a lot more removed,” Ouellette said. “They really don’t get that opportunity to go back and experience what a farm is like.”

“They want to come and see how we live, what we do, what the cultural differences are and what the landscape is like,” said Anderson. “It is unique.”

While the interest in agri-tourism is growing, Ouellette said the province is a bit behind what is happening nationally and internationally.

“It’s going to be a little bit slower in its growth,” he said. “It won’t be the most talked about thing perhaps in Saskatchewan tourism for some while.”

Anderson said on her farm, however, the business has been steady since opening – hosting people from around the world, including Asia and Europe.

“The love the Prairie, they love the privacy, they love the quiet,” Anderson said.

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