You meet a few local farmers when you shop at farmers markets. But you can really connect if you try out what Italy calls “agriturismo” and actually stay at a farm. Demand for American agritourism now exceeds supply and it is very widespread in the Pacific Northwest.
Check out www.farmstayus.com to connect with almost 1000 farms, ranches or vineyards in the U.S. There are quite a few in Virginia and most allow children under 12. Or click here to see their blog.
Or check out the website for Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms in rural Swoope, Virginia, the amazing endeavor spotlighted in Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma. You may want to take a free self-guided tour of Polyface any day except Sunday. Or book a two hour "Lunatic Tour" for $15, April 11 to October 7, 2013.