Since You Asked: Get down on the farm for dinner

A friend visiting from out of state is a real foodie and wants to tour some of the area's most interesting farms — maybe do a farm stay — and experience farm-to-table dining. I'm not enough of a gourmet to know which local restaurants do this. But she is an adventurous eater and loves quirky spots.

— Katie W. via email

Cheers to your friend for getting you out to explore the Rogue Valley's food scene. After profiling dozens of local farms, we're hard-pressed to pick the most interesting, but fewer offer farm stays, which are becoming a popular form of "agritourism."

The farm stay at Willow-Witt Ranch was featured for a 2010 story in the Los Angeles Times. The ranch, located in the Cascade foothills outside of Ashland, raises all kinds of free-range livestock for meat. Guests can help feed and milk the animals.

Willow-Witt goat and pork is served at New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro in Talent. Nominated for James Beard Awards, it's regarded as the area's original farm-to-table restaurant and grows much of its own produce on site. Restaurants also don't come much quirkier to the delight of New Sammy's regulars.

In Grants Pass, Summer Jo's is the region's only restaurant we know of that also is a working farm. It sells its products on the farm and at local farmers markets. A more recent dining development, Farm to Fork brings diners to local farms for gourmet meals.

If your friend wants to immerse herself in artisan cheese, she can stay at Pholia Farm while taking a cheesemaking class. This off-the-grid goat dairy in Evans Valley refurbished a 1970 Airstream Land Yacht for farm stays. Guests help with chores, learn how to milk a goat and make cheese and go on hikes with the dairy herd.

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