Have you ever wanted to escape from it all and spend some time on a farm? About ten years ago we stayed on a working farm in Tuscany, and it was a vacation we still talk about to this day. This year’s pandemic has pushed more people to explore the outdoors, and has made them seek out places where they can socially distance.
A farm definitely checks both of those boxes, and we are seeing a huge rise in agritourism in the United States. We stayed in a couple of unique vacation rentals this summer, and I’m excited to share one of the newer agritourism properties out there, Eleanor’s. It’s a charming farm house set in the sunflower fields in Kansas, and in my mind, it doesn’t get better than that.
*We were able to spend time interviewing the owners of Eleanor’s in partnership with The Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas Farm Bureau. It is always a pleasure for me to speak with local farmers and learn about their businesses, their families, and the challenges they face.
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What is agritourism?
Agritourism happens when a working farm opens up its doors for a supplemental revenue stream. People are able to visit and sometimes stay on the farm, allowing them a peek into daily life. Travel Kansas even has an Agritourism page where you can find farms around the state offering a variety of activities. Eleanor’s offers seventy five acres of sunflower fields, an event space, and a renovated farmhouse straight out of “Fixer Upper”.
Where is Eleanor’s located?
Eleanor’s is located in Scranton, Kansas, about a half hour south of Topeka. The property owners live a half mile away, so it’s perfect for a private getaway.
The history of Eleanor’s
Eleanor’s is run by Lara and Doug Shoup, whose farm is adjacent to the house. The Shoups are fifth generation farmers who grow not only sunflowers, but soybeans as well. Eleanor’s was the home of Eleanor and Walter Smith. When Eleanor passed away at the age of 103, the Shoup family purchased this adjacent homestead.
Lara and her friend Meagan Wise decided to clean up the place and turn it into an event space and accommodation. In the year since they started this adventure, they have hosted their first wedding and reception, a sunflower festival, and even Christmas at the Farm.
When is the best time to see the sunflower fields?
The Shoups have set up three different sunflower plantings, so there are typically blooms from mid-August through Labor Day. This is the perfect time to come wander the fields, cut some to take home, and arrange for sessions with local photographers. During the season be sure to check their Facebook page for up-to-date information.
I don’t know about you, but I think sunflowers are breathtaking. If I see them by the side of the road, I always stop to take pictures. There’s just something about these towering golden giants that always catches my eye. The thought of staying somewhere like Eleanor’s is definitely on my travel bucket list.
Tell me more about Eleanor’s
Eleanor’s is a three bedroom, one bath farmhouse, currently in the final stages of renovation. It’s amazing to see the hard work that has been put into this homestead transformation. Located on seventy six acres, Eleanor’s offers all the privacy you need. Families can have campfires, play games, and simply enjoy the beauty of the night sky away from the city lights.
This is also a great space for a birthday or graduation party, since there is plenty of room for everyone to safely social distance. Wedding events can be hosted on site at the White Barn.
If you have ever considered a farm stay, or sleeping among the sunflowers, now is the time to book this unique property. We are sure the Shoups will be the ultimate hosts and this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.
If you want to learn more about our prior experience with Kansas Soybean Commission, don’t miss this article about Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana.
Photo credits: Lara Shoup and Amy E Robinson Photography