Diverse Income from Your Scenic Pastures: Consider Glamping

In the early 2000's, I had the joy of spending a memorable four days with Bill Burrows, a 6th-generation rancher and Holistic Management practitioner from Northern California. Bill told us the story of how his family very nearly lost the ranch in the 1980's when the bottom fell out of the cattle market, and how a change in his thinking helped them recover, by developing multiple new enterprises, including hosting small groups of guests for weekend-long hunting expeditions. His words stayed with me: "I switched from seeing myself as a cattle producer to a sunlight harvester. Aside from cattle, how else could I capture sunlight to diversify our farm income and support my family on this land?" .   This idea of thinking creatively about ways to support a livelihood on the land stayed with me. Fast Forward a Decade In 2010, my husband and I had started our farm on a very wet, thin-soiled, overgrown property. We were standing in a field that, despite being unmanaged for 30+ years, had only produced 12" of forage. Most of that was knapweed. "Well, at least it's got a pretty view, and the sunsets will be gorgeous from here," my husband said, aiming for a hopeful tone. The view seemed to be the only thing going for that field. But Bill's words came back to me, and an idea began to take shape. What if the best way to harvest the sunlight from that field was to host

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