There is nothing like difficult economic times to make you want to disconnect from urban stimulation and all things wired. At least that’s the case for me; when I am on a long country walk with no cell reception or iPhone on hand it’s infinitely easier to forget what’s happening with the Dow or the job market. So I like the idea of the Feather Down Farms getaways, a European company come stateside that basically has you spending your holiday doing farm chores and eating meals of organic, fresh-picked ingredients.
The farm-stay chain is decidedly high-end, with accommodations in spacious tents with wood floors,  bathrooms, wood-burning stoves, and comfy beds that are more B&B than rustic. But outdoorsy activities are salt of the earth, including picking organic vegetables, gathering hay, and milking goats before making cheese that might end up on your make-your-own pizza. There are a number of different farms to chose from in rural spots like the Catskills and Illinois, and the company plans to have 20 to choose from in the next year.
Feather Down Farms sounds particularly good as a family getaway–what kid doesnt like to pet a farm pony or feed the sheep? And I have recently heard of a number of investment bankers and CEOs who have left the rat race to start organic farms–this kind of vacation gives you a taste of whether country living is really for you or an idyll best just dreamed about.