“Experience Farming” at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta

ATLANTA Groups looking for a different post-event activity may want to try out Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta’s "Experience Farming" package.

The educational agri-tourism trip is an opportunity for corporate delegates and leisure travellers to visit a local farm, try their hand at organic planting and learn from an expert what it’s like to grow your own food.

The programme is organised in partnership with Daron Joffe or Farmer D, as he is better known, founder and president of Farmer D Organics. Born in South Africa, Farmer D has travelled the world over. He established his company with the mission to spread the benefits of organic farming as well as to help build sustainable communities.

Farmer D

“We are delighted to partner with Farmer D who has a passion for farming and empowering people about growing healthy food,” said Robert Lowe, Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta general manager. “Our guests will enjoy incredible and memorable hands-on farm experiences.”

The itinerary begins with a farm-to-table breakfast at the hotel’s Café & Bar restaurant, where Farmer D will share his experiences as an organic farmer and talk about food, sustainability and agriculture.

Groups will then be ferried to Burge Plantation an hour’s drive away, where they will go on a guided tour of the fields and gardens. There, they will get hands-on lessons in planting, weeding, mulching, harvesting and post-harvest processing of vegetables, herbs and other crops. Other interesting tasks include pruning, thinning, seed-saving, feeding animals, building a compost pile, digging a bed, picking flowers and more. Lunch will be served on-site.

The programme can take up to 50 participants per day, divided into two smaller groups – one to attend a morning trip, the other for an afternoon session. The activity is conducted upon request and does not run on a regular schedule, although it is a staple offering for interested guests staying at the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

Benefits include luxury accommodation for two nights, breakfast directly sourced from the farm, luxury car transportation to and from the site, the hands-on activities and gardening tools, as well as the boxed "lunch and learn" set with Farmer D. Rates start at US$870 per night in a Deluxe guestroom based on a two-night, double occupancy stay until September 30, 2013. Companies may avail of special rates, depending on group size and the time of year.

For more information, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com

Johna Baylon


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