FLORA, Ind. (WISH) — A website is helping provide a boost to income and tourism to some farms in central Indiana by connecting tourists to campsites.
The site is called HipCamp and works as a short-term property rental like Airbnb and Vrbo, except instead of renting a room in a house or an apartment, you rent a space of land on a farm to pitch a tent, a tiny house by a river, or a cabin in the woods.
Website promotes vacationing on Indiana farms
Tim Sheets owns Heritage Farm Events in Howard County with his wife. They raise alpaca and chickens and use some of their property to host holiday events, weddings and parties. Since signing onto HipCamp’s directory about three years ago, they’ve been pleased with how many people want to spend the night on the farm. Sheets says they’re booked 200 nights out of the year, something he calls “amazing.”
“It surprised us,” said Sheets. “It’s a good way to supplement a farm’s income because farming is hard and there’s not a lot of profits year to year. So this is a good way that we’ve done and a lot of farms can do to pick up extra income and have people stay.”
The farm boasts an 1850’s era hand-hewn log cabin with upstairs sleeping quarters, downstairs sitting room and outdoor patio including a pizza brick oven.
Website promotes vacationing on Indiana farms – 3
“We can sleep up to six in the cabin but the land around it, we’ve had people pitch tents near a creek and just stay,” he said, pointing out the farm’s zipline and hayrides.
Indiana’s beautiful autumn season has made a difference for travelers too, according to Sheets. He said he had 30 guests in one weekend alone in October, just in the camping sites.
“It’s not just the overnight, it’s the experience,” said Sheets. “We usually do a tour around the farm and answer questions, expose the people to the alpacas and the rooster, and all that.”