Fesko Farms in Skaneateles, New York, takes on a new venture this year; camping.
As per a report, Kim Brayman, daughter of Chris Fesko, and her late husband, Rick Fesko, embarked on the project last year. Brayman and her husband Eric have taken over the farm’s ownership and operation in the past few years.
This year marks the campground’s soft opening with 20 campsites, of which four are cabins. Setting up a campground might not seem like a lot of work, but the bureaucratic process of zoning issues and the need to deal with costs for materials and supply shortages have made the plan more complicated and expensive than Brayman anticipated.
“That’s been the hardest part,” Brayman said.
“How we got the money to do it is, we sold our development rights to the state regarding land easements. If we sell our property, the next person can’t build houses. It has to stay in agriculture. We have to go through a land trust, and they hold the easements. That’s the money I’m using to put into it.”
So far, that has added up to $300,000 between the cost of materials, services, and engineering fees. She had to install a driveway so guests could more readily access the cabins.
Brayman has a permit for 75 campsites. However, the expense of materials has maintained it at 20. Besides the four cabins, the campground has sites for RVs, campers, and tents.
“Eventually, I’ll have water and electric to every site and septic to a handful of them,” she said. “There will be a dumping station, a store where we’ll sell our own meat and have local milk in. There are quite a few local vendors of honey and that type of things I want to promote.”
Since campers are also interested in farm life, Brayman wants to include optional farm-related activities that offer campers farm experiences if they wish.
“We want to do a barn on the site and have ‘chore time’ so kids and people can do chores,” Brayman said. “I want to get some culled cows to milk so they can see how cows are milked and possibly help. It’ll be a great experience with the animals. We’ll do a guided tour to the dairy farm.”
The family has big plans for the campground. This story originally appeared on Lancaster Farming.