Small farmers turn to creative projects to survive

Marcy Masumoto, left, her daughter Nikiko Masumoto, center and farmworker Ana Guillen, right, package specialty peaches for restaurants and high end markets.

DEL REY, Calif. (AP) â?? Small farms throughout the U.S. are looking for creative ways to set themselves apart from the massive agribusinesses that dominate the nation's produce aisles.

As family operations find that survival requires more than just selling crops, they're cashing in where the corporate giants can't by giving a the public a chance to share the experience and flavor of small farm life.

Across the nation, small farms are selling products such as jam, olive oil and lemonade. And they're writing books, hosting dinners and renting rooms.

Statistics show such practices are growing. According to the most recent data, small farms generated $10 billion in 2007 from activities other than crop or livestock wholesale â?? an increase of nearly 80 percent from 2002.

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