06/22/2013 09:46 EDT | Updated 08/22/2013 05:12 EDT

From jams to cookbooks, small farmers turn to creative endeavours to keep farms going

DEL REY, Calif. - 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 flavour 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 — an increase of nearly 80 per cent from 2002.