Working Farms and Food

Farmland and forests produce the necessities of life and provide essential natural services. In PEC's nine county area, over 180,000 acres of farmland and 140,000 acres of forests are protected through private, voluntary land conservation.
  • Farmer-Chef Express Launched! Farmer Chef Express is an online, interactive tool to connect buyers and sellers of local food. Listings outline specific product needs or product availability so that buyers and sellers can connect with each other and establish productive business relationships. All you have to do is sign up in order to create a post or search for products.
  • Order Seeds For Your Garden Planning your garden? The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, located in Louisa, is once again donating 30% of the sales of certain seed packages to support PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local program.
     

Buy Fresh Buy Local

Buy Fresh Buy Local logo

PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign helps consumers find local products while building relationships between growers, food artisans, farmers’ markets retailers, restaurants, and institutions.

Use our Buy Fresh Buy Local website to find farms, grocers, caterers, restaurants, CSAs, and farmers markets.

 

Farming for the Future

Created by: Prince Charitable Trusts, Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, and The Piedmont Environmental Council.

Farm and Restaurant Profiles

Bellair Farm CSA

Apr 28, 2015
For farm manager Jamie Barrett of Bellair Farm CSA, being a resource for the larger community is part of the farm vision.

Brookville Restaurant

Apr 24, 2014
Harrison Keevil and his wife, Jennifer, opened Brookville in the summer of 2010 with a goal to provide patrons with as many local ingredients as…

Buchanan Farms

Apr 28, 2015
On a sunny but chilly March morning in Waterford, Va., I stood in an 18th-century barn with the owners of Buchanan Farms, Sharon Buchanan-McIntosh…

Caromont Farm: Farmstead Cheeses with the Flavor of Virginia

Dec 14, 2011
Gail Hobbs-Page was given her first pair of goats as a young child growing up on a farm in North Carolina. Her father gave her the animals because he…
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Croftburn Farm

May 03, 2012
At Croftburn Farm, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle graze in wide green pastures on either side of Route 3, just outside of the Town of…

Fabbioli Cellars

May 03, 2012
For Doug Fabbioli of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, growing his winery and his vines in a way that is environmentally and economically sustainable is…

Farmstead Ferments & New Moon Naturals

Apr 24, 2014
Sitting less than 100 yards from gardens and a variety of fruit trees on a farm in Charlottesville, I met with Dawn Story, founder of New Moon…

Fauquier Hospital

May 03, 2012
It’s safe to say that when most people consider their local restaurant options, the nearby hospital’s cafeteria doesn’t normally make the list. But…
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L'etoile

May 03, 2012
Mark Gresge is a self proclaimed food nerd. He loves food. He loves researching food history, learning about why people eat what they eat, what foods…

Lee's Orchard

May 01, 2014
Lee’s Orchard sits about 10 miles east of Shenandoah National Park in Rappahannock County, surrounded by beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge…

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Apr 28, 2015
The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum’s motto, “We Preserve The Past—We Educate The Future” says it all. Located within the Claude Moore Regional Park in…

Market Table Bistro

Apr 24, 2014
Opening a restaurant like Market Table Bistro was always a dream for Rebecca Dudley and Jason Lage, both of whom went to culinary school and later…

From The Piedmont View

The following articles appeared in PEC's Membership Newsletter -- The Piedmont View

Fenced in at Roundabout Meadows

Sep 22, 2016
Polluted water is not only bad for us and the environment, but it’s bad for livestock as well,” says Celia Vuocolo, habitat and stewardship specialist at PEC. A significant stewardship project is…

Grazing Along

Jun 06, 2016
A large herd of fluffy, yet still intimidating, sheep run full speed through a gate as they’re rotated to an alternate pasture at Over Jordan Farm in Flint Hill, Va. “I don’t use herding dogs. The…

Garden Awards!

Mar 18, 2016
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of our 2015 School and Community Garden Awards! The competition recognizes gardens that celebrate the relationship between nature,…

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News From the Piedmont

More Working Farms and Food

  • Dec 23, 2015

    Is That Fire? Controlled Burn at Gilberts Corner

    In the fall of 2013, The Piedmont Environmental Council was given a 141-acre farm at the southeast quadrant of US Route 50 and US Route 15 in Loudoun County, known locally as ‘Gilberts Corner’. As part of the restoration of the property, PEC is planning a controlled or prescribed burn of approximately 20 acres located at the property’s northwest corner, within the triangular area bounded by Route 50, Route 15, and Howser’s Branch Drive. Read More
  • Nov 10, 2015

    Buy Fresh Buy Local Holiday Guides

    Our 2015 Buy Fresh Buy Local Holiday Guides are ready to download. The guide features businesses that produce locally grown Christmas trees & decorations and holiday foods (produce, meat, dairy, eggs and specialty foods) in the Charlottesville and Northern Piedmont Area! To search for more local food, visit buylocalvirginia.org. Read More
  • Aug 01, 2014

    Farmer-Chef Express!

    Farmer-Chef Express is an online, interactive tool to connect buyers and sellers of local food. Farmer-Chef Express is built around 'posts'. Local food buyers can post what they are looking for and local food sellers can post what products they have available. Read More
  • Jun 03, 2014

    Food for Thought

    A local food and farm speaker series in downtown Culpeper Keep farming and local businesses thriving in the Piedmont! Join us for a summer community speaker series to hear from growers and producers who bring food to your table. Come meet your farming neighbors and develop your own gardening and foodie dreams. This free speaker series will be held in downtown Culpeper, select Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Read More
  • Jul 29, 2014

    Food for Thought: A Local Food Outing

    Join PEC and Slow Food D.C. as we delve into some of the unique challenges that local food producers face, hear about some of the innovations being used by a new generation of farmers, and the important role of consumers in promoting and sustaining agriculture and local businesses. Read More
  • May 03, 2014

    2014 Buy Fresh Buy Local Guides

    Our 2014 Buy Fresh Buy Local guides have been released! In total, the guides will be sent to 265,761 homes in Virginia's Piedmont. Among the listings are 309 local farms and orchards, 30 farmers markets, 77 wineries and distilleries, 73 restaurants and caterers, and 45 retailers. Read More
  • Oct 29, 2013

    Eat Local Bingo

    Take the Eat Local Challenge! A great resource for parents, teachers, and students -- download the Bingo Card PDF and go for any row. Use it to help celebrate Virginia Farm to School Week, November 11-15, 2013. Read More
  • Sep 24, 2013

    Expanding Beef Cattle Profitability in VA's Northern Piedmont

    Currently: • Most weaned and backgrounded calves leave the state for fattening in out-of-state feedlots. • A small percentage of calves are kept as stockers before shipping to out-of-state feedlots. • Most cow-calf operations take commodity price. Some buyers pay premiums. • Beef returns as “boxed beef” for retail to metro-consumers. Value/revenue is lost out-of-state. A small percentage (<10%) of the region’s farms and cattle are conception-to-carcass operations that direct market beef (mostly pasture raised or grass-fed) at a premium to consumers. They process beef (usually one or two at a time) at one of six custom facilities. These producers are seeking additional slaughter and processing capacity. Pastures in the region are currently underutilized with gains at about 1 lb/day. Efficiencies in cattle and pasture management, grazing, and transit, processing, even paperwork could increase returns to producers and the region. Processing and sales volumes could greatly increase. Additional acreage would be employed in grazing cattle retained in the region. Total returns to the regional economy would increase. Read More
  • Aug 20, 2013

    Discovering Local Food

    For Piedmont Family Magazine -- April 2013 -- In my role as the Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator for The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), local food is an everyday topic of conversation. From broader discussions on how to encourage larger institutions to purchase locally or how to make the food distribution system more efficient, to quick conversations with farmers about a new ethnic vegetable variety or gourmet garlic -- Buy Fresh Buy Local is all about strengthening our local food system so that it supports farmers and consumers alike. Read More
  • Aug 13, 2013

    Loudoun Farm Incubator

    The concept of incubators to launch new farm businesses has been developing in the sustainable agriculture community for years. Veteran agriculturalists understand that, much like a successful farm business, a successful farmer incubator requires very particular skills and experience. In the summer of 2012 leading Loudoun County farmers and The Piedmont Environmental Council began a series of planning sessions to design a sustainable model for a Loudoun Farm Incubator. The team applied a unique combination of farming and agricultural land management experience and expertise to the task of creating a viable business plan for a Loudoun Farm Incubator. The outcome of those sessions is summarized below. This summary is a working document, and still evolving. Please contact Mike Kane, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with comments. Read More
  • Jul 29, 2013

    Defining our Food Labels

    When talking about our food, we constantly hear terms like ‘organic’, ‘local’, ‘free-range’, and ‘grass-fed.’ These labels are meant to guide consumers’ food purchasing decisions by offering information on the farming methods used to grow or raise food, and the reassurance that food safety risks have been minimized. More often than not, however, I find it difficult to distinguish the plethora of different labels. Read More
  • Jan 29, 2013

    Buy Fresh Buy Local Work Session

    Our first-ever work session for Buy Fresh Buy Local Loudoun, Northern Piedmont, and Charlottesville Chapters was held on January 10, 2013. Nine working groups were formed to take coordinated action on a range of different topics. Read More
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    Sep 01, 2015

    Awards for Community & School Gardens

    Previous winners City Schoolyard Garden at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville.Thank you to all of the applicants for our 2015 School and Community Garden Awards! We received 12 applications from gardens throughout PEC's service area. As always, deciding the winners among such a high caliber group of gardens was a difficult task.Congratulations to our 2015 Garden Award recipients!$500 AwardFifth Street Community Garden, CharlottesvilleFrances Hazel Reid Elementary School Garden Classroom, Leesburg$300 Award New Roots Community Garden, CharlottesvilleRound Hill United Methodist Church (RHUMC) GrOwen Garden, Purcellville Our next round of School and Community Garden Awards will be in 2017 so until then, Happy Gardening!Does your school have a garden? Do you know of a fun community garden? Help The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) recognize community and school gardens throughout the northern Piedmont by letting us know about great community or school gardens in your area. The purpose of this friendly competition is to recognize gardens that celebrate the relationship between nature, food and community, by awarding four currently active school and/or community gardens with cash awards. PEC will make up to two $300 awards and up to two $500 awards. Read More
  • Dec 01, 2015

    Order Seeds for Your Garden

    Planning your garden for 2016? The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, located in Louisa, is once again donating 30% of the sales of certain seed packages to support PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local program. And this year they have added a pollinator mix! Read More

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