PEC’s Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows connects area residents to Loudoun’s vital agricultural history while providing locally-grown fruits and vegetables for its food-insecure population today.
Volunteer at the Farm
Since our first season in 2019, PEC’s Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows has donated 100% of what is grown on the farm to area food pantries. This would not have been possible without the assistance of our incredible team of volunteers, who dedicate hundreds of hours to help with lots of different farm tasks. Whether you’re a group searching for a team-building event, or an individual or family looking for a healthy way to support your community, the Community Farm is happy to host you and grateful for your time.
“Volunteering at the PEC farm has been such a rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to spend time on a beautiful piece of property and learn more about plants and gardening through hands on experiences. Best of all, When the harvesting is done, I know that my work has contributed to better nutrition and hope for the less fortunate by providing fresh produce to the area food bank.”– Mary Peterson
All ages and skill levels are invited to volunteer at the Community Farm and no previous experience is required. An adult must accompany children under the age of 16. All volunteers are required to complete a waiver when they sign up.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, snacks, sunscreen/insect repellent, gardening gloves if they have them, and to wear closed-toed shoes and clothes that can get dirty. There is a porta potty, washing station and hand sanitizer on site.
Hours of operation
Our volunteer season runs from April – October. Due to the food pantry’s availability to pick up produce, the majority of time slots are Monday- Friday mornings, with occasional afternoons and weekends.
Volunteers opportunities include a range of different farm tasks, including seeding, planting, harvesting, weeding, and more. While helping their community, volunteers also learn more about the local food system and hopefully pick up a few tips on growing their own fruits and veggies at home!
Corporate team-building and private group (e.g. faith-based, scouts, clubs, etc.) days are also available (minimum group size is 15). For group inquiries, contact Community Farm Coordinator Teddy Pitsiokos at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 347-2334 x7069.
Our Mission to Feed
Loudoun County is one of the wealthiest, most rapidly growing jurisdictions in the country. However, according to Feeding America, in 2020, 15,790 Loudoun residents were food insecure. Of these residents, 49% were ineligible for federal assistance such as SNAP. Since 2019, the Piedmont Environmental Council has been working to help improve access to high-quality fruits and vegetables for those in need in Loudoun County through our work at the Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows.
For PEC, the Community Farm is an important door to our community, not only fighting food insecurity in Loudoun County but also providing a chance for urban- and suburban-based residents to experience the sensation of soil between their fingers and to learn the joys of sustaining life through gardening and farming while also serving those in need.
In its first season, the farm produced almost 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies including potatoes, tomatoes, squash, and melons. Since then, we have donated over 130,000 pounds of regeneratively grown food to Loudoun Hunger Relief. Through our partnership with Loudoun Hunger Relief, the produce grown at the Community Farm goes directly to those who need it most as well as 15 other partner organizations. In 2023, we welcomed two new partners, Christ Church Cares and FISH of Clarke County, to reach families across a wider geography.
Current events have put healthy, delicious food outside the financial means of many families. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as food costs have skyrocketed due to inflation, and as our nation has suffered food supply chain breakdowns our local food pantries have continued to serve increased numbers. In response, we have continued to expand our production, adding an orchard and more vegetable fields to grow staple crops while building soil to ensure we can sustain our commitment to fighting food insecurity.
Our Regenerative Practices
A crucial part of the Community’s Farm mission, and one that goes hand-in-hand with successful farming, is building soil health, and sharing what we learn with other area farmers.
On a working vegetable farm, building soil is accomplished through environmental practices and organic amendments. We rotate crop families around the farm to reduce pest and disease pressure and the need for organic pesticides and fungicides. By planting cover crops, we fix nitrogen and add organic matter to the soil.
In 2023, we also invested in a new tractor implement to reduce compaction and improve overall soil structure in our growing areas. Extensive soil testing allows us to take a targeted approach to fertility amendments, reducing the chance of nitrogen runoff into Howser’s Branch while maintaining the optimal growing conditions for our vegetables.
Visit Us at Gilberts Corner
There are several management areas within the 172 acres owned by PEC at Gilberts Corner, which also includes our Gilberts Corner Farmers Market and the Old Carolina Road Trail. The Community Farm is located on approximately 40 acres within the triangle created by the traffic circles at Howsers Branch Road, Route 15 and Route 50. The address is 39990 Howsers Branch Dr., Aldie, VA 20105. If the gate is open, you’re welcome to stop in!
Questions? Contact Community Farm Coordinator Teddy Pitsiokos at email@example.com or (540) 347-2334 x7069.