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 Eastern Loudoun County, the Museum is governed by a public/private partnership between the LHFM Board of Directors and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
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 Naturals and Farmstead Ferments. Story tells me that she grew up in the Virginia Piedmont, and she was raised by a family who appreciated nature and a healthy diet.
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 met while working at Lansdowne Resort. They each grew up in rural locations where farm to table wasn’t a trend as much as it was a way of life. Lage’s mother and grandmother cooked with primarily locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, and that’s a concept he has always wanted to bring to his own business.
It’s pick-up day at Moutoux Orchard and it looks nothing like the scene at your nearest grocery store. It is mid-March when I went to visit, there is snow on the ground and members of the Moutoux year round whole-diet CSA are picking up their fresh veggies, milk, eggs, meat and fresh flour for this week’s meals. A buzz of activity- as adults pick out their food and the kids weave in and out of the barn playing.
Like many Piedmont farms, Over Jordan Farm in Rappahannock has been a pasture-based operation for decades. After 20 years of overgrazing, however, it’s facing issues that are common in the region—poor soil health, a lack of grass and plant diversity and the resulting lack of nutrients for livestock. This not only decreases a farm’s profitability, but it’s also a major source of runoff and soil erosion in VA.