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. 

Partner Alert: Buy Fresh Buy Local

Partner Alert: Buy Fresh Buy Local

Hi there! My name is Matt Coyle and I am writing to introduce myself as The Piedmont Environmental Council’s new Buy Fresh Buy Local coordinator (my amazing predecessor, Jess Palmer, moved back home to Texas last year). 

I know that in all likelihood you are dealing with Covid-19 and the rapidly evolving response. However, I do want to give you a few updates and share some online resources that might be helpful during this difficult time.

Fronting the Costs: Fencing at Mountain Hollow Farm

Eight generations of cattle farming had taken its toll on the streams at Dean and Carina Elgin’s Mountain Hollow Farm in northern Fauquier County. Historically, “all the cattle had access to the creek. That was our watering system. And that was the norm in that day,” Dean Elgin said. But by 2015, the Elgins wanted to repair the streambank erosion and reduce the water pollution caused by the foot traffic and waste generated by 200 cattle moving in and out of the water repeatedly. But there was a problem.

Year One on the Farm


Loudoun County is one of the most affluent counties in the nation and simultaneously home to some 14,000 people without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. It is consistently one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and yet over 200,000 acres is planned to remain rural with over 58,000 acres of permanently conserved open space. Nestled among the three roundabouts of Routes 15 and 50 and Howser’s Branch Road, lies PEC’s Community Farm. Located at the literal intersection of suburban and rural Loudoun County, it is perfectly positioned both to shine a light on the value of conservation and to make practical, tangible progress to address food insecurity in the community.

Flavor of the Piedmont Event

Flavor of the Piedmont Event

Come taste the flavor of the Piedmont! The Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission and Piedmont Environmental Council are co-hosting a food expo to showcase the region’s locally-grown food and beverages.

This two-part event will take place on Sunday, September 8 at the Lord Fairfax Community College campus in Warrenton. From fresh produce, succulent meats and dairy to award-winning wine, beer, and cider, Virginia’s Piedmont has a bounty of products to tempt commercial buyers, foodies and every-day eaters alike.