Working Farms and Food
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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.
  • 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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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

Strengthening Local Food Systems

Jun 18, 2020
Early one May morning, a Maola Dairy delivery truck took an unusual turn through the gates and into the parking lot of the Fauquier Community Food Bank. Nearby, Director Sharon Ames’ excitement was…

President's Letter - Summer 2020

Jun 18, 2020
With so much going on around us that we cannot control, doing what we can to make our part of the world better becomes all the more important. This past spring, our staff made a quick and orderly…

On the Ground - Summer 2020

Mar 12, 2020
Updates from around the PEC region, organized by county. Albemarle: Comprehensive Plan Updates. Clarke: StoryMap & Upcoming Webinars. Culpeper: Land Use Update, Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain…

A Few Highlights from 2019

Dec 16, 2019
Through the generous support of our members and help from PEC's partners, a lot of great things have happened this year! We've pulled together this quick list of some of the highlights from 2019…

A Dirty Secret: How Construction Waste is Making its Way Onto Rural Lands

Sep 15, 2019
Steve and Jennifer Rainwater's world was turned upside down in 2017 when an access road was built along their property line and hundreds of dump trucks started arriving to dump dirt, non-stop, on a…

Let There Be Fruits and Veggies

Mar 08, 2019
The Piedmont Environmental Council’s Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows was founded with two ideas in mind: to connect residents to Loudoun’s vital agricultural economy and to provide locally grown…

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More Working Farms and Food

  • Jul 10, 2020

    Video: Connecting Local Beef Farmers with Food Pantries

    Watch: Building on the success of our dairy initiative, The Piedmont Environmental Council worked with Fauquier Community Food Bank and Lakota Ranch to pilot a new initiative -- purchasing high-quality, locally-raised beef to donate to local food pantries experiencing shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Read More
  • Jun 05, 2020

    Webinar: Strengthening the Local Food System

    Join PEC staff for a look at the importance of local farms and food during the Covid-19 pandemic. This webinar was recorded on June 5, 2020. Read More
  • May 28, 2020

    Connecting Local Dairy Farm and Food Pantry Needs

    Local dairy farms are being hit particularly hard by Covid-19, so we decided to step in with an innovative way to get milk they produce to those most in need right now. When schools shut down in March, many farmers found themselves without a viable avenue to sell and distribute a large percentage of their milk. Read More
  • Apr 30, 2020

    Charlottesville's Drive-Through Farmers Markets

    Now more than ever, local food producers are demonstrating their value and continued dedication to serving our communities local, healthy, fresh foods. Read More
  • Mar 20, 2020

    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. Read More
  • Apr 16, 2020

    4/15/2020 Community Farm Update

    Dana and Pete are doing amazing work at the Community Farm! Read More
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    Feb 22, 2019

    Piedmont Beef Survey

    PEC is working with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), a regional non-profit that encourages large institutions like hospitals and universities to purchase locally-raised beef. The purpose of our study is to better understand beef production in the Piedmont and producers’ interest in connecting with a consistent wholesale market. Read More
  • Aug 02, 2019

    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. Read More
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    Jun 20, 2018

    Buy Fresh Buy Local Community Survey

    Please fill out our 10 question survey to give us a better understanding of your local food purchasing habits and your awareness of our Buy Fresh Buy Local program. We hope to use your input to help develop projects that strengthen our local food system! Read More
  • Aug 02, 2017

    Virginia Farm Winery Study

    Heads up! The VA Dept. of Agriculture is using this survey to gather feedback about the impacts of farm wineries and winery events on neighbors and communities near wineries (e.g. noise & traffic). The deadline to take the survey is August 18, 2017. The survey is geared towards people who are: farm winery owners, neighbors of wineries, local/state government employees, law enforcement officials, tourism workers, event planners, and other interested parties. This is an opportunity for both supporters and critics of the craft beverage industry in rural areas to make your feelings known and we encourage the broadest possible participation. Here's a letter with more background: Take the Survey >> Read More
  • 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 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
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    Dec 01, 2015

    Order Seeds for Your Garden

    Planning your garden for this year? 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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