Working Farms & Local Food

Farmland and forests produce the essentials of life, from the food on our tables to clean water and air. In PEC’s nine-county area, approximately 200,000 acres of farmland and 198,000 acres of forests are protected through private, voluntary land conservation.

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A man and woman crouch in a farm bed.

“Exploring the Small Farm Dream”

This course is for people who are considering launching a small farm enterprise, but are not sure where to start. Designed to guide students through an initial exploratory decision-making process, “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” courses …
| | Working Farms & Food
Revolutionary Soup sign

Revolutionary Soup: Pushing for a Food Revolution

When Will Richey bought Revolutionary Soup in downtown Charlottesville five years ago, he started working with local farmers to provide as many of the restaurant's ingredients as possible — from fresh, flavorful salad greens to …
Gail and baby goat

Caromont Farm: Farmstead Cheeses with the Flavor of Virginia

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 wanted to try goat's milk. Little …
Retreat Farm sheep

Retreat Farm: Healthier Food, Healthier People

Frank and Cindy Gillan manage 100 acres of the beautiful Retreat Farm in Rapidan, VA. When the Gillans came to the farm almost 12 years ago, they started with a small vegetable garden. Today, that …
Baby basil

Waterpenny Farm: Sustainable Farming Offers a Sustainable Lifestyle

Rachel Bynum and Eric Plaksin of Waterpenny Farm in Sperryville, V.A., were drawn to farming for a number of reasons, but, for Bynum, the lifestyle of small-scale farming was a major factor in her career …
A chef plates a dish.

The Wine Kitchen

A few years ago, Jason Miller and Michael Mercer noticed a hole in Leesburg’s restaurant scene. The quaint town was surrounded by farms and vineyards, and yet there was no farm-to-table restaurant — no restaurant …
Potomac Vegetable Farm farmers

Potomac Vegetable Farm

The vision of “the American farm” has long been that of the family farm — a plot of land that is worked and managed by a family, and then passed down from generation to generation …
Saving the Farm

Saving the Farm

How conservation can help working farmers achieve their goals David and Terry Ingram are father-son farmers who recently donated conservation easements on their farms in Brandy Station, in Culpeper County. Brandy Station is a great …

The Piedmont Environmental Council is a partner of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition. We support the 4 core principles of soil health management: Keep Soil Covered; Minimize Soil Disturbance; Maximize Living Roots; and, Energize with Diversity. Join the movement today at