This text was taken from an email alert sent out on May 16, 2023. Sign up for email alerts →
For more than 50 years, The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has worked hard to conserve and restore the lands and waters of the Virginia Piedmont. And we believe that doing so requires a strong, sustainable agricultural economy that helps keep rural lands economically viable.
That’s why we take a direct role in promoting working farms and the fresh food they produce through our biennial Buy Fresh Buy Local guides. From veggies and fruit, to meat and dairy, to beer, wine and more, you’ll find your favorite local food in our recently released 2023-2024 guides for the Northern Piedmont, Loudoun County and Charlottesville Area.
Mailed to over 310,000 households throughout our region and available online, these popular local food guides are a great way to learn more about local food options!
Learn more about each of our three guides below:
Our Northern Piedmont guide features nearly 200 local food producers and distributors in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties. Among its listings are 131 local farms and orchards, eight farmers markets, 28 wineries and breweries, 15 restaurants and caterers, and 13 retailers, many of which are displayed on a travel map of the Northern Piedmont area.
This year’s Northern Piedmont guide also highlights two committed local farms. Hidden Creek Farm, a model for regenerative and organic farming practices in Fauquier, has partnered with organizations across the state to make the most of their 558 acres. The land has thrived with the changes Andrea and Dendy Young have made, while producing a wide variety of meats, produce, eggs, and value-added products for sale. C&S Farmstead, a champion of the Slow Flower Movement, has brought the same level of attention to their flower farm. They grow and sell flowers at farmers markets and wholesale for large events based on the seasons, without the need to transport them thousands of miles to reach a happy customer.
A special thank you goes to this year’s Northern Piedmont guide sponsors, including the PATH Foundation, Kinloch Farm, Wegmans, Finest Butcher, Oak Spring Garden Foundation, and Farm Credit, Choose Culpeper Farms, Culpeper Harvest Days, Purely Piedmont, Rappahannock County Farm Tour, CFC Farm & Home Center, and Susan Hayes Garden Design, as well as local food industry sponsors including Buchanan Hall Farmers Market, Hidden Creek Farm, Riders Backfield Farm Beef, Virginia Bison Company at Cibola Farms, and Belle Meade.
The Loudoun County guide features more than 130 local food producers and distributors in, you guessed it, Loudoun County. Among its listings are 61 local farms and orchards, 10 farmers markets, 26 wineries and breweries, 22 restaurants and caterers, and 12 retailers.
This year’s Loudoun area guide also highlights two local businesses. Determination and passion came together when a rowing Paralympian and a dietician met on a farm and soon after opened their own. The women behind Gathering Springs Farm have since grown their farm and their food community to provide healthy produce at area farmers markets and through their CSA. The catering duo behind Between the Hills Kitchen are as dedicated to the Loudoun County community as they are to preparing delicious, locally-sourced menus. Just look for their “OPEN” sign outside their Lovettsville storefront to pick up a three-course meal or talk about a wedding or fundraisers event.
A special thank you goes to this year’s Loudoun guide sponsors, including the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, Wegmans, Finest Butcher, Farm Credit, Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Loudoun Farm Bureau, the Loudoun Valley Homegrown Market Cooperative, Mom’s Apple Pie, Long Stone Farm, Ayrshire Farm, Great Country Farms, and Lightfoot Restaurant.
The Charlottesville Area guide features more than 200 local food producers and distributors in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson counties. Among its listings are 101 local farms and orchards, 13 farmers markets, 25 wineries and breweries, 30 restaurants and caterers, 17 grocers, and 24 value-added products.
This year’s Charlottesville area guide also highlights two local growers. Cultivate Charlottesville is an area non-profit that connects people living in subsidized and low-income housing to urban gardening spaces and accessible food through the Urban Agriculture Collective, teaches elementary school students about healthy foods and leadership skills with the City Schoolyard Program, and advocates for social and structural change through the Food Justice Network. The folks at Little Hat Creek Farm pay special attention to their farming and sourcing practices to ensure their combined ecological vegetable farm and wood-fired bakery operation benefits both land and people. In this, they produce everything from kale and kohlrabi to cover crop sourdough bread and locally-sourced grain biscuits.
A special thank you goes to this year’s Charlottesville Area guide sponsors, including Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Wegmans, Farm Credit, Wiley Realty, Albemarle Economic Development, Integral Yoga Natural Foods, Charlottesville City Market, feast!, and Chiswell Farm & Winery.
A big ‘thank you’ goes out to all of the farms and businesses who went online to update their profiles and/or returned our pestering emails and phone calls throughout the spring!
If you know a farm or business that didn’t make it into the guide, but would like to be listed, they can register on Virginia MarketMaker and select the affiliation Buy Fresh Buy Local for the chapter they reside in to sign up!
One last note for our Clarke County members, Clarke County falls within the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter; find out more about the Shenandoah Valley chapter and other Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters at buylocalvirginia.org.
Buy Fresh Buy Local Assistant