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 Culpeper—so the farm offers local residents both pastoral views and healthy, quality meats.
The animals are raised humanely in open fields, without the use of hormones or animal by-products, and the final products are all natural, without fillers or additives. Meg Campbell, the farmer, says that her customers can taste the difference, compared to factory farmed meat. People tell her that Croftburn’s meat tastes the way they remember from when they were kids, that a hamburger really tastes like a hamburger.
“The quality of the meat sells itself,” she says. “It’s real food.”
Customers can purchase the meat, as well as other foods from local farms, at Croftburn Market, which Meg’s son Andrew recently opened on Braggs Corner Road Bradford Road, just off Route 29.
The Campbells aim to provide good, healthy food at a price that people can afford. While they can’t match the prices of mainstream grocery stores, Meg says, that comparison doesn’t account for the hidden costs of cheap food, in lost flavor and health impacts. “Everybody should be entitled to high-quality food at a fair price,” she says. “And they should have access to local food, so there is more of a connection between the farm and the producer and the consumer.”
People choose to live in Culpeper because of its bucolic, rural setting, she points out. A strong local food movement helps to keep the landscape that way. “People need to invest in buying local, so the local farmers can stay here and continue to farm, so they can take the pleasure of living in a rural place.”