Growing healthy food and engaging volunteers at Roundabout Meadows

During the past nine years, PEC has been managing our lands at Roundabout Meadows near Gilberts Corner to restore its soils and streams, connect residents to agriculture and promote the Piedmont’s rural economy. Our efforts continued to blossom in 2022 at the Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows.

In its fourth season, the Community Farm provided a consistent supply of fruits, vegetables and eggs to Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR), the largest foodbank and pantry in Loudoun County. The produce grown on the farm goes directly into the community through LHR’s pantry and is shared with approximately 15 other partner organizations. Our 32 fruit and vegetable crops were as diverse as the community we served, and selected based in large part on surveys of LHR clients. Since its start in 2019, the farm has donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to LHR and its partners.

The farm also welcomed more than 1,000 volunteers last year. Volunteers of all ages pitched in with every aspect of the farm’s operations, from planting seeds in our greenhouse in the winter to planting, harvesting and packing fruits and vegetables in the spring, summer and fall. An additional 500 students visited the farm during the year to learn about regenerative agriculture, land conservation, and soil health. We were also thrilled to welcome visitors back to our Community Farm Open House and Family Day at Roundabout Meadows on June 18. We did this all while shifting to new farming techniques focused on balancing vegetable production with sustainable soil-building practices.

The Community Farm is one building block in our long-term vision for the conservation and restoration of Gilberts Corner. In 2019, PEC acquired the iconic Gilberts Corner property. Under the leadership of Dana Melby, PEC is developing plans for further revitalizing Gilberts Corner to make it a vibrant agricultural hub for Loudoun County.

Dana recently became PEC’s Gilberts Corner Farm and Lands Manager, and handed the reins of leadership of the Community Farm to Teddy Pitsiokis. Previously the manager of the Highland County Virginia educational campus and farm for the Allegheny Mountain Institute, Teddy brings to PEC a rich, diversified background in farming, nonprofit work, and food systems education.

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