Western Loudoun has become something of a winery and brewery hub. This is the view from Dirt Farm Brewing, which is located up a steep, gravelly drive near the tiny town (village? hamlet? of Bluemont, Virginia. The views were nice and the place was surprisingly packed for something so out of the way and challenging to get to. My poor little Honda has been through so much in its short life. I’m not much for beer, but it was an enjoyable spot to spend the afternoon.
Picked both of these up at a no-frills country general store in Bluemont. Doing a little bit of research for my future farmette. I’ve been told that organic eggs tend to have darker, richer yolks, but to be honest, all the organic eggs I’ve eaten look and taste just like regular eggs. Anyway, after visiting a couple of farms in the last few months, I think I’m just going to start with chickens for now.
Hollin Farm in Fauquier County. There weren’t tons of apples left, but it was nice to see so many people out on a gloomy Friday afternoon. The scale of this farm helped me understand how much work and time running a farm takes…farms always transport me to an idyllic reverie of green rolling hills, happy animals, foggy mornings and breathtaking sunsets, but visiting this farm really helped me realize that it’s more than storybook illustrations and zen animals — there’s actually a ton of work involved and most of it (none of it?) glamorous or romantic. On a smaller scale, local farms such as this one, where the cows are free range and grass fed and the produce is full of tiny holes and imperfections, you get an idea of the incredible work it takes to make food on a local, more environmentally friendly level
My friend Megan going peanut-digging. She was actually pretty good at it. The whole digging-for-food thing also helped me realize that once you grow food, you then have to work to harvest it.
Our friends Courtney and Jefrey recently came down from New York and we did a nice loop around Middleburg, one of my favorite small towns in the D.C area because it makes me feel like I’ve left the suburbs and stepped into the British countryside…100 years ago. Maybe I read one too many Bronte sisters books as a kid? Middleburg is a glamorous gateway city to Virginia’s horse and hunt country, and it’s peppered with large estates, horse farms, upscale inns and taverns, rolling mountains and polo fields.
Greenhill Winery, one of my favorites in Virginia. According to our server, Michelle Obama drinks their Seyval Blanc on Airforce one. If it’s good enough for the first lady, it’s good enough for me. I’ve been here three times over the last five or six years and I highly recommend this winery for anyone who’s in the area. It’s close to D.C and just a couple of miles from downtown Middleburg.
A horse farm on the outskirts of Middleburg. So mysterious and romantic, especially on foggy, early fall mornings.
A view from Sky Meadows State Park. This is probably my favorite state park in Virginia (well, of the few I’ve actually visited…) because it has a lot of everything: History, live demonstrations and tours, a cute little visitor center, great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, access to the Appalachian Trail, free range cows (and incredible amounts of manure along the way), meadows, woodlands, a pond and tons of lookouts. It’s surprisingly close to D.C and always full of people. I know some people like their nature solitary and unvisited, but I love to see people taking advantage of local park systems.
The Shenandoah River on 50 West towards Winchester. A pretty, peaceful river where my husband has yet to catch a fish.