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A letter from the editor.

WHEN I LOOK AT THE EGG and bacon on the cover of this magazine, I smell breakfast. Everyone knows an egg is a symbol of spring—fertility, life, the Earth—but it’s also a symbol of...well, breakfast.

Breakfast, however, has become if not a symbol, a prime example of the shortcuts we take to keep up with the fast-as-lightening pace of life. It’s the meal most often eaten on-the-go, in cars, while searching for the car keys, on the driveway as we walk to the car. Cereal bars, frozen waffles, breakfast sandwiches from gas stations.

The irony of it is that breakfast is probably the easiest meal to prepare—making it the world’s fastest “slow food.” Crack a couple of eggs into a skillet, and three or four minutes later you’ve got yourself a self-contained meal of protein, with an unctuous yolk that makes a mighty fine dipping sauce. Admittedly, three or four minutes are quite precious when you’re trying to assemble lunch boxes while simultaneously ironing a shirt and finding last night’s homework. Sometimes there simply isn’t time.

But that’s where spring comes into play again. It’s the season that invented “Stop and smell the flowers.” It’s the season with Mother’s Day, the single best day of the year for breakfast (and brunch) eaters, especially if you’re a mom. And it’s the season when the garden comes back to life, and fresh local fruits and vegetables return to the fore.

All that reminds me of a segment I saw on 60 Minutes a couple of years ago, where renowned local-foods chef Alice Waters skillfully made the most simple, most wonderful breakfast for reporter Leslie Stahl. It was slow food in real time: She oiled an old-fashioned large metal spoon, cracked an egg into it, and cooked it over the fire in her kitchen hearth. Then she served the egg atop a rustic slice of bread and a salad of chopped garden vegetables. It was enough to make the usually objective Stahl dizzy with glee. And it was the kind of moment that made me excited to garden, excited to cook, and, frankly, excited to install a kitchen hearth (which, incidentally, didn’t work out).

But even without a kitchen hearth, and even without the weather of California—where Waters and her restaurant Chez Panisse are based—we in Central Virginia can prepare meals from the garden with such simplicity and such respect for the ingredients, you’ll swear they had to have been more complicated.

Alice Waters even says so. Recently when I interviewed her for another publication, she talked at length about the abundance we have here. “I think it’s a misconception that more grows in California,” she said. “The growing season is longer, yes, but the variety is extraordinary on the East Coast. I think in Virginia, we can reconnect again. There are so many farms that are being revived right now. I can taste things that we haven’t thought to grow out in California—whether it’s a special kind of shell bean, the flavor of the animals, or the breeds of various pigs. Thomas Jefferson is a great inspiration to me. The plants in his garden were the pleasure of his life.”

And to take that pleasure and carry it into our kitchens is what this is all about.


Finishing up at UVA, our writer (and former intern) is helping bring sustainable agriculture to Jefferson’s university.

BY Michelle Rehme

MY FAVORITE TIMES OF YEAR AS A CHILD were family reunions in South Carolina, where I spent mornings with my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunts at a roadside produce market. It was under those big white tents that I first learned how to select the ripest peaches, the sweetest ears of corn, and green beans with the best snap.

Even so, when I first arrived at UVA in 2007 as a wide-eyed firstyear from Missouri, I felt entirely disconnected from how food got to my plate. That was less than four years ago, when there were hardly any opportunities at UVA to learn about growing or preparing local food: no student garden, no campus Slow Food chapter, no composting in dining halls, and certainly no courses on sustainable agriculture.

Somewhat serendipitously, in my second year, I found myself surrounded by a group of students who recognized a need for teaching agriculture at the university. This cohort of aspiring young agrarians set the wheels in motion to start a community garden right on campus. We spent a year conducting research, writing proposals, meeting with administrators, forming task forces, and inspiring fellow greenhorn gardeners to take up the trowel.

Finally, in April 2009, on a blue-sky spring afternoon, we broke ground on the UVA Student Garden. Barefooted students, professors, parents, and kids built raised beds, poured bags of topsoil, planted baby lettuces graciously donated by Monticello, and danced to the sounds of banjo players. Now into its third full growing season, the garden continues to thrive as a living, breathing space for workshops, potlucks, corn shucking, and pumpkin carving.

The experience made quite an impression on me, and I wanted more. So last summer I set out to meet as many farmers in Central Virginia as I possibly could. At Open Gate Farm, I learned how to scald, defeather, and gut a chicken. Pablo Elliott at the Airlie Center taught me the importance of coordinating with chefs to determine crops and yields. And Bill McCaskill at Quarters Farm made me a pro at milking feisty goats. Each farm and farmer I visited were unique, with their own tricks of the trade and favorite tools; but all were alike in their generosity to a budding young farmer.

Finally, I felt ready to turn my focus to the nearly 3,000 acres that make up Morven Farm, an Albemarle County estate donated to the UVA Foundation by the late John Kluge, under the condition that the property be used for educational or charitable purposes. Thomas Jefferson himself once purchased this piece of rolling hills with the goal of it becoming a testing ground for agricultural experiments such as crop rotation. With such a canvas, it was tempting to dream up a large farm operation, utilizing hundreds of acres for intense food production. But I took the advice of the farmers I had met over the summer: “Do something,” they all told me, “even if it means starting small.”

And small we began. Last October, a dynamic team of students, professors, and Morven staff worked together to reclaim a one-acre plot. This March, we planted potatoes and onions, and there’s more to come.

This garden’s potential goes beyond what we can hold in our hands. The freshly tilled acre at Morven presents an opportunity for students and professors from a range of disciplines to study food-production cycles, design sustainable-agriculture technologies, and develop a better understanding of the implications of our daily food choices. Already, UVA undergrads in an engineering course have designed a one-of-a-kind outdoor vegetable-washing station. And in one class offered at the upcoming Morven Summer Institute this May, students will receive class credit for working a certain number of hours a week in the garden. Future plans include implementing a summer student CSA and paid student internships, as well as integrating the garden into a diverse range of classrooms.

Author Rehme at work harvesting pea shoots.

Undoubtedly, the restoration of respect for the agrarian will require book knowledge at the university level, but it will also involve a passing down of local, traditional, generational knowledge—the kind of understanding one can get only from making a mistake with his own hands. It is our vision that the Morven garden will link UVA’s dedication to sustainability with Jefferson’s respect for cultivators of the earth, who he considered to be among the country’s “most valuable citizens.”

The world certainly needs doctors and lawyers, but more than ever, we need farmers. That also means there should be more placebased classrooms for students as they learn about agriculture—a challenge I am especially energized to tackle.

Visit Morven on April 7 for a screening of the movie The Greenhorns, followed by a panel discussion featuring young farmers. To learn more about the Morven garden, visit uvafoundation.com/morven/kitchengarden.

Foodstuff we like right now.


Kudos to Trickling Springs Creamery for this bottle of bliss. The chocolate is good, yes. But oh the milk! It comes from pasture-fed cows raised without steroids on small family farms, and is pasteurized to a very low temperature so that it retains proteins and nutrients. Tip: Pour a few glugs into coffee for a mocha java you can feel good about. Around $5 for a half gallon through Arganica Farm Club, Yoder’s Country Market in Pratts, Cranberry’s in Staunton, and Frenchman’s Cellar in Culpeper; tricklingspringscreamery.com.


Few things are as good as strawberry season in Central Virginia. One of those few is a strawberry doughnut from Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet. We look forward to early May, when strawberries from the adjacent fields are mixed with cake doughnut flour and strawberry cider and then fried to perfection. In fact, they’re best as part of an all-out strawberry outing: pick-your-own strawberries, followed by a couple of doughnuts and a strawberry slushie. There’s no such thing as too much strawberry. $5 for six doughnuts; chilespeachorchard.com.


These elixir-filled tubes contain honey harvested from some of the more than 150 hives at Hungry Hill Farm in Shipman, and come in 15 different flavors, including wildflower, clover, lemon, root beer, and cinnamon. We like to keep a few (okay, more than a few) handy to sweeten a mug of tea or a cup of yogurt. Or just pinch them open, tilt your head back, and let the honey drizzle in. 25 cents each, or 5 for $1 at the Nellysford, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton farmers’ markets; (434) 263-5336.


Multi-media artist Merideth Young finds the woods for these handcrafted wine stoppers on hikes along the trails of Central Virginia. “They’re made from stumps and twigs that would end up in a burn pile,” she says, demonstrating the lathe in her Albemarle County home studio. “I look for a tree that’s down, with moss growing on it and starting to rot.” Such trees apparently yield wood with colorful striations, and in turn, oneof- a-kind stoppers. $30 to $36 at the Seasonal Cook in Charlottesville and Wintergreen Winery in Nellysford.


When the folks at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton wanted to put a Bavarian-style pretzel on their menu, they found it right down the road at Goodwin Creek Farm & Bakery. Farmer-bakers John and Nancy Hellerman came up with a sesame-topped twist that goes nicely with Blue Mountain’s house-made ale mustard—and even better with a pint. The best part is the wonderfully chewy crust—the result of an egg wash courtesy of Goodwin Creek pasture-fed hens. $3.50 at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, bluemountainbrewery.com; more about Goodwin Creek at aftonvirginia.com.


Breakfast Special

Our scrambled, cured, baked, and brewed salute to breakfast.


BREAKFAST, WE LOVE YOU. You, the first and most important meal of the day, make the world right each morning. Without you, we would have no desire to get up before noon.

Don’t let anyone tell you different: You’re best at your simplest. We may wake up and comb our hair and press our collars, but you—you needn’t be so vain. You’re so honorably uncomplicated.

We love you too because you’re a friend to small farmers. Your purity allows local ingredients to shine: Polyface eggs sunny-side-up, with yolks more golden than a sunset; Babes in the Wood sausage from heritage-breed Duroc-Tamworth pigs that graze on woodland and pasture; pancakes, made with fresh stoneground flour from Wade’s Mill.

For those poor souls who aren’t hungry for you at daybreak, you’re still so accommodating. You stick around for lunch, dinner, and even midnight snacks (thank you, all-day breakfast menus!). You’re really the only meal that is as good at 8 p.m. as it is at 8 a.m. Pancakes for dinner? Something special must be happening here.

We don’t want you to get too full of yourself (that’s our job!), but you must already know that you’re easy on the eyes—and easy on the wallet. Even when we’re being frugal, you make us feel indulgent. We could have you for less than $3 a person; dining out, we still wouldn’t spend much more. What other meal can boast of such thrift?

We know you have other suitors, Breakfast. Don’t deny it. What about the men who gather in diners morning after morning to taste your best “lumberjack” platter? You have something special together, and we’re okay with that.

All we ask is that you continue to be there when we wake up. To greet us in our robe and slippers, sleep still in our eyes. Thank you for your loyalty.

In return, we’ve dedicated the next five pages to you—from biscuits to homemade bacon to eggs of all kinds. Please, whatever you do, don’t change a crumb.


Fry up some eggs from a variety of fowl.

“THE MAIN REASON I got into the egg business is because breakfast is my favorite meal,” says Nick Auclair, who along with wife Kate owns Green Fence Farm in Greenville, where chicken, duck, quail, and the occasional goose eggs are for sale (they’re also sold at Farm to You in Lexington and used by many area restaurants; go to greenfencefarm.com for a full list). “I like to combine the different types and fry them up: a few quail eggs, a duck egg, and a chicken egg.” Here, Auclair cracks open the mystery of “other” eggs:


Geese produce big, big eggs, about four times the size of a chicken’s. Now is the time to get one, as they lay in the spring, although not very often. The yolks are thicker, the texture of custard—which can be off-putting in a fried egg if you’re not expecting it, but are great scrambled up (one egg should make enough for two people).


Green Fence’s ducks live in rolling coops, allowing the birds to forage for bugs, which make the large yolks a deep, nutrient-rich yellow. Fried duck eggs are delicious. In recipes, consider them to be one-and-a-half times a chicken egg—great in omelets and quiche. What does duck-egg quiche taste like? Visit Staunton’s Newtown Baking to find out.


Most local eggs come from pasture-raised chickens that also live in mobile coops and feed on insects and seeds. The end result is an egg with less fat, more healthy omega-3s, and more vitamin D. The flavor is earthier and the texture firmer too. Once you’ve gone local, the next factory-farm egg you scramble may actually seem a little bland.


Quail are usually kept in pens—they’re too small to roam the pasture—and produce small eggs that are not quite as rich. The eggs, however, do have a high yolk-to-white ratio, which makes them delicious hard-boiled (just about a minute in a pan of boiling water is all it takes) or fried (several should be enough for a meal).


Some prefer to add milk, others water—but it comes down to personal preference. Either way, the end result is more tender.

Serves 2

4 large eggs

2 Tbsp. whole milk or water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. butter

1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk for about 2 minutes. Use a tilted rotation to get the right amount of air into your mixture (see illustration).

2. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat; add eggs. With a wooden spoon or spatula, push eggs into the center from the sides to create large, soft curds. Cook 3 or 4 minutes, until just set. Note: If the eggs won’t be eaten immediately, remove them from the stovetop when they’re slightly underdone; they will continue to cook sitting in the pan (even off the heat).

Sunny days

Sunny-side-up is the purest type of fried egg—a cooking method preferred by chefs, who, if you’ll allow us to generalize, tend to swoon at the sight of runny yolks. To make a perfect one, drop the egg into a buttered skilled over low heat (if the heat is too high, the egg will become rubbery). Cook until egg whites look set. If the top appears too runny, place a plate over the skillet to steam for 30 seconds or until done. Slide onto a plate, and serve.

Easy Poaching

Gone are the days of poaching an egg in a pan of simmering water and ending up with a tangled mess. Instead, the silicone Poachpod leaves you with perfectly formed eggs: Simply crack an egg into an oiled Poachpod sitting in boiling water, and cover; it will set in four to six minutes. Available for about $10 at the Seasonal Cook and the Happy Cook in Charlottesville, Kitchen Kupboard in Harrisonburg, and the Farm Basket in Lynchburg.


A Harrisonburg diner takes a novel approach to food, work, and life.


A $4 PLATE OF BLUE MONKEY pancakes promises to be a fireworks of blueberry and banana, and when put on the table, it looks preened and eager to satisfy. One bite, and it certainly lives up to expectations.

Here at the Little Grill Collective, a few blocks off Court Square in Harrisonburg, there is a lineup of eight pancakes, nine omelets, plus 15 breakfast specials, including the desirous breakfast grinder, a scrambled-egg-and-veggie-burger sandwich with cream cheese, Muenster, mushrooms, and onions.

What’s comforting about this joint is its food; what’s special about it are the goings-on behind the scenes. Inspired by restaurant-bakery Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio, Little Grill is a cleverly organized, worker-owned cooperative, committed to economic, environmental, and social justice. “We are food activists too, exposing people to seasonal items and giving them ideas to take away,” says Colleen Gorman, one of 10 co-owners who work usually three days a week, managing different facets of the business. “It’s a valuable place to invest energy.”

It feels like an incubator for counterculture here. No item on the menu costs more than $10, and the owners are dedicated to sustainability. Everything is either fair-trade, free-range, gluten-free, grass-fed, fresh-picked, farm-raised, local, natural, organic, or compost-friendly. And up to 10 percent of profits is directed to local grassroots organizations, including a nonprofit founded by former owner Ron Copeland called Our Community Place, which offers free meals and workshops to anyone who needs them.

The Little Grill has been here since the 1940s, but transitioned into a collective in 2003 when Copeland decided to attend seminary. “Sharing resources is conceptually gratifying,” says Gorman, the wall behind her hung with faded photos of late friends and artistic renderings of sociocultural greats. No doubt this place has character worth preserving. In fact, any decision that would affect the character requires the support of a super-majority of worker-owners. So how does one become a worker-owner? Employees can be elevated to such a status only after a year of attending meetings, managing projects, and getting to know the place inside out. So expect your servers to be knowledgeable—and the food to be delicious. littlegrillcollective.com.


A roundup (get it?) of Central Virginia’s favorite doughnuts and bagels.

A maple-bacon doughnut at Bill’s Pastry.

BILL’S PASTRY Lynchburg’s culinary creativity is on full display with Bill’s maple-bacon doughnut. “The saltysweet combo is definitely what is so good about it,” says owner Kimberly Emerson, whose husband Patrick is the baker. “It’s very much like crumbling bacon over pancakes and pouring maple syrup over top—only instead of pancakes, you get a Bill’s Original Glazed!” billspastry.com

Carpe Donut’s apple-cider topped with cinnamon sugar.

CARPE DONUT Don’t worry, the iconic red wagon that used to dole out organic apple-cider-cinnamon doughnuts all over Charlottesville is still available for special events like weddings (hence the photo above of a sparkly Carpe Donut—seize the day, indeed). Now, though, baker-owner Matt Rohdie has a storefront in McIntire Plaza, making it easy for folks to stop by. Or he can make an office delivery of a couple dozen and a vacuum coffee press, which keeps his fair-trade organic joe quite fresh.

What makes the doughnuts so special is the thoughtful mix of organic and local ingredients. “We’ve moved away from certified-organic eggs in favor of local pastured eggs,” says Rohdie. “Local pastured eggs are more sustainable. Plus, they taste better.” carpedonut.org

SPUDNUTS It’s true, these doughnuts are actually made from potatoes—potato flour, that is. That single ingredient is credited with making them airier than traditional doughnuts—a recipe that started in Utah and spread to Charlottesville, where Spudnuts has been serving up its docket of flavors since 1969: glazed, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, and blueberry cake. Consistency (and sugar) has its virtues. spudnutshop.com

Mr. J’s French toast and mixed berry bagels.

MR. J’S BAGELS When New Jerseyans Joey and Dave Jerlinski couldn’t find a good bagel in Harrisonburg, what else could they do but open a bagel bakery of their own? And so goes the story of the birth of Mr. J’s, where savory flavors like Asiago cheese and sundried tomato sit alongside sweet “French toast” and mixed berry. How do they manage French toast on a bagel? They don’t; they work bits of it into an egg bagel and top it with cinnamon sugar. Sweet glory. mrjsbagels.com

BODO’S Each of the three Charlottesville locations serves a whopping 6,000 New York—Style bagels each day. Boiled and then baked to achieve that nice shiny crust, the bagels only get better with a schmear of one of the house cream cheeses: herb, olive, blueberry, smoked salmon, low-fat Neufchatel. We’re partial to the 100 percent whole-wheat bagel, a difficult bread to make. But the folks at Bodo’s have found a way. And we thank them for it. bodosbagels.com

Makin’ Bacon …with Clifton Inn chef Tucker Yoder.


THE PORK BELLY ON THE COUNTER is a thing of beauty, a glorious pink-and-white-striped rectangle of fat and meat. Chef Tucker Yoder, in his crisp white chef’s coat, makes eye contact with the slab and smiles, contemplating the bacon it will become. As cooks bustle behind him in the immaculate kitchen of Charlottesville’s historic Clifton Inn, Yoder points to the striations on the side of the pork belly, noting that you want at least two stripes of meat. “You want the fat too,” he says. “Fat is good.”

Fat is flavor. And flavor is why this New England Culinary Institute—trained chef likes to cure bacon himself. “It’s like anything else you make at home,” he says, as he measures the salt, brown sugar, and curing salts (a preservative that is not necessary for flavor but gives bacon its reddish color and long shelf life). “You can control exactly what goes in and what it tastes like in the end.” The mixture looks like it belongs in a child’s sandbox, and Yoder plays his fingers through it.

He adds a tailor-made blend of spices: green coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and whole juniper berries, which have all been toasted and ground. He likes to alter the concoction according to season, using sage instead of juniper in fall, lemon zest and thyme in summer.

Seasonality has always mattered to Yoder, having arrived this past fall at the Clifton Inn from the Red Hen, a restaurant he helped develop in Lexington that is dedicated to sourcing foods locally. Yoder has hit the ground running in his new post, expanding the kitchen gardens and sourcing even more from area artisans.

Fast-forward five days—during which time the pork has cured in the refrigerator—and the bacon is firm. Yoder rinses off the salt mixture, and proceeds to smoke the meat. His preferred method is a Weber grill and a bundle of sticks and leaves he’s collected from the grounds (he eschews wood chips and pine in favor of applewood or grapevine, even though “anything you like the smell of when it’s burning will do”).

When it comes to eating bacon, Yoder uses it in almost every meal. He’s even been known to infuse bourbon with the stuff. For breakfast at Clifton, though, he serves it the traditional way—well, sort of. “We render it and use the fat like we would butter,” he says, “because we like bacon a lot.”

Our bacon-making lesson with chef Yoder was a press exclusive. But he does offer monthly cooking demonstrations (on various topics) at the Clifton Inn (thecliftoninn.com).


4 to 5 pounds pork belly (skin off)

2 cups Kosher salt

1 cup light brown sugar

4 Tbsp. curing salt (also called “pink salt”; optional)

2 Tbsp. green coriander seeds

1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

2 Tbsp. whole juniper berries

1. In a medium bowl, mix together salt, brown sugar, and curing salt.

2. Put coriander, cumin, and juniper berries into a dry pan; place over medium heat and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).

3. In a grinder or food processor, pulse toasted spices until rough. Mix into salt mixture.

4. With pork on a metal sheet pan, rub a light coating of the spice mixture on all sides of the meat.

5. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in refrigerator five days. Check the meat daily, turning it over and dumping excess liquid.

6. After five days, the pork belly should be firm to the touch. Rinse cure off in cold water and pat dry. Slice and fry bacon, or smoke it first (see step 7).

7. To smoke: Light a bundle of leaves and sticks in center of a charcoal grill. Place pork on outside edge of grill, and close lid to put out fire. Let sit 15 to 20 minutes. Refrigerate up to 8 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pig Candy

With a name like that, who wouldn’t love this mind-blowing mix of sweet and salty: bacon baked with brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. At Bluegrass Grill in Charlottesville, two strips of “pig candy” ($3.95) arrive at the table so that you have something to nibble on while you wait for the main course. Or, in our case, so you have time to wish this were the main course.


Three area restaurateurs share what turns them on first thing in the morning.

Dave Ellis of Mangia, Lynchburg

“Every Sunday morning, I eat the same thing: shrimp and grits with two fried eggs on top. In Charleston, where shrimp and grits are a staple, it’s typically made with a brown roux-based sauce. But since Mangia is an Italian restaurant, I make it for the brunch menu using Marsala and pancetta. Then two sunny-side-up eggs go on top of it all. And of course, I always use the toast on the side to sop up the sauce and the runny yolks.”

Harrison Keevil of Brookville, Charlottesville

“Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. That was instilled in me by my grandfather. Every Thanksgiving my whole family used to get together at his farm in Prince George County, and all 10 cousins would race to be the first one up in the morning to get the seat next to our grandfather. And it was always the same breakfast: Edwards smoked sausage (a Virginia product), bacon, English muffins, sunny-side-up eggs.”

Peter Stogbuchner of Hazel River Inn, Culpeper

“I am from Austria, where my mother used to make Viennese crumbed eggs, which I now serve at the restaurant. You make them by dipping poached eggs in breadcrumbs and sautéing them in butter. It’s a little labor intensive; frying the poached eggs can be tricky because they’re so fragile. But they taste good—really good. Especially with some pork speck that I cure myself.”

For the Love of Biscuits

An ode to those most Southern of breads.


BISCUITS ARE AN IMPORTANT food group in our house. Not just because good ones are a paradox of fluffy and crunchy, light and dense, but because they drew me to Virginia in the first place.

My husband Steve and I met when we were living in New York City, where needless to say, good Southern biscuits are hard to come by. Having been raised far, far south of the Big Apple, Steve wanted the real Mc- Coy—none of those citified froufrou biscuit wannabes. Jalapeno-chive-rosemary biscuits with Stilton cheese? Talk about gilding the lily. No, we wanted to live where plain ol’ country biscuits could reliably be eaten all over town.

We found that life in Virginia. More specifically, we found it at the first place where we ate breakfast in Charlottesville. Moving boxes barely opened, we took a break to go to the Tavern, where, if you choose your seat wisely, you can see into the kitchen in the back to watch traditional no-frills biscuits being rolled out and baked.

Going out to diners, though, will only take you so far. I spent many a Sunday morning attempting (and failing) to make a blue-ribbon version at home. I tinkered with different flours (Southern bakers swear by White Lily and Martha White flours, which are lighter in weight and have less gluten than traditional flours), but mine still didn’t measure up. As my sassy friend Frances would say: “You get a man with your buns; you keep him with your biscuits.”

Unfortunately, my biscuits weren’t going to hold anyone’s attention. But then I discovered that the perfect biscuit is borne of completely cold ingredients and tools—the butter, the bowl, the flour, my fingers. After sticking my Martha White and my metal mixing bowls in the freezer for a few minutes and submerging my hands up to the wrists in ice water (a measure I’ve since come to view as extreme), the dough came together like magic.

A short 12 minutes later, the crusty browned tops, when pulled away, revealed a warm, pillowy inside. We slathered each half with butter and local jam, and toasted to our new life of biscuits in Virginia. At that point, we had been here already a year, but only then did it really feel like home.


Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

To make whole-wheat biscuits, reduce white flour to 1½ cups, and add ½ cup whole-wheat flour.

Makes 6 to 8 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

2½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces ¾ cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or two knives), until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Add the milk, and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened (if the dough is too wet, add a dash more flour). With a lightly floured hand, gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl, just 5 to 10 times. Do not overknead.

3. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough to ¾ inch thick. Cut out rounds with a drinking glass or biscuit cutter dipped in flour. Reroll scraps and cut additional biscuits (note: they’re never as tender as the first-cut).

4. Place the biscuits in a pie pan so they are touching (for fluffier results). Bake until golden brown on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.


What’s percolating in Central Virginia.

FOR MANY FOLKS it just wouldn’t be breakfast without a steaming cup of coffee. And as any java junkie knows, a daily ritual this important deserves fresh-roasted beans from one of the area’s great micro-roasters:

CENTRAL COFFEE ROASTERS Packaged in biodegradable bags, Sperryville’s Central Coffee roasts most of its blends to a dark “full city roast,” causing the oils to migrate just to the surface of the beans. This is good because those same oils release amazing flavor once the coffee is brewed. centralcoffeeroasters.com

GRAINS OF SENSE What started as a health-conscious bakery in Staunton has morphed into an organic fair-trade coffee roastery. Dedicated to single-origin coffees—so you can taste the terroir—Grains of Sense roasts the coffee by hand in small casts less than 15 minutes before it’s bagged. grainsofsense.com

LESTER’S BEST A blues singer by night, Lester Bowers helps people wake up a little happier in the morning. Notably, he uses a “fluid bed roaster,” which uses convection technology to heat the beans. His coffee is served at several Staunton restaurants but is only available in bags at Cranberry’s, where Bowers is also a “celebrity barista” every weekday morning. gocranberrys.com/coffee.php

LEXINGTON COFFEE This award-winning micro-roaster has been at it for more than 20 years, offering single-origin and blend coffees grown around the world. The coffee is the focus here (especially the espresso), but there’s also a commitment to improving the lives of those who grow and harvest the beans, through organizations like Grounds for Health and Cup for Education. lexingtoncoffee.com

LUCAS ROASTING COMPANY Armed with a small Diedrich roaster, this roastery in Broadway is able to keep quality high in both its blends and single-origins. We’d be remiss not to mention Lucas’ Blue Ridge Breakfast Blend, which makes a great cup of wake-meup coffee—even on Monday morning. lucasroasting.com

SHENANDOAH JOE COFFEE At this Charlottesville roastery, everything is bagged and blended by hand and to order. The commitment to small-batch artisan coffees—and the centerpiece San Franciscan roaster—have consistently drawn the coffee-loving masses, enough to warrant opening a namesake coffeehouse in 2007. Shenandoah Joe may have gotten bigger digs, but they still believe in roasting coffee in small batches, to ensure the best flavor. shenandoahjoe.com

TRAGER BROTHERS COFFEE Seattle transplants Joe and William Trager know coffee, and they know it’s best when done by hand and with love. They’ve taken a brewpub approach to it all, welcoming visitors to the Lovingston facility—and a new outdoor seating space—to watch their vintage cast-iron, gas-powered roaster at work. tbcroasters.com


A diner where it’s okay to pour syrup on your head.

WHAT DO STEPHEN COLBERT, Amelia Earhart, the Blues Brothers, and Holly Go Lightly have in common? They’ve all had their likeness grace the fluffy flapjacks at Blue Moon Diner in Charlottesville. Not listed on the menu or advertised in any way, these special powdered-sugar- coated masterpieces come out most of the time as a surprise to the customer (although the kitchen does grant requests, depending what stencils are still functioning at the moment). This is all the work of creative genius Jon Hampton, resident stencil and griddle virtuoso. “It started when I cut a simple moon stencil out of a to-go box,” says Hampton, who spends about eight hours designing and cutting each one. “I realized I could do something more complicated—you know, I used to do the illegal kind of stenciling on buildings.”

So Hampton started playing around with the artwork of M.C. Escher, as well as faces with a lot of detail, especially those with glasses. He’s even been known to capture the diner’s regular customers, making it feel a little like Cheers. Wouldn’t you like to go where everybody knows your…face?

Ham It Up

Years Calhoun’s Ham House in Culpeper has been in business: 45 Country ham biscuits sold locally last year: 135,000 Months it takes to dry cure a Calhoun’s ham: 6 to 12 How do they do it? Calhoun’s gets its biscuits from nearby Knakal’s Bakery. “At Christmas time, there are two lines out the door in Culpeper,” says owner Tom Calhoun. “One line is at Knakal’s and the other line is at my place.” calhounhams.com


Coffee aficionados are captivated by vacuum presses like this Bodum Santos—because of the flavorful brew and because of the process (it can all be done on the stovetop). As if by magic, the boiling water in the bottom jug is sucked up into the top, and then drips back down as a sediment-free pot of joe. $90 at the Happy Cook in Charlottesville.


A seasonal menu so elegant, your friends may come to expect it every time.


WITH A TEAM OF DEFT sous chefs and restaurant-grade appliances, a professional kitchen is way more efficient than any home kitchen could ever hope to be. Thankfully, this simple spring menu from Joshua Wilton House chef Mark Newsome relies very much on the ingredients and very little on the quality of your stovetop. Having a few sous chefs, we must admit, would still be nice.

Newsome makes it look easy. He whips up a lemony sorrel-flecked risotto faster than it takes to get our cameras into place. But the grilled shiitake-and-oyster-mushroom salad, braised beef short ribs, and other components of this menu—which he put together exclusively for Edible Blue Ridge—are simple enough even for a beginner to replicate. And most of them require fewer than 10 ingredients.

That’s because the focus is on letting those ingredients shine, says Newsome, who’s been sourcing from local farmers and artisans for all of his 14 years as chef at this Harrisonburg restaurant, well before it was in vogue. “You have to be flexible to use local products,” he says, rubbing some shiitakes from amFog in Afton with canola oil from Portwood Acres near Port Republic. “You might not get as much as you thought on any given day, but it usually works out on the plus side in the end.”

His commitment to local foods is a yearround endeavor, but now that spring has sprung, there’s suddenly a profusion. It’s not unusual for a mushroom forager or nearby gardener with a surplus of produce to stop by to hawk a basket of seasonal goodies. Most of the time, Newsome finds a way to use them. “He loves the interesting, unusual ingredients,” says his wife Ann Marie Coe, who runs Joshua Wilton House with longtime friend Sean Pugh (the three of them became pals after college, eventually bought the inn and restaurant together, and remain business partners and friends).

“What shows up in the kitchen is really what drives the menu,” says Newsome, whose personal obsession is fruit trees, of which he has 18 types in his yard at home. As different varieties ripen, they make their way onto the menu in savory dishes like duck with gooseberries, and in sweeter offerings like the berry parfait that pastry chef Shawn Richard has created for this special spring dinner party menu. What doesn’t get used in the kitchen, Richard will preserve in jams, which are served for breakfast at the inn throughout the year—after all, this is a bed-and-breakfast.

Newsome also nurtures a small garden just outside the inn, where he’s able to grow most of the herbs he needs in the warmer months: parsley, thyme, dill, sage, basil, rosemary. That’s really no surprise for a guy who earned a masters’ degree in botany. All those years studying plant life have nurtured a broader dedication to eating local products of all kinds—a mission that for Newsome is as much about supporting small farmers as it is about talking shop with them. “Picking their brains helps me a lot,” he says, “giving me different ways to utilize what they grow and raise.”

Take Robin Rider of Rider’s Backfield Farm Beef, with whom he’s been working for about a year and a half. “We talk about what’s available that’s fresh, so that I can age some of the meat myself,” he says as he runs his MAC chef’s knife through Rider’s beef short ribs, an inexpensive yet tasty piece of meat. “Local farmers might have a harder time selling a lesser cut. I like the challenge of cooking those. I feel that using all parts of the animal is something I should strive to do. And it helps the farmer too.”

Newsome arranges a fistful of Planet Earth Diversified microgreens on the plate—including baby beet greens, which, not surprisingly, have a flavor reminiscent of the full-grown vegetable—and marvels at the farm’s mad genius, Michael Clark, who is extremely meticulous, especially about controlling the temperature and adding just the right mix of nutrients. It’s that attention to detail that makes Planet Earth Diversified’s produce a house favorite.

Indeed, there are loyalties and longtime favorites, but Newsome is constantly adding new purveyors to the roster—which has its benefits and challenges. New producers are often eager for feedback, and aim to please; but if they go belly-up, it’s back to square one. Cultivating these relationships takes time, and doing so twice requires even more. Like when Newsome’s best artisan beekeeper, with whom he’d worked to create a honey with a balance of flavors that paired well with his menu, went out of business and he had to start again.

Today Newsome shows off Portwood Acres’ canola oil, his latest find. As he tastes a drop on his finger, he describes it as fruity and robust, becoming visibly excited—not just because it’s the only such product he has found in the area, but because of the quality. “The yellow in this vinaigrette is from the canola,” he says as he holds up a squeeze bottle full of blond salad dressing. “The oil is that flavorful—the color tells you so.” As only a chef with a masters’ in botany knows: If you listen to all of your ingredients this way, they speak volumes.

For more about the restaurant and inn, go to joshuawilton.com.


Use local mushrooms because they’re fresher—meaning they have an earthier flavor and meatier texture.


Serves 6 to 8

1 tsp. each of salt, pepper, paprika

2 Tbsp. Portwood Acres canola oil

¼ lb. each amFog oyster and shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

¼ lb. asparagus, cut into 2-inch diagonals

2 cups Planet Earth Diversified baby greens

Lemon-Rosemary Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Mix spices and oil in a flat dish. Toss the mushrooms and asparagus in the spice-and-oil mixture to coat. Grill for 5 minutes over medium heat, or cook in a sauté pan over medium heat. Serve over Planet Earth Diversified baby greens, and drizzle with Lemon-Rosemary Vinaigrette.


Pair earthy mushrooms with rosemary, and asparagus with lemon. Both are in this dressing.


1 Tbsp. lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

¼ cup red wine vinegar

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 cup Portwood Acres canola oil

In a blender, combine all ingredients except oil. While still blending, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Pour into sealable container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


It’s okay to use a less-expensive cut when entertaining. Short ribs aren’t short on flavor when braised.


Serves 6 to 8

3 lbs. Backfield Farm beef short ribs

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 garlic cloves, smashed

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 bottle Virginia cabernet franc

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Sear in cast-iron pan over high, on both sides; remove and place in a roasting pan.

2. In remaining pan juices, sear vegetables 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with bottle of wine. Bring to a boil; then pour veggie-wine mixture over ribs in roasting pan.

3. Add enough hot water to cover meat, and cover with lid or aluminum foil. Braise for 2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender.

LESSON #4 Use sorrel to give creamy risotto a kick of color and a slight hint of citrus.


Serves 6 to 8

1 cup Planet Earth Diversified sorrel leaves

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp. chopped toasted almonds

2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium white onion, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock, hot

1. Blend sorrel, garlic, almonds, cheese, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in food processor, adding just enough olive oil to make a paste. Reserve.

2. In a saucepan, sauté the onion in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until tender. Add Arborio rice, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add hot chicken stock while stirring; simmer until liquid is mostly evaporated and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in pesto.


Opt for a young country ham, which isn’t as salty; Newsome likens Turner’s young hams to prosciutto.


Serves 6 to 8

1 white onion, sliced

1—2 Tbsp. Portwood Acres canola oil

2 cups local spinach

¼ cup Turner country ham, julienned

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Sauté onion in canola oil until translucent. Add spinach and ham, and season with salt and pepper to taste; sauté another 4 to 5 minutes, until spinach is wilted and ham is warmed through.


Make the components of this parfait a couple days ahead, and then assemble a few hours before guests arrive.


Serves 6 to 8

2 cups cubed pound cake

Lemon Posset (see recipe below)

Berry Compote (see recipe below)

Granola (see recipe below)

1 cup vanilla ice cream

Tuile cookies

Candied Mint (see recipe below)

Place the cake cubes on the chilled, set Posset, dividing them among the glasses. Spoon the Berry Compote over the cake in each glass. Add a layer of Granola and then another of Posset. Top each glass with Granola and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a tuile and Candied Mint.


Don’t be afraid of fancy words. Posset is simply a mixture of milk, sugar, and lemon juice that is chilled to form a bright, tangy custard-like treat.


3 cups heavy cream

Strained juice of 3 lemons

1¼ cups sugar

1. Place the cream and lemon juice in separate containers in the microwave and heat for 1 minute intervals until warm.

2. Divide the sugar between the juice and the cream, and stir to dissolve.

3. Continue heating for 30 seconds at a time, and remove each mixture just when it begins to boil.

4. Combine the cream and juice mixtures; pour in equal portions into 6 to 8 parfait glasses.

5. Refrigerate glasses to chill for 3 hours (or overnight). As posset cools, it will gel to the consistency of a delicate custard.


Granola adds great texture to this parfait, but you can also mix it into Greek yogurt for breakfast. Make extra.


1 cup oatmeal

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

½ Tbsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg (or ½ tsp. dry nutmeg)

1 cup unsalted nuts (pecans, pistachios, cashews, and/or sliced almonds)

7 Tbsp. butter, melted

¼ cup honey, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Combine and toss together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with melted butter and honey.

2. Spread the mixture onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes, then stir mixture. Bake another 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

3. Allow to cool then break up into small pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


Depending on the month, use this compote to show off whatever fruits are at their ripest: strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries.


6 Tbsp. cranberry juice

2 Tbsp. lime juice

½ Tbsp. cornstarch

6 Tbsp. sugar

1⁄8 tsp. cinnamon

1⁄8 tsp. ground ginger

2 Tbsp. dark rum

2 cups strawberries

1. Combine juices in a small bowl. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. of juices; set aside.

2. Add remaining juices to sugar and spices in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

3. Add rum and simmer 4 minutes. Add dissolved cornstarch and boil 2 minutes while stirring.

4. Add the berries and remove from heat. Place berries in a large bowl in the fridge to chill, at least 2 hours.


Don’t be afraid to use the microwave-even for fine food.


Mint leaves

Vegetable spray


Spray mint leaves with vegetable spray, and dredge in sugar. Cover a plate with plastic wrap. Set the sugared leaves on top. Microwave 1 minute, until crystallized. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.


amFog mushrooms: Afton Mountain Farm Market, Orchard, and Greenhouse; amfog.net.

Planet Earth Diversified: Available at Charlottesville City Market, Foods of All Nations, Integral Yoga Natural Foods, Market Street Wine Shop, Rebecca’s Natural Food, and planetearthdiversified.net.

Portwood Acres canola oil: Sold at the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market.

Turner country ham: Fulks Run Grocery in Rockingham County; turnerhams.com.



Serves 4

1 to 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, sliced

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 4 small red-skinned potatoes, halved and thinly sliced

4 cups vegetable stock

1 pound asparagus, bottoms discarded, tips cut off, and center part sliced

15-ounce can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

3 or 4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced (optional) 2 to 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon, dill, or thyme Splash of lemon juice or vinegar (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch sauté pan. Add the scallions and a little sprinkle of salt. Cook and stir until soft. Add potatoes and enough stock to cover. Cover pan and cook until potatoes are just translucent.

2. Add asparagus and beans and more stock to cover (you may have stock left over). When asparagus start to turn bright green, add radish. Cook just until radish begins to look translucent and vegetables are all bright. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in chopped herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Brighten the flavors with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar. Serve over whole-wheat couscous or toasted baguette.

©2011 Martha Hester Stafford


The traditional Greek sandwich, with a Virginia twist.

Handmade Israeli-style pita made from fresh-ground whole wheat at Belle Haven Bakery near Scottsville. Unlike storebought, this pita stays soft, thanks to a unique steaming-baking process.—Available through RelayFoods.com and info@bellehavenfarm.com, and at the Scottsville and Charlottesville farmers’ markets; bellehavenfarm.com.

Hand-crafted feta, from the milk of goats that roam freely to forage in woodland and pasture at Caromont Farm in Esmont.—About $16 per pound at Foods of All Nations and Whole Foods in Charlottesville; caromontfarm.com.

Pasture-fed cows produce the milk for a creamy plain yogurt from Pequea Valley Farm. Or use the ready-made tzatziki sauce from the Farm at Red Hill in North Garden.—Yogurt available at Miller Farms Market in Locust Grove, Farm to You in Lexington, and Frenchman’s Cellar in Culpeper; tricklingspringscreamery.com. Tzatziki sauce available at Foods of All Nations and Whole Foods.

Pasture-fed lamb from the sustainable Retreat Farm in Rapidan.—Available on-site and at Beggars Banquet in Orange; retreatfarmandstore.com.

Local Lamb Gyros

Serves 6 to 8

For lamb:

1 lb. ground lamb

½ red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1½ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. each minced fresh oregano and marjoram (or dried)

For feta-tzatziki sauce:

1 cucumber, peeled and grated

2 cups plain yogurt

¼ cup Caromont feta cheese

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. coarse salt

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

For gyros:

6 to 8 pitas

Extra-virgin olive oil

½ onion, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Thoroughly combine all lamb ingredients in a food processor until paste-like. Press into a loaf pan.

2. Set the loaf pan in a baking dish filled halfway with water. Cook for about an hour, until the lamb reaches 165°.

3. Meanwhile, strain water out of cucumber by wrapping it in a clean dishtowel and twisting. Combine all other tzatziki ingredients in a medium bowl, and then stir in cucumber. Refrigerate.

4. To assemble, brush pita with oil and grill or place on gas burner just until warm. In the center of the pita, arrange slices of the lamb-loaf with tomato and onion. Top with tzatziki.

What’s going on in the Central Virginia food scene.

Recipe of the Season

Steph and Jay Rostow, Virginia Vinegar Works.


Edible Blue Ridge readers have spoken. You voted online, and the results are in for our second annual Local Hero awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to the local-foods movement in our community. Here are the winners, by category, as decided by you:

FARM Harvest Thyme Herbs (Augusta County). It doesn’t take a lot of land to make a big impression on local chefs, as proven by Deirdre and Phil Armstrong, who tend six acres of highquality culinary herbs and veggies just south of Staunton. Everything from the essentials (basil, mint, tomatoes) to the exotic (lemon verbena, purple asparagus), for the likes of Zynodoa and the Ivy Inn. harvestthymeherbfarm.com

CHEF/RESTAURANT Mark Newsome, Joshua Wilton House (Harrisonburg). Long before he starred in our “Spring Dinner Party” feature (page 38), Newsome was forging relationships with local farmers (JWH was the first restaurant to source from Polyface Farms) to turn our region’s seasonal best into dishes that are both delicious and almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. joshuawilton.com

FOOD ARTISAN Jay and Steph Rostow, Virginia Vinegar Works (Nelson County). Using a fermenting method that was perfected hundreds of years ago and far, far away, the Rostows use actual Virginia wines to craft smallbatch varietal vinegars for local foodies. Red or white, these special vinegars are wonderful in marinades or sauces. Or to really grasp their complexity and goodness, just tip back a straight shot. They’re that good! virginiavinegarworks.com

BEVERAGE ARTISAN Jason Oliver, Devils Backbone Brewing Company (Nelson County). Chat with the World Beer Cup champion brewmaster about the art and science of beer for a few minutes, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re in way over your head. Given the amazing lineup of regular and seasonal beers on tap at the Wintergreen-area Devils Backbone brewpub, of course, that’s not a bad place to be. Cheers, Jason! dbbrewingcompany.com

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION The Local Food Hub (Albemarle County). There are plenty of bumps in the road between small farms and large institutional buyers, but the Food Hub is dedicated to smoothing the way by providing steady delivery, crop planning advice, and even help with all that darn red tape. The result is more business for farmers and more local food in institutional kitchens. That’s what we call a win-win. localfoodhub.org

FOOD SHOP George Bowers Grocery (Staunton). Merging the feel and service of an oldtimey grocer with a very contemporary mission to support local farms and food artisans, this purveyor of “staple goods and fancy groceries” has become a regular stop for Staunton foodies. And soon—breaking news alert—they’ll be stopping at a bigger, better new location complete with outdoor patio. georgebowersgrocery.com


It’s usually a bad thing when you say a farm got swarmed, unless you’re talking about a “crop mob” —volunteers converging on a small local farm or garden to do a project, share a meal, and get in touch with the land that feeds them.

Together, Harrisonburg’s Friendly City Co-op and JMU’s student club JMU EARTH (Environmental Awareness and Restoration Through Our Help) are co-organizing crop mobs throughout the growing season. Their “mobs” have already lent a hand at Wildside Farms and Gatherings Farm.

“Running a farm requires so much physical labor,” says Garrett Stern, crop mob organizing partner with JMU Earth. “And with our farm population consisting of mainly older folks, getting some young backs out there can really make an impact. Plus, it’s a great way to build relationships with the community and with farmers.”

To support the efforts or volunteer, go to the Valley Crop Mob page on Facebook or send an email to valleycropmob@gmail.com.

Annette Kaufman-Horner


“I’m a big believer in using local compost, just as we like to use local eggs or locally grown produce,” says Robert Schreiber, owner of Bell’s Lane Farm, which produces and sells sustainable, local compost. “It’s all part of the local movement.”

Bell’s Lane is primarily a cattle farm, but when the city of Staunton needed a place to deposit the billions of leaves collected from residents’ yards, it offered to take the load. Up to that point, the city was paying to have them hauled out of the area.

Once on the farm, the leaves are mixed with wood chips, sawdust, and cow manure—which, by the way, gets deposited onto the leaves by none other than the farm’s cows, which are drawn to the heat given off by the decomposing piles. Eighteen months to two years later, and voilà—rich, usable compost.

Indeed, people are using it. “We sell it by the truckload or the bag,” says Schreiber, “and we sell out every season.” bellslanefarm.com


“All cake people want to create beautiful cakes that fulfill their clients’ visions,” says Crozet-based pastry chef and farmer Rachel Willis, who gives herself an extra challenge by using only whole, natural ingredients. This means all the eggs in her Cakes by Rachel creations come from chickens on her farm, and she always uses butter, never vegetable shortening.

It also means no fondant, a sugar-paste coating that contains artificial ingredients. “It’s difficult because fondant is very in vogue,” says Willis, who instead focuses on seasonal flavors. For instance, she uses spring strawberries in her “Heather” cake (named for the bride who first requested it): yellow chiffon spread with strawberry jam, filled with pastry cream and local strawberries, and iced with vanilla buttercream.

A chef for more than 20 years, Willis left the restaurant business to raise chickens, as well as the endangered heritage-breed sheep Navajo Churro (50 of the remaining 5,000 left in the world are here on her farm). And now, with the arrival of spring, she’s busy with a slew of wedding cakes...and with lambs. mountaingirlcakes.blogspot.com Sarah Steely


A few months after becoming the first winery in the state to sell boxed wine at retail outlets, Virginia Wineworks is so pleased with consumer reaction that it is considering releasing all of its Wineworks label wines that way. “It’s been surprisingly well received,” says Philip Stafford, a partner in the Albemarle County winery with winemaker Michael Shaps.

Each box contains a vacuumsealed plastic bag and a tap, which protects the wine from the deteriorating effects of oxygen. In fact, 30 days after a Virginia Tech oenologist opened a box (for academic research, of course), he reported that the wine inside was as fresh as a bottle of wine that had been open for just one day.

The boxed wine is also priced lower, thanks to packaging and labor savings: A three-liter box (which holds the equivalent of about four bottles) sells for from $30 to $35, delivering a whopping 43 percent savings over the same wine sold in glass bottles.

Even so, Stafford knows that some folks have difficulty embracing wine in a box. “I was once guilty of being snobby about boxed wine,” he says, as he oversees “boxing” a viognier and a rosé that will soon join the previously released chardonnay and cabernet franc. “But I have completely changed my mind, because this removes one more barrier to people enjoying local wine.”

Virginia Wineworks boxed wines are sold at Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and select Kroger locations in Charlottesville. vawineworks.com


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stroll into your backyard and gather some homegrown tomatoes, peas…and $1,200-a-pound truffles?

While it never may be quite that easy, a tree nursery in Culpeper County is making it likely that French Périgord black truffles, treasured by gourmands the world over, will be a viable crop here in the not-sodistant future.

After studying at a truffière in the renowned truffle-producing region of Cahors-Le Montat, France, John and Pat Martin of Virginia Truffle Growers have inoculated thousands of oak seedlings with Tuber melanosporum, the spore that begets the rare Périgord truffle. (Wild truffles already grow locally, though some common varieties are inedible.)

“Growing conditions here are very similar to Cahors,” says Pat. ”Our soil tends to be more acidic, but that can be remedied.” In fact, she reports that a comparable truffière established in East Tennessee already successfully harvests the Périgord.

Seedlings have been sold to interested producers across the state, and with 300 inoculated oaks planted on their own Rixeyville property in 2007, the Martins hope to harvest their first Virginia-grown Périgords next winter—with the help of a trusty “truffle dog” trained to sniff them out among the tree roots. Local chefs have already been calling the Martins, eager to get their hands on fresh truffles that normally must be imported from France. No wonder—with the intense flavor of truffles, foodies like to enhance omelets, pastas, risottos, and more, before their two-week shelf life expires.

So, could an average person stick a couple of inoculated seedlings in the yard and hope for a Périgord gold mine? “The more trees you have, the better your chances,” advises Pat, noting that it typically requires about 100 mature trees to produce 30 to 50 pounds of truffles a year. “But there’s no reason why it isn’t possible.” virginiatruffle.com


“A vineyard is a farm, and part of our ethos is taking care of the land,” says Cooper Vineyards tasting room manager Rebecca Cooper. To that end, the Louisa County winery is dedicated to making every aspect of the operation— even the new tasting facility—as environmentally friendly as possible.

Upon its completion this spring, Cooper Vineyards’ new office and tasting building is on track to receive a LEED Platinum certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the highest honor in green architecture. No other winery on the East Coast has earned this certification before.

Funded by two USDA grants, the new facility features geothermal heating, solar panels, low-flow fixtures, and a slanted roof that collects rainwater, which is then filtered back to the restrooms. In an effort to further unite guests with the environment, large windows provide natural light and a captivating view of the vineyards.

The winemaking will be cuttingedge too: Solar panels will power parts of the process; and to cut dependence on scarce cork trees, you’ll find screw caps on all 2009 white wines. coopervineyards.com Sarah Steely


What’s locally available this spring...


asparagus • English peas • greens • rhubarb spinach • sugar snap peas • turnips


asparagus • English peas • garlic scapes • greens new potatoes • radishes • scallions • spinach spring onions • sugar snap peas • strawberries


asparagus • cucumbers • green beans • greens spinach • strawberries • summer squash


blueberries • cucumbers • green beans • green peppers plums • raspberries • summer squash

The latest food news...


HEY, WHY IS EVERYONE HEADED DOWNTOWN? Oh, yeah, the Charlottesville City Market opened for its 38th season April 2. Brand new this year, share your love for the market—and give the perfect present—with gift certificates available from the Market Central table. Yay, we no longer have to guess what size eggplant Aunt Gertie likes!

AND WITH THE RETURN of farmers’ markets also comes the return of Seasonal Cook’s popular Market Basket cooking classes, in which a chefinstructor rounds up the freshest local ingredients at market and then shares techniques for turning them into several flavorful dishes. Class sizes are small and fill up fast, so check with the store for a schedule.

ONE OF THE MANY REASONS we love Moroccan-inspired Aromas Café is the spicy, tomato-based Habiba sauce that kicks the tasty falafel up a notch. Now we can bring that kick home, since chefowner Hassan Kaisoum is jarring the stuff for sale. It’s all natural, and terrific with just about everything (though we’re partial to chicken).

SHOPPERS DRAWN IN by Anderson Carriage Food House’s new emphasis on local foods are rediscovering that it has always been a go-to spot for seasonal, regional fresh seafood. Ted Anderson tells us that Virginia oysters are a mainstay, shad and shad roe will be around through May, and—yes!—Virginia blue crabs are coming in for spring.

REAPING MORE THAN YOU CAN USE from your garden is a good problem to have—and it just got better. L’étoile chef Mark Gresge is inviting green thumbs to bring in their favorite produce, which he will use to prepare a special on the bistro’s weekend menus. Best of all, the proud grower and a guest are treated to the delicious results.

FIVE OF CHARLOTTESVILLE’S BEST CHEFS make the Happy Cook’s Chef Week the foodie place to be April 25 through 29. Nightly classes will feature signature dishes made by Matthew Hart (the Local), Luther Fedora (Horse & Hound Gastropub), Melissa Close (Palladio), Christian Kelly (Maya), and personal chef Ingrid Berger. Reserve a spot in advance for just $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

REGULARS AT Foods of All Nations’ specialty cheese and dairy departments are used to picking from an array of local goodies, and now Leesburg’s Blue Ridge Dairy has joined the selection. Sure, you can taste its delicious applewood-smoked mozzarella and plain or honey yogurts at FOAN’s big Food Fair on June 12, but why wait that long?

TENDER ASPARAGUS is a sure sign of spring, and a sure way for Feast Café to lure us to lunch. Must we have the “spring salad” (mixed greens, roasted asparagus, Edwards country ham, champagne vinaigrette) or the “spring grilled cheese” (Manchego, asparagus spread, Albemarle Baking Company focaccia)? We must…have both!


WHAT LANDS ON YOUR DOORSTEP Sunday mornings and is full of good news? A crate from Arganica Farm Club, since the Ruckersvillebased local-food delivery operation has (at last!) expanded to Charlottesville. Members order from a weekly “menu” of local produce, meats, fish, cheeses, and breads. And artisan items such as duck eggs, wine vinegars, and squid-ink noodles. And goat’s milk! And wine!

WE ALWAYS FEEL A BIT WORLDLIER after a trip to Oil & Vinegar, and with its Andalusia event during May, the culinary shop is introducing us to the flavors of southern Spain. Try the new single-estate, extra-virgin olive oil, cracked green olives, and especially the famous smoked paprika, ground from peppers dried over an oak-wood fire for a week.

JEFFERSON DRANK HERE! That’s what Wine Festival at Monticello attendees might think as they join 13 Virginia wineries on Monticello’s West Lawn May 14. And for folks who really like to sip their presidential history, there are also the Montpelier Wine Festival (May 7 and 8) and the Virginia WineFest (May 21 and 22, at Ash Lawn—Highland).

CELEBRATING EARTH DAY (April 22) can help you work up quite an appetite, so take time to drop by Integral Yoga Natural Foods for a special event showcasing local foods and planet-saving ideas. Check ahead for times and more info.

VEGETARIANS OFTEN GET SHORTED by restaurant menus, but not at Zinc, where chef Justin Hershey will create entrées especially for vegetarian diners based on their preferences and available ingredients, including those harvested from the patio garden. Discerning carnivores are spoiled too, by house-made sausages, terrines, and pâtés.


A conversation with BRAD HANSEN of Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery

JUST AS A CHEF CREATES RELATIONSHIPS with farmers and artisans to ensure he’s getting the best ingredients, winemaker Brad Hansen partners with area grape growers and French coopers to obtain the best possible fruit and barrels. “It’s almost a partnership with our growers,” Hansen says. “They have a vested interest in producing the best quality grapes. I’m real proud of the growers we have.”

Hansen joined the Madison County winery in 1999, a full-circle moment, after attending high school in the Maryland-D.C. area but heading farther south for an undergraduate degree in plant biochemistry, a masters’ in food science, and then to work at a winery in Georgia. Eventually he came back, to be closer to family. And we’re glad he did, because he’s taught us a thing or 20 about crafting great wines.

Edible Blue Ridge: You have such strong connections with your growers. How does your collection of single-origin wines come into play?

Brad Hansen: Usually to make the best wine, you blend for the best harmony. But when something in the cellar is showing really high quality, it’s fun to showcase that one variety from one vineyard all by itself. And those wines are what we call Vineyard Designates; they’re really quite unique.

EBR: But you still produce blends?

Hansen: Symbius is our proprietary blend of reds and takes the longest to produce. It requires a specific set of barrel characteristics. We’ll go through and take a sample from every barrel. There might be 100 to 200 glasses on the table; we blind taste and come up with the best blend. Some years it may be cabernet franc or cabernet sauvignon—each year it’s different.

EBR: If you require a certain type of barrel, how and where do you find it?

Hansen: Barrels are a very important aspect of certain wine blends. The red grapes have a lot of tannin, which is perceived as astringent and dries the tongue. The soft tannins in the oak allow us to soften the wine. We like barrels made from specific forests in France and Hungary. The resulting wines aren’t heavy on the oak. I’d rather have the fruit and structure of the wine come through.

EBR: How much impact do the barrels really make?

Hansen: You can taste the difference in barrels made from trees growing a couple miles from each other. Age of the tree, the way the oak is treated, how long it’s seasoned outside all play a part. If you think there are lots of details in making wine, there are even more in making barrels.

EBR: In that same way, do the grapes from one vineyard differ from those of another?

Hansen: It’s remarkable that a mile or two apart can be the same merlot grape, but with altogether different qualities. For example, if a hill is facing southeast, it’s getting a certain amount of sunlight. Compare that to one facing west, getting afternoon sun. That will produce a great difference in flavor, color, and aroma. Not to mention the timing as to when it will ripen.

EBR: You’re crazy busy during the fall harvest. So what do you do in the spring?

Hansen: There’s still plenty to do. Much of this spring is about bottling the 2009 wines, a process fraught with anxiety. During harvest and fermentation we have some flexibility, but bottling—that’s it. That’s the last place to influence the wine before the customer gets it. It has to be bright, the labels have to go on straight—there are a million things to juggle.

EBR: With all that pressure, what qualities does a good winemaker need?

Hansen: We have a common drive to make something we feel is the best we can make it, and hope everyone else out there agrees. You have to have exacting standards, but be flexible. There’s nothing like a Virginia harvest to instill flexibility in a winemaker.

EBR: What about patience?

Hansen: In this industry, you get one year to harvest it just right, make it just right. If something goes wrong, you have to wait another 12 months to start over. We grow old in this industry watching those barrels: three years from vine to shelf. It’s not for someone who is impatient.

EBR: On a personal note, what wine do you like to drink?

Hansen: During the winter, the petit verdot was tasting wonderful, with dark, deep blueberry qualities. Springtime comes around and I switch to pinot grigio. In spring and summer, it’s like my lemonade.

For more, go to princemichel.com.


A Shenandoah Valley dairy farm is selling small-batch cheeses as fast as it can handcraft them.

By Dawn Medley · Photos By Norm Shafer

EIGHTEEN COWS CLOMP THROUGH a pair of double doors toward their usual spots in the milking parlor at Mountain View Farm in Rockbridge County. They are not harnessed in position around the side-by-side milking machine, but these gals know the drill—getting milked twice a day, every day, will do that. On this afternoon shift, they patiently f lick their tails and lick their noses while eyeballing Jed, the farm’s young border collie. Jed, in turn, keeps a keen eye trained on boss Fred Huger, who oversees a farmhand as he neatly dips each teat into sterilizing solution and primes it by hand to elicit a few creamy drops before attaching the automatic pump.

Depending on how you look at it, this is the beginning of the creation of Mountain View’s farmstead cheeses, an artisan assortment that is impressing Virginia cheese lovers and cheesemongers alike. Or maybe that genesis actually occurs in the surrounding countryside, where nearly 200 dairy cows are out on pasture year-round, lending their milk, and therefore the cheese, subtle seasonal variations.

“This one’s a little stubborn,” Huger says, patting a black-and-white Holstein-Jersey mix. “She came to us from another farm, where she was treated more like a pet. And that lightbrown one there, it’s been a while since she’s calved, so her milk supply is getting low.”

After a few minutes, some pumps release, sensing a decrease in the milk flow and sparing the animals from being pumped dry. Soon, this first group ambles back out single file to graze on juicy spring grass or bed down in the open-air barn until daybreak, when their milking cycle will begin anew.

Most of the raw milk from this session will be picked up by a tanker and sold to a co-op that processes and distributes it in Maryland and Virginia. But about 150 gallons has a more immediate destination. At 6 a.m. every morning, a farmhand guides milk into five-gallon containers, three dozen of which he transports in a skid loader to an unassuming white trailer, where the craft—and art—of farmstead cheese begins.

Inside the trailer, Huger’s wife Christie is working with a batch of what will become McClure, a mild Swiss-style cheese, which unlike the traditional version, is smaller and not aged for as long. The raw milk has already been inoculated with a powdery bacteria culture and liquid rennet, which curdles the milk, thus separating the curd (milk protein) from the watery whey. The result is a gelatinous mass, through which Christie skillfully drags a long metal harp called a curd cutter. Cheesemaking, it turns out, is fundamentally about getting the whey out of the way.

Christie positions her hair net and scrubs down like a surgeon. Her arm plunges deep into the 150-gallon vat to hold a mesh screen over an opening at the bottom, keeping the curd in the vat while the whey flows into an outdoor tank. She directs warm water back into the vat through a PVC pipe; this is the first of two washings of the curd.

After rinsing the residue from her arm and hands, Christie leaves an assistant to row the vat—agitating the curd to expel more whey—but not before setting a small kitchen timer for 20 minutes to mark when the second washing will begin.

From left: Fred, Isabelle, Anderson, Everette, and Christie Huger (with dog Jed).

She jots some notes on a log sheet. “I record everything so that if a new flavor emerges or something is off with a batch, I can look back to see what was different,” she explains. Despite this great attention to detail, and the technical requirements of what she does, Christie maintains that “cheesemaking is like art. It’s just another way I can express myself through what I create. When we’re out there selling the cheese and getting feedback, it’s like having my artwork on display.”

She should know. She was once a calligrapher and stained-glass artist, and even taught middle school art. At the same time, Fred was raising a small herd of beef cattle and working as a hired hand at nearby dairies and farms to make ends meet. In 2000, Fred ran into Bud Martin, then-owner of Mountain View, at an animal hospital. Martin mentioned he was ready to get out of dairy farming, and Fred replied—half joking— that the couple would take over milking when he was ready to leave.

Less than a year later, the Hugers, who had been high-school sweethearts, were renting Mountain View and running the day-today operations, including the beef herd. Their eldest child, Anderson, was a toddler, and over the next five years, they added Everette and Isabelle, making them a genuine farm family. Except that the farm didn’t really belong to them. They had long assumed that Mountain View eventually would go to one of Martin’s children, so they started researching farms in Kentucky, where land prices were lower. But in 2009, Martin offered the property to the Hugers, and they took the leap. (They designated 200 acres as a conservation easement, and now have the peace of mind that the area will be preserved as farmland instead of being developed.)

Because milk prices can fluctuate wildly, Christie began tinkering with other dairy products in an effort to bring stability to their bottom line. First, she made homemade butter for her family. Then she dabbled in a few soft cheeses, which are typically easier for beginners. Attending a cheesemaking workshop in 2003 convinced her that there was a local market for farmstead cheese, and she started visiting auctions and out-of-business restaurants to buy sinks, tables, and other supplies on the cheap. Aged, hard-rind cheeses brought in the first funds. As her repertoire grew (and she added a pasteurizer), it wasn’t long before cheese sales were surpassing beef sales.

A knock on the door momentarily interrupts Christie’s labors. Her day is punctuated by such visits—delivery people and customers stopping by to drop off supplies or collect their next batch of cheese.

She greets Mark Lilly, co-owner of the Richmond- based CSA Farm to Family, and helps fill his insulated boxes with cheese, butter, fruity “Moo-gurt,” and Meow Milk (the farm does not have a Grade-A processing facility to produce milk for human consumption, but it does have a special license to make pasteurized whole milk as a treat for cats).

The variety of products is impressive, made possible with the help of area farmers whose herbs and fruits are used to flavor some of the cheeses and yogurts. These farmers are the same ones with whom the Hugers trade for most of the food they put on the table, making their meals almost completely locally sourced.

“Where farmers need to be and want to be is on the farm,” Lilly says, “so we come to them. Distribution is key.” True enough. If not for people like Lilly, the Hugers would spend hours—maybe days—on the road to get their products around the state and beyond, leaving no time to tend to the cows or to make cheese.

It may be this focus that makes Mountain View cheeses so delectable. Indeed, from the best-selling McClure to the cheddar-like Marmac (see “Cheese Menu,” page 36), the Hugers’ products are in demand at some of the most well-regarded restaurants and specialty grocers in the region, an expansion that has flourished mostly by word of mouth.

Dave Kostelnik, general manager of Charlottesville’s gourmet food shop Feast, for one, is a fan. “Swiss can sometimes be bitter, but the raw milk gives McClure a depth and a mildness that is very appealing,” he says, having featured it often on the shop’s café menu, including in an all-local panini with Albemarle Baking Company focaccia, Edwards ham slices, and a peppermustard sauce from MeadowCroft Farm in Swoope. “I just love small-batch cheeses because the flavor changes a little from season to season. You can taste the care that went into them.”

As Lilly drives back toward the main road, his truck full, he offers a parting wave to Fred, who is surveying the 1,500-square-foot structure being built next to the current milking parlor. This expansion will house cheesemaking facilities and a few offices when it is completed this spring. In the new setup, milk will be pumped directly from the parlor into a 580- gallon vat, eliminating the need to ferry buckets. Christie will have almost 10 times the amount of space she now has for crafting cheese, plus more sophisticated equipment. These updates will help her produce nearly 60 wheels in about the same time that it now takes her to make 15.

With this new phase for the farm within sight, the couple is energized and grateful. But today, there is still cheese to be finished. Christie mounds the semi-solid chunks of nascent cheese into round molds, pressing firmly on the lids until the last of the whey drips out. She hoists the molds onto a metal table, stacking them two or three high, then positions a lever arm press on top of each stack, weighing it down with a hanging water jug. The cheeses will stay in this low-tech wall press overnight. Come morning, Christie will remove them from the molds and begin a two-day brining process that will help to form a thin, hard rind.

The wheels of McClure spend a few more days drying on open shelves in the trailer. After being painted with a cream wax to inhibit mold growth, they join hundreds of other wheels of hard cheese and bins of floating feta in a “cheese cave” walk-in cooler, where they will age for between 60 and 90 days (the former being the minimum required by the FDA for raw-milk cheeses, in order to kill potentially harmful bacteria). Ideally, Christie says, she’d age them for about four months, but most of the wheels leave the farm early due to demand.

Standing at the door to the cheese cave, Christie scans the yellow and orange rounds of Gouda-, Swiss-, and cheddar-style cheeses that line the wooden shelves from floor to ceiling, and can’t help but marvel at how much her life has changed. “These are symbolic of all of our hard work and how far we’ve come as a family since we started farming,” she says, pointing to her personal favorite, the McClure. “It’s very satisfying to see all of that hard work turned into something that looks and tastes so good.”


Pie dough (enough for a single-crust pie)

1 pound fresh ricotta

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup sugar

2 whole eggs, plus

1 yolk Dash each of lemon and orange rinds

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lay pie dough in pie dish. Cover pie crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and pour in dry beans (any type will do). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until pale golden.

2. Meanwhile, beat next 5 ingredients together until smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden on top.


Mountain View Farm’s dairy products include Moo-gurt (yogurt), Meow milk (a treat for cats), salted and unsalted butter, and of course, farmstead soft and hard cheeses—including ones flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, green peppercorns, or cranberries. Here, a few of the most popular cheese varieties.

LUSK A sweet, fruity, washed-curd Gouda-style cheese that pairs well with white wines; named for Lusk Hill, which is visible from the farm.

McCLURE Buttery, sweet, and mildly nutty, this Swiss is named for former owners of the farm. MARMAC Cheddar cheese that is mild and smooth when young and ages to a slightly crumbly texture with a sharper bite; sometimes flavored with horseradish, cranberry, or chipotle pepper. The name is a combination of the previous owners, Martin and McClure.

JUMPIN’ JACK CHIVE Chives, parsley, onion, and garlic mixed into a buttery Jack cheese.


Augusta County: Barren Ridge Vineyards, Cranberry’s Grocery, Staunton Farmers’ Market, Stone Soup Books.

Charlottesville area: Anderson Carriage Food House, C’ville Market, Feast, Foods of All Nations, Greenwood Gourmet Grocery, Rebecca’s Natural Foods, Relay Foods.

Madison County: Ducard Vineyard. Nelson County: Nellysford Farmers’ Market, Saunders Brothers.

Rockbridge County: Donald’s Meat Processing, Farm to You, Healthy Foods Co-op, Lexington Farmers’ Market, Rockbridge Vineyards, Virginia Born & Bred, Wade’s Mill.

Rockingham County: A Bowl of Good, Bluestone Vineyard, CrossKeys Vineyard, Downtown Wine and Gourmet, Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market.


Spring Local Food Directory

Farms and artisans that offer produce, meat, cheese, and other local farm products.

Availability and schedules can change, so please verify information directly with producers.



Afton, amfog.net

Yvonne@amfog.net, (540) 456-7100

Cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, blueberries, mushrooms, 65 tomato varieties, beef. Sells on-site, U-pick available.

Animal Connection

Charlottesville, animalconnectionva.com

animalconnection@yahoo.com, (434) 825-7082

Pet food made with locally grown ingredients.

Bellair Farm CSA CSA

Charlottesville, bellairfarm.org

bellairfarm@gmail.com, (434) 262-9021

Produce, flowers, herbs, eggs. Sells by CSA, farmers’ markets.

Bessette Family Farm


mdbessette@earthlink.net, (434) 831-2084

Vegetables, blackberries, pastured chicken, eggs. Sells on-site.

Best of What’s Around

Scottsville, bestofwhatsaround.org

chris@bestofwhatsaround.org, (434) 286-7255 Grass-fed beef.

Brenda Moore

Scottsville, (434) 295-8361

Jams, jellies, baked goods. Sells on-site, Market at Pen Park.

Burning Bush Jam

Gordonsville, burningbushjam.com

burningbushjam@hughes.net, (540) 832-1765

Variety of jams. Sells at Farmers in the Park, Market at Pen Park.

Caromont Farm

Esmont, caromontfarm.com

caromontfarm@yahoo.com, (434) 831-1393

Fresh and aged farmstead chèvre. Sells at farmers’ markets, retailers, restaurants, wineries.

Carter Mountain Orchard

Charlottesville, cartermountainorchard.com cynthia@cartermountainorchard.com (434) 977-1833 U-pick and fresh-picked peaches and apples, apple cider, bakery, wine shop, school tours. Open April–Dec.

Chiles Peach Orchard

Crozet, chilespeachorchard.com Strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, apples, seasonal vegetables. Sells on-site May–Nov., Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Copps Hill Farm

Esmont, coppshillfarm.com katecrosby@earthlink.net, (434) 286-3106

Grass-fed beef by half, quarter, and individual cuts. Sells on-site by appointment, phone, or email.

Currituck Farm

Earlysville, localharvest.org/farms/M15913 ctfbeef@gmail.com, (434) 978-1150

Grass-fed beef. Sells on-site by appointment, local delivery.

Elena Day Pies & Produce

Charlottesville elena.day@gmail.com, (434) 296-2494

Produce, fruit pies, bread, flowers. Sells at City Market, phone orders.

The Farm at Red Hill

North Garden thefarmatredhill@aol.com, (434) 979-4693

Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, salsa, hummus, dips, habanero jams. Sells through Whole Foods, Foods of All Nations, IY, Reid’s, Great Valu, Market Street Market.

Farmstead Ferments

Charlottesville, farmsteadferments.com info@farmsteadferments.com (434) 295-3622

Seasonal, naturally fermented kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled veggies, kombucha, kefir sodas. Sells at Forest Lakes farmers’ market, retailers, special order.

Firsthand Farmers CSA Cooperative CSA

Charlottesville astarfarm@netzero.net, (434) 277-9304

Vegetable, fruit, eggs, mushrooms, and dairy shares available.

Free Union Grass Farm

Free Union, freeuniongrassfarm.com freeuniongrassfarm@gmail.com (434) 409-6797

Pastured chicken and duck, grass-fed beef, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, online, home delivery available, restaurants.

Free Union Produce & Gourmet Edibles Free Union, (434) 964-0816

Specialty greens, herbs, cut flowers, seeds, gourmet foods. Sells at City Market and by special order.

Goodwin Creek Farm

Afton, aftonvirginia.com hellerman@gmail.com, (540) 456-6701

Produce, free-range eggs, baked goods. Sells on-site, online, retailers, restaurants.

Granatus Sugar Cookies

Charlottesville, granatus.com info@granatus.com, (434) 466-4242

Wide variety of sugar cookies. Sells online, retailers, restaurants.

Gryffon’s Aerie

Crozet, gryffonsaerie.com info@gryffonsaerie.com, (434) 823-5725

USDA-inspected Heritage livestock: grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, eggs. Mail order, online, restaurants.

Hardy Farms

Cismont hardyfarming@gmail.com, (434) 979-1001

Chicken, quail, produce.

Heirloom Veggies

Gordonsville, heirloomveggies.com jim@heirloomveggies.com, (434) 466-9638

Produce from organic seed. Sells on-site (call ahead), fairs, festivals.

Henley’s Orchard

Crozet, shenley@henleysorchard.com (434) 823-2560

Apples, peaches, grass-fed beef in halves and quarters. Sells on-site, retailers, restaurants.

Hog Wild Farm

Charlottesville, hogwildfarmer.com deccafarm@yahoo.com, (434) 960-8500

Whole pigs on the hoof, free-range pork and beef, pastured chicken and turkey.

Horse & Buggy Produce CSA

Charlottesville horseandbuggyproduce.com office@horseandbuggyproduce.com (434) 293-3832

Fruits and vegetables, bison, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, eggs, goat cheese, trout, specialty foods. Sells by CSA/cooperative.

Iona Farm

Scottsville albacelt@earthlink.net, (434) 286-4761

Pastured and free-range heritage-breed poultry and eggs, organic vegetables. Sells on-site by appointment.

Iron Rod Chevre

Earlysville, ironrodalpines.com ironrodfarm@comcast.net, (434) 973-8407

Goat cheese in a variety of coatings and flavors. Sells to retailers and restaurants.

Jam According to Daniel

Charlottesville, accordingtodaniel.com accordingtodaniel@gmail.com, (434) 825-6651

Jams made from local fruit. Sells at Albemarle Baking Co., City Market, Feast, Greenwood Gourmet.

New Branch Farm

Charlottesville, newbranchfarm.com newbranch@ntelos.net, (434) 977-0155

Vegetables, strawberries, flowers, potted plants. Sells at City Market, Farmers in the Park, relayfoods.com, by delivery.

New Moon Naturals

Charlottesville, newmoonnaturals.com dawn@newmoonnaturals.com, (434) 295-3622

Dried bulk herbs, herbal teas, medicines and elixirs featuring locally grown herbs. Sells at Forest Lakes farmers’ market, Rebecca’s, Greenwood Gourmet, special order.

Open Gate Farm

Earlysville, opengatefarm.net tom.ward@earthlink.net, (434) 978-7446

Pastured chicken, heritage pork, workshops. Sells on-site by appointment, farm tours.

Quarters Farm

Charlottesville, quartersfarm.com wbmccaskill@juno.com, (434) 293-6982

Grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs, produce. Sells on-site by appointment.

Reynolds Grassland Natural

Schuyler reynolds@nccwildblue.com, (434) 831-2688

Chicken, lamb, chevon, free-range eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, winter buyers’ club.

Rockfield Farm

Free Union rockfieldfarms@gmail.com, (434) 973-0353

Grass-fed, vacuum-packed beef, honey, eggs, mushrooms. Sells on-site weekends by appointment, delivery.

Rolling Rock Farm

North Garden winecoffs@earthlink.net, (434) 977-0467

Grass-fed lamb, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, and at Mona Lisa Pasta.

Shady Lane Farm Free Union NathanJYoder1@juno.com, (434) 985-2533

Produce, herbs, free-range eggs, flowers, specialty foods. Sells on-site, City Market, east gate of Foxfield on Thurs.

Sharondale Mushrooms & Useful Plants

Keswick, sharondalefarm.com info@sharondalefarm.com, (434) 296-3301

Mushrooms, mushroom spawn, growing supplies and workshops, herbs, fruit and fiber plants. Sells on-site by appointment, restaurants, grocers, C’ville Market, Firsthand Farmers CSA.

Sherwood Farm

Charlottesville, sherwoodfarm.net beef@sherwoodfarm.net, (434) 284-4165

Grass-fed, grain-finished Angus beef. Sells by advance order.

Spring Valley Orchard

Afton springvalleyorchard.com, (434) 960-9443

Sweet cherries. Sells on-site early June–early July, Mon.–Fri. 12–6 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Steadfast Farm CSA

Charlottesville steadfastfarm@gmail.com, (434) 566-2277

Grains, legumes, oilseeds, grass-fed beef. Sells on-site by appointment, City Market, restaurants, CSA.

Sweet Seasons Farm

Batesville, sallytuet@juno.com, (540) 456-7145

Grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork, sausage, and hamburger shares, eggs, tomatoes, hay.

Tall Cotton Farm

Afton, tallcottonfarm.com tallcottonfarm@gmail.com, (540) 456-8489

Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pork. Sells on-site by appointment, Nelson Farmers’ Market, Forest Lakes Farmers’ Market.

Timbercreek Organics

Charlottesville, tcorganics.com sara@tcorganics.com, (434) 295-7600

Beef, pork, poultry, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, local retailers.

Vintage Virginia Apples

North Garden, vintagevirginiaapples.com fruit@vintagevirginiaapples.com, (434) 297-2326

Rare and vintage apples, pears, plums, apricots, fruit trees, workshops. Sells on-site Wed.–Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.), City Market, online, retailers.

Whistlin’ Hollow Farm

Afton katemahanes@hotmail.com, (540) 456-8212

Grass-fed lamb, rabbit, duck eggs. Sells onsite by appointment, special order.


4L Farm

Stuarts Draft, 4liptrap@ntelos.net, (540) 932-7866 Sells on-site June–Aug., Mon.–Sat.

Autumn Olive Farms

Waynesboro, autumnolivefarms.com ltrainum@ntelos.net, (540) 447-6080 Boer bok meat, Autumn Olive puree/sauce, vegetables. Sells on-site by appoitment, online, restaurants.

Big Catalpa Farm , CSA

Fishersville, bigcatalpafarm.blogspot.com bpingry@ntelos.net, (434) 981-5094

Sells through CSA, farm stands, Staunton farmers’ market, restaurants.

Charis Eco-Farm

Staunton, localharvest.com charisfarm@yahoo.com, (540) 886-8486

Pastured poultry, turkey, pork. Sells on-site, Harrisonburg and Lexington farmers’ markets, restaurants.

Cherry Ridge Farm CSA

Middlebrook, cherryridgefarm@gmail.com

Dairy, apples, Asian pears. Sells through CSA, co-ops.

Circle M Farms

Bridgewater, dorothymiller@isp.com

Broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon. Sells on-site, U-pick, Harrisonburg and Staunton- Augusta farmers’ markets.

El Encanto Gardens

Churchville Sells at grocers, restaurants, Staunton- Augusta farmers’ markets.


Mount Sidney shuffer@cfw.com, (540) 248-6904

Rabbit meat, baby French filet beans, handspun Angora yarn. Sells at Lexington, Nelson, and Staunton farmers’ markets, restaurants.

The Golden Kernel

Grottoes carrollswartz@gmail.com, (540) 249-4813

Sweet corn, farm toys. Sells on-site Mon.– Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., U-pick, roadside stand, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Grains of Sense

Staunton, grainsofsense.com contact@grainsofsense.com, (540) 433-6853

Fresh, hand-roasted coffees. Sells online, mail order, Harrisonburg farmers’ markets, restaurants.

Green Fence Farm

Greenville, greenfencefarm.com info@greenfencefarm.com

Pastured chicken meat and eggs, quail meat and eggs, luxury wool and yarn. Sells onsite, online, mail order, restaurants.

Harvest Thyme Herbs

Staunton, harvestthymeherbfarm.com harvestthyme@earthlink.net

Sells on-site, online, mail order, grocers, restaurants.

Heartland Harvest

Mt. Solon heartlandharvest.com, (540) 885-7172

Beef, lamb, pork, poultry, eggs, flour, wheatberries, pancake mixes. Sells on-site.

Janet’s Garden

Greenville, janetsgardenstore.com jntsgrdnproduce1@verizon.net

Sells on-site, online/mail order, farmers’ markets, restaurants.


Staunton, newhopejmdfarm.com mmarston@newhopejmdfarm.com, (540) 290-4015

Produce, pastured eggs and chicken, grass-fed lamb and beef. Sells through CSA, on-site, online, retailers, restaurants.

Meadow Run Gardens & Farm

Waynesboro, meadowrungardens.com ronnie@meadowrungardens.com, (540) 910-0349

Sells on-site, online, mail order, Fishersville farmers’ market, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

MeadowCreek Bees

Staunton, pughsatmeadowwalk@gmail.com

Honey. Sells on-site, grocers, farmers’ markets.

Misty Meadow Farm

Weyers Cave, mistymeadowfarmva.com mistymeadowmeats@yahoo.com (540) 234-8212; (540) 421-1965

Lamb, beef. Sells on-site, online, mail order.

Polyface Inc.

Swoope polyfacefarms.com, polyface@ntelos.net

Sells on-site Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., buying clubs, grocers, restaurants.

Quiet Acres Farm Grottoes, quietacresfarm.com awayjig@gmail.com, (540) 830-2298

Grass-fed lamb. Sells on-site, online.

Rosemary’s Herb Farm

Staunton, rosemarysherbfarm.com rosfer@sbcglobal.net, (540) 886-0825

Culinary herbs in pots, fresh-cut culinary herbs, herb-garden containers. Sells at Staunton farmers’ market.

Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative

Weyers Cave shenandoahvalleybeefcooperative.blogspot.com (540) 487-0142

Beef. Sells on-site.

Singing Earth Produce

Waynesboro Sells on-site, Staunton-Augusta farmers’ markets.

Snow Spring Farm

Middlebrook, safarmersmarket.com pegdavis4@aol.com, (540) 885-6706

Asparagus, rhubarb, eggs. Sells at Staunton- Augusta farmers’ markets, restaurants.

Wade’s Mill

Raphine, wadesmill.com wadesmill@embarqmail.com, (540) 348-1400

Flour, grits, pancake mixes. Sells on-site Wed.– Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., online, mail order, grocers.

Wheatland Farms

Swoope, piedm40@wildblue.net

Vegetables, fruits. Sells on-site, grocers, restaurants.



Culpeper bwbaber@vabb.com, (571) 228-5391

Heirloom vegetables, hardneck garlic, seedlings in spring. Sells at Culpeper farmers’ market, retailers, restaurants.

Cibola Farms

Culpeper, cibolafarms.com farm@cibolafarms.com, 540-727-8590

Buffalo meat, free-range pork sausages and jerky, dog food. Sells on-site (Fri.–Mon. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.), online, farmers’ markets.

Clover Hill Farm

Rixeyville cloverhillfarm@hughes.net, (540) 937-5961

Wide variety of peppers, eggs, cut flowers. Sells on-site, Culpeper farmers’ market.

Corvallis Farms

Culpeper, corvallisfarms.com corvallisfarms@vabb.com, (540) 718-4830

Specialty greens, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cut flowers, jams. Sells at Culpeper farmers’ market, or call for special orders.

Croftburn Farm

Culpeper, croftburnfarm.com croftburnfarm@gmail.com, (540) 825-9044

Pastured beef, veal, lamb, chicken, eggs, beef hot dogs. Sells on-site by appointment, farmers’ markets, restaurants.

Full Moon Farm

Sperryville, fullmoonfarm.net info@fullmoonfarm.net, 540) 547-3639

Certifed-organic culinary herbs (potted, freshcut, dried). Sells on-site (Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–4 p.m., call ahead), Culpeper farmers’ market.

Morningside Farm and Nursery

Boston, morningsidefarmandnursery.com info@morningsidefarmandnursery.com,

(540) 547-3726 Herbs, perennials, annuals. Sells on-site.

Muddy Run Farm

Culpeper rpuech@yahoo.com, (540) 937-3504

Spanish goats (meat and breeding), llamas. Sells on-site by appointment, restaurants.

Oakhenge Farm at Hillside

Culpeper wloien@aol.com, (540) 522-8283

Produce, grass-fed beef, chicken and duck eggs. Sells on-site, restaurants.

Pannill’s Gate Farm

Culpeper, pannillsgate.com patty@pannillsgate.com, (540) 423-1168

Grass-fed beef. Sells on-site by appointment, delivery, Culpeper farmers’ market.

Pleasant Hill Farm

Rixeyville, pleasanthillfarmva.com pleasanthillfarm@vabb.com, (540) 937-2344

Broilers, turkey, pork. Sells on-site, Culpeper farmers’ market.

Rainbow’s End Farm

Culpeper Galen.jaskowiak@gmail.com, (540) 727-8408

Live chickens, goats, and rabbits; herbs, fruit, berries, vegetables. Sells on-site by appointment.

Rohan Farm

Rixeyville, rohanborzoi.com rohanfarm@yahoo.com, (540) 937-4999

Seasonal produce, rabbit, lamb, goat, squab, guineas, chicken, turkey, quail, pheasants, pickles, jams, jellies. Sells on-site by appointment only.

Squirrelly’s Greenhouse and Produce

Rixeyville hsquirrellys@aol.com, (540) 937-4712

Produce, eggs. Sells on-site, Culpeper farmer’s market.

Stallard Road Farm

Rixeyville stallardroad@gmail.com, (540) 937-4181

Grass-fed beef, goat cheese, herbs, teas, herbal products. Sells on-site by appointment.

Summer Creek Farm

Culpeper karenevans@hughes.net, (540) 727-8207

Whole freezer lambs, frozen lamb and beef cuts, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, farmers’ markets.

Sunshine Acres

Rixeyville briggsmonica@aol.com, (540) 937-6346

Vegetables, mushrooms, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, farmers’ markets.

Too Many Paws Farm

Culpeper, tmpf.net farm@tmpf.net, (703) 508-5685

Chicken, eggs. Sells on-site by appointment, Culpeper farmers’ market.

Virginia Truffles

Rixeyville, virginiatruffle.com pmartin@virginiatruffle.com, (540) 937-9881

Truffle-inoculated oak seedlings. Sells onsite by appointment, mail order.

Whisper Hill Farm CSA

Rapidan, info@whisperhillfarm.com

Produce, plants, herbs, cut flowers. Sells at farmers’ markets, CSA.

Wilevington Farm

Rixeyville, swilliams@vabb.com, (540) 937-3447

Butters and jams. Sells on-site.


Hilldale Farm

Palmyra, (434) 286-7255

Beef, lamb, certified-organic eggs, lambskins. Sells on-site by appointment.

Layz S Ranch

Palmyra, layzsranch.com info@layzsranch.com, (434) 591-0898

Produce, fruit, herbs, honey. Sell by CSA.

Oak Hill Farm

Palmyra, oakhilldevons.com oakhillllc@aol.com, (434) 589-4981

Heritage-breed pastured pork and grass-fed beef. Direct sales, by appointment.

Rob Harrison

Troy rob@foodsforthoughtinc.com, (434) 242-4996

Natural beef.

Waterfront Farms Columbia waterfrontfarms@hughes.net, (804) 375-3293

Vegetables, pastured poultry, eggs, shiitake mushrooms. Sells at Goochland farmer’s market, by mail order.


Arganica Farm Club CSA

Ruckersville, arganica.com info@arganica.com, (434) 979-0480

Home delivery in Charlottesville and Crozet now available.

Blue Ridge Natural Beef Stanardsville, Rob@blueridgenaturalbeef.com

Grass-fed, grain-finished beef. Direct sales.

Blue Rooster Produce CSA

Stanardsville stephen.terry@ngc.com, (434) 249-1855

Produce. Sells on-site Sat. 2–4 p.m., Greene and Earlysville farmers’ markets, CSA.

Edgewood Farm

Stanardsville, (434) 566-5030 All-natural pastured poultry.


Stanardsville, malstark@aol.com, (434) 985-6530

Grass-fed, grain-finished Angus beef, market lambs, horse hay, fleeces. Sells on-site by appointment, telephone, email.

Landovel Farm / The Holy Grael

Fork Union landovel@embarqmail.com, (434) 842-3651

Raw-fruit sorbets made with local berries, BPA-free packaging. Sells at Forest Lakes farmers’ market, Farmers in the Park.

Looking Up Farm

Ruckersville lookingupfarm@hotmail.com, (434) 985-7785

Produce. Sells Greene County farmers’ market.

Planet Earth Diversified

Stanardsville, planetearthdiversified.com market@planetearthdiversified.com (434) 985-3570

Produce, microgreens, herbs, edible flowers, eggs, rosemary wreaths, jams, jellies, sauces, pestos. Sells at City Market, Forest Lakes farmers’ market, online, retailers, restaurants.

Rocky Road Produce CSA

Stanardsville Jstager727@aol.com, (434) 985-1233

Produce, eggs. Sells on-site (call for hours), Greene and Earlysville farmers’ markets, CSA.

Spring Gate Farm

Barboursville, springgatefarm.com springgatefarm@gmail.com, (434) 990-9162

Beef, pork, lamb, goat, produce, blackberries, peaches, melons, honey, eggs, cashmere fiber. Sells on-site, at Madison and Forest Lakes farmers’ markets, retailers, restaurants.


Adlyn Farm Louisa kcatbird@hotmail.com, (540) 967-1213

Produce, eggs, herbs, flowers, gourds. Sells at farmers’ markets.

Forrest Green Farm

Louisa, forrestgreenfarm.com forrestgreenfarm@rahmweb.com, (540) 967-1165

Culinary/medicinal herbs, vegetable and flower plants, dried herbal teas, dips, seasonings, eggs, poultry, beef. Sells on-site, online, and at local vendors.

Garden Medicinals and Culinaries

Mineral, gardenmedicinals.com mailbox@gardenmedicinals.com, (540) 872-8351

Medicinal and culinary herbs, ethnic and heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers. Sells online.

Grand Beginnings

Louisa grandbeginnings@juno.com, (540) 967-0437

Lamb, beef, pork, poultry, rabbit, produce. Sells on-site by appointment, Rebecca’s Natural Food.

Randy’s Produce Farm

Louisa magnolia@nexet.net, (434) 589-8304

Seasonal produce, shiitake mushrooms. Sells at City Market, retailers, and to restaurants.

Sweetwater Farm Mineral, sweetwater@wildblue.net

Vegetables and fruit.


Brightwood Vineyard and Farm

Brightwood, brightwoodvineyardandfarm.com svidal@hughes.net, (540) 948-6845

Certified-organic specialty vegetables, herbs, berries, and grapes; lamb, goat meat, eggs, jam, wine, flowers. Sells on-site, City Market and Madison farmers’ market, retailers, restaurants.

Excalibur Farms

Madison, excaliburfarms.biz lamb@excaliburfarms.biz, (540) 948-4223

Lamb, mutton, wool. Sells online, by phone.

Gardens of Khmet

Madison bluedome1@gmail.com, (540) 923-5121

Seasonal vegetables, herbs, wineberries, raspberries, amaranth. Sells at farmers’ markets, retailers.

Haywood Honey

Madison, rdfiggers@aol.com, (540) 923-5075

Honey, soaps. Sells at Madison farmers’ market.

Lost Lane Farm

Madison lostlanefarm@emypeople.com, (540) 672-0925

Milk, cream, and yogurt shares, grass-fed beef, poultry, pork, eggs. Sells on-site Mon.–Sat.

Mary Ruth’s Garden

Aroda dlk55mrk@agapemail.net, (540) 948-4024

Baked goods, cut flowers, jams, strawberries. Sells on-site, retailers, farmers’ markets.

Neala Farm

Madison, nealafarmllc.com malaika_rogers@msn.com, (540) 948-3904

All-natural, certified Angus beef. Sells onsite by appointment, online.

North Cove Mushrooms

Brightwood, northcovemushrooms.com northcovemushrooms@gmail.com, (919) 649-7158

Fresh shiitakes year-round. Sells to restaurants.

Rider’s Backfield Farm Beef

Etlan, ridersbackfieldfarmbeef.com ridersbackfieldfarmbeef@hughes.net (540) 923-4036

Pastured and grain-finished beef, natural soap from beef tallow. Sells on-site by appointment, restaurants, retailers, caterers.

Spring Lake Farm

Madison janisrichter@msn.com, (540) 948-3272

Greens and vegetables, strawberries, pie cherries, herbs. Sells direct to consumer, restaurants.

Springhaven Agricultural Enterprises

Madison, springhavenfarm.net maurers@springhavenfarm.net, (540) 948-6698

Grass-fed Red Devon beef, herb plants, herbed vinegars. Sell on-site by appointment.

Wolf Creek Farm

Madison, wolfcreek-farm.com info@wolfcreek-farm.com, (540) 948-5574 Grass-fed beef. Sells on-site by appointment, City Market, specialty grocers.


Afton Mountain Honey

Afton, (540) 456-8460

Allen’s Creek Farm

Roseland, allenscreekfarm.org secondwind@gmail.com, (434) 277-9216

Naturally raised lamb (whole or half), milk-fed baby lamb (May–June). Sells on-site by appointment; will deliver to Charlottesville area.

Appalachia Star Farm CSA

Roseland, appalachiastar.com astarfarm@netzero.com, (434) 277-9304

Produce, berries, eggs, herbs, bedding plants. Sells through CSA, at farmers’ markets, on-site (Tues. and Fri. until 5 p.m.)

The Apple Shed

Lovingston, (434) 263-8843 Apples, cider, jams, pickles.

Bethlehem Farms

Shipman, bethlehemfarms.com, (434) 263-4343

Eggs, lamb, Alpine dairy goats and bucks. Sells on-site by appointment.

Critzer Family Farm

Afton, critzerfamilyfarm.com wcritzer@ntelos.net, (540) 456-4772

Strawberries (U-pick and pre-picked), peaches, plums, cherries, produce. Sells on-site.

Davis Creek Farm

Lovingston, daviscreekfarm.com info@daviscreekfarm.com, (434) 263-5974

Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken. Sells onsite by appointment, farmers’ markets, Relay Foods, Locally Grown Nelson.

Double H Farm

Wingina farmily@ceva.net, (434) 263-8704

Pork, eggs, produce. Sells at local retailers.

Edible Landscaping Nursery

Afton, ediblelandscaping.com info@ediblelandscaping.com, (434) 361-9134

Edible potted plants: apples, asparagus, berries, wine grapes. Sells on-site, online.

Finest Kind Farm

Tye River, ernicolls@yahoo.com, (434) 263-6716

Produce, poultry, eggs. Sells on-site (Thurs.– Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.), drop-off points.

Heaven and Earth Acres Nellysford, heaven-earth.biz thewebers@gmail.com, (434) 361-1824

Produce, apples. Sells on-site by appointment, at Nelson farmers’ market, restaurants.

Hungry Hill Farm

Shipman fiveseasva@aol.com, (434) 263-5336

Honey, beeswax, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches. Sells at Nellysford and Staunton farmers’ markets, Foods of All Nations, on-site by appointment.

Lucky Moon Farm

Piney River moon@ceva.net, (434) 277-8393

Red and black raspberries, blueberries, currants, vegetables, medicinal herbs. Sells at Nelson and other farmers’ markets, restaurants.

Mountain Man Collection

Montebello, (540) 377-5129

Homemade jams, dried mushrooms, mushroom hunting. Sells at Nellysford farmers’ market.

The Nelke Farm

Lovingston nelkefarm@bpl.coop, (434) 987-5376

Produce, including Asian greens, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, melons. Sells on-site by appointment, City Market, Nelson County farmers’ market, restaurants.

Piney River Organics

Piney River, blackeaglefarm.com blackeaglefarm@aol.com, (434) 277-8497

Beef, lamb, pork, organic eggs. Sells on-site Mon.–Sat., Nellysford farmers’ market.

Rodgers Family Farms

Shipman pcampbellrodgers@yahoo.com, (434) 987-4531

Grass-fed beef, pastured pork. Sells on-site by appointment.

Saunders Brothers Farm Market

Piney River, saundersbrothers.com jim@saundersbrothers.com, (434) 277-5455

Produce, peaches, pears, apples, cheese, eggs, jams, jellies, baked goods, plants. Sells on-site Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Twin Springs Farm

Shipman, twinspringsfarmva.com Twinspringsfarmva.com, (434) 263-6868

Produce, strawberries, blueberries (U-pick June–July by appointment), greens yearround. Sells on-site by appointment, farmers’ markets, grocers, restaurants.

Virginia Vinegar Works

Wingina, viriginiavinegarworks.com steph@turing.org, (434) 953-6232

Handcrafted wine and malt vinegars. Sells at Nelson and Goochland farmers’ markets, retailers.


Cameron Mountain Alpacas

Barboursville, alpacacompost.com info@alpacacompost.com, (540) 832-3025

Organic alpaca compost. Sells at Barboursville Gift Gallery and by special order.

Doug Harris

Orange doug@foodsforthoughtinc.com, (804) 332-1456

Natural beef. Sells direct to consumer only.

Everona Dairy Cheeses

Rapidan, everonadairy.com everona@hughes.net, (540) 854-4159

Aged sheep’s milk cheeses. Sells on-site by appointment, City Market.

The Garden Patch

Orange, gardenpatchva.com wildar249@comcast.net, (540) 672-1449

Vegetables, herbs, vegetable plants. Sells on-site, Orange farmers’ market.

Gold Hill Blueberry Farm

Unionville sbos69@gmail.com, (540) 222-7374

Blueberries (U-pick), pre-picked raspberries, Spanish Valera meat goats.


Orange, (540) 672-3758

Seasonal vegetables. Sells on-site by appointment, Orange farmers’ market.

Honey Hill Orchard

Mine Run hjk9@vabb.com, (540) 854-5941

Plums, peaches, pears, apples. Sells on-site (closed Wed.), U-pick.

Liberty Mills Farm CSA

Somerset, libertymillsfarm.com csa@libertymillsfarm.com, (540) 672-8472

Produce, strawberries (U-pick), fresh flowers (U-pick), herbs, gourds. Sells on-site, CSA.

Marshall Farms Unionville, marshallscheese.com marshallfarms@comcast.net, (540) 854-6800

Varieties of cheese from grass-fed cows, honey, deli, Virginia wine. Sells at store Mon.–Sat.

Miller Farms Market

Locust Grove, millerfarmsmarket.com info@millerfarmsmarket.com, (540) 972-2680

Produce, berries, beef, pork, bison, lamb, milk, ice cream, cheese, eggs, specialty products. Sells on-site, U-pick, restaurants.

Papa Weaver’s Pork

Orange, papaweaver.com papaweaver@papaweaver.com, (540) 672-1552

All-natural pork sausage, pork chops, baby back ribs, loin roasts, bacon, beef. Sells online, retailers, restaurants, farmers’ markets.

Retreat Farm CSA

Rapidan, retreatfarmandstore.com retreatfarm@earthlink.net, (540) 672-5871

Pastured beef, heritage pork and lamb, small fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, sheep fiber. Sells on-site by appointment, CSA, restaurants, Beggars Banquet, Miller Farms Market.

Shady Oaks

Burr Hill, (540) 395-5315 shadyoakshomestead@hotmail.com

Pastured chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas, eggs; seasonal produce; goat products. Sells on-site and at local events.

Skyline Premium Meats

Unionville, skylinepremiummeats.com skylinepremiummeats@firstva.com, (540) 854-6155

All-natural, grain-fed beef. Sells on-site by appointment, online, retailers, farmers’ markets.

Valentine’s Country Meats

Orange, (540) 672-1296 All-natural, grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, rabbit; eggs; baked goods. Sells at farmers’ markets.

White Oak Creek Farm CSA

Orange organicfarm2009@yahoo.com, (404) 786-6502

Arugula, greens, produce. Sells at farmers’ markets, by CSA.


Broadview Ranch

Lexington, broadviewranch.com josh@broadviewranch.com, (540) 458-1001 Grass-fed and -finished beef, acorn-grove pork, pastured poultry. Sells on-site, online, Lexington farmers’ market, restaurants.

Buffalo Creek Beef

Lexington, buffalocreekbeef.com buffalocreekbeef@gmail.com

All-natural, grass-fed, grain-finished beef. Sells at farmers’ markets, Donald’s Meat Processing, restaurants.

Four Hands Farm

Goshen 4handsfarm@gmail.com, (540) 997-1351

Vegetables, French pumpkins. Sells on-site by appointment, Staunton farmers’ market, restaurants. Fox Ridge

Lexington huffy@rockbridge.net, (540) 463-1186

Honey, jams, vegetables, fruit. Sells at Bath, Lexington, and Rockbridge farmers’ markets.

Glass View Farm

Natural Bridge, glassview@hotmail.com Lamb. Sells on-site by appointment.

Goose Creek Garden

Raphine, GooseCreekGarden@isp.com Chicken, pork.

The Herbery

Fairfield, Louquet@rockbridge.net, (540) 348-1331

Herb plants, gardens. Sells on-site, Lexington farmers’ market.

House Mountain Finnsheep

Lexington, (540) 463-6062

Lamb for freezer, fleece for spinning. Sells on-site (call first, in evenings).

Lexington Coffee Roasting Co.

Lexington, lexingtoncoffee.com orderdesk@lexingtoncoffee.com (540) 462-3990; (800) 322-6505

Single-origin estate coffees. Sells at coffeehouses and espresso bars, online, mail order, restaurants.

McElroy Farms

Glasgow Marc_Beth@hughes.net, (540) 460-9613

Vegetables. Sells at Dave’s Produce.

Mountain Meadow Farm

Goshen, benpeart@msn.com, (540) 997-5141

Grass-finished beef, acorn-finished pork, pastured eggs. Sells on-site, Bath and Lexington farmers’ markets.

Mountain View Farm Products CSA

Fairfield, mountainviewfarmproducts.com drnkmlk2@yahoo.com, (540) 460-4161

Farmstead cheese, butter, USDA-inspected meats. Sells on-site, CSA, Healthy Foods Co-op, restaurants.

Paradox Farm

Lexington paradoxfarm@earthlink.net, (540) 463-9234

Vegetables, fruit, specialty products. Sells at Lexington farmers’ market, Healthy Foods Co-op, restaurants.

Pettijohns’ Chestnut Orchard

Raphine, kpettijohn@ntelos.net, (540) 377-2323

Chestnuts. Sells on-site, Staunton-Augusta, Lexington, Nelson, Rockbridge farmers’ markets, Healthy Foods Co-op, restaurants.

Snakefoot Farm

Lexington tonyaatLexington@yahoo.com, (540) 463-9422

Garden produce, fruit. Sells on-site.

Soothing Herbals

Goshen, soothingherbals.com info@soothingherbals.com, (540) 460-2722

Medicinal and culinary herbs, organic skin care and aromatherapy, medicinal teas and tinctures. Sells online, mail order, farmers’ markets, Healthy Foods Co-op, restaurants.

Spring Creek Farm

Fairfield, blalockch@yahoo.com (540) 460-8559

Pork, chicken, eggs. Sells on-site, Lexington and Nelson County farmers’ markets.

Stone House Farm CSA

Goshen, localharvest.org/farms/M12822 stonehousefarm@hughes.net (540) 997-0536

Vegetables, greens. Sells at Rockbridge farmers’ market, CSA, restaurants, Healthy Foods Co-Op.

Sunflower Flats Farm

Lexington jsparent@rockbridge.net, (540) 463-9451

Produce. Sells at Rockbridge farmers’ market, restaurants, Healthy Foods Co-op.

Swinging Bridge Farms

Vesuvius, swingingbridgefarms@hughes.net (240) 344-6655

Sells on-site dawn to dusk every day, roadside stand, Lexington farmers’ market, Healthy Foods Co-op, restaurants, home deliveries.

Whistle Creek Apiaries

Lexington, (540) 460-4128

Honey. Sells at grocers, farmer’s markets, co-ops.


Avalon Acres

Broadway mail@avalonfarmva.com, (540) 896-1283

Produce, eggs, floral bouquets, herbal products. Sells at Harrisonburg farmers’ market.

Dale and Karen Burkholder

Mt. Crawford theburkgang@basicisp.net, (540) 438-8198

Poultry, apples, grapes. Sells on-site (call first), Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Garden Fresh Produce

Mt. Crawford, (540) 433-2547

Tomatoes, sweet corn. Sells on-site May– Oct., Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Glen Eco Farm CSA

Linville, glenecofarm@planetcomm.net

Produce, chicken, honey. Sells on-site, CSA, Harrisonburg farmers’ market, restaurants, co-ops.

Golden Angels Apiary

Linville, myangelsjewel@aol.com

Honey. Sells at grocers, farmers’ markets.

Good Earth Gardens CSA

Harrisonburg goodearthgardens.wordpress.com clarkn7@gmail.com, (540) 820-7754

Vegetables, fresh herbs. Sells through CSA, Harrisonburg farmers’ market.

Green Hill Springs Farm

Linville, (540) 833-2325 greenhillsprings@gmail.com

Lamb, beef. Sells on-site, roadside stand.


Tenth Legion, paddlelink.com paul.helbert@gmail.com, (540) 896-7107

Free-range and pastured chicken, eggs, lamb, mutton. Sells on-site, online, mail order, grocers, Harrisonburg farmers’ market, subscription.

Hemlock Springs Trout Farm

Fulks Run TheConley05@aol.com, (540) 867-5904

Rainbow trout, fishing. Sells on-site every day 8 a.m.–6 p.m., home delivery.

Little Abe Farm

Linville marmentrout@rockingham.k12.va.us (540) 578-4240

Sells at Broadway farmers’ market, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Lucas Roasting Company CSA

Broadway, lucasroasting.com troy@lucasroasting.com, (540) 908-1290

Coffee. Sells online, mail order, CSA, specialty stores, restaurants.

Massanutten Produce

Penn Laird, Bcmc31@aol.com, (540) 810-0990 Peaches, heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn. Sells at Penn Laird Farm Stand, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Montezuma Produce Dayton, (540) 879-3999

Tomatoes, sweet corn. Sells on-site, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Radical Roots Community Farm CSA

Keezletown, radicalrootsfarm.com


Vegetables, herbs. Sells through CSA, Harrisonburg farmers’ market, Charlottesville City Market.

Ryan’s Fruit Market

Timberville, ryan189412@aol.com (540) 896-2181

Peaches, apples. Sells on-site, Harrisonburg farmers’ market.

Season’s Bounty Farm & CSA CSA

Harrisonburg radellschrock@yahoo.com, (540) 908-5399

Tomatoes, peppers, melons. Sells on-site, CSA, Harrisonburg farmers’ market, restaurants.

Silver Creek Berries

Harrisonburg, (540) 867-9482

Sells on-site May–Oct., Mon., Wed., Fri.; open at noon.

Spring Creek Trout Farm Bridgewater valleytoolrepair@isp.com, (540) 828-6728

Rainbow and brook trout. Sells on-site.

Staff of Life Bread Co.

Broadway, staffoflifebread.com abbey@staffoflifebread.com

Artisanal breads made with stone-milled flour. Sells at Harrisonburg farmers’ market.

True & Essential Meats

Harrisonburg, temeats.com orders@temeats.com, (540) 434-9920

Local meats, certified humane, USDA-inspected slaughter and custom meat packing services.

Valley Farming

Dayton, (540) 879-9689

Cabbage, potatoes, onions. Sells on-site (call before you come), grocers, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Valley Harvest

Mt. Crawford valleyharvest@hotmail.com

Produce, pumpkins, corn maze. Sells on-site, U-pick, roadside stand.

Wayside Produce

Dayton, (540) 879-9556

Lettuce, tomatoes, pastured brown eggs. Sells on-site, farm stand, farmers’ markets, restaurants, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.

Willow Spring Farm CSA

Linville maryjoswartz@yahoo.com, (540) 908-5819

Fresh-cut flowers. Sells at CSA, Harrisonburg farmers’ market, restaurants.

Wolfie’s Wild Pet Foods

Harrisonburg, wilddogfood.com info@wilddogfood.com, (703) 929-7909

All-natural dog food. Sells at Polyface Farms, grocers, retailers.

Woods Edge Farm

Singers Glen ehn101307@yahoo.com (540) 820-6494

Blackberries, winter squash. Sells at Harrisonburg farmers’ market, Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction.



Albemarle CiderWorks

2545 Rural Ridge Ln., North Garden vintagevirginiaapples.com, (434) 297-2326

Blenheim Vineyards

31 Blenheim Farm, Charlottesville blenheimvineyards.com, (434) 293-5366

Burnley Vineyards

4500 Winery Ln., Barboursville burnleywines.com, (540) 832-2828

First Colony Winery

1650 Harris Creek Rd., Charlottesville firstcolonywinery.com, (434) 979-7105

Glass House Winery

5898 Free Union Rd., Free Union glasshousewinery.com, (434) 975-0094

Jefferson Vineyards

1353 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., Charlottesville jeffersonvineyards.com, (434) 977-3042

Keswick Vineyards

1575 Keswick Winery Dr., Keswick keswickvineyards.com, (434) 244-3341

King Family Vineyards

6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet kingfamilyvineyards.com, (434) 823-7800

Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard

100 Grand Cru, Charlottesville klugeestate.com, (434) 977-3895

Mountfair Vineyards

4875 Fox Mountain Rd., Crozet mountfair.com, (434) 823-7605

Pollak Vineyards

330 Newtown Rd., Greenwood pollakvineyards.com, (540) 456-8844

Starr Hill Brewery

5391 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet starrhill.com, (434) 823-5671

Sugarleaf Vineyards

3613 Walnut Branch Ln., North Garden sugarleafvineyards.com, (434) 984-4272

Virginia Wineworks

1781 Harris Creek Way, Charlottesville virginiawineworks.com, (434) 296-3438

White Hall Vineyards

5184 Sugar Ridge Rd., White Hall whitehallvineyards.com, (434) 823-8615


Lazy Days Winery

1351 North Amherst Hwy., Amherst lazydayswinery.com, (434) 361-6088

Rebec Vineyards

2229 North Amherst Hwy., Amherst rebecwinery.com, (434) 946-5168


Barren Ridge Vineyards

984 Barren Ridge Rd., Fishersville barrenridgevineyards.com, (540) 248-3300


Old House Vineyards

18351 Corkys Ln., Culpeper oldhousevineyards.com, (540) 423-1032

Stillhouse Distillery at Belmont Farm

13490 Cedar Run Rd., Culpeper virginiamoonshine.com, (540) 825-3207


Autumn Hill Vineyards

301 River Dr., Stanardsville autumnhillwine.com, (434) 985-6100

Stone Mountain Vineyards

1376 Wyatt Mountain Rd., Dyke stonemountainvineyards.com, (434) 990-9463


Cooper Vineyards

13372 Shannon Hill Rd., Louisa coopervineyards.com, (540) 894-5253


Castle Gruen Vineyards and Winery

1272 Meander Run Rd., Locust Dale castlegruenwinery.com, (540) 229-2498

Ducard Vineyards

40 Gibson Hollow Ln., Etlan ducardvineyards.com, (540) 923-4206

Prince Michel Vineyards and Winery

154 Winery Ln., Leon princemichel.com, (800) 800-WINE

Sweely Estate Winery

6109 Wolftown Hood Rd., Madison sweelyestatewinery.com, (540) 948-9005


Afton Mountain Vineyards

234 Vineyard Ln., Afton aftonmountainvineyards.com, (540) 456-8667

Blue Mountain Brewery

9519 Critzer Shop Rd., Afton bluemountainbrewery.com, (540) 456-8020

Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery

9423 Batesville Rd., Afton cardinalpointwinery.com, (540) 456-8400

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery

500 DelFosse Winery Ln., Faber delfossewine.com, (434) 263-6100

Devils Backbone Brewing Company

200 Mosbys Run, Roseland dbbrewingcompany.com, (434) 361-1001

Flying Fox Vineyard

Hwy. 151, Afton flyingfoxvineyard.com, (434) 361-1692

Hilltop Berry Farm and Winery

2800 Berry Hill Rd., Nellysford hilltopberrywine.com, (434) 361-1266

Lovingston Winery

885 Freshwater Cover Ln., Lovingston lovingstonwinery.com, (434) 263-8467

Mountain Cove Vineyard

1362 Fortunes Cove Ln., Lovingston mountaincovevineyards.com, (434) 263-5392

Veritas Vineyard & Winery

145 Saddleback Farm, Afton veritaswines.com, (540) 456-8000

Wild Wolf Brewing Company

2773 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Nellysford wildwolfbeer.com, (434) 361-0088

Wintergreen Vineyard & Winery

462 Winery Ln., Nellysford wintergreenwinery.com, (434) 361-2519


Barboursville Winery

17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville barboursvillewine.com, (540) 832-3824

Horton Vineyards & Winery

6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville hvwine.com, (540) 832-7440


Lexington Valley Vineyard

80 Norton Way, Rockbridge Baths lexingtonvalleyvineyard.com, (540) 462-2974

Rockbridge Vineyard

30 Hill View Ln., Raphine rockbridgevineyard.com, (540) 377-6204


Cally’s Restaurant & Brewing Co.

41 Court Square, Harrisonburg callysbrewing.com, (540) 434-8777

CrossKeys Vineyards & Estate

6011 E. Timber Ridge Rd., Mt. Crawford crosskeysvineyards.com, (540) 234-0505

Misty Ray Winery

215 Rorrer Circle, Harrisonburg mistyraywinery.com, (540) 433-8243

Guide To Central Virginia Farmers’ Markets

Augusta County Farmers’ Market

Wed. noon–5 p.m., April–Oct.

2282 Lee Hwy., Verona


Charlottesville City Market

Sat. 7 a.m.–noon, April 2–Dec. 17

Corner Water St. and First St.


Crozet Farmers’ Market

Sat. 8 a.m.–noon, May–Oct.

1156 Crozet Ave.

Culpeper Downtown Farmers’ Market

Sat. 7:30 a.m.–noon, April 30–Oct.

East Davis St. parking lot, Culpeper


Earlysville Farmers’ Market

Thurs. 4–7 p.m., May 12–Oct.

Earlysville Rd., Parish Hall parking lot

Farmers in the Pa rk

Wed. 3–7 p.m., May 4–Sept. 28

Meade Park, Charlottesville

Fluvanna Farmers’ Market

Tues. 2–6 p.m., April 5–Oct. 25

Pleasant Grove, Palmyra

Forest Lakes Farmers’ Market

Tues. 4–7 p.m., April 19–Oct. 25

1650 Ashwood Blvd.

Greene County Farmers’ Market

Sat. 8–11 a.m., June 18–Sept. 17

Greene County Technical Education Center, Route 33, Stanardsville

Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market

Tues. and Sat. 7 a.m.–1 p.m.

Thurs. 4–7 p.m. starting June 2

Turner Pavilion, downtown


Lexington Farmers’ Market

Wed. 8 a.m.–1 p.m., April 20 through


Jefferson St. parking lot between Washington St. and Nelson St.

Lynchburg Community Market

Tues.–Sat. 7 a.m.–2 p.m.; Green Market

Wed. 10 a.m.–2 p.m., May 5–Nov.; Sat. market 7 a.m.–2 p.m., April–Dec.

1219 Main St.


Madison County Farmers’ Market

Sat. 9 a.m.–noon, April 16, April 30–Oct.

Hoover Ridge Park, Madison

The Market at Pen Park

Tues. 3–7 p.m., May 3–Sept. 27

Pen Park, Charlottesville

Mineral Farmers’ Market

Sat. 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m., May 7–Oct. 29

Louisa Ave., across from town park


Nelson County Farmers’ Market—Nellysford

Sat. 8 a.m.–noon, May–Oct.

Route 151, downtown Nellysford


Orange County Farmers’ Market

Sat. 9 a.m.–2 p.m., May–Nov.

Municipal parking lot, Orange

Rockbridge County Farmers’ Market

Sat. 8 a.m–noon, May 7–Oct.

The Horse Center, Lexington

Scottsville Farmers’ Market

Sat. 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., May 14–Oct. 29

Thurs. evening hours TBD Market Square at Scottsville Pavilion


Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction

Most Tues. and Fri., April–Oct. Dayton

Staunton Farmers’ Market

Sat. 7 a.m.–noon, April–Nov.

Downtown Staunton wharf


Tri-County Farmers’ Market

Sun. 1–5 p.m., opens April 25

Clevenger’s Corner, intersection of 229 and 211, Jeffersonton

Waynesboro Farmers’ Market

Wed. 3–6:30 p.m., April 27–Sept. 28

The Pavilion at Constitution Park

Zion Crossroads Farmers’ Market

Fri. 4–8 p.m.

Crossroads Home Center, Troy

Spring 2010
Edible Blue Ridge Summer 2009

Edible Feast

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