Category Archives: Agriculture

The Fruits of Our Labor



I’m a proud mom of a three year old son and an infant daughter. I’m also a proud third-generation member and owner of my family’s 500-acre fruit and vegetable farm, Hollabaugh Bros., Inc., located in upper Adams county in south-central Pennsylvania. The sheer nature of being a part of a family business intermingles my two worlds on an ongoing basis. But in the fall, my two pride and joy worlds really collide. I try my hardest to keep my head above water with the mountains of work at the farm while making time for every possible precious moment I can spend with my son, as the rapidity with which he is growing, learning, and changing hasn’t yet ceased to amaze me.

apples 1Interestingly, and not altogether surprisingly, these worlds often collide by way of apples. We go for a walk in the orchard, picking apples off the tree left behind by our pickers. We cook applesauce, peeling, chopping, and stirring the apples to make the perfect blend. We share a fresh-sliced apple at the dinner table. If living on an apple farm weren’t enough reason to cause these worlds to collide, the nature of the industry in this area certainly would be.

Pennsylvania, and specifically the south-mountain region of the state, is the 4th largest apple producer in the United States. Agriculture is one of the two largest industries in Adams County, where our farm is located, along with tourism.

In the fall, it’s hard to drive through our neck of the woods without seeing the apple industry at work: from apples being harvested off of trees by quick-moving hands, tractors moving bins in and out of the orchards, trucks transporting apples from field to factory, or tractor trailers hitting the highways, filled to the brim with fresh or processed apples to fill grocery store shelves.

apples 2In the fast-paced world in which we all live, it’s become far too easy to take it all for granted. To assume that the apples will always just magically appear on the grocery store shelves, or that the applesauce will just cook and package itself.

But to our great fortune, another collision has helped us all to take a step back to appreciate our dynamic industry. It’s called Agri-tourism.

A few short generations ago, it seemed that everyone was connected to a farm in some not-too-distant way. Today, farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the US population. And we see evidence of that disconnect in our farm market every day. Brussels sprouts harvested on the stalk are purchased not for the nutritional value, but for the sheer novelty of how they’re grown.

Agri-tourism allows us to reconnect the farm to the consumer. We do it in a number of ways on our farm: farm tours, pick-your-own fruits, walking tours, CSA memberships, children’s events, and festivals. And others are doing it, too. The Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail offers dozens of farm markets, wineries, and breweries in the south-mountain region that folks can visit to experience a taste of agriculture. A local corn maze provides on-farm entertainment not unlike what you’d get at an amusement park, except with grass and corn instead of paved walkways and roller-coasters.

apples 3

And so, instead of sitting at my desk until dark, doing the work that never seems to stop piling up, I leave the office. I hold my son’s hand (I know all too well that in not too many years, it won’t be cool to hold my hand anymore), and we head out for a walk in the orchard, crunching on apples and marveling at the beauty of the season together. I highly recommend you do the same.

Photos courtesy of the Adams County Fruit Growers Association.

Note: Mark your calendar for the 60th Annual Apple Blossom Festival May 2-3 in Adams County, PA. The festival is located at the South Mountain Fairgrounds in the heart of Apple Country, USA, and is hosted by the Adams County Fruit Growers Association. For more information, visit http://www.appleblossomfestival.info

 

Wine Tourism Conference Comes to Loudoun



Virginia’s wine history began more than four centuries ago and now, wine industry leaders get to share their storied past and current success with wine tourism professionals from around the world.

Located in the heart of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Loudoun County will welcome hundreds of wine tourism officials from across the world in November as it hosts the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference.

Boxwood Winery 3 Secured by Visit Loudoun, the conference will make its East Coast debut at Lansdowne Resort in DC’s Wine Country Nov. 18-20. Previous conferences have been held on the West Coast in premier wine destinations like Napa, Sonoma, CA and Portland, OR.

The Wine Tourism Conference is organized by Zephyr Adventures and is expected to attract wine tourism professionals from across the world. Open to winery owners, journalists, wine associations, wine destination marketing organizations and tour operators, the conference serves as a networking forum and provides extensive educational opportunities for this growing industry.

Visit Loudoun worked closely with Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office to bring this to the Commonwealth and this conference is just another milestone as the Virginia wine industry continues to thrive. Hosting the conference helps position Virginia as a must-visit wine destination and gives our winemakers a chance to showcase their award-winning wines to leaders in the wine industry.

Virginia’s wine history began more than four centuries ago when the Jamestown settlers signed a law that required every male settler to plant and tend at least 10 grape vines. The settlers hoped that Virginia would become a major source of wine for the British Empire. Later, Thomas Jefferson cultivated European grapes for more than 30 years, but his Monticello vineyards never produced a single bottle of wine.

In the 1820s, however, the wine industry began to thrive and in 1873 a Virginia Norton was named one of the best red wines in the nation at the Vienna World’s Fair. Unfortunately, the wine industry’s success was short lived as prohibition put a halt on production.

Sunset Hills 1-credit Sunset HillsWhile the industry took some time to bounce back following prohibition, today it is thriving. With 250 wineries across Virginia, the wine industry is not only driving tourism in the state, but providing jobs and preserving thousands of acres of farmland.

In Loudoun, the wine industry began in 1984 when Lew Parker of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards established the county’s first winery. Parker planted his first grapes in 1981 on the slopes of his farm, which, in the 1800s, was successfully planted with orchards. The soil and temperate climate in the area, which is just about 25 miles from the nation’s capital, proved fruitful for winemaking and soon others were transforming the farmland into rows of lush vineyards.

With more than 40 wineries, Loudoun is one of the premier wine regions along the East Coast and leading the way in Virginia. Loudoun’s vineyards are nestled between winding roads, rolling countryside, horse farms and historic estates. Our boutique wineries house tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns and winemaker’s homes to intimate cellars & architecturally stunning facilities.

Loudoun’s wine industry will continue to grow and visitors can constantly find new experiences and opportunities that range from tastings and tours to hands-on winemaking classes and seminars with winemakers.

BluemontviewWe invite you to explore our wine region while traveling through the Journey Through Hallowed Ground; take a moment to relax, sip and enjoy the stunning views in this national scenic byway.

For more information on Loudoun, visit www.visitloudoun.org

 

Celebrating 100 Years With Virginia’s Department of Forestry



When the colonists first arrived in Jamestown in 1607, Virginia was a land of vast forests.  And one of the first “products” shipped back to England was timber harvested from the land surrounding the settlement.  The Cherrybark Oak trees on Jamestown Island were excellent sources of lumber and wooden shingles that were desperately needed by the people of a growing city (London).  Over the course of the next 300 years, much of the forestland in Virginia was harvested to build homes in the “New World,” create sailing ships and to clear land for agricultural purposes.  Little, if any, replanting of trees was performed.

The Virginia Department of Forestry was created by Gov. Henry Stuart and the General Assembly in March of 1914.  Formed under the state Geologic Commission, the agency was charged with the suppression of wildfires and the reforestation of a nearly denuded Virginia – two core missions that still exist today.  Over the past 100 years, Virginia Department of Forestry employees have battled 150,000 wildfires that have burned more than 3 million acres of forestland, and they’ve grown and planted more than 2 billion trees.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Chapin Jones began work March 1, 1915 as the State Forester of Virginia.  He was not just the first employee at the new agency, he was the only employee.  He began his tenure by creating a series of informational posters designed to educate the citizenry on the dangers of wildfire and the importance of preventing them in the first place.  He expanded his duties the following year when he developed a tree nursery on land near the University of Virginia.  After “going it alone” for several years, he was able to hire a handful of people to help fight wildfires in the western portion of the state.  Over the next several decades, the VDOF grew slowly and steadily.  One nursery expanded to two, then to three, as the need for more tree seedlings grew.  The agency now has two nurseries – one in Sussex County that grows 27 million pine seedlings each year, and one in Augusta County that grows about 3 million hardwood seedlings annually.

While battling wildfires and reforestation work remain core functions, VDOF is also responsible for the quality of water through its efforts to ensure that timber harvest operations do not add sediment to streams, creeks and rivers.  The agency is also working hard to conserve forested landscapes and ensure working forests remain working forestlands.  Seven years ago, VDOF launched its Forestland Conservation Division.  In these few short years, the division has secured more than 100 conservation easements (legal agreements that forever protect the land from development while still being the property of the private owner of the land) that cover more than 30,000 acres of forestland.  VDOF also provides unbiased, scientifically-based forest management recommendations to ensure the 373,600 private forest landowners in Virginia meet their goals and objectives they have for their land.  The Virginia Department of Forestry oversees 24 State Forests that serve a number of purposes: timber resource, recreational opportunities (hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding), ecosystem services (clean air and water), and aesthetics.  The forests range in size from just over 100 acres to nearly 20,000 acres and are located in most areas of Virginia.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Virginia Department of Forestry, the agency has conducted a number of special events throughout the year.  These include partnering with the Virginia Lottery on a scratch-off game; working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to focus the content of the 2014-2016 state road map on the agency and its State Forests; an exhibit of VDOF firefighting vehicles at the Virginia Museum of Transportation; an exhibition of original paintings of Smokey Bear by artist Rudy Wendelin at The Chrysler Museum of Art; displays at four NASCAR race tracks, and participation in a number of parades and the State Fair of Virginia.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

As we near the end of the centennial year, the leaves are changing color and turning the vistas into sweeping palettes of scarlet, crimson and gold.  We encourage you to take a drive this month to enjoy this annual event.  There are ample opportunities to check out the beautiful fall foliage along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway.  You can learn more about peak periods and other information at www.dof.virginia.gov.  All of us at the Virginia Department of Forestry look forward to a second century of protecting and serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Celebrate National Apple Month With Us!



Fall’s crisp air and changing leaves evokes thoughts of steamy apple cider, warm, gooey apple dumplings and family frolics through orchards.  Luckily, for those of us living in and around Pennsylvania, there are countless opportunities to enjoy its orchards and apples. Even if you fancy apples in the fall, you may not realize Pennsylvania’s powerhouse status within the national and global apple industry. What better time to explore Pennsylvania and Eastern Apples than in October, which is celebrated as National Apple Month.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Pennsylvania is the fourth largest apple producing state in the nation—behind only Washington, Michigan and New York. The Pennsylvania apple crop typically yields between 10 and 11 million bushels annually, meaning the crop weighs in at more than 440 million pounds! As the state’s fourth largest commodity, apples are key to making agriculture Pennsylvania’s top industry. The state’s climate and topography, especially in the Fruit Belt of Adams County, provide the perfect growing conditions for more than 100 varieties of delicious apples. The rolling hills of Pennsylvania boast more than 20,000 acres of apple bearing land across all 67 of its counties. Each individual acre can produce an impressive 23,000 pounds of apples. Each and every one of those apples is carefully hand picked by a skilled workforce. Though apples are grown in every county, nearly 70% of Pennsylvania’s apples are grown in Adams County. Franklin, York and Bedford counties round out the top four apple producing counties in the state.

As home to Knouse Foods, one of the largest food processors in the country, it should come as no surprise that nearly 60% of Pennsylvania’s crop is used for processing into applesauce, juice, cider and more. Though only 30-35% of PA apples are used for the fresh market, 70% of the total national apple crop goes for fresh market and only 30% is used for processing. Some of those processing apples are now hitting the press with fermentation as their final destination. The time-honored craft of making hard cider is having a resurgence in Pennsylvania with close to 20 producers in the state, some of which are grower-producers, and many of whom are returning to traditional craft practices using cider apple varieties for a product with a sharper taste and dryer finish.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Cider apple varieties make up only a tiny portion of the portfolio of apples grown in Pennsylvania. With more than 100 delicious varietal options, it’s easy to find one pleasing to the palate. There are about 20 commercial varieties grown by most growers that are easy to find at your local grocer. Gala and Fuji are among the most popular varieties in PA, with Honeycrisp quickly edging out other tried-and-true favorites like Red Delicious. Pennsylvania’s harvest season begins in mid-August with early varieties like Ginger Gold, a mellow, great all-purpose apple and continues through to mid-November with the tangy Pink Lady being one of the last fresh varieties to be harvested. The heart of the harvest season is late September through mid-October when most commercial varieties are carefully plucked from the trees. Golden Delicious, Cameo, Jonagold, Cortland, McIntosh, Idared and Granny Smith represent only a handful of varieties that reach perfect ripeness during that harvest window. Be sure to explore varieties beyond the classic favorites. Farm stands and farmer markets grow and sell countless varieties with varying flavor profiles and textural differences to suit the most discerning apple fan. Newer varieties names like Zestar and Autumn Crisp may placard bushels while resting next to unfamiliar heirloom or vintage varieties like Smokehouse and Winter Banana.

Though Pennsylvania’s apple harvest occurs over the span of approximately twelve weeks, Pennsylvania and Eastern apples can be found and enjoyed nearly year round. Pennsylvania growers and shippers use some of the most advanced cold storage practices making it possible for you to enjoy fresh, crisp Pennsylvania and Eastern apples well into Spring and beyond. In some cases, certain varieties like Red and Golden Delicious can be found just about up until the next harvest begins. Apples can and should be enjoyed and worked into your favorites dishes year round.

To learn more about Pennsylvania and Eastern apples, where to find them, how to use them and more, visit: PennsylvaniaApples.org.

America’s Wine Country Enhances the Journey Through Hallowed Ground



Photo courtesy of Barrel Oak Winery

Photo courtesy of Barrel Oak Winery

Something new is vinting in Virginia’s wine country. It’s called “Virginia’s Piedmont: America’s Wine Country”. This regional assembly of 11 counties stretches from Warren, Fauquier and Loudoun in the north to Albemarle in the south. The thrill of the wine life is now merged with America’s hallowed ground.

The wine country of Virginia follows the same trajectory as its historic antecedents: the world is rediscovering Virginia as a land of intense beauty and intense vintages. The land of President Jefferson is also the land of Thomas Jefferson: world’s leading oenophile. The land of Justice John Marshall is the land of Justice Marshall: grand lover of Madera.

Photo courtesy of Barrel Oak Winery

 

Today, John Marshall’s estate is a winery.

Today, a winery sits at the battle site of Bull Run.

 

It may take years for the world to fully discover both the history and the great vintages of Virginia; but together, the Journey and America’s Wine Country promise the opportunity to bring Virginia back to the world stage as one of the great historic and wine regions of the world.

Photo courtesy of Barrel Oak Winery

‘Hallowed Ground’ with no Farmers?



The National Heritage Area known as Journey Through Hallowed Ground is recognizable for its rolling hills and mountains, and its farmland. While there are a dozen or so cities and towns that dot the Piedmont from Gettysburg to Charlottesville, farms still form most of the landscape inhabited by our founding fathers and they are emblematic of the culture that helped form the nation. The farmland hasn’t changed that much. What may be missing is the next generation of farmers.

Monticello. Photo by Greg Bowen

Monticello. Photo by Greg Bowen

On May 2nd, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the 2012 ag census data for the states. Since 1840, the U.S. government has been conducting censuses of agriculture. Those who have been watching agriculture trends for some time will not be surprised as to how few farmers there are age 34 and younger.

The trend has been in place for some time. The “green revolution” began in the 1940s and really kicked in during the 1960s and 1970s. It involved the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, better equipment, more irrigation, hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides and it has vastly increased U.S. farm productivity. For example, average corn yield increased from 30 bushels per acre in 1930 to 150 bushels per acre today. It also resulted in increased farm sizes and it has reduced the need for farmers and farm laborers. The average farm size in the U.S. increased from 174 acres in 1940 to 434 acres in 2012.  According to a USDA report Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming, published last year, the number of farms with at least 10,000 acres of cropland grew 179% from 2001 to 2011 (from 409 farms to 1,140 farms).

Historic barn in Frederick. Photo by Greg Bowen

Historic barn in Frederick. Photo by Greg Bowen

As the need for new farmers decreased, ag in the classroom was dropped in most school districts. Farm children left the farms to seek other careers. Yet, farm productivity continued to improve with new equipment and  new production methods. In 1940, roughly 20% of all farm operators were 34 and under. By 2012, that dropped to 5.6%. There are nearly six times as many farmers age 65+ as there are farmers 34 and younger. The USDA predicts that up to half of all farmers are likely to retire in the next decade. Who will replace them?

In the United States, the swath of land within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is an old farming region. The farms were carved out of the wooded hills and valleys in the early 18th century as the leaders of the colonies began debating the formation of a new nation. Today, the farm sizes put them at a disadvantage of scale for commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.) and industrial livestock production.

In the last few decades a new ag trend has emerged–the local food movement. Direct food sales in the U.S. have been growing twice as fast as total ag sales.  These types of operations are well suited to the small-scale farms in the region and this has generated renewed interest in farming. However, beginning farmers are finding it difficult getting access to land. Most did not grow up on a farm. Those who want to grow vegetables, fruits, and livestock need a place to live on the farm and water for the crops and/or livestock. For most beginning farmers, it makes sense to lease land, as long as they have enough experience and there is housing and the ability to have the infrastructure to operate.

States in the National Heritage Area
Maryland Pennsylvania Virginia West Virginia U.S.
Average farm size 166 130 181 168 434
Percentage of farm operators 34 or younger 4.9% 8.3% 6.1% 4.2% 5.6%

Each of the four states in the National Heritage Area are striving to preserve the region’s farmland and help beginning farmers gain access to land. For example, in Maryland there is the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation and Maryland FarmLINK, a free resource that helps farmers sell, buy or lease farmland, mentor novice farmers and find important farming news and information. Resources like this are important, but communities will need to support these efforts if they want the programs to succeed by getting to know their farmers and purchasing local farm products.

This is an important time for the region. If we hope to continue to see the working landscapes and witness the farming culture that helped to create our nation, we will need to support opportunities for the next generation of farmers to get established.

Visit Some of Virginia’s Most Beloved Historic Gardens in the Region During Historic Garden Week



For nearly a century the Garden Club of Virginia, a non-profit organization, has been committed to preserving the beauty of Virginia for all to enjoy. Early leaders in conservation issues and environmental concerns, members advocated for maintaining the pristine beauty of Goshen Pass and the wilderness of the Great Dismal Swamp. Over the last decade, the Garden Club of Virginia has supported conservation projects along rivers and waterways, sponsored workshops and hosts an annual Forum that takes a balanced look at environmental issues within the commonwealth. These efforts go hand in hand with educating members and the public about relevant topics, like using native plants in the landscape.

Since 1920 the Garden Club of Virginia has grown from eight founding clubs to 47 clubs with over 3,300 members. It is the coordinated efforts of these talented volunteers, along with the generosity of over 200 private home owners, who make Historic Garden Week possible. Historic Garden Week is Virginia’s largest ongoing volunteer effort and the country’s oldest and biggest house and garden tour. Proceeds from this statewide annual event have supported the restoration and preservation of some of Virginia’s most beloved historic gardens, including Mt. Vernon, Oatlands and the University of Virginia.

There are 31 tours across Virginia that take place over 8 consecutive days. For a complete schedule, tickets, tour descriptions and 6 suggested itineraries, visit www.vagardenweek.org. Here’s a sneak peek at just three of the tours taking place this year between April 26 and May 3.

Orange County – Saturday, April 26.

photo provided courtesy of Dolley Madison Garden Club

photo provided courtesy of Dolley Madison Garden Club

Garden Club Gordonsville has just celebrated its bicentennial anniversary – a place of presidents and generals. It was an important crossroad during the Civil War as both a receiving hospital for thousands of casualties and a rail hub for transporting food, supplies and soldiers. The town emerged from the war and its aftermath, a devastating downtown fire and the Great Depression to the present day renaissance of its downtown. Historic Garden Week visitors will tour three village homes and their gardens, experience upscale shopping along the main street and have access to unique dining experiences. The Exchange Hotel, which was recently renovated, is included in the tour. Christ Episcopal Church will include special activities during the day, along with musicians and artists in historic venues in downtown.

Middleburg – Sunday, April 27 and Monday, April 28.

photo provided courtesy of Missy Janes

photo provided courtesy of Missy Janes

Tucked in the northwest corner of Virginia in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains are the historic towns of Middleburg and Upperville. Filled with unique shops and quaint restaurants, these enchanting towns in the heart of Hunt Country are featured in this year’s “Splendor in the Grass” tour. Both towns are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Of the five estates included, two predate the Civil War. All were chosen to inspire gardeners.

Albemarle County – Sunday, April 27 and Monday, April 28.

photo courtesy of Catriona Tudor Erler

photo courtesy of Catriona Tudor Erler

Visitors will travel historic roads amid scenic vistas through part of the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 in recognition of its national significance. Several buildings in the district reflect the influence of Thomas Jefferson’s classical architectural ideals and much of the land is still held in large farms as it has been since the 18th century. Three of Albemarle County’s finest historic properties, all dating to the Jefferson era, highlight the area’s treasured early architecture, beautiful landscapes and rich agricultural heritage.

Historic Garden Week Activities Within The Journey



The bucolic countryside of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, with its magnificent landscapes, rich farm lands, and historic homes, will be on full display during Virginia Garden Week, an annual House & Garden Tour scheduled for April 20-27.  Every April, visitors are welcomed to more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House.” This 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 fabulous flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. 

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Here is an overview of the tours taking place within The Journey:

Somerset Estates in Orange County (April 20)

Virginia Garden Week

“Where Tradition Meets Today” is the theme of this pastoral and picturesque house and garden tour.  Since the 18th century, the rolling countryside with gentle blue mountains in Virginia’s Piedmont near Somerset has attracted the establishment of impressive estates. Three of these historic mansions with their beautiful gardens will be on view, including Annandale, Rocklands and Frascati.  In addition, the tour will include a visit to Grelen Nursery, one of the largest retail nurseries in Virginia, featuring its new Farm Market and Garden Shop.  The future of development in and around Somerset has drawn major controversy to this tiny community during the past year. This Historic Garden Week tour, sponsored by the Dolley Madison Garden Club, offers a unique opportunity to visit private estates in the area, located less than two hours from Washington D.C., and understand why Somerset has become a focal point in the development/conservation debate in the Piedmont.

Morven and the Charlottesville Area (April 20-23)

Morven Park Virginia Garden WeekMorven, a three-story brick manor house built in the late-Georgian/Federal Style, dates to 1820. The land on which it sits was part of the original Carter family land grant and was known to Thomas Jefferson as, “Indian Camp.” The 7,378-acre estate was given to the University of Virginia Foundation by the late John Kluge. The 19th century ambience of the house remains even after 20th century additions and interior renovations. The grounds are extraordinary. Annette Hoyt Flanders renovated the original gardens in the 1930s and more gardens were added by Mr. Kluge. Look for unusual trees such as a pair of Osage orange trees, the state champion Chinese chestnut, and a lovely dove tree. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks Register.  Tours continue on Sunday and Monday at four other stunning properties in Afton and the Nellysford area that are sponsored by the Albemarle Garden Club, The Charlottesville Garden Club and the Rivanna Garden Club

Waterford in Loudoun County (April 22)

Waterford Keller Garden for Virginia Garden Week “Waterford: Where the Past is Always Present” is the theme of this house and garden tour. The frenetic pace of life drops to an ambling gait as you stroll the streets of Waterford. This tour invites you to take a leisurely walk into the past through a village settled in 1733. Its history will speak to you through the language of the architecture of the lovingly and accurately restored 18th century homes. Waterford, once a busy hub of commerce centered around the Janney Mill, was left to decay as the Civil War and subsequent railroad passed it by. Neglect nearly spelled the end for the village. By the late 1930’s interest in Waterford had begun to stir once again due to its picturesque rural setting and quiet pace. Buildings began to be carefully renovated and new life began to emerge. Since that time Waterford has been largely returned to its graceful and peaceful pace with homes and gardens that beckon exploration and a journey to another time.  Exclusive of one home, this is a walking tour. It includes six homes and the Old School in Waterford.  This tour is sponsored by the Leesburg Garden Club and the Fauquier-Loudoun Garden Club

 

Warrenton (April 24-25)

Warenton Garden for Virginia Garden WeekFollow in the footsteps of Chief Justice John Marshall as you visit the houses and gardens on this tour of hunt country in Northern Virginia. Leeds Manor Farm in Hume, built for Marshall’s son in 1829 is still a working farm. The Chief Justice built a small addition near the house for his books and to use during his retirement. Nearby in the village of Hume is the Parsonage, built ca. 1855. It has been completely renovated, but retains the extensive gardens of it previous owner. Glen Gordon Manor in Huntly, originally a stagecoach stop for Wells Fargo, became the residence of a friend of the Duchess of Windsor in the 1920s. The bones of the formal garden are being resurrected by the current owners and magnificent trees, including century old beeches, grace the lawns. Nearby in Flint Hill is Standen Still, a “new old” house built in the 1990s following the style of the English Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century. An extensive garden, initially laid out by noted landscape designer, Dana Westring, has been extended by the current owner, a budding horticulturist and designer. Locust Grove in a park-like setting near Flint Hill is a gracious 19th century brick house with beautifully integrated modern wings. The house is filled with antiques and family memorabilia. Headquarters for this tour will be located at Marriott Ranch in Hume, another John Marshall house. The Ashland Basset Hounds and the Piedmont Driving Club will add another component to this tour featuring 5 properties.  Sponsored by The Warrenton Garden Club.

Tickets are available on-line at http://www.vagardenweek.org/.  Proceeds go to the Garden Club of Virginia for use in restoring historic gardens throughout the Virginia.