Whether you live down the dirt road or an interstate away, mark your calendars for the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour on Oct. 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at more than 30 participating farms and 63 craft beverage businesses.
This free, self-guided tour will happen rain or shine, and is the perfect opportunity to connect with the people behind your favorite locally-sourced food, drinks and artisan products.
“The Fall Farm Tour helps shrink the distance between customers and producers of everything from pumpkins to alpaca wool. This is a great opportunity to support family-owned small businesses, and to learn something about their operation along the way,” said Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer.
“Each time consumers buy ‘Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown’ products, they’re not only getting delicious food, they are also supporting local farmers, local families and the local economy.”
Loudoun farm products are found year-round in school lunches, restaurant menus, farmers markets, wayside stands and farm subscriptions around the region. Farm tours give visitors a chance to see, taste, feel, and learn hands-on what goes into local food production.
To participate in the biannual tour, each farm provides an educational component for visitors. This year’s Fall Farm Tour features three businesses that have never participated before:
- The Hillsboro Country Inn provides tiny home lodging on a 100-acre horse, donkey and sheep farm in Hillsboro, Va. See their Arabian breeding program and bring a fishing pole for the pond.
- Hogback Mountain Pony Rides is more than you imagined, located southwest of Leesburg, Va. During their third-annual trick or treat event, you can ride “unicorns” and enjoy dining on locally-sourced food.
- The New Ag School is perfect for anyone considering a career in agriculture. Located on-premises at Fabbioli Cellars in Lucketts, Va., the school will hold a hay bale challenge at noon, for anyone up to the task.
Interested in picking your own pumpkins? According to a recent report from the USDA, pumpkins have moved onto Virginia’s list of top 20 agriculture commodities, and are grown commercially on 3,500 acres of Virginia farmland.
During the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, you can pick your own pumpkins at both Virts Family Farm in Purcellville, or Wegmeyer Farms’ Hamilton location.
“Loudoun County is home to more than 1,200 commercial farms, offering an incredibly diverse array of products and opportunities. This year’s Fall Farm Tour really helps tell the story of agriculture in the county,” said Business Development Officer of Agriculture and Business Services John Magistro.
For more information on the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, please visit LoudounFarms.org/FarmTour.