For the first time in two years, the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour returns to its in-person format, and Loudoun Economic Development is encouraging the region’s residents and visitors to enjoy a self-guided, family-friendly weekend on the farm, October 16-17, 2021.
This year marks the 28th annual Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, which began in 1993 as the Loudoun Fall Colors Tour. Since then, the emphasis has shifted to encourage shopping for top-quality, local products during Loudoun’s harvest season.
This year’s tour features more than two dozen locations that offer everything from pumpkin patches to alpacas, and vineyards to farmers markets. The featured farmers are among the most demographically inclusive in Virginia, including eighth-generation family farmers and former financial professionals that started farming in 2020.
All locations provide an educational component for visitors, and most will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. For specific details on specific farm hours, visit LoudounFarmTour.com.
“Loudoun has deep roots in agriculture, and our 1,200 commercial farms provide a cornucopia of quality products and experiences that represent an important aspect of our economy and culture,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “This year’s Fall Farm Tour locations are representative of the diversity we enjoy in our farming industry and the best of what the harvest has to offer.
“In 2020, COVID-19 forced many visitors to keep their distance, enjoying a virtual tour at a time when farm businesses needed customer support. This year, we encourage everyone to follow best practices and enjoy a weekend outdoors, shopping from more than two dozen Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown farms.”
Download the Loudoun Fall Farm Tour App
New to the Fall Farm Tour this year is a scavenger hunt component that encourages visitors to see more farms, complete a range of fun challenges, and compete on a leaderboard for badges and exciting prizes.
The app includes a map of farm locations with links for navigation, encourages visitors to share their memories on social media, and a chat feature to ask questions throughout the weekend.
The app can be accessed today by completing the following steps:
- Download Eventzee in either the Apple or Android app stores;
- Set up a free account with your email and password;
- When prompted, enter the join code “farmtour” (lower case, one word, no quotations);
- Have fun completing challenges while visiting and supporting Loudoun farms.
The app is designed to operate in low cell signal areas and allows for visitors to upload later if needed. Prizes will include gift baskets of local products from the Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown Marketplace, tickets to visit the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum in Sterling, and branded apparel.
“We’re always looking for new ways to help consumers engage meaningfully with our farms and we’re really excited about the app integration on this year’s Fall Farm Tour,” Loudoun’s Business Development Officer for Agriculture and Business Services John Magistro explained. “After two years in a virtual environment, we wanted a digital component to enhance our in-person experience. We think visitors will really enjoy competing to showcase their support for Loudoun’s family farms and small rural businesses.”
Donate Loudoun Fresh Food to Families In Need
Loudoun Economic Development is also introducing a new community support program this year, partnering with Loudoun Hunger Relief to drive donations of Loudoun grown produce during the Fall Farm Tour.
Consumers are encouraged to visit Northern Virginia Wholesale Growers, a produce farm in Paeonian Springs, and purchase one or more $5 donation vouchers at the cash register. The proceeds will be used to purchase the freshest produce on the farm, which is then donated to Loudoun Hunger Relief, and distributed to food insecure families in Loudoun County. Visitors are further incentivized to give by completing the donation challenge in the app.
“This is a win for everyone, as 100% of proceeds go to supporting local agriculture, and 100% of that food is donated to families in need,” Buddy Rizer said. “Every Loudoun resident deserves the same access to nutrition, local support and dignity. We really appreciate this collaboration with Northern Virginia Wholesale Growers and Loudoun Hunger Relief and encourage farm tour visitors to shop for their neighbors this harvest season.”
For more information on the farms and rural businesses participating in this year’s Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, please visit LoudounFarmTour.com.