Goochland Farm Tour

From Hollywood, CA to Goochland County! Suri Downs Alpacas will be one stop on the Goochland Farm Tour on September 15th.

5th Annual Farm Tour to Showcase Goochland Farms

Are you looking for a fun, free educational outing that everyone in your family will enjoy?  If so, then come join us for the fifth annual Farm Tour.  This year’s Farm Tour will highlight local Goochland agri-businesses, including a dairy operation, a sustainably produced beef farm, specialized equestrian facilities, an alpaca farm as well as the Goochland Farmers Market.

The free, self-guided tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, when six unique agribusiness sites will be open to the public. Operators will make presentations on the hour and the half-hour.

The following farms will be featured:

Alvis Farms, 1700 Alvis Road, Manakin Sabot

Alvis Farms is a family owned and operated dairy farm in eastern Goochland County. The dairy was started in 1965, and is now home to 750 milking cows, most of which are Registered Holsteins. The milking cows are housed on waterbeds, and are milked three times a day.  The family also farms roughly 4,000 acres, which is spread throughout 8 different counties. The crops grown are corn, wheat, soybeans, barley, and alfalfa.   The farm tour will showcase both the dairy and crop operations.  Additionally, representatives from Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District will be on hand providing educational information.

Photo by Debby Thomas. http://www.AnimalArtandPhotography.com

Applegarth Farm, 1225 Shallow Well Road, Manakin:  Applegarth Farm is a horse training and boarding operation established in 2001.  The farm currently boards over 25 horses, many of whom are trained in hunter-jumping.

Brookview Farm, 854 Dover Road, Manakin-Sabot:  The Fishers have been pioneers in organic, sustainable farming in the mid-Atlantic since establishing Brookview in 1981 as a grass-fed and finished- cattle commercial farming operation.  Family-owned and operated, Brookview comprises over 300 acres of pasture on which cattle roam and graze exclusively on grass and clover. Brookview epitomizes the highest standards of environmental stewardship, producing all organic products without the use of pesticides, hormones and commercial fertilizers

The Goochland Farmers Market

Goochland Farmer’s Market, 2955 River Road West (Grace Episcopal Church),

Goochland:   Every Saturday morning from May through October, Goochland’s only all volunteer and non-profit Farmer’s Market is open from 8 a.m. until noon. Each week, this genuine country market offers some of the finest produce, meats, breads, wines, cheeses, plants and farm crafts produced in Central Virginia.

Little Hawk Farm, 1625 Cardwell Road, Crozier:  Dr. Tom Newton and his wife Jennifer live and work at Little Hawk Farm, a regionally renowned equine reproduction center.  Dr. Newton has over thirty years of equine veterinary experience and offers a full range of equine reproductive services—including all three methods of breeding horses.  Little Hawk Farm has several barns to accommodate outside mares, stallions, foaling stalls as well as a reproductive lab.  There are also a number of award winning stallions on site, along with Sam-Mule, the friendly, resident Sicilian miniature donkey.

Suri Downs Alpacas, 2280 Camelback Road, Maidens:  In 2006, a chance encounter with a newspaper article extolling the joys of alpacas prompted the Finchers to consider trading their Hollywood, CA lifestyles for a more rural way of life.  Five years later, the couple moved to Maidens, VA and established Suri Downs Alpacas.   Together they raise over 30 friendly alpacas on their farm and currently have two crias (babies).

The Center for Rural Culture will offer grilled local, organic, grass-fed beef burgers provided by Brookview Farm as well hot dogs and veggie burgers with sides and a beverage.  The luncheon will be held from 11:30 – 1:30 at beautiful Brookview Farm, 854 Dover Road, Manakin-Sabot.  The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children 6 and under.  All proceeds will benefit the Center for Rural Culture’s Education and Outreach Programs.  Lunch reservations are required.  Please call (804) 556-5841 or e-mail sgrayson@vt.edu with your meal preferences by Sep 13th.  Additionally, the Women of Grace Episcopal Church will have delicious homemade baked goods for sale separately.

A brochure that includes a map to the tour stops will shortly be available at county offices and retail locations in both Goochland and Powhatan counties later this month.  Details will also be available online at http://offices.ext.vt.edu/goochland and at http://www.centerforruralculture.org.  A map of the farms can be found at: http://goo.gl/maps/afkqU.

Tour sponsors include the Center for Rural Culture, the Goochland Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Goochland County Farm Bureau, the Goochland Chamber of Commerce and the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District.

Spring on the Farm

For those of you who live in the Richmond, Virginia metro region, please join us Saturday, March 31st at Brookview Farm in Manakin-Sabot, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In celebration of early spring on the farm, we will have cooking demos including how to make your own potato chips and how to cook grass-fed beef. As you may know, Brookview is an organic farm specializing in grass-fed beef.

Learn more about the Local Roots Online Food Co-op, an online year-round farmer’s market with Thursday pickups at Brookview.

We will be serving our famous Brookview Beef Barbecue for lunch. Bring the family for a special day on the farm!

Sponsored by the Center for Rural Culture (www.centerforruralculture.org) Visit www.brookviewfarm.com or wwwluluslocalfood.com

Shiitake Mushroom Workshop

Want to grow your own Shiitake Mushrooms?

This workshop is for anyone who has looked at the mushrooms available in the grocery store and wished for fresher, non-bruised, local mushrooms for their table. Participants will learn the techniques and environmental conditions necessary for growing delicious shiitake mushrooms in Virginia. After a discussion of the factors necessary to get started, participants will tour the mushroom production area on Rock Castle Farm. After this quick tour, students will be given spawn and a log (3-4′) to inoculate and bring home to grow their own mushrooms.   We will provide all the necessary tools and supplies. The cost of this workshop is $25, which includes a $5.00 materials fee for the spawn and log. Participants can register online at http://crcmushrooms.eventbrite.com. Or click the link above.

Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm

Rockcastle Farm

745 Rock Castle Road

Goochland, Va.

For more information, visit www.centerforruralculture.org. Interested in more workshops? View their schedule in the popular Homesteading series.