Keeping it locally real: The Loudoun Grown Expo
Do you remember a time when milk was delivered in bottles to your door step? When the food you ate emerged from the ground just a few miles away from where you lived? When you knew the farmers who produced your meal? In this fast paced age of eating from a package that was prepared thousands of miles away, our schedules demand efficiency over conscience and health. Through awareness, and a growing interest in eating better, many communities are starting to focus inward when making food choices. Doing so not only results in a healthier lifestyle, but also helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the distribution of food. Of course buying from your local farmer, wine maker or baker also supports your local economy, leading to regional reinvestment.
Yesterday, an event was held in support of these beliefs. The Loudoun Grown Expo, held at the Bush Tabernacle (Skating Rink) in Purcellville, Virginia, drew in excess of 2000 residents who mingled with local farmers, producers and artisans. From this event, it is evident that not only a demand exists for locally produced goods, but Loudoun County growers are stepping up to meet them.
As learned yesterday during this event, there are several ways folks can participate in the resurgence of interest in locally grown produce and goods. This may be in the form of member-owned organizations, co-ops or direct purchasing. All of these examples were well represented yesterday during the Loudoun Grown event.
There was a time when cows outnumbered the citizens of this county. The market desire for economic efficiency demanded ways to distribute farm produce that increased profit while consolidating entry points from which it came. Awareness and the desire for conscious purchasing choices are are driving communities to focus on keeping their hard earned money local, while eating better at the same time. Events like the Loudoun Grown Expo not only serve to meet these demands, but also demonstrates our community’s desire to positively influence the world in which they live. Congratulations Loudoun County!
The 2012 Loudoun Grown Expo Exhibitor List
- Singing Frog Farm: Singing Frog Farm is located in the Catoctin Foothills just outside Leesburg, Virginia. The farm is a diversified operation, committed to using organic and sustainable growing methods for production of the highest quality products without compromising the land’s health and beauty.
- Willowcroft Farm Vineyards: Willowcroft boasts breathless panoramic views of Loudoun Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Willowcroft’s personal attention to detail, both in the vineyard and the winery, has resulted in national award-winning wines.
- Quarter Branch Farm: Quarter Branch Farm grows salad greens and vegetables on a two-acre micro-farm, in Lovettsville, Virginia, just 38 miles from the D.C. beltway. Using solar heated high tunnels for season extension and quick hoops for overwintering, they grow fresh greens and vegetables year round.
- Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery: Built by a family with a passion for grape growing and the love of wine, Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery combines old country grape varietals with the latest wine-making techniques to produce deeply satisfying, approachable wines for all palates.
- Fabbioli Cellars: Fabbioli Cellars is a small, family owned and operated vineyard and winery. They focus on growing and making high quality red wines using traditional methods and 21st century knowledge.
- Chicama Run: Chicama Run is a small family run farm located in Purcellville. You will be able to purchase beef, cheese making kits, herbs and teas. CSA information will also be provided.
- Buchanan Farms of Waterford a producer will join us with frozen beef, lamb and pork items for sale.
- Wegmeyer Farms a great farm in Hamilton will be with us. They will provide information about their PYO Club. Visit their web site for more information: www.wegmeyerfarms.com
- Lovettsville Cooperative Market a new organization in our sister community will be joining us to share information on their new community market. Please visit: www.lovettsville-grocery.com for more information about this exciting venture.
- 1st AVE Bakery a wonderful producer of baked goods will be joining us. For more information visit:http://www.1stavebakery.com
- Furnace Mountain Alpacas: Furnace Mountain Alpacas of Lovettsville will join us with alpaca yarn and hand knit items. This is their inaugural attendance at the Expo.
- Potomac Vegetable Farms: They will provide information on their roadside farm stand and their CSA for 2012. For more information about the farm visit: http://www.potomacvegetablefarms.com/
- Catoctin Creek Distilling the award winning and first distillery in Loudoun since Prohibition will return to the Expo. For more information, visit their web site at: http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/
- North Gate Vineyard a great, award-winning winery located north of Town will join us again this year. For more information, visit their web site at: http://www.northgatevineyard.com/. North Gate is a regular participant in the Farmers’ Market held every Saturday in Purcellville.
- Don’s Dahlias, Etc. will return to the Loudoun Grown Expo. He plans to display dahlias, honey, and beeswax hand creams. More information can be found online at http://donsdahliasetc.wordpress.com/
- Stoneybrook Organic Farm a local CSA/Producer will once again be at the Expo. This farm is located at the corner of Route 9 and Route 690 in Hillsboro. They will be offering sign up for their CSA. More information at:http://www.stoneybrookfarm.org/.
- Endless Summer Harvest: Endless Summer Harvest is the premier grower of gourmet lettuces and salad greens in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. They grow hydroponically in a high tech controlled agricultural environment in Purcellville. The farm’s expertise is in providing delicious, locally grown, pesticide free produce, 365 days a year, for sale at farmers’ markets, up-scale restaurants and specialty stores. They will be selling greens at the Expo.
- Trinity Church Farm: Trinity Church Farm is a small boutique farm certified naturally grown that focuses on purity and taste. This is their first exhibition with us at the Expo.
- Farm-to-Fork LoudounSM: Farm-to-Fork LoudounSM brings the fresh bounty of Loudoun farms and vineyards direct to the tables of its finest eating establishments in a celebration of community and food.
- Loudoun County Department of Economic Development: The Department will be providing information on Loudoun County farms and wineries and giving away “Buy Fresh Buy Local” water bottles.
- Notaviva Vineyards a winery located north of Town has signed on once again for the Expo. For more information, please visit their web site at: http://www.NotavivaVineyards.com/.
- Purcellville Community Market: Purcellville’s year round Farmers’ Market will be in attendance. Their web site is:http://www.purcellvillecommunitymarket.com
- Great Country Farms: Great Country Farms is a 200 acre working farm situated at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside the village of Bluemont. Great Country Farms offers produce as well as the farm experience to its customers. At the Expo they will be offering CSA membership information and other materials regarding their farm.
- 8 Chains North Winery and Vineyards: 8 Chains North a winery located in Waterford is joining us for the 2012 Expo. Cheers!
- Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative: The LVHMC will be joining us for the first time at the Expo. They will be providing information on local farmers’ markets in Loudoun County.
- Triple Treats: Triple Treats will sell home baked goods – cookies, cakes, cupcakes, fudge, biscotti, granola, breads. Raffling a basket which will include a free dozen cupcakes.
- Oakland Green Farm: Oakland Green Farm will be offering information about their locally raised all natural Black Angus beef from their 10-generation family farm.
- Mountain View Farm: Mountain View Farm is making its first appearance at the Expo. Mountain View Farm raises and sells certified organic vegetables and offers seasonally available pastured meats and lacto-fermented foods.
- Greenstone Fields: Greenstone Fields grows specialty cut flowers, berries, shiitake mushrooms and heirloom tomatoes. They are Certified Naturally Grown and produce more than 100 varieties of flowers, known for their long vase life.