Know Your Growers
Behind the wheel of the Old Farm Truck are Jean Price and her husband Paul, and you can learn more about them and their farm below.
Old Farm Truck only partners with quality growers who respect the environment. While many of the smaller family contributors are not “certified organic,” they use natural methods and materials that work to preserve our environment. We are proud to sell their produce.
And... nothing from the Old Farm Truck goes to waste — market excess is donated to local food pantries.
Explore the sections below and enjoy learning about these growers and the value of supporting our local agriculture on the Northern Neck.
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Jean Patteson Price and her husband Paul live on Woods Edge Farm in Ottoman, Virginia, a quarter of a mile from where Jean grew up. Woods Edge Farm's 10 acres include pasture, vegetable, herb and flower gardens. It is home to free range chickens and two lovable pups, Leo and Harley.
Jean has a degree in Agriculture from Virginia Tech, and is a member of the Virginia Association of Biological Farmers and the Northern Neck Growers Association.
> View more photos from Woods Edge Farm.
Ten-acre Bee Tree Farm in Ottoman, Va. is the home of David Fridley, Beth Rohne and their daughter Chloe, as well as assorted poultry and cats.
Beth and David grow berries, tree fruit, flowers, free-range eggs, vegetables and their young daughter sustainably without any use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
They are long time members of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming and believe in the many benefits of local organic food.
Nothing beats a little nap after a long day on the farm!
BLENHEIM ORGANIC GARDENS is a part of Blenheim Farm, a 400 acre farm long associated with the Washington family in Westmoreland County Virginia. We are USDA certified organic. We are a family farm where sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation are our top priorities.
We grow a large variety of crops on about 15 acres. The vegetables we grow are chosen for their beauty and their flavor, of which includes lettuce mixes, elephant garlic, onions and leeks, tomatoes, basil, sweet corn, and specialty eggplants, to name a few. We do succession planting to ensure constant harvest.
We have been part of the Williamsburg Farmers’ market since its inception in the summer of 2002. We have a CSA locally (Westmoreland& King George county) and also in Fredericksburg and Falls Church. Our CSA program runs from early May, usually through the 1st week of October.
Our son, Cameron, is raising a flock of 100 certified organic hens. The varieties include Black Australorp, Speckled Sussex, Silver Laced, and Golden Laced Wyandotte and the colorful egg layers, Ameraucanas, affectionately named the Blenheim Belles.
Virginia Association for Biological Farming
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Northern Neck Land Conservancy
ORGANICALLY GROWN PRODUCE
Better for you -- Better for our environment.
What does it take to turn a sandy piece of land near the Rappahannock River into a productive organic garden? Well, in the case of Susan Brooke of Firefly Farms in Monaskon, all it took was a seriously green thumb and about 20 years of social networking. With the help of a dozens of her best friends, Susan set out to construct her garden from the ground up — literally.
The sandy soils common in the area have good drainage but almost no nutrients, making it nearly impossible to grow fruit and vegetables organically. Since growing organically is a way of life for Susan, she went on a mission to improve the soil. If you have ever been approached by a strange lady asking for your bagged leaves, that was probably Susan! She has collected leaves from all over the county to incorporate into her garden. She regularly gathers leaves from a local churchyard and even picks up used coffee grounds from a local coffee shop to improve her mulch. Susan pairs her extensive mulching tactic with planting nitrogen-fixing winter cover crops, such as clover, to further enrich the soil. On a winter day, you will also find another link in the social network: chickens scratching their way through the garden, eating pests and leaving behind more fertilizer. As a result of all these approaches, Susan’s garden has been transformed from nutrient-depleted sandy soil to dark, loamy, worm-filled soil that produces some of the best-tasting produce around!
But one question remains: what to plant? Like many gardeners, you’ll find Susan spending the dark days of winter snuggled by the fireplace being tantalized by the new seed catalogue and dreaming about the coming spring. She is always trying new crops, varieties, and planting techniques, but has a few perennial favorites, such as raspberries and blackberries. Stop by and visit sometime (especially if you have a bag of leaves) but be prepared to help dig some potatoes or devise a new strategy to keep the squirrels from un-planting the corn. If you can, drop by at twilight when the fireflies dancing in the ancient pecan tree are at their most spectacular and there will most likely be a delicious, organically-grown feast on the woodstove.
Garner's Produce is located on Rt. 3 approximately 7 miles east of Montross in Westmoreland County, on the Northern Neck of Virginia. The farm is family owned and operated by Edward Meade Garner with the help of his daughters, Dana and Lora, and son-in-law, Bernard.
Approximately 110 acres of production includes various types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, nursery products, and a few soybeans.
Most of their products are sold on the farm at a roadside stand and at retail farmers' markets in Northern Va., Washington, DC, Charlottesville, and around the NNK (see our market schedule). They also sell to local restaurants, schools, and other local farm stands.
Garner's Produce wholesales selected produce from their farm upon request and donates surplus products to the local meals on wheels program and Plant a Row for the Hungry.
They are constantly trying to transition and improve their growing methods to ensure fresh, safe, high quality, and nutritious fruits and vegetables. They make continuous efforts to improve sustainable production practices in many ways such as using integrated pest management, plastic mulch, crops rotations, cover crops, organic foliar sprays, drip irrigation, and using plant varieties which perform well in their growing area.
These methods are helping to reduce weed, insect, and disease pressure which allow them to provide fruits and vegetables grown the way they want them to be.
Cindy and Russ Talcott have been growing their own vegetables, fruits, and berries for over ten years without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers.
They have lived at Gum-Ball Farm since 2005 and have gradually expanded their garden to not only feed the family (including daughter Alma) but to produce a surplus for friends also. A small hoop-house was added in 2007 to allow for winter time salad production.
Goats and chickens provide a rich and healthy fertility for the soil (through composted manure) which makes the garden highly productive.
A variety of plantings and naturally occurring wildflowers attract beneficial insects, resulting in minimal pest insect problems. The Talcotts have been members of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) for ten years.
Pat Neill currently sells produce under the name "Pat's Tomatoes." He grows near-organic heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, melons and asparagus in Northumberland County, near Burgess, Va.
He raises 10-12 different varieties of tomatoes each year and tries to offer a wide variety of heirlooms.
Neill sells to select restaurants in Washington D.C., as well as neighborhood markets.
"Before buying the farm, I had previously worked on orchards in Winchester, Va., and managed a farm in Middleburg, Va.," Neill said. "I'm very interested in food distribution systems, and the future of commercial produce production."
At Ridgefield Farm, the Chilton family has been growing vegetables for more than 25 years.
The Westmoreland Berry Farm is more than just berries... it's a 21st century family adventure! Visit their website for complete details on the many things to see, do or purchase when you stop by for a visit. Some products can also be ordered online.
Visit today at 1235 Berry Farm Lane in Oak Grove, Va.