One of the exciting things about Virginia Agriculture is the diversity that abounds across the state. Our recent trip to Southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore was just another testiment to this statement. I hail from from Northern Virginia where we still have some traditional crops of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay; and where our farmers still raise some cattle. However, we are seeing an increasing number of vineyards, horse farms, hops farms and niche agriculture. Many of our population are into the Local Foods movement and want to “know their farmer”.
So traveling to an area where there are large fields of cotton and peanuts, where large pork producers provide products that are shipped across the country and the world – just cemented the fact that we are a diverse ag state and our farmers work to meet the needs of wide variety of consumers.
Our visit to Quail Cove Farms on the Eastern Shore introduced us to Organic Sweet Potatoe farming. Bill & Elaine Jardine provide a large portion of the Organic Sweet Potatoes used by Route 11 Potato Chips in their Sweet Potato Chips.
After we toured the farm, we stopped by their Natural Foods Warehouse which is an aggregation of natural & Organic foods and products. Local patrons can buy items on site, while other people from across Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina can receive deliveries. We were each given a bag of Route 11 Sweet Potatoe Chips which sported the Quail Cove Farm acknowledgement on the bag. A nice treat for our van ride which took us on to learn about Farm Raised Sea Bass.