How encouraging to see so many flourishing enterprises in Central Virginia.
And how enjoyable to get first hand experiences with some of them during our March VALOR seminar.
We visited Madison Wood Preservers, Senterfitt Farms, and Step-at-a-Time Farm, – all thriving local ag-based businesses. And we learned about Crisis Communications from both Corrine Geller, Public Relations Manager for the Va. State Police and Sarah Bush, Graduate Research Associate at Va. Tech. But I guess my taste buds won for the rest of this blog. (Julie and Bob – if you’re reading this, dinner at your place was AMAZING!)
I never miss an opportunity while sharing a meal, to remind all who are gathered that every bite they enjoy, with only a very few exceptions (wild caught), started out on a farm somewhere. Yes, this can be annoying to the group, but … too bad. If it weren’t for farmers and agriculture, they would all be hungry, thirsty and naked.
And that really would be annoying.
The counties of central Virginia are doing their share to fill our needs and wants for food and drink. (for the clothing part – we cover that in SE Va. – refer to many of my previous blogs and just wear cotton!)
Central Virginia is capitalizing on our cravings for good food and drink in new and innovative ways. Wine, beer, cider, grass fed beef, and ice cream, all produced from Virginia grown grapes, hops, apples, cattle, and milk, are just a few of the products we sampled on our recent tour. We also enjoyed creative meals at area restaurants made from many locally sourced foods. It was an enticing and delicious show of the variety and diversity of Virginia’s agriculture.
Seeing the whole process from field to glass or plate gave us a greater appreciation of the drinks and foods we enjoyed. From seeing acres of wine grapes and cider apples grown by John and Ruth Saunders at their Silver Creek Orchards, we went on to taste delightful wines at Emily Pelton’s award winning Veritas Winery and fine ciders at Albemarle Ciderworks. We also enjoyed meals with locally sourced ingredients at the Silver Mill Grille, Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie and South Street Brewery, where they grow some of their own hops for their interesting craft beers ( I liked the Satan’s Pony best!) On our last day, after helping move some of the beautiful red Devon cattle from one pasture to another at Jeremy Engh’s Lakota Ranch, we enjoyed a lunch of grass-fed burgers in the barn. And since we hadn’t indulged quite enough, before we all hit the road for home, we stopped by the Moo Thru for some locally made ice cream. Thanks Central Virginia for a mighty fine taste of Virginia agriculture at its best.
Oh yeah – so what’s the “be married” part of this story? Almost every tour stop during this seminar offers event venue space – from very grand to very simple – for your wedding or any other of life’s big celebrations. So if you’re ready to eat, drink and get married – or just be merry – Central Virginia has it all very well covered.