From the Farmer

Week 18 – 9/9/2013

Tour Scheduling

Our apologies to those of you who showed up for a Farm tour this weekend.  Slight scheduling mix-up!  There will be a tour this Thursday night at the end of Happy Gardening Hour for those interested, chickens and goats included.  There will also be a tour at the potluck on Sunday the 22nd, and we will reschedule a Saturday tour soon.  Thank you for understanding!

Event Reminders

Saturday, September 14: From 10:00 AM -12:00 PM, a representative from Oak Spring Dairy will be at the Farm Stand offering samples and talking with shoppers about their farm, cattle, and distinctively delicious cheeses.

Saturday, September 21: We are sponsoring and attending Loudoun Main Street Agriculture in Leesburg.  Come visit us there if you’re heading that way post-Farm Stand!

Sunday, September 22: Farm Field Day and Potluck, 12 – after dinner.  Bring your friends and neighbors, and a dish!

Saturday, October 5: Taste of Willowsford

We’ll be packing up the Farm Stand and heading down to the Boat House and Lodge on Braddock Road (Willowsford’s southern community center).  CSA pickup will be there, too!  Please let us know if this will be a hardship and we will do our best to make alternative arrangments.

Meeting Our Inspiration: Deb and Jen Meet Michael Pollan (by Deb!)

On April 25th, my parents, who live in Arlington, Virginia, invited Jen and I over for a home-cooked family meal inside the tiny window of time after a work day and before we were headed to the heart of Washington, D.C. to hear Michael Pollan speak about his newest book, ‘COOKED: A Natural History of Transformation.‘ Even with the wealth of farm-to-table restaurants in the city, many of their kitchens stocked with products grown and raised by close friends, we felt that the best way to honor the movement and the debut of the new book was to celebrate it quietly at home. And then chase down Michael Pollan with a Willowsford Farm gift bag and our cameras ready to shoot.

Over vegetarian lasagna, greens, and strawberry shortcake served on fresh baked biscuits, we talked about the season to come, about the 8 lb. sweet potato my parents grew in their backyard garden last year and how we hope to beat their record at the farm this year, and what to write in the card we were slipping in the bag for “MP.”

Then something magical happened. For the first time in my “Pollanated” career, I realized we were going to be late to a Michael Pollan talk. Instead of flying out the door, however, we picked up our plates, double checked our will-call receipts and watched Jen take an extra moment to thank my parents for the meal. Sure, I still kind of rushed us out the door, but being a little bit late because we are busy farmers committed to family meals felt perfectly reasonable. It felt like Michael Pollan would completely forgive our tardiness.

As always, the talk was inspirational and articulated every thought, feeling and goal inside each one of us fighting to regain our connections with nature, the food chain, meal time, and our role as chefs in our own health and destiny.

Pollan referred to the family meal as “the nursery of democracy,” a time when we learn to take turns at the favorite parts of a roast chicken with our siblings, give guests first dibs at the homemade whipped cream for strawberry shortcake, and take back this activity and time from a world perhaps too populated with convenience and choice. He discussed the history, and interesting timing, of the ready-made, frozen meal in combination with the growth of dual-income and dual-career households and in doing so, reminded me of how many “food-like substances” have fueled so many of us along the way. Who hasn’t grabbed a bite of something from the convenience store at a gas station or hurried through a sandwich over the kitchen sink so that they could use that time for a different form of personal enrichment? Heck, even farmers order pizza once in a while.

But on the beautifully bright side, this has led many of us to a place where each meal cooked at home, shared with family and in our case, farm-ily as well, feels like a treat, like a special occasion. Although I long for weeks, months and years when it is simply part of the daily routine of life, I’m more than happy to invest extra time in Willowsford Farm and fields to ensure that our CSA members and Farm Stand shoppers have rich, diverse meals that are good for them and grown via practices that the author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” would be proud of. And lucky for us, as the bounty of the season is upon us, it’s easy to refuel with fresh peppers, tomatoes, and greens throughout the days and to roast, stir fry and grill in the evenings.

See you at the farm stand,



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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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