Here are our featured farms for the dinner:
Meadow Creek Dairy
Meadow Creek Dairy is a family farm in the mountains of southwest Virginia. At an elevation of 2800ft, the combination of pure water, clean air and deep soils produce an ideal environment for growing diverse, mineral-rich pastures.
They practice sustainable farming methods, managing the land and cattle for health rather than high production. The primary tool used to achieve this goal is intensive grazing management. This involves giving the cattle fresh grass every day; they are not allowed back on the pasture already grazed, allowing the grass to regrow and preventing overgrazing. They use no herbicides or pesticides on the land. The only crop is grass. They are therefore able to provide excellent nutrition for the dairy herd while improving the health and fertility of the land.
Cheeses produced are: Appalachian, Grayson, and Mountaineer
Caromont Farm is located 23 miles South of Charlottesville, Virginia, in the heart of Virginia’s Monticello Wine Region. Chef and cheesemaker Gail Hobbs Page has produced Award winning goat’s milk and cow’s milk cheeses since 2007.
Her food and farming philosophy is time honored — delicious and nutritious food comes from animals that eat and live well. Gail’s goats are raised on the sustainable principles of grass-based holistic management and she sources cow’s milk from a farm that shares this philosophy. This practice creates vibrant full flavored cheeses of place. Caromont Farm and their cheeses have been featured in The Washington Post, Food and Wine Magazine, and Culture Magazine, as well as on PBS, and the CBS Evening News.
Cheeses produced are: Esmontonian and Farmstead Chevre
Our Lady of the Angels
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery is the youngest house of the Cistercian (Trappist) Order in the U.S. Having inherited the Benedictine tradition of combining prayerful work with the work of prayer, they began making cheese in 1990 as their means of self-support.
Each batch starts with fresh whole milk from grass-fed cows that have the good fortune of pasture-living. In return for fresh air and green grass, the dairy cow produces milk with extra nutrition and well-documented health benefits. Add Old World techniques developed in the Netherlands, and the goodness of this natural health beverage is captured in their handmade Gouda cheese.
Glade Road Growing
Glade Road Growing is a small farm on leased land across the street from the Heritage Park. They produce and direct market vegetables, chicken, duck eggs and more to the good people in and around Blacksburg, Virginia. They feel strongly that the resources to produce healthy food are right here and they enjoy helping other aspiring farmers in the area get started.
Their farming methods are based on building and maintaining soil health, biodiversity, and community involvement.They do their best to serve as caretakers of the land by using organic matter-based mulches and cover crops. Although their intensive cultivation area only occupies about four acres, they also manage the remaining 44 acres of the property, part in rotational pasture and part in a managed riparian area for a tributary of Tom’s Creek. Their produce is available at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.