A huge part of the appeal of the Shenandoah Valley area is the beautiful farmland. If you need a rest from suburban and city life, then treat yourself to a tour at one (or all) of the following farms:
Polyface Farms in Swoope, VA has made headlines not only for being featured in numerous publications like National Geographic and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but also because of the efforts of owner Joel Salatin. Salatin is known for his eco-friendly farming methods such as grass farming and sustainable agriculture. Polyface Farm is fascinating and picturesque, so indulge in a self-guided tour, a guided tour, or a “lunatic” tour. (Salatin is also an accomplished author, so if you find yourself wanting to know more after a tour, help yourself to his books.)
Inglewood Lavender Farm in Arrington and White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg are two different yet similar farmsteads that provide a unique touring adventure. Immerse yourself in the sweet-scented fields of lavender, take an aromatherapy workshop, or browse the array of items for sale—bath and body products, cooking ingredients, random accessories and more. The number of uses for lavender is seemingly endless.
Open Gate Farm in Earlysville is a small, family owned, environmentally friendly establishment that offers hands-on tours to the public. Gather eggs, milk goats, hold baby chicks, and learn the ins and outs of organic farming. Along with the animals raised for meat, milk, eggs, and cheese, owners Tom Ward and Michele Mattioli also grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs, which you may be able to sample on your tour.