Farming is foreign to some of us. Food and fiber comes easily and we don’t always consider where it really comes from. Let’s change that with a few fun farm tours and stays in Culpeper. They’re kid-friendly (but not pet-friendly) destinations with opportunities to get up close and personal with animals and the process of sourcing locally. Kids may even find ways to get their hands dirty. Farm Tours
Cibola Farms on Stone Bridge Road is a bison farm with a retail store. Buying your meat from the farm itself saves you money and, well, it doesn’t get any fresher. Take a self-guided tour to see these majestic creatures as well as the other farm animals. Available products are a variety of bison cuts, pork in many forms (including Prosciutto), and a variety of sausages. Cibola Farms is open during normal daylight hours.
In nearby Remington, Lakota Ranch is a 726-acre paradise for Devon cattle, a premiere breed the farm has nurtured and grown for more than 75 years. In addition to the supreme beef production, Lakota also raises pigs, chickens, and lambs. Lakota’s open gate policy means you can visit the farm during daylight hours or even schedule a tour. Do stop at the retail store to take home fresh meat, eggs, honey, local cheeses, and more.
Shiitake mushrooms are purposefully spawned and tended at Oak Shade Farm in Rixeyville. Each April brings Shiitake Day, a day when you’re invited onto the farm to see the spawning area, learn about the inoculation process, and also have the chance to inoculate your own log to take home. Oak Shade Farm is open by appointment only.
Alpaca fiber from Platinum Alpacas in Brandy Station is certified “Virginia’s Finest.” Why not see the beautiful, friendly alpacas and feel their coats? Spring and fall are great times to visit, as that’s when the cria arrive! Cria are baby alpacas and you’ve never seen anything so sweet. Schedule a tour to learn more about raising alpacas, harvesting their fiber, and the various uses of fiber. An on-site farm store ensures you can take a little home with you.
Saddle Ridge Farm in Culpeper is a sustainable farm pasture raising chickens, cows, and pigs. Their focus is on providing non-GMO foods for their customers, and that includes you. Call for a tour or stop in to the farm store any day of the week to purchase something fresh.
>> More Farms & Gardens Beyond the Tours
Volunteer Farming. Have you ever heard that phrase? It’s what the farmers of Culpeper do to help feed the hungry, and it all happens at Cornucopia. To really get your hands dirty and give back to our community, all to set up a volunteer time. There’s always plenty to do with gardens to maintain.
When touring the farm just isn’t enough, try “living” on a farm for a night or two. You may be invited to milk the cows or slop the pigs, so bring an array of attire to choose from.
Cheesecake Farms Bed, Barn & Breakfast in nearby Sumerduck is a celebrated bed and breakfast, but for the purpose of appreciating our farmers and food, inquire with Cheesecake about the DIY Farm Stay where you can work in the gardens and check out the farms in the area. It’s an option for the whole family or a group that includes multi-day barn accommodations with sheets and towels only. You provide the rest!
Funny Farm Inn in Reva is a horse farm that you and your family will thoroughly enjoy. There’s plenty of farm work to do – or not, if you don’t want to. However, the gardens always need weeding, the eggs need gathering, and all of the animals need feeding. After the chores are finished, take a guided tour of the property on horseback. This is a stay you’ll never forget.
Wollam Gardens is a commercial cut-flower farm, and you’re welcome to stay in their Farmstay Inn. Meander around the property and get to know the processes involved with their farm business, from seeding to selling. Oh, and farm-fresh eggs are available to you if you’d like to cook breakfast.
>> More Shelter
There’s so much to love about Culpeper and these farms are just the beginning. We also have tree farms! Watch for information about them before Christmas rolls around again.