While Downtown Culpeper gives guests a taste of a bustling Main Street with upscale restaurants and unique shopping, just outside the town limits is a more rural pace of life, focused on agriculture and farming.
Treasured Saturday Tradition
The Culpeper Downtown Farmers Market is a beloved part of summer and fall—so, although it will look different this year, venders and community members have come together to ensure the 2020 Farmers Market goes on, held in the interim in the parking lot at Culpeper Baptist Church (318 South West Street). The market will be open every Saturday through October from 7:30 a.m. to noon, stocked with fresh vegetables, proteins, baked and canned goods and more for purchase. In order to keep our community members and vendors safe, important changes have been implemented: The 2020 market will operate as a drive-through only, where pre-orders are strongly recommended from our 18 vendors. To minimize contact, you must remain in your vehicle and bring a list of needed items for staff to bring directly to you. Find vendor maps, vendor contacts and other helpful information here or call the Culpeper Renaissance at 540-825-4416.
Where the Buffalo Roam
A unique farm experience in terms of the animals you’ll find can be had at Cibola Farms. This sustainable farm offers a look into humane and holistic agriculture focused around the classic American bison—cibola is the Spanish version of the Pueblo Indian word for bison. The farm is also home to the Virginia Bison Company. You can embark on a self-guided walking tour to see the bison herd grazing and explore the farm—just check in at the retail market. Before leaving, stock up at the farm store, choosing from a full supply of bison meat cuts, ground, sausages, jerky, trail stick, and more. Check the Cibola Farms website for recipe ideas. You can also pick up eggs, chicken, beef or goat on a limited basis. In addition, the Virginia Bison Company offers a selection of bison leather goods, such as wallets, Kindle covers, bow ties, and full or partial hides.
At Andora Farms, you can experience what owners Tom and Pat Seay call the “cowboy way of life.” This working cattle farm at the foot of the Blue Hills hosts events in all seasons centered on cattle driving and horsemanship. During the Cattle Drive Weekends, guests can practice working more than 100 head of cattle with Tom and Pat, great practice for riders and horses across any experience levels. Or book a full Farm Week where you can get more horseback riding in, along with fishing, tending to animals, target practice and other outdoor activities. Guests can also book private stays where they can relax at the Civil War-era farm or in a camper or tent. In addition to serving the local community’s riders, Tom and Pat also produce a trail riding television show called “Best of America by Horseback,” in which they share trails and views from across the country.
Wander Between Blooms
For a more leisurely garden experience, head just north of Culpeper to Jeffersonton for a visit to Wollam Gardens. On the 11 acres of this cut flower farm grow a variety of perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs that supply farmers markets as well as upscale florists, designers and retailers. Wollam has an open-door policy between March and December, so guests can stop in anytime during operational hours to tour the space and see the growing peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, tuberose and much more. The garden also operates as an event space, playing host to weddings, workshops, festivals and more. Check to see if there is a yoga session or educational programs on the calendar when you go, and be sure to stop in the shop to take some seasonal blooms home with you.