With Susie Rockel, Byrdville Farm
Susie and her husband Fred are new farmers and have lived on their farm for 8 years. Susan was raised on her Grandfather’s farm in Virginia. As adults she always had a garden of some size. They bought this farm in 2011 because after living on a coastal island for 30 years, they wanted to try dirt and trees versus sand and salt marsh. Susie started selling at the local farmers market and loved it and the farmers that were so welcoming and full of wisdom and humor.
Susie used to be a chef and restaurateur, but she also wanted to be a farmer. She farms because she feels that growing food, like cooking and sharing food, connects people to the earth in the most basic and joyful way. She loves food and the best food is the freshest.
In addition to Susie and Fred, their dogs Clementine and Cleo, cats John Coltrane and Squash, the girls, their hens, and rooster Floyd live in the farm. And she says that everyone helps out. Susie and Fred grow a variety of lettuces, sugar snaps, English peas, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green beans, onions, potatoes, apples, pears, figs, plums, blueberries, persimmons, pecans, chestnuts and grapes, and raise chickens for eggs.
In addition to farming, Susie also welcomes visitors on a reservation basis because they want to reconnect people to real food. They love to have children pick and participate in making their own food. They feel that all of us need to reclaim our food system and that begins with understanding and supporting local and sustainable agriculture. And Susie just likes to meet new people and hear their stories.
Byrdville Farm is a very special place because it is peaceful and welcoming. Visitors love this farm because it has some of everything from nuts, fruits, vegetables, chickens and goats; and because we have games to play (badminton, cornhole), produce to pick, and our guests can prepare their lunch with our help.
When people come to Byrdville they learn that we all need to slow down and connect with the earth and each other. We need to share our stories. These experiences are most enjoyable for everyone - younger folks, older folks and families, and especially those people who are interested in learning about nature, farming and real food.
The hands-on farm experiences Susie offers at Byrdville Farm last about 3 hours. Farming is done rain or shine, so Susie’s guests should plan for the weather, dress appropriately, and wear or bring tennis shoes or something other than flip flops. Sunscreen is good as well as a floppy hat. We provide snacks and water as well as a producing a meal out of fresh vegetables picked as part of the visit. Guests with allergies or special needs should let us know in the booking.
PRICE is $40.00 / person; minimum group size is 6 and maximum is 20
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