much as he can grow. One area restaurant
has been buying 35 pounds a week of his
greens. They want 200 pounds a week.
Young wants to grow that much but isn’t
yet sure how he can do it.
“I do want to get bigger,” he says.
Except that right now he is the entire
operation—he does the planting, tending, growing, harvesting and washing. He
throws blankets over the greens at night
to keep them warm, for Pete’s sake, and
he knows exactly how the operation is
going and can vouch for every aspect of it.
“Once it gets beyond what I can give
attention to, I can’t guarantee quality,”
Although Young wants to go from
two greenhouses to 10, for now he has
t wo—t wo that he knows in and out—in
where the greens and edible flowers
are grown, and out where you find the
strawberries and the birdbath and the
Tibetan peace flags and the hammock,
the picnic table and the friendly neighbors—in their own Quonset huts—and
the wind chimes chiming.
From Table to Table
You will want more good greens after
visiting Young and his greenhouses,
and you will be in luck. Patowmack
Farm in Virginia, about an hour from
D.C. and just about half an hour from
Young, serves greens as well as other
local foods. Some are so local they’re
Beverly Morton Billand and her
husband, Chuck, own Patowmack Farm.
Billand says she started growing organic
food 23 years ago.
“I had five daughters and I thought
if I could feed my children, I’d be OK,”
she says. “I wanted to make sure they
could eat healthy. And also teach them
sensitivity to the land, to animals, where
their food comes from.”
She can feed them—and now you, as
well—at the restaurant she opened on
her farm 10 years ago.
“From farm to table,” she says. “We
grow as much as we can.”
What she grows includes legumes,
spinach, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes,
okra, winter squashes, pumpkins, kales,
Wild About Alpacas
Angel Forbes Simmons’ family has been living and farming Villa de Alpacas Farm in southern
Maryland for more than 200 years. She had wanted to set up a new farm on the fields where her
family used to grow tobacco, and whatever she farmed had to be ecofriendly and self-sustaining.
“I thought about shiitake mushrooms,” she says. “Wine, grapes, goat cheese.”
But alpacas won the day, and these days Simmons keeps more than 90 of them on her farm.
These alpacas are friendly, too, which is a little unusual. Generally, alpacas tolerate human attention,
but not very many race up to people and insist on a neck rub.
“They’re wonderful animals,” says Simmons. “Gentle, wise old souls. Once you’ve been around
them for any length of time you miss them.”
Rolling hills surround another alpaca venue, Alpaca Full Moon Farm in Marshall, Va., about an
hour from D.C. Owners John and Lee Lane welcome visitors and host formal open houses three
times a year. But if it’s eating and drinking you’re after, just up the street is Barrel Oak Winery. The
winery serves wine flights and snacks, and—because they also have an outpost of Alpaca Full
Moon Farm’s alpaca wares—sweaters, blankets and scarves.
Alpaca Full Moon Farm: alpacafullmoon.com
Barrel Oak Winery: barreloak.com
Bear Garden Farms: beargardenfarms.com
Patowmack Farm: patowmackfarm.com
Rob Young: 304-279-5439
Villa de Alpacas: marylandalpacafarm.com
Top: Catching some rays
Above: Looking like a lion
It’s roundup time at Bear Garden Farms