collards, asparagus, berries and lots
more—including herbs from the herb
garden and eggs laid by her flock of hens.
This, plus the goods collected from other
area farmers (such as Young) turn into
menus that sound not pedantic but delicious—not to mention environmentally
sound, full of organic and wild meats,
sustainable fishes and local cheeses.
The view from Billand’s glassed-in
restaurant is stunning. While eating a
five-course meal of wild meats and greens
and strawberry rhubarb shortcakes,
diners look out over the Potomac River
toward Maryland. And if you go back to
the farm itself, just past the blueberries,
you’ll see West Virginia.
And Now for Something
Bear Garden Farms is in Capon Bridge,
W. Va., on the Cacapon River, about
90 minutes from D. C. It is owned by
Terrie and Greg Reynolds, who moved
to the farm from Colorado and Texas,
respectively, about three and a half years
ago, when Greg’s job took them to the
area. The couple brought an old dog,
Posa, with them—a dog that wasn’t allowed inside the house and that got lonely outside. Terrie wasn’t sure what to do,
until she saw an ad on TV for alpacas.
“Greg resisted and resisted,” she says.
“When we got to our first alpaca farm, he
didn’t look at the alpacas. He looked at
“I knew,” says Greg, before heading
out to repair some fences on their large,
About nine months after they moved
to the farm, the couple bought their starter alpacas from another West Virginia
farm. They kept buying—and breeding
and selling—and aren’t exactly sure how
many alpacas they have now.
“If I think I have 10, I’m OK,” Terrie
says. “If I think I’ve got 45 or 50, I get
Terrie gets out of being overwhelmed
by selling alpacas to her neighbors and
to other people who stop by the farm,
lured by the sign. One neighbor bought
his wife a pair of alpacas to keep as pets;
another bought some alpacas to keep
up the road at a new bed and breakfast,
the Good Time Ridge Alpaca Farm. A
neighbor bought a pair of alpacas so that
she could knit with their fleece. Alpacas
don’t produce a tremendous amount of
fleece, 10 pounds per year or so at most,
but a pair of alpacas makes just enough
fleece to keep a home knitter happy.
Or you could just buy a sweater.
The Reynolds’ have a shop full of
alpaca goods—sweaters, blankets,
socks and scarves.
Posa the dog, incidentally, now
and carrot frites.
and basil salad with
All from Patowmack