I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Farm Fresh

I like supporting small, local businesses and when I can also get farm fresh products while supporting small and local it is a win for everyone involved in the transaction. Eggs and milk that were produced and gathered this morning on a clean, small farm have an unbelievably delicious taste that can't be described. Ultra-pasteurized milk that stays "fresh" for 2 months just can't even compete in terms of taste and nutrients of grass-fed, free range cows that are well tended personally by a family, and the same goes for chickens.

Today I met one of the owners of Day Spring Farm and along with her were her three children (homeschooled) who were helping out. The family runs a very small farm and supplies locals with fresh chicken, lamb and beef, eggs, and milk. Due to state laws farms in Virginia cannot sell raw milk so people join together, sort of like a CSA for dairy, and buy shares of a cow and then pay monthly a portion of the feed and boarding costs. In the spring my children will get to go and visit the cows and chickens that will be supplying some of our food. I love that the family has a little metal money box set out and the entire system is run on the honesty policy. You pay for your monthly feed/board fees and then add in money for whatever else you have ordered whether it be eggs or meat. You just jot down the amount you are leaving and list what you've bought and go on your way.

As I was driving to Philomont today to pick up our milk and eggs for the first time I really enjoyed being in rural northern Virginia. Most people associate sprawl, Tyson's Corner, the Metro and other congested, commercial areas of this part of the state when they think of Northern Virginia. But just a few miles outside of all that congestion is beautiful farm land and horse country. You just can't believe how horse mad the areas of Middleburg, Leesburg and Purcellville are. All along the older roads are old stone churches, hand stacked stone walls, paddocks full of horses, big country houses that have a unique colonial look to them. There are small country general stores and old mills that you can tour, wineries and farms. It is well worth the time if you are ever in this part of the country and want to see some beautiful scenery to get on Route 50 and just drive west.




Rach said...

I'm insanely jealous of the chicken, eggs and beef. Enjoy some wonderful tasting food for me. :o)

allie said...

Oh yay!! I have been dying to find a local farm that has milk etc. How did you find this? I must be a bad researcher.

Carrie said...

Sounds neat! I love the rural aspect of living out here (but I hate it the 2 days a wk I drive to DC for work). We LOVE Great Country Farms in Bluemont (such a fun little town), but it's gotten big as its grown. Still, it's neat to do u pick and other stuff there. They have a vineyard there now too.

I'm too scared to do raw milk from all the food safety classes I've had to take at work, but I know some really like it. Maybe if my kids ever outgrow their dairy allergy we'll try some. Allie, there are a bunch of listservs that discuss natural things in NoVa - I think there is a yahoo group called NoVA Natural Living Families?

Lissie said...

Those stone walls in Northern Virginia were built by slaves.

Lissie said...

PS I get fresh eggs from a woman I work with. I'll be sad when this job ends because it will be a month before the FM opens and I won't have access to real eggs until then.

Jess said...

Yes, a lot of the stone walls were built by slaves, but some are modern - those along modern roadways for instance, like the one I photographed.

kathunter said...

Welcome to where I grew up! We got milk from a local farm and we used to also get together with other families and split a side of beef. Not sure about the other produce but we were also strange because we had our own garden where we grew spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. Granted, not the country life I know you and Rach had, definitely wasn't normal where I grew up. Strange considering how available and inexpensive it all was. I also loved the area out past Gainsville. Driving up Route 15 always makes me want to move back there. *sigh* I may just have to visit sometime with Rach.

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