Touring the Farm
We have been hosting school tours at our Vienna farm for decades. The children of children who first came to the farm on a school tour are now coming on tours with children of their own.
Children walk the fields as a farmer/guide, working with the class teacher, helps them experience the tastes, smells and feel of familiar foods in their natural settings. They learn how autumn differs from spring on the farm. They are introduced to the foundations of sustainable agriculture practices.
Traditionally, children visit the farms on school tours, which mostly take place in the fall. We reserve weekday mornings in September and October for school tours.
We continue to charge $5 per person (children and parents–$70 minmum) for our school tours. Teachers are welcome without charge. We can accommodate individual classes (up to 20); larger groups can be divided up into sections. We ask schools to help minimize the number of vehicles making the trip because parking is very limited. Children will take home a seasonal souvenir.
Virus precautions may include: all farm personnel will maintain social distance from visitors and wear masks if they are close to visitors (as when children are invited to pet the chicken being held by the guide). All activities are outdoors.
Information about signing up for school tours will be posted in August.
Farm Tours for Youth, Adults, and Mixed Aged Groups
This year we again will host farm tours offering a close look at how we grow vegetables using sustainable farming practices in harmony with the environment. Tours are designed to accommodate individuals and members of families who are comfortable with one another during this period of concerns with exposure to the virus.
We offer trips to mixed groups of adults and children, and trips solely for adult groups as well. This tour is led by a seasoned guide who knows our farm and farm history. We particularly welcome high school students and other young adults who may be interested in sustainable agriculture and the potential role of small farms in climate policy.
These walking tours last about one hour. By special arrangement they can be longer and cover more subjects in depth.
Some of the topics we may cover include:
- The life cycle of a plant from seed to seed
- The use of all five senses in appreciating vegetables
- Principles and practices of sustainable agriculture (with examples of composting, mulching, cover cropping, crop rotation and other techniques)
- Local, just and environmentally sound food systems
- The history of the farm–how did two young college grads with four children decide to start farming here 55 years ago?
- The importance and challenges of growing food locally and on a small scale.
If necessary we will return to last year’s covid safety protocols. This includes, as always, all activities taking place outdoors, and:
- The guide remaining 6ft from the group at all times;
- Everyone wearing a mask when not speaking; and
- The group itself assembling with confidence that it is safe to be outdoors together.
The cost of a farm field trip is $70. Babes in arms and in backpacks are free. If you would like to focus on a particular topic or customize your tour please let us know of your interests.
We Farm And Offer Tours at Two Locations
Our Vienna location is the business hub of the farm, a compact set of fields, patches and farm buildings. Our walk includes a visit to the hen house. Hiu Newcomb, an owner and co-founder of the farm, is available by special request to lead trips in Vienna. The cost of her trips is $100. You can learn more about Hiu on our website.
Our Purcellville location is much larger, with rolling hills and the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains in the distance. Here groups will tour the educational garden as well as the main fields in vegetable production and our large scale composting site. There are no animals at Purcellville.
Here are some related educational resources if you would like to peruse them before or after you come out to visit the farm.
Please email Becky@PotomacVegetableFarms.com if you would like to schedule a tour or have any questions.
Garden Sprouts Educational Program!
Sign up for Garden Sprouts! Potomac Vegetable Farm’s outdoor educational garden program for pre-school aged and young children. Only at our Purcellville/Hillsboro location. Sessions available April-November, 2022.
Join our Volunteer Garden Exchange Program!
Join our volunteer garden exchange program this season at the Root to Rise Community Education Garden at our Purcellville Location. In exchange for helping out one evening a week for a couple hours, garden exchange volunteers receive an informal brief garden lesson, starts in the springs, cuttings, produce, herbs, flowers and seeds spread out throughout the season from the educational garden. We start in April and end in October. Last year was the first co-hort of the garden exchange program. It was a fun, family friendly, community building evening each week. To apply, fill out this form. Email Sophia@PotomacVegetableFarms.org with any questions or for more information.