On September 24th, 2016 Real Local RVA hosted it’s first Farm Tour & Cookout! It was a beautiful sunny day to experience some of the best Richmond’s Farm scene has to offer. The day started on Victory Farms. From there we boarded a shuttle and visited four unique local farms. The first stop was Shalom Farms, a non-profit farm in Goochland, the second stop was Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Virginia’s first farm brewery, the third stop was Tricycle Gardens, an urban non- profit organization, and the final stop was back on Victory Farms, a thriving produce farm. From there we kicked off our cookout featuring Chef Joe Sparatta, of Heritage/Southbound, Chef Lee Gregory, of The Roosevelt/Southbound, Chef Mike Ledesma of East Coast Provisions, Chef Brian Enroughty of Richmond Restaurant Group, and Chef Todd Johnson, of Ellwood Thompson’s.
About Shalom Farms
The mission of Shalom Farms is to work with communities to ensure access to healthy food and the support to live healthy lives. Through sustainable food production and hands-on experiences at the farm and in the city, Shalom Farms provides thousands in Richmond with access to healthy food…and healthy lives.
Their 6-acre sustainable farm at Westview on the James in Goochland, Virginia is an agricultural learning lab for visitors and volunteers of all backgrounds. In 2014, over 4,400 volunteers and visitors gained hands-on education and experience, helping them grow over 250,000 servings of fresh produce. They welcome individuals and groups of all ages, sizes, and abilities to volunteer. School groups, faith groups, individuals, families, and more volunteer at the farm to make this work possible.
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery is a water-conscious, biologically friendly farm brewery carefully crafting unique and innovative beers. Set on a 290 acre farm in the heart of Virginia. LCCB grows hops, barley, herbs and spices for use in our Estate Series of beers. Lickinghole Creek is a water-conscious brewery. They brew with well water drawn from the deep. Their wastewater is purified on site and returned to the Lickinghole Creek watershed.
Their name pays homage to Little Lickinghole Creek, which runs through the farm’s rolling hills. Since precolonial times the creek has been known as the Lickinghole where wildlife stopped to drink from the nourishing waters. May the tradition continue.
About Tricycle Gardens
THEIR MISSION IS TO GROW HEALTHY FOOD, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES AND A HEALTHY ECONOMY.
Tricycle Gardens is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grow healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy local food system. Since breaking ground on their first garden, they have engaged thousands of neighbors and shown that the simple act of growing food is an incredibly powerful way to change the overall health of our community.
This work addresses a myriad of challenging issues, and ultimately their mission is about FOOD:
F- Focus on community needs
O- Outreach and education
O- Opportunities for healthy food access
D- Design of beautiful spaces
About Victory Farms
Charlie Collins began his farmer training as an undergraduate student at Arizona State University. Having grown up in an extended family of organic backyard gardeners and dairy farmers, he chose to major in Botany with an emphasis on Urban Horticulture. His B.S. degree required an internship and his introduction to market gardening began at the Farm at South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. Taking over the management of the 2-acre farm, Charlie expanded the variety of crops grown, developed an efficient irrigation system, revamped and revitalized an abandoned greenhouse, designed a clean and safe preparation area, set up an onsite weekly market, and cultivated a cadre of restaurant customers.
Selling to 20+ restaurants, with twice-weekly deliveries, 4 farmer’s markets, and, by 2003, a 100+ member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program – all supplied from a now 3 1⁄2-acre mix of owned and leased land – Charlie had become a popular, recognized, and sought-after farmer and small business owner in a city greatly lacking agricultural, and especially vegetable, growers.