Q: Which farmer’s markets do you attend?
A: Walnut Hill Farm attends markets in: Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Dale city, Stafford (610 Commuter Lot), Tackets Mill, Wakefield, and Manassas
Q: Is Walnut Hill Farm Certified Organic?
A: Walnut Hill Farm is not certified organic for two very important reasons. First the organic certification process does not have a mandate for animals to be pastured. Chickens can be raised in climate controlled factory houses and qualify for organic. Cattle can be raised in feedlots knee deep manure, fed organic corn and qualify as organic beef. Secondly, the cost of certification is greater than we are willing to undertake and pass on to our valued customers.
Q: Why is the pasture component so import?
A: The pasture component is extremely important to animal behavior. Cows have a forage requirement to survive; grain is not necessary for the survival of the cow. The pig also needs to be outdoors or in a pen that does not have a concrete floor so that they can root and wallow, while teaching their piglets to become pigs. Let them eat dirt so to say.
Q: Do you have products other than what you bring to the Farmer’s Market?
A: Yes, at the farm store the product selection is larger and more varied than at the market. Starting in 2015 we will have vegetables available for sale in the farm store only. We also have fiber from the Hog Island sheep available on farm for purchase for those hand spinners out there.
Q: Is it cheaper to buy at the farm store?
A: No, But, you can visit with the animals to see where the eggs come from, or watch your bacon develop over time (Ha, Ha). And with luck late in the afternoon once everyone has returned from the farmers market there may be an opportunity to watch the animals being fed or gather the afternoon eggs.
Q: What can be seen on a farm visit?
A: The answer varies with the seasons. Young animals are best seen in the spring, as the cows, pigs, and sheep, give birth March to May. In early spring you may see the oxen (Chip and Dale) plowing. From March to August baby chicks arrive each week, so you can see the developments of chickens over time. There is also a retired draft horse, and two mules. If your interest is eggs, you can visit with the Red Star chickens, you can see the broilers growing to eating size, and watch the Toulouse Geese at work. The other heritage breeds that can be seen at various times depending where you stroll will be; American Milking Devon cattle, Hog Island Sheep, Tamworth pigs. You may also see some industry standard animals.