Posts Tagged ‘farm’

Free Workshop: How to Host Agritourism Farm Tours

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Today’s travelers have a growing interest in farm tours and farm stays. They’re a great way to introduce families to the day-to-day operations of a real working farm. In many agricultural regions of Virginia, the number of business offering these tours is increasing.


Come to the Holston Hill Community Golf Course on December 8, 2014 to take part in an agritourism workshop hosted by the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Department. They will be working in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension to provide training on how to host a farm tour, marketing, and promising practices for developing a B&B farm stay.

This free workshop will take place from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM on Monday, December 8th. Amy Hager of the Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia and Cicile Gorham of Market Central will be among the contributors. Register by Wednesday, December 3rd by calling Smyth County at 276-783-3161, emailing, or registering online at

Please contact Dr. Martha A. Walker of Virginia Cooperative Extension at 434-766-6761 or e-mail at to learn more about agritourism programs in our state.

Click here for more info


Farm. Fresh. Pledge

Monday, May 19th, 2014

You could win a gift card to stay at one of InnVirginia’s properties when buying at your local farmer’s market!

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend and peak farmers’ market season, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces the 2014 “Farm. Fresh. Pledge!” program. VDACS and the Virginia Food System Council are bringing back the popular promotion for its second year to encourage Virginians to support their local farmers’ markets and buy fresh-from-the-farm Virginia Grown products this summer.

Consumers who shop at a local farmers’ market and track their purchases with a “Farm. Fresh. Pledge!” punch card will have the chance to win. Each time you spend $10 at the market, ask to have your punch card punched. Once you fill up all 14 slots on your card, hand it over to the market manager at a Virginia’s Farmers’ Market and your card will be entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest® prize pack valued at up to $200. To celebrate Virginia Farmers’ Market Week in August, there will be a special drawing for a Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest® prize pack and a gift certificate for a Virginia bed & breakfast getaway courtesy of the Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia. Complete “Farm. Fresh. Pledge!” promotion details are posted on

At the end of the summer, a special prize will be awarded to the Virginia farmers’ market with the most completed entries. Virginians are also invited to show their farmers’ market pledge online and watch the pledges rise through the Virginia Food System Council’s pledge webpage.

As the demand for Virginia products has increased, so has the number of farmers’ markets. Today, Virginia has more than 240 farmers’ markets statewide. Research by Virginia Cooperative Extension has shown that if each household in Virginia spent just $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, consumers would invest an additional $1.65 billion back into the local economy each year.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) maintains a list of Virginia farmers’ markets by region on Virginians can find markets in rural and urban communities across the Commonwealth. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find fresh Virginia Grown tomatoes, corn, squash, peaches, melons, berries, flowers and so much more, all harvested at their peak of flavor, freshness and nutrition. Click here to view a calendar of fruit and vegetable availability in Virginia.

Shady Acres Bed & Breakfast, Hanover, VA

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Shady Acres, a small country B&B in Hanover, VA, has been inspected and approved for membership with BBAV.

Innkeepers Gail and Ralph Olberg opened Shady Acres due to their love for hospitality. Gail says, “It’s fun! My husband and I love having company. Our home has always been where people gather for holidays and other events…We used to live in an area where the Chamber would put out a request for people to open their homes to accommodate tourists throughout the year, such as, parent’s weekend at colleges, foliage season, marathons and other events. We met so many wonderful people with such interesting stories from places like Oregon, Texas, New Mexico and Canada, etc.” Shady Acres allows Gail and Ralph to carry on this tradition of hospitality through their business, having fun while they do it.

Part of what makes them love being innkeepers is that they get “to provide a relaxing family-like experience for guests, where they will want to return and share their experience with their friends, family and acquaintances.” In other words, For Gail and Ralph, Shady Acres is a home away from home, where guests stay as family and leave as friends.

Gail and Ralph sought BBAV inspection and approval in order to work and connect with other B&Bs, sharing experiences and information, as well as gaining access to the wealth of information and resources provided by the association. Gail says, “I have found it to be the more knowledge I acquire the better experience I can provide for my B&B guests. Whenever I have had a question BBAV has provided an answer either directly, through their members or through one of their many online webinars.” She continues to describe the BBAV membership as “like a seal of quality” in that BBAV has a high-standard of quality that must be met for membership.

Shady Acres is more than just a place for Gail and Ralph to host guests like family and friends. The inn treats its visitors to a small-town country atmosphere made possible by both Gail and Ralph’s hospitality and amiability as well as the gardens and hens on the property. Gail bakes pies made with fresh fruits from the yard, and she uses fresh eggs for breakfast each morning. These hens, too, are part of the family at Shady Acres, with their own names and personalities. Gail says, “They all come running when it’s time for their daily treat! Some of their favorites are fresh blueberries, watermelon and grapes.”

Come visit Gail and Ralph at Shady Acres, where you’ll find a relaxing, country atmosphere and some great company, too.



Shady Acres B&B

Shady Acres B&B

Virginia’s Lovely Lavender

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

What comes to mind when you hear the term “lavender?” Perhaps your mind’s eye sees a beautifully pale shade of purple so popular in spring and summer. Or maybe you think of your favorite scented candle with its delicate aroma, wafting through the air.

Besides the color and the candle, lavender serves a number of purposes in the bed and breakfast industry. This includes such things as linen sprays, baking ingredients, natural aromatherapy, massage oils, and much more.

So, where does lavender originate? One source happens to be located in various places around Virginia—lavender farms. At these farms, you can tour the varieties of plants, bring a picnic lunch and eat amidst the scent of lavender, shop the farm products, and clip off a branch of lavender to take home with you.

Inglewood Lavender Farm, Arrington, VA- “Inglewood Farm, originating in 1829 as a Cabell tobacco plantation,” is open ever Saturday and Sunday through September, or by appointment.

Lavender Fields Herb Farm, Glen Allen, VA- Lavender Fields Herb Farm “grows Central Virginia’s largest selection of USDA Certified Organic Herb and Vegetable plants and all you need to go with them.” They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, July through December.

White Oak Lavender Farm, Harrisonburg, VA- White Oak Lavender Farm is a “family owned farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.” They grow “many varieties of lavender,” and they make their own “soap, lotions, creams, and aromatherapy products for your purchase.” Tours are at 11am or by appointment.

Beliveau Estate, Blacksburg, VA- Besides being a winery and a B&B, Beliveau Estate also grows its own lavender. The last Sunday in June is the establishment’s annual Lavender Festival, so make sure to mark your calendars for next year’s celebration!

Photo by Steve Daniels

Looking for lodging? Click here to check out our BBAV member inns.


By Tara Stoll