Us­ing the land

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

The trend of re­pur­pos­ing farm­land does seem to be pick­ing up steam in this re­gion. As many as 75 wed­dings were held on work­ing farms in Page County last year, es­ti­mates

Gina Hil­liard, pres­i­dent of that county’s Cham­ber of Com­merce, and two more farm venues will soon be avail­able. In Madison County, Bald Top Brew­ing Com­pany opened a tap­room last year in a ren­o­vated barn on the his­toric WoodBourne Es­tate farm, which dates back to 1810. The brew­ery cur­rently grows five va­ri­eties of hops.

Just a few weeks ago, the sixth an­nual Doah Fest, a weekend of mu­sic and camp­ing, was held on a pri­vate farm on the Shenan­doah River in Lu­ray. Ear­lier in July, the same farm was the site of Shen­sara, a yoga and med­i­ta­tion fes­ti­val. And, this Oc­to­ber, a new event called the Peak Leaf Mu­sic and Brewers Fes­ti­val will be held on a farm near Mid­dle­town, Va., in Fred­er­ick County. It’s the cre­ation of Tyler and An­gel Wake­man, who, in 2016, moved from Char­lotte, N.C., back to the farm that’s been in his fam­ily for more than 100 years.

The cou­ple is run­ning cat­tle on 50 of the 150 acres, and also rais­ing chick­ens, hogs and pro­duce. But they plan to ex­plore other ways to use the land, start­ing with the mu­sic and beer fes­ti­val. “Other busi­nesses here seem to be all for it,” said Tyler. “We’re try­ing to bring money into the com­mu­nity.”

An­gel said they also want to look at do­ing wed­dings and day camps for kids on the prop­erty. “It’s all about how fast you can jump on the train,” she said.

AU­DREY REG­N­ERY, Green­field Inn

“If it’s a suc­cess, I want peo­ple to look at it and say, ‘This can be done. We can make these events. We can bring peo­ple to Rap­pa­han­nock and show them what we have to of­fer.’”

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