Farms & Gardens
Breath in the Fresh Air at Farms and Gardens in Lexington and Rockbridge County, VA
Farm-to-table chefs in Lexington have it pretty darn good. Dozens of small farms dot the surrounding countryside, and a hometown butcher shop processes locally grown beef and lamb. Micro-seasons keep the local produce selection fresh and diverse year-round.
What can you do on a farm visit? At Virginia Gold Orchard you can enjoy free samples of sweet and juicy Asian pears. For a taste, stop by during harvest season, which runs from September until the first frost. Bring a picnic, wander the orchard, buy some pear marmalade, and browse the many varieties of pears. Pears have been carefully cultivated here for 24 years.
Rockbridge County is also an agritourism destination where visitors will discover the homegrown side of the Shenandoah Valley. On the Fields of Gold Farm Trail, you can pick your own fruit in one of the orchards, stroll through a farmers’ market, taste local wines, tour a working farm, celebrate at a farm festival, or feast on a locally-grown meal at one of our farm-to-table restaurants.
You’ll also find several farms dotting the rolling hills found north of Lexington along the North Rockbridge Trail.
Country Stores & Farmers Markets
For fruit and vegetables straight from the field, join the farmers at the Lexington Farmer's Market in downtown Lexington on Wednesday mornings 8am-noon, the Buena Vista Farmers' Market Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m., the Glasgow Farmers Market on Fridays and Saturdays 9am-1pm, the Rockbridge Baths Farmers Market on Saturdays 9am-noon, held at the outdoor pavilion at the RB Fire Department, and the Kerrs Creek Community Market on Saturdays 9am-noon.
With the exception of the Lexington Farmer’s Market, which runs year-round, the markets are open from late spring through early fall.
Verdant Acres Farm, Season's Yield Farm, Razzbourne Farm, and Mountain View Farm, along with others on the North Rockbridge Trail and Fields of Gold Farm Trail, have passionate families farming so that our community can share in the health and healing that sustainably produced foods offer. Stop by their farm shops to purchase various specialties, from bread and cheese to produce and eggs. The best time to visit is weekends from late spring through fall. Hours vary from farm to farm.
No time for a farm visit? Stop by Layne's Country Store, home to fresh produce, country-cured ham, old-fashioned candies, and countless jams.
If there's a history buff in your car, beeline to McCormick's Farm. Inside the farm's blacksmith shop, Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical reaper, which could harvest grain more quickly and efficiently than a team of farmers. His invention, patented in 1834, revolutionized farming and kick-started the industrial age. Down the road, check out Wade's Mill, a 1750s working flour mill with a towering water wheel. Visitors can purchase stone-ground grains and poke around the grounds.
Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden
We're not exactly sure how to describe Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden, a 15-acre horticultural wonderland where whimsy, education, and 2,500 species of trees collide. Explore meadows and wetlands, and meander in the Fairy Forest where your inner six-year-old—and your real six-year old—will find it pretty darn cool. The Play Trail, with its mud kitchen and forts, will entertain inquisitive youngsters for hours. And if you see a mailbox on the grounds, open it.