The formal garden at Oak Spring is half an acre of wildflowers, herbs, ornamentals, espaliered fruit trees and vegetables. For the past two years, our team of gardeners has been working to revitalize the garden, resulting in a place of great beauty and serene peace. There is another outcome of this new life, however – the garden produces a lot of food.
In fact, combined with our newly-planted production garden and the orchards around the estate, Oak Spring has produced over 4 tons of food during the 2017 harvest. The most of plentiful of our produce by far has been apples, which we have put to use in making products like cider. Other crops have been abundant as well, though. Cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, squash and tomatoes have all had yields in the hundreds of pounds.
An important element of our efforts in sustainable agriculture is to utilize, store, and donate as much of this food as we possibly can. We have been able to use an increasing amount of this food in our own kitchens to feed participants of conferences and symposia that we host. Additionally, we have donated over 1,500 pounds of produce to local food banks in our area:
Seven Loaves – Middleburg, VA
So Others Might Eat - Washington D.C.
Rappahannock Food Pantry - Sperryville, VA
Joyful Food Markets - Washington D.C.
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank - Verona, VA