Open Farms

Open Farms

Six Farms Added to Fall Tour

For the past six years, the Boland family has kept its Purcellville farm a secret. This year, the Boland’s secret is out.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, privately-owned Loudoun County farms will open their gates to families across the county. The Farm Color Tour is a self-guided driving tour along country roads and into local wineries, general stores and animal farms.

The Boland’s farm, “The Fields of Athenry,” is a 32-acre farm located between Middleburg and Purcellville. The family raises all-natural, free-range chicken, duck, geese and turkey. With five daughters of her own, farm owner Elaine Boland, said Fields of Athenry is a great place for families to visit.

“We love kids,” she said. “We have lots of animals for children. They can walk right up and pet them.”

The Boland’s have a pet llama, Stretch, who will be roaming around the farm for children to pet.

“They can walk right up to the ducks and geese,” she said. “They’re very friendly.”

In addition to the animals, the Fields of Athenry is home to several “safe, scenic and simple” hiking trails alongside Beaver Damn Creek, she said.

During the Farm Color Tour, Elaine Boland’s husband Brad Boland will grill fresh chicken and turkey and lamb sausage.

“Bring your coolers to bring some fresh meat home with you,” Elain Boland said.

The Boland’s will also be taking Thanksgiving orders at that time.

WARREN HOWELL, Department of Economic Development, boasted about new additions to this year’s farm tour, as well as old favorites.

“We want everyone to go to the new farms,” he said.

This year, the tour added six new farms to the list, including Fields of Athenry, Bellwether Tree Farm, Kilroran Irish Draughts, Hill High Country Store, Natural Mercantile of Hamilton and Schoenefeld, a 45-acre vineyard located in Purcellville.

Schoenefeld owners Mark and Maggie Malick invite farm goers to pack a picnic and a blanket and have lunch on the grounds. Even though Schoenefeld is not a winery yet, they invite residents to come and learn how a vineyard operates. The Malick’s will walk residents through their display of tools used to install and operate a vineyard.

WITH 18 FARMS to choose from and only two days to complete the self-guided tour, Howell recommended residents go to whichever farm best suites their needs. For families with children, Howell recommended the Great Country Farm in Bluemont.

Great Country Farm owners Mark and Kate Zurschmeide offer visitors hay rides to pick-your-own pumpkin patch, where residents can pick and purchase their own pumpkins for 59 cents per pound. Children can feed the animals, slide down two large slides or get lost in two mazes. There’s a 2,800-square-foot Giant Pumpkin jump children and adults can bounce on, Kate Zurschmeide said.