Smile (or show your fangs)!
Happy Halloween from Hidden Creek Farm.
Hidden Creek Farm is an environmentally conscious conservation farm located in the historical Crooked
Smile (or show your fangs)!
Happy Halloween from Hidden Creek Farm.
Our year-round Farm Store is located at the entry to rural Virginia, nestled within the fields where our cattle graze and just outside the historic town of The Plains.
At our store, along with our full selection of 100% grassfed and finished beef, you'll also find everyday staples like fresh produce from Hidden Creek Farm LLC, bread from Mabel's Bakeshop, and local dairy from Mt. Crawford Creamery.
Whether you live locally or are passing through on a scenic drive we cannot wait to see you every Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm!
📷: Hugh Kenny
Fall is upon us and the farm is showing some beautiful colors!
You're invited to see where your delicious food comes from! Spend the afternoon with the team and learn, laugh and explore all there is to Hidden Creek Farm.
We'll see you all there :)
We are so excited to share that Carlos Sandoval is our new Head of Market Garden! Many of you have met him at Farmers Markets and on deliveries. What you may not know is that his creativity, talent, and care drive the exceptional quality of your organic produce. We look forward to a fun and productive veggie future!
We will be at Warrenton Farmers Market today from 8am to 12pm & Kinloch's Archwood green barns from 10am - 2pm
Come join us! We cant wait to see you! :)
We're still up here at the Middleburg and Warrenton Farmers Market !!!!
This is a scary reality of farming. Our area is currently in a severe drought where we have recorded less than half of the rain that we have had in years past. During this time, it is common for ponds like this one on our farm to have recieting water levels, exposing more of the bank and reducing the pond volume.
Since mother nature is ever changing, we must adjust our plans that we had for this time of year to align with what needs to be done. We are taking all the necessary precautions to conserve our water output, energy exertion from livestock and team members, and making sure that our livestock, garden, and wildlife are as comfortable as possible.
We hope that everyone is staying safe during this difficult time and we that the rain will soon return!
Potato harvests are in!
We have a beautiful variety of Red/Purple potatoes, Yukon Gold, and Russet potatoes. You can order your from our online store, Locasaur, or swing by at Middleburg Farmer's Market or Warrenton Farmers Market. We hope to see you soon!
Congratulations Field & Main Restaurant !!!!!!
Come see us at the Warrenton Farmers Market !!!!
We will have fresh tomatoes at the farmers market this Saturday!!!
Warrenton Farmers Market 8am-12 noon
Town of Middleburg farmers market 9am-12 noon
Come see us at the Middleburg Farmers Market 9-12 noon!!!
Glowing space fruit? Japanese still-life?
Nope. Toxic Haze cradling an eerie sun.
Smoke from the fires in Canada that is wafting over our region prompting Code Red unhealthiness.
Carbon Credits and Carbon Trading are hot buzzwords at the moment. Plant a tree, promise never to touch the area again, and you can be paid cash by companies brokers that need to buy remediation credits to offset their soil disturbance.
Trees are indeed an important carbon sequestration asset in our toolkit.
But, this little thing called fire makes forests, and us, very vulnerable. When fire rages across a forest, all the carbon stored above ground in tree trunks and canopies turns into smoke. Not just smoke, but toxic smoke.
This toxic soup now floats across the landscape causing health problems for all in its way....people, livestock, wildlife, plants....our entire carefully balanced ecosystem.There goes our carbon sink efforts.
BUT, it turns out that prairies, grasslands, and pastures, especially those managed regeneratively and intentionally, provide a far better carbon sink option.
These spaces drive carbon deep into the Soil. Unlike trees, which store most of their carbon cache above ground, pasture and prairie plants are short and store much of the carbon below ground. Because the green stems and leaves have a much higher water content, fire skirts quickly across the surfaces, leaving roots intact, and depositing a layer of fertilizing ash across the fields. Fire represents quick regeneration and rebirth in these resilient grasslands, without the side-effect of traveling toxic smoke. Check out this UCDavis site for a deeper dive into the science: https://climatechange.ucdavis.edu/news/grasslands-more-reliable-carbon-sink-than-trees/
So you might ask: 'Why don't we have carbon credits for pastures and grasslands?'
Well, it's hard to measure exactly how much carbon is sequestered by each unit of pasture. A single acre can have a wide variety of grasses, forbes, and legumes colonizing the area. Trees present a simpler calculation, it is easier to market to the general public. "Plant a tree" is a catchier tagline, then 'did you know pastures and grassland can be a critical environmental asset??' But now YOU KNOW.
Regeneration is about rebirth, making whole again, and nurturing that which balances, sustains, and heals us. Regenerative farming is a key component to healing our world through healing our Soils.
Due to the wildfires in Quabec and an air quality alert being issued at a Code Red, we have decided we will not be attending the Buchanan Hall Farmers Market this afternoon. As of now, we will be attending the Middleburg and Warrenton Farmers Markets this Saturday.
Can't wait until the weekend for your local, wholesome, good food? Order online or through the Locasaur app!
Come see us today at the Buchanan Hall Farmers Market !!!
Memorial Day weekend Farmers Markets are here!
Are you looking to stock up on delicious produce, eggs, meat, and more this weekend? All of your locally grown favorites will be at not just one but TWO farmers markets today! With our wide variety of products, we'll be your one-stop shop to prepare you and yours for this holiday weekend. We can't wait to see you there!
•Warrenton Farmers Market from 8am - 12pm
•Middleburg Farmers Market from 9am - 12pm
Come check us out at the Warrenton farmer's market from 8am-12 noon!!!
There's also live music, playgrounds for the kids, food, and more!!!
Fun photo mashup:
The first Hidden Creek Farm LLC garden in April 2018 along with the garden from the same vantage point today May 2023 🙃
We're back at the Middleburg Farmers Market!!!
Come check us out from 9am-12 noon at 101 North Madison Street Middleburg, VA
Come see us!!!
Come check us out at the Warrenton Farmer's Market tomorrow Saturday 8am-12 noon!!!
We'll be there with veggies, meat, eggs, and more!!! 🥗🥗🥗🧑🌾🧑🌾🧑🌾
Come see us at the Middleburg Farmers Market at 101 North Madison St in Middleburg this Saturday tomorrow 9am-12 noon!!!
We'll be there with veggies, meat, eggs, and more!!!
Why aren’t our pork ‘Certified Organic’ anymore?
Short answer: Because we care passionately about our livestock and about you!
Hidden Creek Farm pigs forage on our Certified Organic pastures, but they also need grain to thrive, especially in winter when there is little forage for them to eat.
At Hidden Creek Farm we are committed to the health of our livestock, pastures, and customers. We do NOT believe in using soy as a supplement. Although soy is an inexpensive way to boost protein in feed, it is also an estrogenic, which is believed to increase the incidence of cancer and reproductive malfunction in livestock and in humans.
In fact, soy isn’t properly digested by monogastric animals like chickens and pigs! It is just pooped out on the pasture where it overloads the environment with soy-trapped phosphorous. Kevin Fletcher of New Country Organics notes in an interview with Oak Hill Homestead that soy “is very high in phytic acid, and monogastric animals like chickens and pigs (non-ruminant animals) don't produce the enzyme phytase that breaks up the nutrients in phytic acid. As a result, when raw soy is fed to a monogastric animal, they cannot efficiently extract the nutrients – proteins, fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals – from the soy.”
At Hidden Creek Farm we refuse to sell our customers products from our livestock or garden if we cannot verify where their feed or nutrients come from. We don’t believe we can control feed from Turkey, or anywhere else outside of the U.S. In fact, when overseas ‘organic certified’ feed has been tested, it fairly regularly shows trace elements from pesticides. (Whoriskey, 2017)
So, we instead made the decision to work with Virginia farmers, like Surnrise Farms, who grow and mill non-GMO grain, and distributors like New County Organics and EverGRO who carefully check their sources. We know what goes into our feed, where it comes from, and who is responsible for it. And by doing so we are also actively supporting our hard-working and dedicated Virginia agricultural community!
At Hidden Creek Farm we are Local ~ Wholesome ~ Good
DEADLINE ALERT: Do you want a steady supply of the freshest, hyperlocal produce in your kitchen every week this summer? Well you're in luck, because you have one final week to ensure your spot for our Summer CSA. We offer both a single/couple share and a family share. Each week's harvest depends on what is in season. Your weekly harvest could include anything from salad mix, herbs, and carrots, to spring onions, ginger, and microgreens. Why stop at produce? Add on our farm fresh eggs and cheese!
We have a variety of delivery and pick up locations from Marshall to McLean, to our friends at EverGRO Upperville and our upcoming farmer's markets. Use the link in our bio to find the location nearest you and sign-up today!
Longer days are here, along with warm spring breezes, gorgeous flowers and green fields. What better time to wander our farm and shake off those winter grays and blues.
Put on your boots and come visit for a 1 hour tour, a 2 hour 'Farm Safari' or a self-guided walk in woods and pastures. Details are below. Follow the link in the profile to sign-up today!
- 1 Hour Group Tour: Walking tour focused on a seasonal and specific aspect of farming such as: rotational grazing, market garden design or beekeeping. Tours are limited to 20 adults/young adults with a minimum of 8 to hold the tour.
- 2 hour 'Farm Safari': Take a ride with our Farmer Andrea, in one of our open-air off-road vehicles to get up close and personal with Regenerative Farming. Up to 4 adults (or a family of 6 if children are younger).
- Self-Guided Hike: Our hiking tours are self-guided through the trails of the 500+ acre Hidden Creek Farm. Trails range from easy to moderately challenging, and along the way you'll find woods, creeks, old cabin ruins, great views and beautiful open fields. Bring your brown bag lunch and picnic along the way!
Mom! Why are you rejecting me?!
This is Pixie. She is a darling ewe-lamb born less than a week ago to a wonderful ewe. Her twin is a strapping little ram-lamb.
And yet, Momma has rejected her.
Why do Ewe’s reject a lamb, and what can we do about it?
In Pixie’s case it is firmly our fault. We were grazing the pregnant ewes very close to their due date along the electric wire. Yes, we had eyes-on at all times as we went about farm work…we thought.
But Momma decided to lamb on the one little knoll along the fenceline. Bouncing baby girl Pixie was born a few minutes after her brother when Momma was busy cleaning off her strapping new son. Pixie promptly rolled down the side of the little knoll and under the fence.
Momma couldn’t see her, but we could about half an hour later as we drove back up the drive.
We quickly jumped out, grabbed Pixie, and rushed her across the wire back to Momma. Too late. Momma decided this was not her girl and shoved her back out from under her.
Okay, we said, lets get her into a jug with her two gorgeous lambs. (A jug is a small pen with used to help sheep bond with their babies right after birth…think of it as a private room when we have our own babies…quiet, warm, clean…a nice place to get to know your little one.) Nope. Momma decided that the jug was an ill-conceived trick and promptly decided to butt Pixie into the rails and get her the heck out of the maternity ward.
So, Pixie is ours to raise. Since she’s cute as a button, and welcomes just about anyone and anything, including our dogs, Puppy the cat, and broody hens, its not too much of a chore.
The only problem is that if lambs are not on Momma, they don’t get the antibodies they need, especially in the first two days from Momma’s rich colostrum.
So for two days we gently restrained Momma and let Pixie nurse with her twin. Then we gave Pixie her own jug with a heatlamp and a stuffed toy that long ago had belonged to our now-grown son. And a bottle every three hours. At least until she’s at least another week old. Then we can cut back on the bottle and move forward.
So, one reason ewes reject their lambs is because the lamb is not able to bond immediately upon birth. We HAVE tricked ewes at time by ‘grafting’ a rejected or orphaned lamb onto a surrogate ewe, but that has to be times just perfectly, and the success rate is low.
We tried that with Pixie. One of our other ewes twinned a stillborn lamb. I dashed out and rubbed the dead lamb all over Pixie and then presented her to the ewe. The ewe was up for the switch, especially since she had seen me pick up the dead lamb and come back with another living white lamb. But Pixie was not having it. She was just too old by then. A few days had bonded her to us, and there was no going back.
Another reason is that some ewes just don’t have maternal instincts. They are not into lambs, and there is no changing their minds. These ewes are not kept in our breeding program, and neither are their lambs, because maternal instincts seem to be heritable.
A third reason is that the ewe knows something is ‘not right’ with the lamb, or that she won’t be able to raise them, long before we do. Some lambs are just not born with all of the requisite abilities to thrive. Either they cannot suckle properly, or they are sickly, or they are just too tiny to keep up with the flock. Or their a triplet or quadruplet and the ewe only has two teats and enough milk for two.
So, she chooses.
And she’ll reject the lamb she decides to discard.
Pixie is lucky. She was rejected because of a bad decision on our part, not because she was weak or Momma did not have enough milk. So she’s doing well on the bottle, and has the personality to become the Hidden Creek Farm poster lamb for 2023.
Lambs we have taken in and raised as bottle lambs when a ewe decided to reject them for reasons unclear to us have not always survived. Most have gradually gotten weaker and withered away despite lots of TLC. They’ve been fine while on the bottle, but once weaned they’ve struggled much more with parasites, developed numerous illnesses, and succumbed to various ailments or afflictions that sheep are prone to get.
Not all have gone this way, however, and we do have some wonderful success stories. But in general, I have learned that if a ewe makes a decision to reject a lamb it is usually for a good reason she understands but cannot communicate with us.
The good news is that Pixie is strong, funny, engaged, positive, and totally enamored of life. She’s charmed us all adopted us as a community, so she’ll be ok!
Before winter hits we put out round bales into the field and begin the rotational bale grazing. We find this process extremely helpful in feeding our cattle during the winter months and in turn has responded with healthier nutrient soil and rich grass.
In 2021 we here at Hidden Creek Farm had partnered up with Virginia Extension and trialed the practice of rotational bale grazing as a supplement to pasture forage in the winter. This project was based on the work of Greg Halich with the University of Kentucky and his 2017 report “Impacts of Bale Grazing on Heritage Production, Forage Quality and Soil Health in South-central North Dakota”.
It is suggested that with the use of a checkerboard pattern when placing out the bales, it will help spread out the manure more evenly across the pastures. We have found that it increases the amount of nutrients back into the soils in comparison to rolling out the hay bale or using a hay grain.We also keep the bales rolled up because it gives the ability to consume a higher amount of forage per cow.
We tested the soil 3 times within the year to see how bale grazing would affect the organic matter, phosphorus and potassium in the ground. From the day of bale placement, the 6 month mark and to the 12 month mark we found a significant increase of organic matter and phosphorus per acre. We did see a noticeable increase of potassium nor did it decrease. We have found that this is the most efficient way to not only feed our cattle over the winter but to optimise nutrients for the following grazing season.
Benefits? So, so many!
1. Bale-grazing spreads out the manure more evenly across the pastures, so you don't get horrible mucky manure piles around the hay-cart or hay-ring. This means you don't have many spring clean-up of fly concerns!
2. Bale-grazing eliminates tractor use over the winter and moves the herd regeneratively across the pastures, reducing pugging and tacking during the cold season, which means you pastures, and YOU stay in super shape!
3. If you strategically place your bales on weeds and brambles they will get choked out, so in the spring you can frost-seed right into the leftover hay and, voila! No more brambles.
4. Calves have a safe and warm place to curl up on the edges of the bales, which keeps them healthier and gaining weight more efficiently.
5. But our favorite thing: even the timid cows gain and maintain weight, coming through the winter with a super Body Condition Score (BCS) and ready to hit the green grass in the SAME rotations! Note to self: Set up you grazing plan for a whole year and just keep woking on through the same sections.
Our conclusion: Set up your rotations and grazing plans for the year, winter stockpile some pastures if you have the space and add bale-grazing to get the most bang for your buck! Your cows and bulls will be more productive, and your calves will keep the weight on as you come into the spring. And YOU will have a chance to sit in front of the fire, instead of sitting on a chilly tractor!
Salanova lettuces for the salad mix!!!🥗🥗🥗
The greenhouse is filling up quick!!!🥗🧑🌾🧑🌾🧑🌾
Here at Hidden Creek Farm there is no resource more valuable than the people who work to produce the food you love.
Want to grow vegetables?
Come join the Hidden Creek Farm team!!!
We are currently seeking someone to help with the vegetable gardens this year.
This position will work directly with the lead gardener and other members of the farm team.
The position is seasonal, with pay depending on experience.
A great opportunity to learn key aspects of starting, maintaining, harvesting, and processing common vegetables. The things you will learn will be useful for a lifetime of gardening.
Duties include (but are not limited to):
Basic garden maintenance: watering, weeding vegetable beds, building raised beds, hoeing, using wheel barrow to move soil and amendments
Washing and processing vegetable harvests
Duties are physical, must be able to lift 40 lbs
No smoking, substance abuse
Direct message this page for more details
More quirky turkey than regal eagle, but you get the idea 🧑🌾
2591 Triplett Turn
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