Countryside weddings are ever popular in Northern Virginia. The area offers a wealth of wineries, farms and inns with the Blue Ridge Mountains providing a spectacular background for a wedding ceremony. And while barns are currently trending as “the location” for countryside weddings, have you ever thought about what actually goes on at a farm and how you can incorporate the property’s livelihood into your wedding day?
Farm-to-Table are big buzzwords in the culinary arts. Simply put, it means using locally sourced and seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry. The source can be direct from the farm or purchased at a farmer’s market or through a CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Sustainable farming is a common practice where non-organic pesticides and herbicides are shunned and crop fertilization comes from compost made of organic matter.
With farm-to-table cuisine, you can literally taste the difference. The product is gathered at the peak of freshness and doesn’t need to travel hundreds (or even thousands) of miles to reach your table. And because it’s locally grown, the carbon footprint made to prepare your menu is much smaller.
East Lynn Farm in Round Hill is a prime example of a wedding venue that’s invested in the farm-to-table movement. This 143 acre historic property (dating back to the early 1800s) is dedicated to sustainably growing vegetables, fruits and flowers. Black Angus cattle, heritage-breed turkeys, chickens, ducks and sheep are raised in pastures.
The farm-to-table concept can also be taken to wedding décor by using locally sourced flowers. At East Lynn Farm, growing season starts in March with the arrival of hundreds of tulips and continues through late October. And Laura Larrick Walker, owner of Buttercups, is now incorporating flowers from her new garden in Waterford and offering custom-grown flowers to her brides.
Complete your farm-to-table wedding by favoring your guests with a locally grown product. As part of her flower garden, Laura has beehives. Not only do they aid in the pollination of the flowers, the honey can be collected into small jars for wedding favors.
If farm-to-table cuisine is important to you, ask your caterer what connections (s)he has with area resources. Plan your menu around what’s offered and be prepared to be a bit flexible as weather can play a major role in what is available and when it is harvested. To complement your farm-to-table menu, incorporate local wineries, breweries, and now distilleries into your bar selections. You can even go farm-to-table during cocktail time with cheeses made on farms in Loudoun County. Visit www.loudounfarms.org for an in-depth list of area farms and the products they provide.
To learn more about farm-to-table weddings, visit www.organicauthority.com and search with the key word “weddings”. East Lynn Farm is located at 19955 Airmont Road in Round Hill. To schedule your tour and consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss your floral and decor ideas with Laura via email – email@example.com. (Photos courtesy of East Lynn Farm and Buttercups Floral Design.)