Case of the disappearing wineglasses

Breaux Vineyards opened the spring wine-tasting season this year with a supply of 2,000 high-end crystal wineglasses manufactured by Riedel. The popular winery in western Loudoun County has only about 200 of them left.

Customers are stealing them, company Vice President Jen Breaux said.

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The Washington Post, Sept. 17, 2017

Banquet facility in horse country draws fire

A plan for a banquet and events facility in the middle of horse country sparked an outcry from residents of western Loudoun County who attended a public hearing in Leesburg this month to voice their objections.

Nearly 30 people spoke against the proposed business at Catesby Farm, about five miles west of Middleburg, arguing that the noise and traffic it would generate would disturb neighboring farms and overwhelm the narrow roads in the area. Some said that the traffic would also disrupt nearby Willisville, a small village settled by freed slaves after the Civil War.

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Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2016

New directions for family farm

Donald Virts shows tomatoes in his greenhouse

The Virts family has been engaged in traditional farming (think heavy equipment, rigid growing seasons and cornfields stretching for acres) since it settled in Loudoun County in the late 18th century. Twelve generations later, things are beginning to change.

Donald Virts, who farms 1,000 acres in northern and western Loudoun, decided that he had to adapt his methods to evolving economic and environmental conditions. His new business model, which he is introducing at CEA Farms north of Purcellville, embraces concepts such as hydroponics (growing crops in water), controlled environment farming, renewable energy sources and marketing directly to consumers.

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Washington Post, January 17, 2016

Willowsford: community with a farm

Willowsford farm stand

The developers of Willowsford, a few miles west of Dulles Airport, tout amenities common to new communities: parks, community centers and a future regional library. But the biggest draw might be the farmland woven into the fabric of the community.

Willowsford operates a farm stand that sells food grown on site, conducts classes on cooking local seasonal produce, and offers farm-themed camps and educational experiences for children.


Washington Post, November 15, 2015

Fighting childhood obesity


Children will be able to learn more about where their food comes from — and how eating locally grown food contributes to a healthy lifestyle — through a program that is coming to the Mosaic Central Farm Market in Merrifield on Sunday.

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s Market Explorers program is part of a larger effort to combat childhood obesity.

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Washington Post, July 15, 2015

Seeds of hope for students with autism


It’s called going over the cliff. When students with autism leave the public school system — and the network of support and therapy it provides — they often graduate to the couch. They struggle to find meaningful employment and to live independently, even though the majority have average to above-average intelligence.

Some special education teachers and parents in Loudoun County have been trying to change that. They created Legacy Farms, a nonprofit organization that introduces young adults with autism to farming. The goal is to help ease the transition from public school to the community.

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Washington Post, May 3, 2015

Backyard beekeeping on the rise


Concern about the plight of the honeybee has sparked a surge of interest in backyard beekeeping in Northern Virginia.

Interest is so high that two local beekeeping clubs say they are being stretched to keep up with the demand. Introductory beekeeping classes offered in Loudoun and Prince William counties fill up quickly every year, and waiting lists carry over from one year to the next, beekeepers in both counties said.

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Washington Post, April 30, 2015