Our farm is located in Louisa County which is in the Piedmont region of Virginia, a part of the greater Piedmont physiographic region which stretches from the falls of the Potomac, Rappahannock, and James Rivers to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The region runs across the middle of the state from northest to southwest, expanding outward as it approaches the border with North Carolina.
The Virginia Piedmont is largely characterized by rolling hills and numerous ridges near the boundary with the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lying between the mountain and coastal plain regions, the piedmont region is a naturally diverse landscape. The bedrock consists mostly of gneiss, schist and granite rocks at a typical depth of between 2 and 10 feet. These rocks have given the Virginia Piedmont soils which are generally infertile. However, they are much improved through liming and fertilization, and have historically been intensively farmed.
And consistent with the region, our farm topography is composed of rolling hills and relatively infertile light clay soil –Iowa its not! But for the last 20 years we have been working diligently to build soil tilth and fertility by additions of compost, lime and animal manure. The result has been that for our gardens area which compose 5-6 acres the soil is pretty good. Beyond that we have 2 fields in relatively low quality pasture which we intend to plow under and replant with an improved pasture field mix of seeds. We run goats through these fields as they are the most indifferent (and possibly thrive?) on low quality grazing (they like poison ivy!).
Darles inspecting the new crop