2 Local Farm Visits - Mount Ida Reserve

Our biggest value at Mount Ida Reserve is community.  Community to us means building up and supporting those around us, whether that means the residents of Charlottesville & Scottsville, our residents at The Farms of Turkey Run, our wedding clients and guests at Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard, or last but definitely not least, the local businesses in the surrounding area.  

Supporting local businesses to us means sourcing locally. Sourcing local food also guarantees a certain level of quality and freshness; a standard that we pride ourselves in having for our menus. As we prepare for our Grand Opening of the Tasting Room & Taphouse our Executive Chef, Nathan Hatfield, and our Sous Chef, Nick Bishop, have been visiting local farms and purveyors to decide where they will be sourcing major ingredients. While they are still visiting the myriad farms in and around the Charlottesville area, we wanted to highlight a few of the places they have already ventured to.

Left: Executive Chef, Nathan Hatfield Right: Sous Chef, Nick Bishop


River Oak Farm

A grass-based livestock farm in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. River Oak Farm is located in historic Lowesville, along the banks of the Piney River in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia. It encompasses 75 acres in total and consists of typical Appalachian terrain including rich, river bottomland, high meadows, and cove forests. Tobacco Creek forms the southwest boundary of the property and the Priest Mountain (4,063 feet) looms over to the northeast. This heavenly slice of Virginia has deep agricultural roots and a strong sense of community. The property they farm was once heavy in corn and tobacco and dates back to 1846 when a little cabin was built with hand hewn American Chestnut logs. At one time the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway, one of the shortest steam-powered rail lines in the country rolled right through the property hauling chestnut logs, apples and other agricultural goods out of the mountains.

We plan to source chickens from River Oak Farm.










Bellair Farm

Bellair Farm CSA is a certified organic vegetable CSA in Charlottesville, Virginia. They grow seasonal vegetables and pasture-based meats on historic Bellair Farm in southern Albemarle County. The farm is also home to a beef cattle operation and a goat and sheep dairy. Their mission is to run a sustainable business and create a dynamic community around the farm and the food it produces. They strive to create a friendly and open environment where people can learn about sustainable agriculture, reconnect to the cycle of the seasons, and develop a meaningful relationship with the land and their food.

We plan to source fresh vegetables from Bellair Farm, which is located right around the corner from the Reserve!

Free Union Grass Farm

Free Union Grass Farm is a holistic livestock operation that utilizes modern techniques as well as pre-industrial, timeless ecological principles to produce nourishing food for our community.  They strive to improve and conserve their pastures, soil, and waterways, while creating a lifestyle that sustains their emotional, physical, and financial well-being. They have been influenced by the techniques and writings of Joel Salatin, Jim Gerrish, Wes Jackson, Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman, and Allan Savory, as well as by the many sustainable farmers and gardeners who have come before us.

Their style of farming is based on holistic planning and multi-species, management intensive grazing.  Essentially, it requires more work on a daily basis, but provides a bigger payoff as they make full use of what their pastures can offer.  With the exception of the cold winter months, the animals are never in one place for longer than a couple days. The cows are moved every day during the season and every few days to a week when they feed hay in the winter.   The chickens, ducks, and laying hens are moved every couple days in their portable electrified net fencing, and they gauge their time in each paddock by the health of the stand and the topography of that place in the pasture.

We plan to source chicken, duck, and pork from Free Union Grass Farm.

Sharondale Mushroom Farm

Sharondale Farm helps you learn how to grow your own mushrooms, provides high-quality spawn, and sells the best tools and supplies for growing mushrooms.  At Shardonale Farm, cultivating mushrooms happens at the intersection of science and art. The farm culture bank holds over 100 strains of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms.  A few of the collected wild strains have been developed into productive food and medicine crops, and several have shown potential for bioremediation of diesel oil and hydraulic fluid, two common pollutants on small farms.

We plan to source mushrooms from Sharondale Mushroom Farm.