The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) is sponsoring a learning experience right here in our own backyard — Bean Hollow Grassfed at Over Jordan Farm in Flint Hill — but be advised that online registration to participate closes this Monday, May 28.
On Saturday, June 2, starting at 8:30 a.m., there will be an entire “on-the-ground learning day” at Bean Hollow Grassfed, which is located at 15 Over Jordan Farm Lane (directions below).
“Whether you are an agricultural producer, local agency representative, or just interested in farming, land stewardship, and the production of grass fed meats, this is a day for you,” the PEC states. “Come and be a part of this on-the-ground learning day, connect with others who care about a healthy food system and help strengthen your local communities. Because we all have a stake in the way our food is grown.”
Working with the PEC and the Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes, the farm is monitoring a broad number of soil and plant characteristics; along with bird and pollinator populations.
Bean Hollow operates on the premise that grazing livestock can be a profitable way to heal the land: “We like to tell folks ‘we grow carbon, grass and meat.’”
With approximately 175 ewes, their lambs, numerous cattle, pigs, and a couple of goats, Bean Hollow farmer Mike Sands says “it sometimes feels like a 3 ring circus!”
The farm uses a system of grazing all the sheep, goats and cattle together in a “flerd.” The animals are grazed on small temporary parcels and moved every 1 to 4 days, creating greater plant utilization and longer recovery periods for the pastures.
Over time, this enhances the soil health and plant diversity. The goal is to extend the grazing season to a year round practice.
Directions to 15 Over Jordan Farm Lane in Flint Hill: From Hwy 522 in Flint Hill, take Fodderstack Road 1.4 miles to Dearing Road, turn right on Dearing to Bean Hollow Road (dirt). Turn left on Bean Hollow and take the first right on Over Jordan Farm Lane to Bean Hollow Grassfed.
Advanced registration is $35 per person (includes lunch). As mentioned, online registration closes May 28. Walk in registration, if available, is $40 per person.