Local for Lunch: Welcoming Spring

garden greens

Salads took center stage for my Spring class at The Roanoke Co-op. We built salads filled with grains and proteins, interesting textures and flavors — and as much local as I could muster. We topped them with a choice of Ginger Sesame Dressing or Poppy Seed Dressing. Then we paired all those leafy greens with a gluten-free Quinoa Egg Bake.

The conversations are my favorite parts of teaching these classes and we touched on everything from the importance of top-quality oil to how to grow your own sprouts. We talked sheep’s feta cheese and asparagus and ramps and eating beet greens in your salad.

My friend and fellow blogger, Becky Ellis, was kind enough to provide her own recap of the class, which you can find here. Thanks, Becky!

After we’d bid our adieus, I left with homework. Folks had asked about where to Pick Your Own asparagus and berries. Read on to see the farms and links I was able to find.

Scotts Strawberry Farm is the most well-known for pick-your-own strawberries in these parts. But they do spray with pesticides. Find blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (red), raspberries (black), strawberries, tomatoes, other vegetables, as well as honey from hives on the farm. Offering U-pick and already picked produce. 5234 Joppa Mill Road, Moneta, VA 24121. Phone: 540-297-7917. Alternate Phone: 540-871-0635. Email: aferguson@hughes.net. FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/Scotts-Strawberry-Farm-112678182087810/
In doing a little research, though, I found Yoders Farm in Campbell County. It’s farther away, but they are the farm that has supplied Good Food/Good People in the past, so I feel good about recommending them as a place to Pick Your Own.
Yoders’ Farm – strawberries, hydroponic tomatoes
1134 Browns Mill Road, Rustburg, VA 24588. Phone: 434-401-4864. Email: yodairy@gmail.com. Open: Monday to Saturday, from 7 am to 7 pm; Closed Sunday; Strawberries likely begin as soon as April 24. Payment: Cash, Check. FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/yodersfarm/
Near Blacksburg:
Bee Berry Farm No chemical pesticides are used. Find blueberries and honey from hives on the farm.
1588 Blue Grass Trail, Newport, VA 24128. Phone: 540-544-6833. Email: busybees@beeberryfarmPayment: Cash, Check. FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/beeberryfarm/. Blueberries: Usually the third week in June through July, but call first. 
Windrush Farm No chemical pesticides are used. Offer blueberries and black raspberries. 250 Windrush Lane, Newport, VA, 24128. Phone: 540-544-7088. website: http://www.windrushfarm.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/Windrush-Farm-409795949143035/
3 Birds Berry Farm: No chemical pesticides are used. Find blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (red), raspberries (yellow), 
1876 Brooksfield Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060. Phone: 540-552-4195. Email: 3birdsberryfarm@gmail.com. June – Sept, but call ahead before coming. Payment: Cash, Check. FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/3BirdsBerryFarm/
And in Bedford County, there’s the lovely
Buffy’s Blueberry Orchard – No chemical pesticides are used. Offer blueberries, tomatoes, other vegetables, 
1038 Capital Hill Road, Moneta, VA 24121. Phone: 540-330-5144.
If you’re interested in Pick-Your-Own asparagus (now) or raspberries (later), give Dansby’s Farm a try.
Dansby Farm – asparagus, raspberries
4481 Colonial Turnpike, Rocky Mount , VA 24151. Phone: (540) 576-3658. FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/DansbyBerryFarm/
Just in general, this is a great site to search for Pick Your Own farms. You’ve got to double check because some information is outdated, but it’s always a good starting point.

Lastly, I’ve scheduled my next Co-op class. Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. I’ll be making lunch from summer berries. See you there!