We moved to Highland County in the winter (don’t ask us why – spring would have been a lot easier) of 2017. Consider this the reverse of the Beverly Hill Billys. Almost Green Acres with kids. City folk, by local standards moving to “them thar hills”. Leaving our farm in Richmond (Powhatan actually) for the wonderful community of Monterey, Virginia, God put us smack in the middle of heaven on earth. And we have not looked back since…
It wasn’t long before Emily’s passion for alpacas took root and we were and still are, alpaca farmers. Not too long after that, we added Merino sheep. Did you know that Merinos are hard to find on the east coast? We are the only farm in Highland county to have them. We’ve added Finn sheep to the herd too. These are very small and act much like a dog. They enjoy attention and will jump in your lap in a minute.
Our kids are growing like weeds. It must be the clean water coming off Lantz mountain and wonderful food in area.
After a year or so and being a part of several festivals in the community, we decided to make maple syrup. Here in Highland and West Virginia, there are some wonderful people who make excellent syrup. We joined the ranks of great producers in the winter of 2019 with our first batches of maple syrup being produced from the trees on our farm.
Our Maple Festival hosts thousands of folks each year. Going on more than 60 years, folks for several generations have enjoyed Highlands sweetest season. Each year on the 2nd and 3rd weekends in March the county will swell in size from about 2,000 residents to literally thousands of folks crossing the mountains for the donuts and maple syrup. Some estimates say on a good weekend we will 25,000 folks in the county. It’s lots of fun!
Imagine all the sugar camps selling excellent syrup. We couldn’t just sell syrup. We pursued organics and became Virginia’s first and only USDA Certified Organic Producer of Maple Syrup and Organic Maple Cotton Candy.