Bellair Farm

Address: 5375 Bellair Farm
Charlottesville, VA  22902

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Phone: (434) 262-9021
Categories: Farm

Bellair Farm is located on an 853-acre property owned by Ms. Cynthia Davis. Foodwaze has visited the farm and you can read a full description under the Details tab. Here is an overview of the farm:

• Produce Grown: More than 50 types of seasonal vegetables, plus fruits, and herbs, as well as flowers.

• Chemical Use: No toxic chemicals.

• Sustainable Practices: Cover cropping, crop rotation, mulching, composting, and livestock inputs.

• Watering: Drip irrigation.

• Certification: USDA Certified Organic

• Animals raised: Pigs, rabbit, laying hens, and heritage breed meat chickens.

• Living Environment: The animals are raised on pasture and in the woods around the property. The hens have access to a mobile hen house.

• Animal Diets:. Pigs forage in the pastures and woods for grass, roots, nuts, etc. Chickens also forage for bugs and worms. The pigs and chickens are supplemented with Non-GMO grains.

• Grazing Methods: Rotational grazing practices are used to build healthy soil and pastures.

• Other Practices: There are NO chemicals, biosolids, hormones, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics used on the farm. 

• Other Products Sold: The Bellair CSA is all their produce, but they do offer some add-on shares from some other sustainable produce and livestock farms, as well as things like ferments and kombucha.

Other things to know about this Place:

• The property has been home of a working farm since the 17th Century and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

• The CSA includes a pick-your-own feature where members are invited to the farm to pick certain items. The meat raised on the farm is offered as part of a meat add-on share. Please see their website for the full range of CSA options. 

• The farm also offers educational workshops throughout the season.

This listing was compiled using the following processes:

• A site visit, or visits

• Discussion with the owners, management, and/or staff

• Other research

Located about 20 minutes south of Charlottesville, Virginia, Bellair Farm is a sprawling 853-acre property with a historical past and and present purpose devoted to sustainable agricultural of the highest esteem. About 30-acres of the property is farmed for the production of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and fresh cut flowers. In 2015, the growing operation received its official Organic Certification. It’s a process that takes several years and was just an official vindication of sustainable and holistic practices that had already been firmly established.

Foodwaze made its first visit to the farm in late summer 2015. This is an incredibly beautiful property, and the size and scope of their operation is impressive. Through crop rotations, the use of cover crops and weed fabrics, and good old-fashioned hand weeding, the small staff works tirelessly to produce the cleanest, most nutritious produce for their local community. During hot, dry periods common to Virginia summers, the farm irrigates through a combination of well water and water from the nearby Hardware River, both of which it tests regularly.

In addition to their large growing operation, the farm raises pastured pork, as well as chickens for meat and eggs. For meat chickens, they raise the heritage-breed Freedom Ranger which is well-suited to a pasture environment, as they like to roam freely and are well-accustomed to pecking in the grass for food. While pastured poultry receives great nutrition from the bugs, grass, and worms they eat, they are ravenous feeders and are commonly supplemented with grains. Bellair uses Non-GMO feed from Sunrise Farms in Stuarts Draft, as do many of the sustainable livestock farms in the area.

The buzz of activity on modern-day Bellair Farm hasn’t changed all that much in over 200 years. It was founded in the 17th century and has been in continual operation as a working farm ever since. The property has been owned by Cynthia Davis and her family for several decades. In 1992, the farm was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The farm began a Community Service Agriculture (CSA) program in 2011. In a CSA, consumers buy a “share” of the farm’s output, which is delivered weekly and changes as the growing seasons evolve. Bellair’s CSA also includes a pick-your-own feature in which members can go to the farm and pick vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers from their own designated one-acre section of the farm.

Additionally, Bellair Farm runs a series of workshops throughout the summer and fall on topics such as cooking with seasonal foods and how to ferment vegetables.