Great Day Gardens
|Address:|| 2261 Thomas Jefferson Road
Forest, VA 24551
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Please see their website for CSA details
Great Day Gardens was started in 2014 and is run by husband-wife team Michael Grantz and Arden Jones. The farm is located on a 24-acre property owned by Arden’s family. Foodwaze has visited the farm and compiled a detailed description under the Details tab.
• What They Do: Great Day Gardens grows a wide variety of vegetables and herbs. They also grow grains, including heirloom corn.
They use the corn in the bread they make on the property. Their wheat flour is organic and sourced from North Carolina. The bread is made with a sourdough starter and a slow fermentation.
Lastly, they raise heritage breed Khaki Campbell ducks for eggs.
• Regenerative Practices: All the vegetables are grown using beyond organic practices. They use cover crops and composting to build rich soil, and the wildflowers they plant encourage pollinators and beneficial insects.
The ducks range freely and pick in the gardens for bugs and insects. They are supplemented with non-GMO grain.
• Certifications: None
Please check Great day Gardens' website for information about their CSA. You can also buy their products at a few local farmers markets. Please click on the Places tab to find out where else you can find Great Day Gardens.
Michael Grantz grew up in Kentuckey. Arden Jones grew up in nearby Albemarle County. They met at in college at Sewanee: The University of the South.
This listing was compiled using the following processes:
• A visit to the farm and discussion with the owners.
• Conducting other research about the farm and its practices.
Great Day Gardens is located just to the south of Lynchburg, Virginia, near the town of Forest. The farm is run by husband-wife team Michael Grantz and Arden Jones. It’s located on a 24-acre property owned by Arden’s family. As you arrive at the farm down the winding driveway, you will see the late 18th century home that gives the property a residential feel. But don’t be mistaken. There is some outstanding farming going on here. Foodwaze has had a chance to visit to learn first-hand.
The cornerstone of their operation are the vegetables, taking up about an acre off to the side of the house. They are not certified organic, but use regenerative practices that are beyond organic. They do not use any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides ever. They grow a large variety of crops, especially salad greens, herbs, and summer fruits. Their goal with the garden is to create rich, living soil within a vibrant farm ecosystem. Their main input is carbon-rich compost, and you can’t miss the array of beautiful wildflowers, perennial herbs, and woody species, all intentionally planted to encourage pollinator activity. They also capture water on-site using earthworks and harvest rainwater for their animals and for the greenhouse.
Scurrying throughout the gardens is a flock of heritage breed Khaki Campbell ducks. The ducks feed on insects and bugs, keeping some of the pests under control, while also fertilizing the soil. Michael and Arden harvest the ducks’ eggs for sale.
Off to the side of the main garden, you may also see some heirloom corn growing. In addition, they have also grown wheat on the farm. The grains are used in the bread they make in their kitchen. After their 2016 wheat harvest, they decided to stop growing wheat due to the challenges involved with harvesting and processing it. They are continuing to grow corn, such as the very colorful Kentucky Rainbow variety. They have it stone ground at a mill in Kentucky.
In addition to the corn, they make their bread with organic flour which they source from North Carolina. The bread is baked using a sourdough starter and slow fermentation that sometimes lasts several days. They use minimal ingredients - just the grains/flour, salt and water. It is baked in a regular oven but in 2017 they plan to add a wood-fired oven to their bakery.
Michael and Arden met in college at Sewanee: The University of the South. He is originally from Kentucky and she is from Albemarle County in Virginia. They married in fall 2016.
In addition to selling their products to a few restaurants and markets around the region, Great Day Gardens is typically at a few farmers markets. Consumers can also buy direct from them through their CSA program. Please check their website for details.
Please click on the Places tab to find out where you can find Great Day Gardens’ products.
Great Day Gardens products can be found at these Foodwaze verified locations: