We live in a world where it’s easy to swing by the grocery store and take your pick from a wide selection of foods shipped from all corners of the world. But some are choosing to limit or completely eliminate their consumption of foods from far off lands, and focus on foods produced closer at hand. The local food movement is growing, and with terms like “locavore” and “farm-to-table” popping up more and more often, you’ve probably heard of it at least once. But maybe you’re wondering what all the buzz is about? We’ve rounded up four reasons you might consider eating more local foods, as well as some great sources for local foods and farm fun in the Front Royal area. With spring well underway, a new season of fresh local produce is beginning, and it’s a great time to explore Front Royal’s local farms.
1. Eating Local Is Better For You
It might be hard to believe there’s any difference between eating spinach shipped from Peru versus eating spinach raised on a local farm (or in your own backyard!). But evidence suggests that locally grown food is better for you. It’s fresher, of course, and it’s been shown to contain more nutrients than food shipped over long distances. It only makes sense when you think about it. After all, eating local is part of nature’s design for humans! Most people through history have eaten primarily what could be produced or gathered from nearby, with goods from far off being more of an occasional treat or luxury (if available at all!).
2. Eating Local Improves Food Security
When you eat foods shipped from far away, you’re dependent on a long chain of people and machines all being able to do their jobs. When you eat local, it’s just between you and the farmer. There are many fewer possibilities for disrupting such a short supply chain.
3. Eating Local Supports Your Neighboring Farmers
Farmers do really important work! After all, food production has to come high on the list of human necessities. But as consumers turn more and more to grocery stores, it’s hard for the small famers to make a go of it. If a small farm can’t support itself by selling locally, the farmer will either quit or get swallowed up by big food corporations and become another link on a supply chain that’s too long! So support your local farmers today so they’ll still be there tomorrow when our world needs them!
4. Eating Local can be Fun and Convenient!
Eating local can be lots of fun. There’s something about taking a drive into the country and picking up your food right where it grew that a grocery store just can’t replace. Take it a step further by enjoying a “pick your own” outing, or planning a tour of the farm while you’re there.
Don’t have time for a trip to the farm? Many small scale farmers will meet at a designated pick up point or even deliver to your door, so eating local can be even more convenient than a trip to the grocery store!
Finding Local Food on Front Royal’s Farms
If you’re sold on incorporating more local foods into your diet, you’re probably wondering where to find them around Front Royal. If you want to buy directly from the farm, Front Royal has some great options. Check out Valley View Farm for a scenic and historic local farm where you can shop a “locavore farm market,” take a farm tour, and even enjoy a glass of locally produced cider, mead, or wine. Explore their CSA program for an affordable option that will bring a delicious stream of local produce your way all season long. If you’re looking for local grass fed beef, Cottonwood Ranch is a great place to start. Buy individual cuts, or choose the budget friendly options and fill your freezer with a whole, half, or quarter cow!
If you’re looking for more farm fun and pick-your-own options, Green Truck Farm and Hollins Farm are two more amazing local farms. Both are great destinations for fruit picking, starting as early as May. At Hollins Farm, you can come and harvest your own veggies as well as fruit.
To buy herb plants right from the farm, go to Sunflower Cottage farm. You’ll bring a little garden home with you. If you’re a lover of all things herbal, plan to attend the Virginia Herb Festival here (May 21-22 2022). Stop by the on-site Backroom Brewery to enjoy a beer from hops grown right there on the farm.
Most flowers aren’t edible, but bringing nature’s beauty into your home can feed the soul! For another fun, pick your own adventure, explore Clover Hill Farm, where you can pick your own flowers, as well as sign up for a gardening class. If you’re looking for a weekend of farm life, book a stay at Clover Hill’s Airbnb, and enjoy views of the farm’s Angus beef herd, as well as taking advantage of the flower operation.
Finding Local Food in Front Royal’s Stores
Sometimes, you just don’t have time to make it out to the farm for your food. The good news is that you can find farm fresh, local foods in Front Royal without having to head out to the countryside. Main Street’s Manor Line Market is a farm-to-table restaurant, alongside a local food market, all run by farmers from nearby Browntown. It’s a combination you’ll definitely want to check out. The Apple House, on the way out of town, is one of Front Royal’s favorite stops for ice cream, barbecue food, and apple cider donuts. Stop by the gift shop to find a range of Virginia products, raised and made by local farmers and artisans.
Super excited to share that on the first and third Saturdays of April through November, take your search for local foods to DL Community Market! This farmers market in Front Royal is a great place to find and support local farmers, cheesemakers, artisans, and more!
Take the time to explore Front Royal’s farms this growing season and you’ll find plenty of treasure are waiting for you. With a variety of local, healthy, and delicious food available from beautiful farms of the Shenandoah Valley, you may even find that shopping is as enjoyable as eating!
If the approaching arrival of Earth Day has you excited to show how much you love planet Earth and the environment, consider heading to Front Royal for the weekend. It’s the perfect place to celebrate! You can attend the large celebration planned in Front Royal’s downtown area, where you’ll find lots of other lovers of the planet and the outdoors. Before or after the event, plan your own adventure out there in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. It’s one of Mother Nature’s favorite playgrounds, and there’s no better way to continue the celebration than by immersing yourself in the wonders of our planet. With a range of outdoor activities available in the Front Royal area, it’s your choice among a wide variety of activities including fishing, hiking, canoeing, rock-climbing, mountain biking, birdwatching, and more. There are so many fantastic adventures awaiting that will delight a wide range of interests and ability levels. So head out to Front Royal and make this year’s Earth Day memorable.
Front Royal’s Earth Day Celebration
The Front Royal community has received so much from the natural wonders all around, and the town will be turning out April 23rd to show its appreciation! Meet at the Gazebo and you can enjoy live music with delicious food available. Free activities will make it fun for the whole family, and you’ll have a chance to connect with other outdoors enthusiasts, as well as conservation groups from around the area. It’ll be a great chance to meet others who are passionate about enjoying the outdoors in the same way that you are, or to explore trying out a new outdoor activity. There will also be a chance to learn about solar-powered and electric vehicles. The celebration ends with an Arbor Day tree planting at 3:30. Then it’s up to you to decide: will you head out in search of adventure, or relax and enjoy Front Royal’s fantastic dining options while you plan an adventure for the following day?
Getting Outdoors for Earth Day
To make a weekend of your Front Royal Earth Day celebration, why not attend the celebration on Saturday, and plan a day of outdoor adventure on Friday, Sunday, or both! There’s no better way to celebrate our beautiful planet earth than by getting outdoors and exploring it. With so much to do and see, there’s truly something for everyone around Front Royal.
Families with older children will enjoy a day of canoeing or kayaking on the Shenandoah River or a hike in Shenandoah National Park. Another great option for families is a visit to Skyline Caverns (followed by a visit to local favorite Spelunker’s for cavern burgers and frozen custard). With the Appalachian Trail nearby as well as Shenandoah National Park, the Front Royal area has long been a favorite of backpackers and hikers, and local rock-climbing opportunities for various skill levels make Front Royal a great place check out or continue pursuing this incredible outdoor sport.
Adventure Enablers is hosting their annual Shenandoah Epic. This event is where racers will have 24 hours to cover up to 100 miles via kayak/canoe, foot, and mountain bike over rugged and beautiful terrain, picking up checkpoints along the way in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley! What an adventure! Though it sold out, you can trek out to see the racers off and learn about it so you can enter next year!
With birdwatching, fishing, and biking available too, there’s such a wide range of activities to choose from you’re sure to find something you love doing in Front Royal! For a more simple and relaxed outing, why not pack or purchase a picnic and head to one of the scenic overlooks in Shenandoah National Park, or the riverside picnic area in Shenandoah River State Park?
Earth Day Lodging
If you’re celebrating Earth Day by spending a weekend in Front Royal, you’ll need somewhere to stay. If you want to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, camping is a great idea, and there are many fantastic camping spots around Front Royal. For those looking for a more comfortable stay, a variety of cozy cabins are available in the area. For a truly memorable experience, consider booking the historic John Pope Cabin in Browntown. Or plan a stay at Mountain Home for beautiful Bed and Breakfast accommodations with hosts who love the outdoors as much as you do. See here to discover more of Front Royal’s fantastic lodging options.
Earth Day 2022 will be a day to remember in Front Royal, VA. Come and celebrate with our small town, and treat yourself to doing something you love in the great outdoors while you’re here. It’s a great combination of festivity and adventure.
Leisure Biking around Front Royal
There are so many reasons to love biking.
With all these wonderful perks and many more, it’s not surprising that biking is extremely popular as a sport, a hobby, and even a mode of transportation. But since most American towns were designed with the car in mind, finding a convenient and safe place to ride a bike can be a challenge.
The Front Royal area is surrounded by great mountain biking trails for those interested in an intense and adventurous biking experience. But there’s also some scope for more laid back “leisure” biking. Read right on here for our guide to leisure biking in the Front Royal area. In this post you’ll find tips about where to enjoy a more relaxing bike ride in and around Front Royal.
Take a Bike Ride around Front Royal
For those interested in an around-the-town bike ride, Front Royal has a treat in store. Royal Greenway is a five mile biking/walking/”baby-strollering” loop trail around Front Royal. It’s a varied ride with the fun of biking through town as well as a heavy dose of natural beauty. Follow the trail and you’ll get to enjoy the sights and sounds of Front Royal’s charming downtown area, as well as exploring Eastham Park’s riverside walking/biking trail, right along the banks of the Shenandoah River.
Take your Bike to the Park
Another exciting Front Royal option is Rockland Park’s Carson Trail. This gently sloping gravel trail runs alongside the Shenandoah River. When fully complete, it will cover 2.62 miles to the Front Royal Golf Club, giving leisure bikers the opportunity for a fun out-and-back adventure in a beautiful setting.
Enjoy a Weekend of Organized Bike Riding
For biking enthusiasts looking for some fun and challenging riding in the Front Royal area, the Strasburg Bike-Around event is a great fit. Mark your calendar for June 10-12, and enjoy three days of pre-planned routes in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. You can relax and enjoy the ride while event organizers take care of logistics. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other cyclists, too. And you’ll be contributing to the future of leisure biking in the Shenandoah Valley the whole time. Part of the registration fee for this event goes to support the development of the Shenandoah Rail Trail, an exciting new initiative aimed at turning a disused rail line into a vibrant new bike path.
Explore Biking Trails in Nearby Towns
If you’re in search of a biking trail, and are willing to go a little farther, Front Royal’s neighboring towns have some great options in store. Luray’s Hawksbill Greenway is a fun two-mile trail that combines town and countryside. Another slightly closer option is Winchester’s Green Circle Trail, which takes cyclists around the city of Winchester with an emphasis on the city’s scenic streams.
Biking is a great way to exercise and have fun! With safe and scenic biking trails popping up all over the Front Royal area, it’s an activity to add to your to-do list for your next Front Royal trip.
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