Raising food has been a normal part of life for people everywhere for hundreds of years. In our society, with grocery stores full of food readily available, most people don’t experience a strict need to raise food. Yet there’s a growing movement of people who are choosing to raise food themselves. From growing herbs in pots on an apartment windowsill, to keeping chickens, goats, or even a cow, homesteaders come in all shapes and sizes.
But while raising food is simple enough that almost anyone can do it, it’s also an endeavor that becomes much easier and more successful when you connect with a like-minded community. In times past, people looked to their parents, grandparents, or neighbors to hand on these skills, which had been practiced for generations. Today, many of us are cut off from such traditional wisdom. But the good news is that if you’re in search of a community to support your homesteading efforts, Homesteaders of America is there for you. Head to Front Royal this October 8-9 for the Homesteaders of America Conference. You can have the chance to trade tips and advice, and connect with fellow homesteaders from all walks of life.
Homesteaders of America Conference: What to Expect
The Homesteaders of America Conference is primarily an educational event, and you’ll find a wealth of information to help you take your food raising efforts to the next level. Expect two days packed with talks from leading educators of the homesteading world, such as Joel Salatin and Justin Rhodes. You’ll also have a chance to discover lesser-known speakers who are guaranteed to become your new favorites. Saturday evening brings an opportunity to relax with a traditional music and story-telling performance from singer Rory Feek.
When you need to take a break from the talks, wander the Warren County Fairgrounds, and enjoy delicious food from food trucks and the chance to connect with hundreds of other homesteaders just like you. Don’t forget to visit the vendors, who can help you stock up on all your homesteading needs.
Get Your Hands Dirty at Thursday’s Homesteading Workshops
If you’re more of a hands on learner, come a day early to enjoy a homesteading workshop on Thursday, October 7. With topics ranging from building a homesteading business plan to hands-on animal butchering, you’ll be sure to find a chance to refine your skills and maybe try something new. And you can do it all under the direction of experts with many years’ experience.
Attending the Homesteaders of America Conference: Reserve Tickets or Volunteer
Conference tickets will not be sold at the gate, so make sure to purchase tickets online in advance. If you want to save money and help this great organization at the same time, consider volunteering for the conference instead. You’ll be put to work for one morning or afternoon shift, and get to enjoy the rest of the conference completely free!
Spend the Whole Weekend: Lodging and Outdoor Attractions in the Front Royal Area
Homesteaders of America have chosen a fantastic location for their conference! The Front Royal area is full of attractions for lovers of the great outdoors, including the nationally renowned Shenandoah National Park. Fall is a favorite time of year to visit the park and see the stunning displays of fall leaves on the mountainsides. Check out other outdoor adventuring opportunities here. Why not spend a full weekend in Front Royal, and plan a gorgeous Sunday hike before heading home?
If you’re looking for local accommodation, you’ll find loads of lodging and camping options to choose from. Make your reservations today, and look forward to an unforgettable and educational weekend in Front Royal, Virginia.
Whether you’re a veteran homesteader, or just starting to raise your own food, you’ll find plenty of great information and helpful networking at the Homesteaders of America Conference in Front Royal, Virginia. There are so many benefits to raising your own food. It’s healthier, cheaper, more sustainable, and uniquely satisfying. And there’s a lot about the process that’s just plain fun. Make your plans today to attend the Homesteaders of America Conference, and you’ll come home full of new ideas and enthusiasm for the essential task of raising food.
With jaw-dropping scenery, quaint towns, and outdoor attractions in all directions the Front Royal area is a great place to plan a relaxing day on the road. Skyline Drive, with its northern entrance located right in the town of Front Royal, is a quintessential driving experience that’s become an American tradition. But if you’re looking for a little variety in your driving, read on! We’ve put together three new scenic drives you’re sure to love. Below you’ll find three recommended routes, along with suggested stops to suit every taste. So fill your tank with gas, and head out on a Front Royal area drive that’ll take you to a new destination . . . with lots of fun along the way!
Scenic Drive 1: Front Royal to Luray (via 522 and 211)
Head south from Front Royal on 522, and you won’t even notice the minutes glide by as you gaze out at rolling pastures and gorgeous farmlands with mountains in the background. Once you get to Sperryville, head west on 211, and you’ll find yourself driving up into the Blue Ridge Mountains, passing Shenandoah National Park’s Thornton Gap Entrance. On the other side of the mountain, you’ll come down into the town of Luray, a great destination for relaxation and family fun. To return to Front Royal, you can retrace the same route, or head back on 340 north for a shorter, but still beautiful, drive home.
For the Foodie
As you head out of Front Royal, you’ll pass two fantastic wineries, Rappahannock Cellars, and Chester Gap Cellars. If it’s too early in the day for wine, save them for the drive home.
522 takes you through Flint Hill, which is the home of some great foodie favorites for a bite to eat. Try The Blue Door Kitchen or Griffin Tavern here. Or go a little further and stop at The Inn at Little Washington for the ultimate fine dining experience.
For the Outdoor Adventurer
If you’re a love of the great outdoors, this drive will bring you to some great hiking. The Appalachian Trail crosses 522 just south of Front Royal. It’s a great place to pull off and take a hike on this iconic trail. Or use the Thornton Gap Entrance Station to enter Shenandoah National Park: the home of almost unlimited outdoor adventure.
For the Family
Families enjoying a day together will want to visit Luray Caverns and enjoy a tour of the largest caverns in the Eastern United States. From there, head to Lake Arrowhead beach to enjoy swimming, relaxing, or even a boat rental.
Scenic Drive 2: Front Royal to Middleburg (via Sky Meadows State Park)
If you’re looking to explore another small town of Northern Virginia, Middleburg is a great destination. Instead of using I-66 for most of the drive, enjoy some country roads by taking exit 18 and heading north on VA-688. You’ll pass some great stops (more on those below!) before hitting US 50. Head East on US 50, and it’ll bring you right into Middleburg, where you can explore all this historic town has to offer.
For the Foodie
Foodies will love a stop at Valley View Farm off VA-688. Pick your own fruit, taste local honey or wine, and shop the on-site farm store for delicious, farm-fresh goodies.
For dinner, stop at Hunters Head Tavern for a farm-to-table tavern experience.
For the Outdoor Adventurer
Take a hike at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane.
For the Family
The Apple House is Front Royal’s favorite “on the way out” stop, and you’ll pass right by it on this trip. Grab a quick breakfast, or stock up on some crowd-pleasing donuts for later on. Not hungry yet? Save it for an ice cream stop on your way home.
Kids will enjoy checking out the pick-your-own options along 688. In addition to Valley View Farm, check out Hollin Farms, and Hartland Orchard. Or explore the Children’s Discovery Area at Sky Meadows State Park.
Scenic Drive 3: Front Royal to Harper’s Ferry
Located at the meeting of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harper’s Ferry is a great road trip destination from Front Royal. Whether you’re a lover of hiking, history, the scenic outdoors, or delicious foods, you can find it here. Enjoy the scenic stretch of 522 north of Front Royal, and then connect with US-340 to take you the rest of the way.
For the Foodie:
On your way in or out of Front Royal, visit Region’s 117 in Lake Frederick to enjoy locally sourced, gourmet food.
For the Outdoor Adventurer
There’s a lot for an outdoor lover to enjoy in Harper’s Ferry, but if you’re looking for a stop along the way take a break at the Virginia State Arboretum. Here you’ll find educational programs, walking trails, and gardens.
For the Family
Check out River Rider’s Family Adventure Resort for an exciting family adventure near Harpers Ferry, or stop by Dinosaur Land on your way out of Front Royal to check out this retro attraction featuring massive model dinosaurs. Who doesn’t want to fit in a photo op with a triceratops?
If you’re looking for a beautiful drive with a fun destination and exciting roadside stops, the Front Royal area is a great place to be! Buckle up this weekend and enjoy a memorable highway adventure in a stunningly beautiful area.
With scenic mountain wineries, a fast-growing craft brewery scene, and restaurants sourcing delicious food from local farms all around, rural Virginia is a foodie’s dream destination. This year, Discover Front Royal is joining with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to highlight all the fantastic epicurean experiences you can enjoy in the Front Royal area.
A wide range of wineries, breweries, and unique eateries await you in this scenic town of the Shenandoah Valley. Read on to find out how you can eat and drink what you love in Front Royal, Virginia. You’ll find a quick rundown of some recommended eats and drinks, as well as a section on the best ways to merge your edible experience with the Front Royal area’s fabulous outdoor attractions.
Eat – Front Royal’s Foodie Scene
Front Royal is full of fabulous restaurants, and foodies will find plenty to explore. For today’s post, we’re featuring several local eateries that we’ve specially selected for their diversity. No matter your taste or budget, you should be able to find a fit on this list.
For a classic fine dining experience in Front Royal, don’t look any further than Element, where you’ll find gourmet cuisine and an atmosphere to match.
Italian food lovers should head to Osteria 510. It’s a farm to table Italian dream come true! Or if you’re in search of something a little more exotic, Try Thai, on Front Royal’s historic main street might just fit the bill. Here you’ll find gourmet Thai food and sushi.
You’ll see the smokers working away in the parking lot when you pull up at Pavemint Taphouse. Delicious smoked food in a trendy renovated gas station, along with brewed-on-site craft beers. It’s a fun, one-stop shop for lovers of gourmet food and craft beer.
Wine lovers in search of a bite to eat, make your way to ViNoVa. A wine bar serving gourmet tapas, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy perfectly paired wine and eats.
Drink – Front Royal’s Wine, Beer, Mead, and Coffee
Of course a foodie’s adventure doesn’t stop with eating. If you’re looking for an gourmet weekend, you’ll want to plan out some delicious drinks too. In Front Royal, you’ll find a wide range of great sipping! Start the day with a perfect coffee from Happy Creek, Daily Grind, or DL Campus Coffee. Move on to wine, craft beer, or even a glass of mead.
Front Royal’s wineries are the perfect combination of delicious Virginia wine, stunning countryside, and that unbeatable winery feel. For fields and rolling hills, visit Rappahannock Cellars, or for a mountainside experience try Fox Meadow Winery. See a full list of Front Royal’s wineries here.
Beer lovers will find plenty to love among the craft breweries of the Front Royal area. If you’re looking to get out in the countryside, head to Backroom Brewery. For an in town brewery experience, check out the Front Royal Brewing Company.
Finally, if you’re looking to try something new and unusual, don’t overlook Front Royal’s meaderies. Mead is an ancient alcoholic beverage that’s making a comeback. If you’re curious to try out honey wine in Front Royal, visit Saga Meadery or Honey and Hops Brew Works for a tasting you won’t forget.
Love – Where Food Meets the Front Royal Outdoors
While you’re in Front Royal, don’t forget to plan an outing where you can satisfy your love for food while immersing yourself in the great outdoors of the Front Royal area.
A great way to enjoying eating and the outdoors is to visit a local pick-your-own fruit farm. Valley View Farm is a great destination where you can eat, drink, and love all at once! Start at the pick your-own-orchard and enjoy in-season fruit. Then head on over to the farmers market, where you can buy organic vegetables and local farm produce. End your visit with some wine or hard cider tasting in the farm tasting room. Other pick-your-own options in the Front Royal area include Stribling Orchard, Hollin Farms, and Hartland Orchard.
Another way to enjoy Front Royal’s food and outdoor attractions is to bring some Front Royal food with you on an outdoor adventure. Blue Wing Frog will pack a gourmet picnic lunch for you. Or try Manor Line Market for locally sourced take-out or eat-in food.
If you’re planning a visit to Front Royal, plan on some fabulous food while you’re here! With a wide range of restaurants, Virginia wine and beer, and food for every outdoor adventure, Front Royal is the destination your taste buds are rooting for! It’s time to Eat. Drink. Love. in Front Royal, Virginia.
When you’re enjoying Christmas at home, the Christmas tree is a central part of the celebration. You pile up gifts under its branches. You gather around it with family and friends to share the joys of the season. And there’s nothing like “that Christmas tree smell” for really making it feel like Christmas has arrived!
If you’re searching the Front Royal area for a real Christmas tree, read on. We’ve rounded up some recommended local farms and businesses that can provide you with the perfect tree. Also below: tips for taking care of your tree when you get it home.
“Cut-Your-Own” Christmas Tree Farm
There’s nothing quite like picking your tree from the field and cutting it down yourself. If you have time and energy to cut your own Christmas tree, it can be a fun family outing that will become a beloved tradition. Make getting the Christmas tree as memorable as enjoying it at home!
Hartland Farm and Orchard is a popular local spot for “cut-your-own” Christmas trees. They offer complimentary hot chocolate to make your Christmas tree hunt complete, as well as a variety of tasty treats for purchase. Hartland tends to sell out quickly so check their Facebook page for updates before you head out.
If you’re up for a bit of a drive into the Shenandoah Valley, Valley Star Farm also offers cut-your-own” trees. A visit to this beautiful farm in its scenic location is a great way to kick off your Christmas celebration.
If you want to go to a Christmas tree farm, but aren’t up for cutting your own tree, don’t worry. Both Hartland and Valley Star Farm also offer precut Christmas trees for your convenience.
Precut Christmas Trees in Front Royal
For a wide selection of precut Christmas trees right in town, check out Springtime Garden Center, located at the heart of Front Royal. You’ll also find a variety of other Christmas plants and decorations here. In the spirit of the Christmas season, Springtime Garden Center is making it easy for you to make a charitable donation when you purchase your tree. Here you’ll find giving trees for seniors and veterans, and opportunities to donate to Toys for Tots or the Warren County Humane Society. Bring non-perishable food items, and they’ll deliver them to C-CAP for you.
The Giving Tree is another local option for precut trees and seasonal decorations. This family business also offers gourmet local foods so you can stock up for your Christmas celebration while you shop for your tree. The unique gifts you can find here make it a one-stop-shop for all things Christmas.
Taking Care of your Christmas Tree
If you’ve ever had a Christmas tree shed pine needles all over your carpet (and spent the next few months stepping on the ones you didn’t get with the vacuum…), you’ll know why it’s important to take good care of your tree...even though it’s only in your home for a few weeks. The following tree care practices should help you avoid the dreaded “pine needle drop.”
For optimal health, Christmas trees, like people, need to stay hydrated. But it’s important to make sure that your Christmas tree is able to absorb the water that you’re giving it. After a Christmas tree is cut, its sap can harden in the bottom of the trunk, sealing it off from the water it’s standing in. That’s why it’s important to cut a few inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing it in water. A fresh cut absorbs water much better than an old one. Keep the cut hydrated, and you won’t have to worry about it sealing up.
Even if you’re not bringing your tree inside right away, it’s best to make the cut when you get it home, and then stand it in a bucket of water. Replenish the water frequently to ensure that the tree has no chance to dry out. Some suggest watering with very hot (almost boiling) water when you first bring the Christmas tree into your house. This technique also helps to ensure that no hardened sap prevents your Christmas tree from getting the water it needs.
The benefits of Christmas trees are numerous. They bring people together. They provide a sense of beauty and peace. It’s even been suggested that the scent of evergreen trees decreases stress and anxiety. Don’t miss out all the good things that a Christmas tree can bring to your home this year!
Discover Front Royal