We are proud to return as a sponsor for the four-day culinary gathering known as the Fire, Flour & Fork Festival. This year, the extended weekend of events will kick off with a field trip from Richmond to our award-winning Autumn Olive Farms. Along the journey, guests will learn about the historic connection of Virginia's capital to the Shenandoah Valley via trade routes and the flow of food from Virginia's own "bread basket." As you board the bus in Richmond, be sure to grab a window seat to enjoy the beautiful late fall foliage while crossing Afton Mountain and entering the Valley.
Upon arrival to the farm, guests will enjoy a swanky white-tablecloth-and-china outdoor lunch while seated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. Prepared by renowned Chefs Ian Boden (The Shack) and Joe Sparatta (Heritage and Southbound), the menu - to be announced soon - will highlight ingredients grown here on the farm, allowing you to really experience the taste and terroir of Autumn Olive Farms. If you haven't yet dined at Chef Sparatta's or Boden's restaurants, this is a great opportunity to experience the cuisine of these talented chefs in an intimate setting. This is farm-to-table at its finest!
Accompanying the meal will be ciders from Virginia's first urban cidery, Blue Bee Cider. Based in Richmond, Blue Bee specializes in wine-style, semi-dry and semi-sparkling ciders from heirloom Virginia apples. The lunch will feature two ciders and one apple brandy made from apples grown in the Shenandoah Valley. Blue Bee's Cider Storyteller Nicole Martorana, raised in the Valley, will be present to take guests through the tasting and talk about the history of cidermaking in Virginia.
Dress for a walk around the farm to observe the variety of heritage breed hogs we raise, including Ossabaw Island hogs, Berkshires, and the cross between them we call Berkabaw. Along the way, you will meet an array of our other animals ranging from Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs, Boer Bok goats, and chickens. Clay and Linda will offer some history of the farm and talk about why and how we farm the way we do, and how our approach results in products sought after by award-winning chefs. With the goal of providing a personalized, hands-on experience, this event is limited to 39 tickets, so be sure to reserve yours soon!
Tickets are $100 each and include travel, tour, lunch and cider tasting.
Departure time from Richmond is scheduled for 9:00 am, with the bus scheduled to return at 3:00 pm.