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Working from the ground up

 Article by Casey Wisch, Long Stone Farm

When Executive Chef Marcus was looking for the best food to serve in his restaurant, Long Stone Farm shined high and bright with farming practices to produce with healthy and nutritional results.

Long Stone Farm is a small farm located in Lovettsville, VA owned and farmed by Justin and Casey Wisch, and 9-month-old daughter, Piper. Long Stone Farm produces heritage pastured pork, mash-fed beef and chicken and duck eggs. The products are sourced fresh for Lansdowne’s Coton & Rye restaurant.

Long Stone Farm works from the ground up, focusing on soil fertility and quality forage through sustainable pasture and grazing management. Healthy soils and good plant productivity in return will meet the nutritional needs of the grazing livestock. Long Stone utilizes farming practices, such as rotational grazing, multispecies grazing, no-till planting and cover cropping to assist them with their pasture management goals.

The Wischs focus on raising Berkshire and Tamworth hogs and rotate their hogs through forage plots of millet, beets, turnips, radishes, sunflowers, beans and more. Pigs benefit from a highly diverse diet just as humans do. When hogs are moved, the ground is replanted to utilize nutrients and prevent erosion in highly impacted areas (housing, waterers, etc.). This year they grew pumpkins for the pigs and recently moved the pigs into the farms pumpkin patch. Their cattle are also rotated around the farm and fed spent brewers grain from local breweries such as Old 690 Brewing Company (Hillsboro, VA) and Aslin Brewing (Herndon, VA). Long Stone is starting to integrate high-energy forage plots into cattle rotations. Long term goals are fundamental for beef production, and Long Stone certainly experiments and integrates new processes as time and money allow. Chickens and ducks can also be found foraging the farm helping with fly control and nutrient distribution. The farm does not spray any pesticides or herbicides in grazing pastures.

Staying true to its location is key and Long Stone sells to local consumers at their onsite farm stand and to local restaurants. Offering individually packaged cuts of meat, pork and beef shares, eggs, and recently started producing small-batch pastured salamis. You can now visit Long Stone Farm, a short 40 minute drive from the resort or try dishes at Coton & Rye like the 14. Oz Heritage Pork Chop with quince preserve and Virginia mustard crust, and the Virginian which includes Virginia ham, smoked heritage pork shoulder, sweet pickles, Virginia swiss cheese and Route 7 potato chips.

 

“We opened our onsite farm stand this spring to create a space where customers can see us, the farm, our livestock, our pastures and our forage production and feel connected and confident about products they purchase,” - Casey Wisch. 

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