To date, your exposure to farm life has been limited to a marathon of Little House on the Prairie reruns. But that’s all about to change. Spend a day exploring a working farm out in Leesburg, VA called Faith Like a Mustard Seed, and you’ll see that it’s a pretty awesome way to show the kiddos that their dinner doesn’t actually “come from” the grocery store.
Eat, Pray, Love
Who doesn’t go crazy over a juicy love story, particularly one that combines a bit of soul-searching enlightenment with a “fish out of water” theme and requisite happy ending? Well, move over Julia Roberts—here’s the local version. In her previous life, the farmer (aka Patricia Glaeser) was a sought-after private chef in New York City. After she met and married a US Navy Commander, they began searching for the perfect farm where she could grow the foods she’d use in her other-worldly dishes: heirloom veggies and humanely raised pigs, cows, turkeys and chickens.
In 2011, they found an 1850s property overlooking the Potomac River valley and Catoctin Mountains. Here’s where the Hollywood moment comes in: The seller accepted their bid right after they sat through the Faith Like a Mustard Seed sermon at church (hence the name). In case you’re not up on your homilies, it says that just a tiny grain of faith can lead to miracles. Today, Farmer Patricia will be your guide to her own little piece of hog heaven.
The Kids Will Adore
With over 200 birds—as in hens, roosters and turkeys—freely roaming the garden, pastures and cornfield on the farm, your little ones will love being surrounded by the real-life versions of Big Bird (tours are $12 per person, including kids 3 and older). They’ll even get to hold the fuzzy little chicks. Added bonus: These girls lay some gorgeous, gmo-free multicolored eggs (like the kind you see on the covers of Martha Stewart magazines), which kids can scoop up right in the coop while they’re still fresh and warm. They’re a steal at $5 a dozen (and delish, by the way), in case you want to take some home.
Stop by to say hi to “the other white meat”—heritage hogs, named so because they’re raised outdoors on mixed-use farms. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch a family of newborn siblings nurse on their big mama (insert collective Awww! here). Then swing by the corral to pet and feed one of the beautiful horses.
Introduce the kids to a new type of Dairy Queen by having them milk a cow. Farmer Patricia will be on hand to show them how to gently tug and pull their way to amazingly fresh milk.
If you want to mix things up a bit (or try a different kind of kid’s birthday party—way more hipster than Chucky Cheese), arrange for a cooking class, which can be just for kids or include a mix of all ages (though size is limited to 8 adults or 10 think-they’re-adults). After touring the farm and collecting ingredients, Farmer Patricia will open up her home and kitchen to you (literally), put on her official Chef hat and show you how to make a heavenly meal.
Spend the Night
Feel like you’ll never want to leave? Plan a slumber party at the two-story Milk House cottage, which has two twin beds and a sitting room with a cast iron Jotul stove ($155 per night) or queen bedroom with a gas fireplace and spa bath ($125). Both include a yummy breakfast whipped up from scratch by you know who.
Faith Like a Mustard Seed Farm
42906 Lucketts Road (Leesburg, Va)
Where do your kids play farmer for the day?
Copy and photo by: Karina Giglio