Creative Commons

You’ve heard of ‘Eco-Tourism’ where visitors go to learn about the local the ecology of a place.  Now there’s variation on that theme.  It’s "Agri-Tourism" and it’s a growing thing in Virginia. 

You might think the largest industry in Virginia is defense or some other government related sector, but in fact it’s Agriculture and third largest, tourism.  So it’s no surprise that the ‘Agritourism’ sector is growing.

It’s harvest time for tomatoes in the New River Valley. That’s not as strange as it sounds because these tomatoes are growing inside a huge greenhouse in the New River Valley.

The new venture promises to bring jobs --and more locally grown tomatoes to the region. 


You may have already seen tomatoes from Red Sun Farms in supermarkets. The parent company in Mexico has hundreds of acres of greenhouses there and in Canada, but this is the first time they’ll grow the fruit here. And by here, we mean Dublin Virginia.

The Internet has become a popular place for people to buy and sell products and for individuals in search of dates and mates to meet.  Now, a group in Charlottesville has launched a website where chefs can find producers of local farm products.  

If you’re looking for ghost peppers or baby ginger, quail eggs or chicken feet for stock, oyster mushrooms, organic hopes or goat milk ice cream, you’re in luck.  The Piedmont Environmental Council’s Rex Linville says his group has created a website that’s already offering those things and much more to the needy chef.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has agreed to act as a mediator in a property rights dispute between a Fauquier County farmer and the Piedmont Environmental Council. 

Depending on the outcome, some farmers say the case could have a negative impact on the state's conservation easements program and create a hostile environment between landowners and government entities.

There’s a new appreciation for well known fruit and Virginia is leading the way.  Heirloom apples, coveted for their nuanced flavor, are in demand for making hard cider.  And if a recent tasting is any indication, that demand will surely grow. 

Megan McGuire: So this one is called, “Serious Cider.”  We compare it to like a brewed Champagne.

Megan McGuire is pouring 5 different varieties of hard apple cider made here at Foggy Ridge Cidery .