River Oak Farm is located in historic Lowesville, along the banks of the Piney River in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia. It encompasses 75 acres in total and consists of typical Appalachian terrain including rich, river bottomland, high meadows, and cove forests. Tobacco Creek forms the southwest boundary of the property and the Priest Mountain (4,063 feet) looms over to the northeast. This heavenly slice of Virginia has deep agricultural roots and a strong sense of community. The property we farm was once heavy in corn and tobacco and dates back to 1846 when a little cabin was built with hand hewn American Chestnut logs. At one time the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway, one of the shortest steam-powered rail lines in the country rolled right through the property hauling chestnut logs, apples and other agricultural goods out of the mountains. For the most part the pastures and barns have lain fallow and quiet for the last several decades. We are grateful for the opportunity to breath new life into this old land. In particular we feel proud and hopeful to be stewards of the Earth and participants in the current agrarian renaissance.
Our Farming Philosophy & Practices:
River Oak Farm is a grass-based, diversified livestock farm. We raise pastured poultry (chicken & turkeys), forest-fed heritage breed pork and 100% grass-fed beef. We hold a deep respect for the land and our animals. Age-old agricultural traditions and methods are revered and we seek the wisdom and experience of veteran farmers. Above all we are devoted to Mother Earth and strive to disrupt her natural rhythms and cycles as little as possible. The greatest goal is for our farming to work with and for the land, not against it.
Our animals are tended to by hand twice daily allowing us to foster a relationship of trust, respect and admiration. We use intensive, rotational grazing methods on our herds, flocks, and droves to maximize soil health and to provide our animals with fresh ground daily. Although the style of farming that we do is very labor intensive, it means that we can intimately observe the health and well-being of each of our animals. This allows us to make their welfare our highest priority. We strongly maintain that nourishment of the land yields nourishment for the animal, which in turn brings the greatest possible nourishment to our customers and ourselves.