It is May, and that means strawberry season is here! No more ginormous (but not-so-good-tasting) strawberries grown 3000 miles away. This month we are enjoying perfectly sweet Virginia-grown strawberries, picked 10 miles from my home. Miller Farms has become a favorite spot for our family to visit for a quick after-school berry picking adventure. Located on Orange Plank Rd. in Locust Grove, VA, this farm is small, charming, and unspoiled. In 1946 this farm was opened by Ben Miller's grandfather as a dairy farm. In 2003 the family decided to change directions and started selling produce. They have been thriving on this venture ever since. Ben, father of seven children (from age four months to eleven years) works on the farm with his parents Mr. and Mrs. Wayne and Joanne Miller. Joanne Miller is always helpful, passing out information about the produce and willing to share a favorite recipe.
The family has passed on a tradition of healthy eating and living off the land. Mrs. Miller speaks proudly about how she fed her four children food from the farm and was careful about limiting processed foods. Her son Ben and his wife Kristine do the same, teaching the kids to enjoy foods like a simple salad of mesclun mix and strawberries. Their farm is less about entertainment than some. There are no bounce houses or carnival attractions here, just a simple sandpile for kids to climb. They keep the focus on educating families about food. They have several raised garden beds just outside their country store which they plan on using to show people, especially children, how certain vegetables and herbs are grown.
May is a big season for them with pick-your-own strawberries. This season may last until part of June depending on the weather. Right now you can also find their own salad greens as well as produce from other local farms like shiitake mushrooms and asparagus. Later in the season they will feature more of their own produce like tomatoes, onions, melons, eggplants, broccoli, corn and more. In July they have pick-your-own blackberries. They also sell local meats from Virginia, and dairy products from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA (their chocolate milk is to DIE for!) Fall features pumpkins of many varieties. A free hayride takes you out to the patch where the pumpkins are plentiful. They even sell Christmas trees in the winter. Their country store is quaint, selling baked goods, treats, and home goods like candles, soaps,etc.
I have been a big fan of this farm since we moved to Spotsylvania, and my kids enjoy going there for a quick outing to grab some seasonal items. I enjoy seeing what's new in the store and picking Mrs. Miller's brain about recipes. This farm is a little treasure that's a low-key option for taking the kids out to learn about food. The berries are incredible this year, as always!!
Visit the Miller Farms website for more information. Visit my website Doctor Yum for more ideas on feeding kids nutritious foods. I'll be posting some more strawberry recipes, like my healthy Strawberry Cake, as I collect more Miller Farms strawberries in the next few weeks!