June is Great Outdoors Month: Get outdoors to a farm

vdacsThe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages all Virginians to get outdoors during June …  at a farm.

“The possibilities are almost limitless,” said Sandra J. Adams, Commissioner. “People can pick fresh berries, vegetables or flowers; ride a pony or take a trail ride; navigate a maze; pet a lamb; fish for trout or picnic in the great outdoors.”

These activities and many more take place on Virginia farms that are open to the public. Agritourism, or agricultural tourism, is a growing aspect of the Virginia farm economy and VDACS lists places to visit on its website atvdacs.virginia.gov/news/c-tourism.shtml. There visitors will find historic farms and plantations, museums, food festivals, farm vacations, geo-caching spots, farms where you can fish with a pole or a fly rod, wineries and micro-breweries that offer amenities such as picnicking or hiking, even pet-friendly locations.

Some farms offer unique experiences such as gem mining at Chesterfield Berry Farm, panning for gold at Cheese Cake Farms in Fauquier county, playing cow-pie putt-putt golf at Great Country Farms in Bluemont or visiting the butterfly house or Virginia Carousel at Back Home on the Farm in Harrisonburg. At Fair Hill Farm in Stanardsville, you can even nap in the hammocks. But all agritourism farms offer a blend of fresh air, farm-fresh food or plants and just enjoying the Great Outdoors. Be sure to call ahead to see what’s fresh in the fields, listings of special events and information about reservations if required.

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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