Our third and last farm visit was to Brightwood Vineyard and Farm in Madison, VA. We arrived just in time to join the final tour of the day, led by the farmer’s knowledgeable and entertaining young nephew, Aidan. Aidan introduced us to the duck-guarding, wolf-attacking donkeys from “some weird place in the Middle East.”
Next he took us to the sheep enclosure with a bucket of grain, and let us feed the sheep, while explaining to us that sheep are very lazy. Very, very lazy. He seemed to prefer the character of the goats, but they were lodged too far down the hill to include on the tour.
From the sheep pen, we looped up past the flock of ducks that are under the donkeys’ care. Aidan said if they hear wolves howling in the distance, they’ll turn the donkeys out, and if the wolves approach the ducks, the donkeys will attack. Safe from wolves on this day, the ducks were busy running back and forth across their yard for no apparent reason.
Aidan ended his tour with the chickens and their giant guard dog. He showed us the inside of the chicken coop, and pulled a fresh egg from beneath a very displeased hen. He also taught us that while chickens stop laying eggs in the winter, ducks lay year-round.
We ended our farm visit by tasting an array of elderberry and elderflower wines made on the farm. The wines were interesting, but the highlight of the visit, and perhaps of the entire day, was Aidan’s commentary as he guided us around his uncle’s farm. What a cool kid.
We learned a lot, and are looking forward to next year’s Meet Yer Eats tour!