Saturday a Shenandoah Valley friend took me to Deauville Fallow Deer Farm, just a few miles down the road in Basye. Gail Rose, the owner, is a wonderful lady who took the time to walk us around her greenhouse, pick-your-own gardens, the chicken coop, and the deer herd.
Gail is an inspiration to me. She has created a lean-to style greenhouse attached to her home, and it’s made from recycled materials. She starts seeds in February and later sells the seedlings to the public. I believe she said she she starts over 72 heirloom tomato varieties!
The first hard frost of the season hit us Friday night, so unfortunately the tomato and basil beds looked wilted and damaged from the cold, but I was so excited to see the raised beds. (I like using raised beds in my square-foot gardens.) Gail has reused trees brought down elsewhere on the property, and she interplants the tomatoes with other herbs, including thyme and parsley. Honestly, I can’t wait to go back to get a second look at the beds. I love raised beds, and I loved the natural look of the recycled materials. You can pick your own vegetables (tomatoes and peppers were still onhand) and learn a bit about organic gardening at the same time.
Leaving the gardens, we wandered past the chickens. Gail sells “rainbow eggs,” or a mixture of different colored eggs, including the always lovely Araucuna eggs in shades of greens and blues. The visitor before me cleaned her out of eggs, though, so I’ll have to wait to purchase those.
Finally, we ended up at the field of fallow deer. The deer are spotted, no matter their age, and they are built differently than the normal whitetail deer I’m used to seeing. A “subherd” of about 10 deer all had names and they came up to us and expected us to feed them pulled grass. We spent about 20 minutes feeding the deer and listening to Gail tell us about the species.
If you’re at Bryce or the surrounding area and want something to do that’s a little different, I hope you can take the time to go visit Gail, the deer, and the chickens at Deauville. I look forward to visiting frequently and learning more about organic gardening from a Master Gardener.*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**