Purcellville’s oldest, and last working, farm is now protected in perpetuity.
Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard, at the east end of town, have inked an agreement recording their donation of a permanent conservation easement to the Land Trust of Virginia.
The easement will protect forever the farm’s streams, wetlands, open spaces and agricultural land.
The 94-acre farm has been popular for years as a top “pick-your-own” location, where visitors from near and far came for fresh vegetables, herbs, apples, pears, plums, peaches and pumpkins.
But Crooked Run Orchards’ origins go much further back than the modern pick-your-own operation. The farm has been in Sam Brown’s family for more than 250 years.
Brown is proud of the decision to protect his family’s farm. “Here in the Loudoun Valley, we’ve got some of the best farmland in the state, and it’s being developed so fast,” he stated.
Under the conservation easement, the farm will be preserved for future generations and also will be there for the Browns to continue their love of farming—planting new varieties and experimenting.
“We could never leave this place, it’s our whole life,” Uta Brown stated.
The easement allows the Browns to continue farming, but they don’t have to.
“We can continue as long as we’re protecting the nature of the land. We just can’t build on it,” Uta Brown said this week. The couple had already placed one easement on the property some years back.
The nonprofit Land Trust of Virginia was founded almost 25 years ago. Currently, it acts as steward for more than 15,000 protected acres.
For more information, go to landtrustva.org.