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Farm stand at Long Stone Farm opens

Long Stone Farm’s Casey and Justin Wisch, with little farmhand Piper, opened their self-serve farm stand on Saturday. Times-Mirror/Ed Felker
Loudoun County and surrounding area residents who love local foods now have another option to bring farm fresh products to their tables. With the opening of the Farm Stand at Long Stone Farm, Casey and Justin Wisch make their pasture-fed meats and eggs more accessible to buyers. The self-serve stand, located at 38212 Long Lane in Lovettsville, will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. year round. In a rare still moment for the Wisch family, the Times-Mirror sat down with the couple and their baby daughter, Piper, to learn about this exciting addition to the Lovettsville area.

How did the farm stand come about?

When we began offering our pastured meats and eggs we weren’t confident retail cuts would be a popular choice given the numerous farmers markets and CSA’s [Community Supported Agriculture] in the area. But, we’ve actually seen an increased demand for our individually packaged cuts and felt we needed to make them more available. We both still work full time and must have our weekends to tackle more time-consuming farm projects and run the business. Our freezers were previously in our basement and the home/farm blend wasn’t ideal with the baby coming. We felt the store would be a great way to address these challenges.

What sorts of products can visitors expect to find there?

We have dedicated fridge & freezers that hold our heritage pastured pork, pastured mash-fed beef and chicken and duck eggs. We’re also partnering with other local farms and businesses, such as Hackett Woodworking, who will provide grill scrapes made from local wood. The stand enables us to pre-package orders for pick-up at anytime and allows us to better educate our buyers about our farming practices and additional products. We dedicated an entire wall to information about the farm, our livestock, and our whole/half meat shares and events. Visitors can really get to know the farm, which is important to us.

Regularly scheduled farm food deliveries through CSA’s are a good fit for some households. How does a self-serve farm stand differ from CSA’s?

Unlike a CSA, the farm stand allows customers to purchase product at their convenience. They can select various sized cuts in a comfortable retail setting and handle the meats before purchase. The stand’s location onsite is a unique opportunity to share our farm. We care for our animals and take pride in how we manage them and our pastures and customers have the opportunity to witness this first-hand. They can truly see where their food is coming from. That is special.

You’ve been collaborating for some time with your neighbors, Georges Mill Artisan Cheese, who have a popular farm store as well. Will an additional stop in the Lovettsville area be mutually beneficial?

Yes, over the last year and a half we’ve worked collaboratively with Georges Mill to help provide more options at their store. By opening our store, we’re able to provide additional products for the surrounding area. We are planning to co-market the stores -- especially to eastern Loudoun and the D.C. area -- and have also talked with some local wineries about marketing ideas as well. Ultimately we both feel the two stores will benefit each other -- two stores are better than one.

Your new addition, Piper, is not the only recent expansion the Long Stone family has undergone. Tell us about what the future holds for Long Stone?

Yes, Piper is the cutest, most distracting farmhand around. Fortunately she likes the baby carrier and side-by-side. The hope is the farm store helps to free up some time and build some flexibility into the sales side of the business. We are currently working on additional product offerings and a few collaborative projects (can you tell we like working with others?). The business side can take up a lot of time and it’s not why we farm, so we hope this allows us to spend more time actually farming. Continuous education is important to us so we’d like to attend more agricultural conferences and maybe even make it to the river a few times this summer.

Comments


Do they have domestic squirrel?  We will pick up what we find on the road every once in a while (mana from heaven as pop puts it!) but haven’t been able to find anything nearly as satisfactory at any of the area farmer markets.


I like the idea.  The CSA doesn’t appeal to me because you get what you get and you’ll like it.  We’ll pay these guys a visit.  7 a.m. to 9 p.m. year round?  That’s great.

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