No matter if you are in New Zealand or the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, indigenous foods are part of the culinary popularity sweeping the world. This summer Go Blue Ridge Travel will launch a new tourism experience – a foodie trail from the farm to the Virginia wineries, distilleries, and breweries, to the top Valley chefs and hidden Valley food spots.
“Foodie – Passion Valley Style”
The 5th annual Loudoun Grown Expo will be the initial kick off to Go Blue Ridge Travel’s new travel experience. Residents of the metropolitan DC and friends from across the Blue Ridge Mountains are invited to see what’s to love about food in Loudoun by attending the 5th annual Loudoun Grown Expo in Purcellville, Virginia on February 14, 2015. With more than 3,000 attendees last year, this has become one of Loudoun’s signature events, featuring the homegrown goods that fuel Loudoun’s rural economy and draw thousands of new visitors to the area each year.
The Expo will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the historic Bush Tabernacle (skating rink) at Fireman’s Field, 250 S. Nursery Avenue. New this year, attendees can purchase Early Harvest Tickets. These tickets provide early admission from 12:00 to 1:00 pm and exclusive gifts for ticket holders. Limited tickets are available for $7 per person (ages 13 and over).
“The expo is more than just food with artisans of locally produced fineries and other rural economy entrepreneurs will be showcased, ” said Mara Bauserman of JP Events, Event Manager for the Expo.
“The Expo has become a great winter treat for Purcellville, Loudoun County, and the entire metro D.C. area. As the Expo has grown over the past several years, we have seen a surge in interest of locally grown and harvested foods, beverages and artisan crafts,” said Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser. “Agribusiness has been, and continues to be, a very important component in our local economy. We wish to thank our generous sponsors, the Village at Leesburg, Giant Food, and The Dulles Greenway.”
As founder and owner, Nancy Craun, is on a two-month food travel experience to prepare for the launch of Go Blue Ridge Travel’s “Foodie – Passion Valley Style”. First stop on this culinary food trail is Auckland, New Zealand. “I was surprise to learn that food is all the craze in this wonderful small country. One of the books I picked up is by Maori Chef Charles Royal.
“Today Charles Royal runs a thriving business based on indigenous treats from New Zealand’s native forests. He has rediscovered wild herbs and edible ferns – generally overlooked since early Māori settlement – and has elevated them to contemporary fine food status.” Craun had a similar conversation this year with Chef David Dunlap of The Ashby Inn in Paris, Virginia. “David spoke of a return to native plants and herbs in his recipes,” said Craun.
The Loudoun Grown Expo gives food enthusiasts a great way to meet local resources here in Loudoun County. One of the community supported-Agriculture (CSAs) will be Great Country Farms from Bluemont. “Great Country Farm offers a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program which allows families to invest in the rural economy while also investing in their own health and well-being. Buying a farm share is a way of maintaining a place in your community where people can grow nourishing food under sustainable conditions for the benefit of all,” says Kate Zurschmeide, co-owner of Great Country Farms.