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Beazer Homes

At Willowsford Coventry

Beazer Homes, one of the top ten homebuilders in the U.S., is pleased to present three, brand new home designs at Willowsford. Each of these homes is inspired by craftsman style architecture reflecting old-world style combined with the modern conveniences you love. Homeowners will love the welcoming front porches, gabled roofs and multitude of windows that each of our exteriors will offer. The interior of the homes feature between 3,090 to just over 3,620 square feet of finished living space, 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ to 4 ½ bathrooms and a variety of high end details and finishes. Beazer



builds homes that meet and exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements offering increased savings and a lower ongoing cost of ownership. Homes starting from the upper $500’s.

Prices, features, and availability are subject to change at any time without notice. Homes started after 2/14/11 will be ENERGY STAR® homes. To fi nd out whether a particular home is qualified, contact your Beazer New Home Counselor. ©2011 Beazer Homes

Willowsford’s Cooking Mike Isabella, Top Chef All-Stars runner-up, will entertain and cook at A Taste of Willowsford in early October. Guests will be treated to a cooking demonstration and a taste of Isabella’s inspired cuisine. Isabella recently opened his first restaurant, Graffiato [], in Washington DC, where he uses local growers and farms to supply his kitchen. This farm-to-table philosophy is shared by Willowsford, a unique community being developed in the rolling hills of Loudoun County. Plan to join us for this delicious event. []


Contents PREMIER ISSUE 2011


4 Message from Willowsford BRIAN CULLEN


5 Backyard Buffet Grow your own native fruits. TRACEY CREHAN GERLACH

8 Lucky to be Born

a Dirtball



9 D.C.’s Wine Country Loudoun County is growing into a thriving wine neighborhood. DOUG FABBIOLI

12 Tarara’s Twenty Years

of Success

Tarara Vineyards offers delicious wines and gorgeous grounds. ALEXANDER LOWELL



16 Hitting the Trails Hiking on Willowsford’s 40 miles of trails is a total body workout, plus six stretches to get the most benefit from your walk. ALLISON GERSCH

20 Riding in Loudoun Loudoun is horse country. Here’s where to ride.


46 The Inspiration

and People Behind Willowsford The Willowsford team shares their vision for the community.

52 Birding at Home Make your yard a welcoming home for birds. GERCO HOOGEWEG


21 How to Break In a

New Home

Imbue a new house with personal style and history to transform it into a home. LAUREN LIESS



54 A Late Summer’s

Night Dinner

Recipes for a dinner of summer favorites. MIKE PETERSON

60 Farm to Table


Grandale Restaurant and Patowmack Farms Restaurant make dinner straight from the garden.

Learn about the community.


25 Experience

Backyard Buffet Your landscaping can be both beautiful and edible.



64 The Old Luckett’s Store Shabby to just plain chic, this former general store is a designer destination. ROOTED

66 On this Spot... Stonewall Jackson’s brief pause between battles.





68 A Final Bit of Inspiration ON THE COVER

Night falls in Willowsford. Photo By Tom Lussier



s we pr epar e to open

Willowsfor d,

I can’t help but reflect a little as one might at that proud moment when their child graduates from high school. I’ve lived in Loudoun County for more than 20 years, raised a family here, built a number of businesses, and experienced the changes that have resulted from Loudoun’s rapid growth. For me, Willowsford represents an opportunity to combine my 30-plus years of real estate experience with my personal belief that a thoughtfully designed and executed community can create a place where connections last a lifetime. My hope is that our new magazine, Inspired, will give you a taste of the lifestyle and character we are creating here in Willowsford—on the 40-plus miles of trails connecting roughly 2,000 acres of forest, fields, and parklands, a lake for fishing and non-motorized boating, two community activity centers unique to Northern Virginia, ® our burgeoning farm…and a wide variety of culinary and other exciting programs and events to enhance our residents’ enjoyment of these spectacular recreational spaces. And let’s not forget our distinctive collection of homes—each exclusively designed for Willowsford by our A PUBLICATION OF WILLOWSFORD, L.L.C. builders to complement the natural setting and reflect the authentic historical architecture found in homes that dot the landscape in this PUBLISHER: corner of Virginia. PIEDMONT MEDIA, LLC INFO@PIEDMONT–MEDIA .COM This first edition introduces you to many of the concepts that define CONTRIBUTOR: Willowsford along with the design team, who collaborated and spent many, FRASER WALLACE AGENCY many hours working to create the blueprint for Willowsford. I’m proud to FR ASERWALLACE .COM say that we have assembled a talented and visionary group that is strongly committed to and engaged in creating what we believe is a very special place. © 2011 Willowsford, L.L.C. Willowsford, Willowsford Conservancy, Inspired, Inspired Living, Naturally So put your feet up, open these pages, and be Inspired. Then come join Planned Community and are all trademarks of Willowsford L.L.C.. All rights reserved. Reproduction us at Willowsford. in whole or in part of any material in this magazine is All the best,



expressly prohibited. Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising matter. The information, illustrations, maps, and depictions contained in this magazine concerning the Willowsford development are based on the current proposed development concepts and actual development may vary from what is depicted. As the vision for the project evolves, facilities, features and other components are subject to change. Certain features and amenities depicted within the magazine have not yet been, and may not be, constructed. Dues, fees and assessments may be imposed for the use of some amenities. Photographs and images are not necessarily of the Willowsford development, are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be an actual representation of any features or designs of any specific community, neighborhood, amenities, facilities or improvements.


Backyard Buffet

Your landscaping can be both beautiful and edible. by Tracey Crehan Gerlach


t started with a hardy kiwi—more importantly, with the keen ability to propagate a hardy kiwi. And Michael McConkey, owner of the Edible Landscaping nursery and a lifelong gardener, was propelled into the world of harvest-able landscapes. With a love of nurturing things going back to his childhood (he tended his own garden before the age of 10), McConkey found himself amidst the grow-yourown movement of the 1970s. He spent time traveling, learning, exploring. And then he met Dr. Elwyn Meader, a rare-plant specialist and fruit breeder from the University of New Hampshire, who gave McConkey his first cutting of the hardy kiwi. When an article about Meader and the kiwi variety came out a year later in a well-known

photos by Molly M. Peterson

gardening magazine, McConkey was listed as a go-to source for the plant.

FROM HOBBY TO VOCATION Things took on a farm-to-table meaning when McConkey became a vegetarian and relied on his green thumb to supply him with his own food. That was when, he says, he realized what fun it all is. And even on a late-winter visit to his 25-acre nursery, I too realized what fun it all is. Perched atop a foothill of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Afton, the backbones of the nursery’s orchards and the silhouettes of the fig trees showed the promise of spring as well as the potential for edible options in Virginia that weren’t even on my radar. Starts of herbs like chocolate mint and fruit trees PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 5


Virginia is a hospitable home to a variety of delicious fruits, including both wild and cultured blueberries.

such as flowering apricot prepare for the upcoming season in the mist and the humidity of their respective greenhouses. Shiitake logs sit stacked at-the-ready for their first spring flush. Visiting the citrus greenhouse filled with Meyer lemons, Kaffir limes, and mangoes is like a mini-vacation. My mental wish list for my own garden keeps growing. But I quietly admit to Sonja Reid of the Edible Landscaping staff that I am intimidated by fruit trees and the more unusual offerings. I am primarily a vegetable gardener curious about branching out. Contrary to what I originally thought about Edible Landscaping, it is not just for the wizened, weathered, know-it-all gardener. It is the perfect place to start learning, and many plants can be grown and tended by new gardeners. According to McConkey, juneberries, persimmons, mulberries, and pawpaw are “dummy proof”—yes!—in terms of planting and cultivation requirements. Choosing native plants is also a good start for beginners. “Natives understand our [weather] swings,” McConkey explains. All of the beginner plants mentioned above are natives to our area, as are filberts (hazelnuts).

THE CORNUCOPIA Edible Landscaping truly brings horticultural resources and confidence to gardeners. Customers are sent home with a succinct care sheet for each plant that they buy. The nursery’s online “Plant Talk” forums offer support from seasoned gardeners living around the country. Events like All About Fruit Days—offered in June and September—include tastings of some of the more unique plants, such as the pawpaw. And the nursery ships plants. In fact, a majority of their business is mail order. For the more intrepid gardener, McConkey suggests Edible Landscaping’s Russian pomegranate trees, descendants of a line developed in the Soviet Union over four decades by Dr. Gregory Levin. When the USSR dissolved, Levin lost funding for his project and chose to disperse his best selections to various horticultural institutions across the globe. You will also find a hefty selection of plants that are closer to what you would expect in Virginia, like blueberry, blackberry, apple, fig, passionflower, rhubarb, strawberry, apricot, and raspberry plants. I learned about a Virginia-hardy orange (meaning that it will live through our winters), the Flying Dragon. The fruit is not meant to be eaten out of hand, but it is ideal for citrus-ades, marmalades, and jams. And then, if you have the outfit to replicate the tropics, there are bananas, dragon fruit, coffee, guava, star fruit, pineapples, and mangoes.

A Virginia-hardy orange (meaning that it will live through our winters), the Flying Dragon, is not meant to be eaten as-is, but it is ideal for citrus-ades, marmalades, and jams. 6 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

VIRGINIA GARDEN RECOMMENDATIONS And, of course, the hardy kiwi. Edible Landscaping stocks another interesting plant, especially for an avid cook—saffron crocuses. Collect the center stigmas of these fall bloomers, and you will have this very expensive spice at your fingertips for your favorite sauces or risottos. Chefs will also appreciate herbs such as horseradish, sweet bay laurel, lemongrass, Thai ginger, and garlic chives. The pawpaw appears on several of McConkey’s recommendation lists. Having never tasted one, I am told it is like a very ripe banana. And in the Edible Landscaping catalog, I learn that George Washington’s favorite dessert was chilled pawpaw. Well, then. The shiitake logs, Reid tells me, are very popular and hard to keep in stock. White oak logs, about 40 inches long, have holes drilled into them and are then plugged with shiitake spores. To grow this super-low maintenance mushroom, just place the log in dappled shade and water regularly. It can produce shiitakes for four years. The nursery’s choices are delightfully dizzying and my own wish list starts to flesh out. Mulberries for cobblers, a shiitake log, super sweet Caroline Everbearing raspberries, and a fig tree. Phew.

WELL WITHIN REACH I am a gardening coach, and more and more often I am hearing requests for edible backyards from clients and friends. Function over form. No matter the size of their plot, property, or deck. They want fresh vegetables and fruits within fuzzy-slipper distance—as one of my favorite horticulture teachers used to say. It’s a good time of year to rethink the garden and swap out some of those fussy ornamentals for something that’ll show up on your plate that evening without burning fossil fuels, without questionable pesticides, without the middleman. With Edible Landscaping in the Piedmont, getting involved in your own grow-your-own movement doesn’t need to involve a daunting initiation. For McConkey, a sense of accomplishment is bringEdible Landscaping ing home a bushel of Russian 361 Spirit Ridge Lane pomegranates. For me, this Afton, Virginia season, it will be a handful of questions (434) 361-9134 orders (800) 524-4156 shiitakes and maybe a bowl of mulberries.

SHADE AND SEMISHADE Saffron crocus, elderberry, wine berry, shiitake mushroom log, pawpaw, and alpine strawberry. CONTAINER GARDENING “Try a Sunshine Blue Blueberry,” McConkey recommends. “It will do well in a whiskey barrel. It is pretty and compact and should thrive because you will be able to control the soil conditions.” SMALL-SPACE GARDENING Northstar cherry, fig, blueberry, pomegranate, and alpine strawberry. McConkey recommends swapping out the typical blueberries with the spring harvest of mulberries in any of your favorite cobbler or muffin recipes. DROUGHT-TOLERANT FAVORITES Juneberry, mulberry, pawpaw, filbert (hazelnut), persimmon, and jujube. TOP BERRY PICKS FOR OUR AREA Caroline Everbearing raspberry and English Thornless raspberry. MOST POPULAR EDIBLES FOR OUR AREA Blueberry, fig, persimmon, and pawpaw. UP FOR SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT? Try the che—very easy to grow and a beautiful ornamental in the autumn. Its fruits are like figs, yet seedless.

Tracey Crehan Gerlach is an organic garden coach and lives in Sugar Hollow, west of Charlottesville. She writes about her own gardening adventures at This article reprinted courtesy of Flavor magazine.




Lucky to be Born a Dirtball by Ellen Polishuk


s a kid growing up in Reston in the ‘60s and ‘70s, I begged my Mom for indoor plants and office supplies. It turns out that plants and pens are still my passion 30 to 40 years later! I had my first garden plot next to the Hunters Woods pool at age 10. I worked that 10-by-10-foot plot with all my heart and strength, and harvested just a bit of food. But I can still conjure up the memory of some of the other more lush and successful plots nearby— those gardened long and well, by grownups mostMICHAEL SNOW ly. I had my first farm job has joined the team as at age 16 on an island in Willowsford’s director the Potomac River near of farm operations. Lucketts, working for Michael has more the Coxes. Then I met than a decade of Hiu Newcomb and befarming experience gan my journey farming and managed the at Potomac Vegetable Ecosystem Farm Farms. I am now one of at The Accokeek three women who own Foundation. Read an that business. exclusive interview Farming is an allwith him in the next encompassing career. In issue of Inspired. this day and age when we’re told we need to have work/life balance, to beware of becoming a workaholic, it seems wrong to admit what a farmer needs to be. There is really no membrane between a farm and its farmer. Yes, 8 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

the farmer (generally) sleeps inside, and the farm sleeps outside. But that’s about it for separation. Many beings are dependent on the farmer: thirsty plants and hungry livestock. Farm life is lived on a much bigger clock than 9 to 5. The weather has more power over the flow of work than the workers do. You can’t till or weed or plant if the soil is too wet. You must make hay when the sun shines. The chickens have to get closed up at dark before Mr. Fox begins his nightly rounds. The greenhouse must be opened before it gets too warm on a sunny Sunday morning. So, the time of day and the temperature and the strength of the sunlight play into the work of the day just as much as the name of that day, be it Tuesday or Friday. Farming is endlessly interesting. On a smallish diversif ied farm, there are numerous areas of knowledge to master: mechanics, plumbing, soil management, animal health, bookkeeping, carpentry, marketing, labor relations, organization, efficiency, biology, etc. Being a super specialist is not very sustainable for farmers. We at-

tempt to be masterful generalists. The problem sometimes is that we don’t master any one skill set as the demands of the season keep changing. Some jobs are only done once a year (digging the garlic crop) or even once every four years (putting new plastic on the greenhouse). So, good memories are crucial, as are good colleagues to help remind us how to do what needs to be done. Farms change over time all by themselves as they are living organisms, but they also change in response to the farmer’s reality. Age, disease, family situation, and temperament all have the potential to drastically change the farm. I can track the increasing size of my operation to the confidence I had in my skills and the amount of time I had to spare as my son grew older. And I can track the size of my crop list with my increasing interest in having more to market. Agriculture is a most noble pursuit. Growing food is both necessary and honorable. Thank goodness there is a somewhat new public attitude of appreciation for farmers. My customers have been a continual source of inspiration and reward. My body has directed my latest career decision—to stop the day-today on-farm work. Too many parts of me hurt to enjoy farming right now. So I have a new purpose: to grow new farmers. Towards that end, I am consulting with Willowsford to design and shape its agricultural land. What an honor it is to help birth a new farm!

Ellen Polishuk is a soils and farm consultant, and an owner of Potomac Vegetable Farms in Purcellville, Virginia. She has recently been assisting with the launch of Willowsford Farm.

D.C.’s Wine Country


Loudoun County Is Growing Into A Thriving Wine Neighborhood That Will Be Here For Generations To Come. by Doug Fabbioli photos by Robert Merhaut PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 9



was lucky enough to learn early on that decisions made at certain points on the road of life will define my path and the rest of the points along the way. While studying production management at Syracuse University, I worked on a small vineyard in the Finger Lakes region. The work was hard but rewarding. I could see the vines’ progress over the years and found myself wanting to be at the vineyard more and more. In my senior year, I came to that magic point where I had to choose a career path. I knew that I could work in any business I wanted. But which business, with which product? I realized that the wine business was not going to pay a lot, but it was a good industry and I enjoyed it. My then-girlfriend, Colleen—now my wife of 20 years—agreed to move to California so I could work in the industry out there. In 1987, we moved with our two cats to Sonoma, where I worked the “crush” for Buena Vista Winery. I ended up staying for 10 years. I took classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of California, Davis, to complement my experience in the cellars. I was fortunate enough to work


with many winemakers and to learn different winemaking techniques. I also trained a lot of the cellar crush help, many of whom went on to become winemakers as well. At the next point of decision, we took advantage of an opportunity to move east. I got a job at Tarara Winery in Leesburg that brought all my skills and studies together. I worked feverishly to fix the vineyard, improve the wine quality, and change the business practices so it would be successful for the long term. I learned a tremendous amount about myself over my four years at Tarara, and many people in the industry learned about my work. In 2001, we bought property outside of Leesburg, planted our vineyard, and built a house designed with a small winery in the cellar. I left Tarara and I started consulting in Northern Virginia. I was teaching, training, helping start businesses, and just trying to improve the quality of wine produced in the region overall. By helping your neighbors become better at what they do, you create a great neighborhood. Fabbioli Cellars really took off in 2007. I realized

We basically went “all in.”


that I needed to concentrate on my own business, to practice what I preach, and to show leadership to this industry by example. We basically went “all in”—borrowing money, expanding production, and opening our home for regular wine tastings. For me, this meant adjusting my attention to be not just on my wines, but also on my business. Colleen holds a day job and works the tasting room on weekends. My older son Matt studies viticulture and winemaking in college. My younger son, Sam, is learning about growing food on the farm. Going all in was obviously the right move for us. If I were to pick one focus for our industry, it would be quality. As a passionate farmer, craftsman, and artisan of wine, I have learned that wine affects people in a positive way. And as a business person, I have learned that great wine is a lot easier to sell than mediocre wine, and that it builds a great reputation for your own winery and for the neighborhood where you grow it. I have also learned that quality comes from the vineyard. We put a lot of energy into teaching people to grow grapes so that they hit the level where

the personality comes from the soil, the terroir. This is the never-ending quest, the holy grail of this industry, because as good as your wines get, there is always a little more that a vintner can do to improve the expression of the terroir. If I were to pick a second focus for our industry, it would be balance. Balance needs to be practiced not just when tending the vines or when blending the wines, but also when running the business itself. Expectations of how much fruit can be produced by the vine need to be balanced with the root system and canopy of the vine. Thinning the fruit is a critical part to growing better fruit and creating a better wine. There is no simple equation for this, just the trust and faith that balanced quality will always be a good business decision. By keeping quality foremost as Virginia’s wine industry grows, we will grow strong businesses and reputations that will carry us through the generations. This land is here for us to use and respect. Keeping the balance between life, land, and work is the key for all of us, every day. You can find wine from Fabbioli Cellars at Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg, at Fabbioli Cellars 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown, at 15669 Limestone School Road Calvert & WoodLeesburg, Virginia 20176 ley in D.C., and at W hole Foods in (703) 771-1197 Fair Lakes. Doug Fabbioli has been a winemaker and consultant in Northern Virginia for more than 10 years, working with Windham Winery in Purcellville and Old House Vineyards in Culpeper as well as with Hillsborough, Chrysalis, Willowcroft, Sunset Hills, North Gate, Notaviva, Hiddencroft, and Bluemont vineyards and many small growers. This article reprinted courtesy of Flavor magazine.



Tarara’s Twenty Years of Success by Alexander Lowell


t would seem an enormous leap to go from growing fruit for Welch’s in Ohio to creating one of the premier vineyards in Virginia—one that consistently produces world-class wines—but Ralph J. “Whitie” Hubert, the much-beloved patriarch of Tarara Winery, did it, and he did it with style. Following the European model, he decided a cave was the best environment in which to ferment and develop his wines before sending them out into the world, so with a few sticks of dynamite and the American can-do spirit, he blasted a cave from bedrock below his chosen Loudoun County house site. Then he built a swimming pool over it, along with an extraordinary house of timber and stone that consumed four years of meticulous design and labor. Strike up a conversation with anyone at Tarara, and within the first few seconds, he or she will mention Hubert’s name in any number of contexts. The great man who founded the winery 22 years ago passed away in the spring of 2008, but his spirit continues to inform and inspire everyone along the Tarara hierarchy—from tasting room servers to the director of sales. Hubert’s sculpting hand built, developed, and sustained this happy institution for two decades, so it’s with his story, back in the level plains of the Midwest, where we must begin.

STARTS WITH A FARM Hubert was born in Avon Lake, Ohio, in 1924 on his family’s fruit farm. From an early age he excelled in sports. With his cheerful, honest character, he made a favorable impression on everyone he met. At Catholic 12 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

photos by Molly M. Peterson

University he studied architectural engineering and won medals as a wrestler, but he also shined at his real love: football. Hubert was varsity quarterback and though his team didn’t win many games, Hubert loved the camaraderie of group effort. And he loved to throw that long bomb—a thing of beauty that, when successful, was the culmination of the team’s cooperation. Following college, he went into the contracting business and constructed, over a period of 40 years, millions of square feet of commercial buildings. But since his idyllic days growing up on the farm, he had hoped to one day own and operate a vineyard. In 1985 he and his wife Margaret purchased a 475-acre farm, which had produced soybeans and corn just north of historic Leesburg, and began cultivating grapes. The couple lived in the farmhouse while they built the aforementioned cave and great house, whose bottom half now houses the spacious tasting room complex.

THE LONG BOMB Of the more than 135 winery tasting rooms in Virginia, Tarara’s is one of the most enchanting, perhaps because you enter it through a tunnel of the cave structure. Inside are 15 different wines for tasting. The usual suspects are all in attendance: the ubiquitous Viognier, pride of most Virginia wineries; hearty Cabernet Franc, another regional favorite; a New World–fashioned Chardonnay; a medium-bodied Merlot, barrel-aged for 18 months; and a Meritage, Tarara’s flagship blend of Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot.


In addition, there’s a complex Pinot Gris, a dry Rosé, and three blends unique to Tarara: Charval, a merging of Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Viognier, and Pinot Gris; and Wild River, an off-dry red that mixes in homegrown blackberries for those who like their wines extra fruity. Winemaker Jordan Harris has also produced a Pinot Noir, a grape almost impossible to grow properly in Virginia’s particular microclimate. Tarara is proud of its effort with this California favorite but decided, nevertheless, to discontinue it and concentrate its efforts in a different direction. As part of that novel plan, Tarara has presented a new port-style wine. Tarara’s recent innovation—named, not surprisingly, Long Bomb—was created in honor of its founder and the winery’s 20th anniversary in 2009. This wine is bold but approachable—like Whitie Hubert. Long Bomb, with its football-themed label (most of the other labels boast original paintings by Hubert’s daughter, Martha, who paints in San Francisco but makes forays to Tarara seasonally to create new vineyard-inspired designs), is truly the product of team effort and is the largest production wine of the company. A well-rounded blend of Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Merlot, Long Bomb has an intensity that will hold its own with the gamiest wild meats, the most peppery sauces, and pungent cheeses. But next year’s Long Bomb may be an entirely different blend. The idea isn’t to duplicate the product year after year. Again, reflecting the founder’s courageous character and playful personality, it will depend on whatever comes to hand, whatever special qualities and quantities the vines produce. Long Bomb was also the first of Tarara’s wines to be sealed in screw tops. Harris, who believes screw tops are the wave of the future for all wines, explains that changing from cork closures usually requires only a small adjustment in the way the wine is created. Others, loyal to the use of cork as an essential part of the tactile enjoyment and general romance encompassing the ceremony of wine service—as well as intrinsic to proper aging—vehemently disagree. Ask, for example, respected winemaker Bill Gadino of Rappahannock’s Gadino Cellars, and you’ll hear a convincing and

The idea isn’t to duplicate the product year after year.


highly rational argument for the continued use of the noble cork. But Tarara, which from its inception has never been shy about taking risks—and was sufficiently capitalized to see them through—has gone completely cork free.

TENDING THE VINES & THE LEGACY Harris is passionate about all aspects of his role as Tarara’s winemaker—having left a white-collar, corporate winemaker position because he wanted to get his hands dirty in the vineyard—and is unabashedly ambitious about making the best wines on the East Coast. Once that is accomplished, he posits, he’ll take on the Pacific Northwest, California, and, well, could France and Italy be next? “I truly believe, even given that the Virginia microclimate is a bit limiting, that we will eventually produce well-structured, extraordinary wine that can win any competition anywhere in the world,” Harris said. At nearly 500 acres, with 60 cultivated in grape

TARARA FESTIVALS Tarara hosts three annual summer festivals. The Fine Vine Festival, a tribute to Viognier, is held in late May. U-pick blackberries are available at the Big Chill Wine Fest in early August. And at September’s Victory Wine Celebration, which honors the Long Bomb, attendees can pick apples from Tarara’s orchards. You may also wish to visit in early May for the Asparagus “Feastival.” Visit the website for more information.

vines, Tarara is one of the largest wine properties in Virginia. It produces approximately 10,000 cases of wine annually, but it doesn’t want to be known or thought of as a commercial winery. “We’re really still a neighborhood winery,” enthuses Heather Akers, Tarara’s director of sales who has been with the vineyard for more than a decade. “Call it a quality boutique winery, if you like, but we are still very much a family operation, even though Whitie is no longer with us. All of us at Tarara …have been made to feel a genuine part of the family, and that’s really our mindset, the way we think and operate. And we intend to keep it that way. Always.” Tarara’s tasting room sees more than 40,000 visitors a year. The grounds host countless weddings and corporate events as well, and crowds flock to the summer concert series and other music events. The winery is situated in one of the most picturesque spots in Loudoun County, although when Hubert and his family first stood on the verandah and gazed out across

the fields toward the pyramid-like Sugarloaf Mountain, they weren’t completely confident in their choice of property. There was a major flood that year from the Potomac, and the water rose nearly to the level of the house. One of the children, who had just been reading about Noah and his ark, called it “Noah’s flood” and renamed the distant looming peak Ararat. Amused, Hubert turned the word Ararat backwards—just as he knew he would turn Tarara Winery this negative omen into 13648 Tarara Lane a positive one—and he Leesburg, Virginia 20176 named the estate Tarara. The long bomb had been (703) 771-7100 launched. 

Alexander Lowell is a freelance journalist specializing in food, wine, and the arts. Under various pseudonyms he has also published poetry, short fiction, and criticism. This article reprinted courtesy of Flavor magazine.



Hitting the Trails Walking and stretching are your tickets to lifetime fitness by Allison Gersch



here are many ways to get or stay in cardiovascular shape—running, biking, swimming. But Willowsford’s 40 miles of trails lend themselves perfectly to one of the best and most fundamental types of exercise: walking. If done as deliberate exercise, walking can give you the same cardiovascular benefit as the others. Walking doesn’t require a pool or an expensive bike and helmet, and walking offers some potential benefits over running. There is less stress on your joints because it is a low-impact exercise—it is gentler on your ankles, knees, hips and lower back than running. Any exerciser should be able to continue to walk for a lifetime. Runners often have to stop at some point due to wear and tear on their body. But to achieve a cardiovascular benefit from walking it must be aerobic—meaning that your heart rate is sustained between 60 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. It’s easy to calculate when you’re there: Your approximate maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. An exerciser who is 55 years old has a maximum heart rate of 165 beats per minute. So, that walker should aim for between 99 and 140 beats per minute. Those beats are easily counted with a finger on a pulse point and a common wrist watch. (Count the beats for 15 seconds then multiple that number by four to get your beats per minute. It’s easy to lose your place if you try to count for the whole minute.) If your heart rate is over 99 beats per minute, you are exercising in your aerobic training zone and achieving cardiovascular benefit. A stroll—while better than nothing—just won’t do it. One of my favorite facts about walking is that it burns about the same number of calories as running the same distance would. Of course, it will take you longer to walk the mile than to run it, but the caloric expenditure is roughly equal. Imagine how you would feel if you ran five miles. Well, if you walk the same distance, you will burn the same number of calories (and be significantly less exhausted!). To start a walking program the only critical equipment is good shoes. There are shoes designed specifically for walking, but running shoes are fine, too. Just make sure it’s the right fit for your feet. Stretching is also important. Stretching helps reduce the likelihood of injury by keeping your muscles flex-

ible (and keeping your muscles flexible, in turn, makes it easier to exercise as you age). Twenty years ago, exercise specialists believed stretching should occur before exercise. Now physiologists believe it is even more beneficial and important to stretch after you begin an exercise or even at the end of your work out, when your muscles are warm and more receptive. The most important stretches for walking are those for your quadriceps, the large muscle group on the top of your leg; your hamstrings, the muscles on the back of your thigh; and your calves, the muscles in your lower leg. It is also important to stretch your iliotibial band (usually referred to as “IT Band”). That muscle runs along the outside of your leg, from the hip to the knee. It’s a tougher stretch to get into but well worth the effort (and mild contortion). Another great stretch is for your piriformis muscle, which is deep in your hip and gluteus muscles. Neither should you neglect your hip flexors, which are at the top of the front of your leg. Hip flexors are problem areas for anyone who sits at a desk for long periods, which shortens them. Tight flexors can exacerbate or cause lower back pain. I have found that exercisers—especially those on forest trails—will not want to get down on the (often wet) ground to stretch post-workout. So I have selected all of these stretches because they can be easily incorporated into your walk or completed at the end, your choice. And no mat required—just a tree. You’ll find plenty on Willowsford’s 2,200 protected acres. As always, the most important thing about exercise is to do it. Get out and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Burn calories. And strengthen your heart in the process.

One of my favorite facts about walking is that it burns about the same number of calories as running the same distance would.

Allison Gersch is a kinesiologist who has worked for the last 22 years as a master personal trainer in Washington, D.C.


CALF STRETCH In order to stretch the muscle on the lower part of your leg, keep leg to be stretched straight and heel firmly on the ground, and lean hip forward. There should be very little weight on the front leg. It’s just there for balance.

QUADRICEP STRETCH This exercise stretches the muscles on the upper part of your leg. Keep your legs parallel and both knees bent. Holding foot or ankle in your hand, pull it as close to your body as possible The supporting knee should be slightly bent to keep the pressure off the knee joint. The bent leg should point straight to the ground. Keep your knees close together.

LUNGE STRETCH This stretches your hip flexor. You should feel it in the very top part of the straight leg. Do not bend the standing knee more than 90 degrees. The back leg needs to be absolutely straight. Your body is upright. This counteracts the shortening of the hip flexor from sitting or driving.




IT BAND STRETCH This tendon runs from the top of your hip all along the outside of your leg. Most of your weight will be on the bent leg in front—lean into the hip on the straight leg, which is crossed behind you.

PIRIFORMIS STRETCH This muscle is deep in your glutes. Stretching your hips is critical for walking and running. Cross one leg over the other knee and lower your hips. You should feel the stretch on the outside of the crossed leg.


The hamstring is the large muscle group on the back of your upper leg. The key to this stretch is keeping the working leg straight, the standing knee slightly bent, and the stretching foot flexed, toes coming toward you. It is critical when you bend forward that you keep your back straight and bend from your hips, not your waist. No hunching! PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 19






40333 Charles Town Pike Hamilton, Virginia (540) 882-4821

19312 Walsh Farm La. Bluemont, Virginia (540) 554-8618


IF YOU’D PREFER SOMEONE ELSE—or something else—to do the walking for you, there are several nearby stables that can set you up on a trail ride or with lessons and horse boarding. Riding is a great core workout, strengthening the muscles in the abdominal region and the back, in addition to the thighs, calves and ankles. And an hour’s ride—properly done—will have you breaking a sweat. It burns as many calories as a 30-minute jog.


H OW TO B R E AK IN A NEW HOME: Layering old and new, soft and structured pieces imbues your new hom e with your p e r sonalit y. by Lauren Liess Photos by Helen Norman



Blackboard paint is an attractive and functional alternative to magnets.


e know that a new cutting board should be oiled, new shoes need to be worn a few times before they fit just right, and a cast iron skillet is better after it’s been seasoned, but how do we “break in” a new home? Moving into a brand new home is exciting—everything is shiny and new and in perfect condition. But the most welcoming homes have a sense of age and personality. They feel as if they have been lived in for years and are natural expressions of the families who reside there. So how do we go about making a new home feel as if it’s been lived in for years? How do we make a builder’s design suit us and imbue it with our own character? Every little decorating decision you make is an opportunity to inject your style and personality in your home. But it takes thought: Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I want to feel when I come home? How do I want my guests to feel when they’re visiting? What adjectives describe my dream home? Airy? Warm? Elegant? Eclectic? Casual? Formal? Serene? Vibrant? Once you’ve decided how you want your home to feel, you can start thinking about more concrete things like color palette, style, and furnishings. Make

decisions and purchases that support your overall vision in every aspect of your home. For example, installing light fixtures that are more “you” than the standard builder lighting is a simple way to impart your personality into your home. Antique and vintage lighting makes a home feel more personal and established. When purchasing furniture for your new home, be sure to mix old and new pieces together. It’s essential to creating a look that feels as if it’s been developed gradually, over time. Use family pieces and shop antique stores and flea markets for unique items that you love. Don’t be afraid to give old furniture new life with bold, glossy colors (make sure you’re not painting a valuable antique first, and if you are, just be okay with it!) or leave them chipped and unpainted: If some of your furnishings and accessories have a sense of age about them, so will your home. Curtains, rugs and fabrics—known in the design industry as soft goods—make your home feel warm and inviting. They warm up a home both literally and perceptually. When purchasing rugs, be sure to measure properly. My general rule of thumb for rugs is that they should be approximately three to 15 inches from the perimeter of the room, depending upon the room’s size and

Art should be loved, by you. It doesn’t have to be expensive.



the desired mood. Many people are afraid to cover up beautiful hardwood floors and mistakenly purchase rugs that are too small. The result is a room that feels disjointed and choppy. Too-small rugs also decrease the usable space in a room because people naturally spend their time on areas of rooms that have carpet. Layering large seagrass or sisal rugs beneath wool, silk or cotton rugs is a beautiful textural way to make use of existing rugs that would otherwise be too small for a room. Window treatments instantly make a home feel personal and lived-in. Some of the prettiest window treatments consist of combining Roman shades with curtains because it creates a warm, layered look. Be generous with fabric and use lining when you have window treatments made for a full, high-quality look. The fabrics you choose to use in your home are vital in establishing the mood. Bold patterns come across as energetic; soft patterns feel romantic; and neutral

LAUREN’S FAVORITE SOURCES: ON A WHIM ANTIQUES 14920 James Monroe Hwy Leesburg, Virginia

OLD LUCKETTS STORE 42350 Lucketts Road Leesburg, Virginia

SPURGEON LEWIS ANTIQUES 112 North Columbus Street Alexandria, Virginia

solids are calming. Silks feel more formal and linens convey relaxed elegance. Every choice says something about you and your home, so think long and hard before beginning. The artwork, accessories, objects, and books that you bring into your home should tell a story about you. Don’t buy these in big box stores where everyone shops. Take your time; find things that speak to you. These objects will show where you’ve been and where your passions lie. Have an overall plan for your home before you begin decorating so you don’t make costly mistakes along the way. Each item in your home should fit together like the pieces of a puzzle and all are interrelated. By keeping in mind how you want your home to feel with every decision of the design process, you can—quite simply—“break in” your new home.  Lauren Liess is the principal of Lauren Liess Interiors, an interior design firm in Northern Virginia. Her hallmark is her ability to mix traditional furnishings with clean modern pieces to make stylish yet livable rooms. She writes a design and living blog called Pure Style Home (


“Set in the rolling landscape of Loudoun County is a new community that offers a breath of fresh air and broader horizons. It is a place where you can make friends with your neighbors and stay friends with the environment. Inspired by Virginia’s farming heritage and a commitment to natural community design, Willowsford cultivates an authentic new way of living.”


The Willows

The keystone of the Willowsford vision is “Inspired Living”, establishing grounded connections for the community and its residents to enrich their quality and variety of life. Willowsford draws on Virginia’s scenic landscape and rich agricultural heritage to create a community defined by its expansive natural beauty, unique and engaging recreational spaces, a strong food and farm connection, and activities that encourage an appreciation for the environment and land stewardship.


Located in the heart of Loudoun County, Willowsford spans over 4,000 acres and is comprised of four distinctive “villages” interconnected within the framework of the overall community: The Grange, The Grant, The Grove and The Greens. More than half of the land in the community is designated to remain as open space under the stewardship of the Willowsford Conservancy, a nonprofit organization specially formed to oversee and maintain Willowsford’s extensive natural resources. This scenic “naturescape” strongly characterizes the traditional Virginia countryside, with lush forests, rolling meadows and agricultural fields

sford Story punctuated by hedgerows and woodland streams that will be maintained through a variety of sustainable uses intended to further connect residents to the land and its legacy, such as Willowsford Farm. This remarkable lifestyle connection is further enhanced by a variety of distinctive and engaging recreational areas and programs. Sycamore House and The Lodge at Willow Lake, two of the community centerpieces, will include resort-quality amenities. These signature facilities showcase Willowsford’s farm-to-table attributes by supporting a variety of culinary activities and have been thoughtfully planned to provide residents with a range of exceptional indoor and outdoor features that will appeal to all ages, including two distinctive pool complexes with a spray-and-play park, state-ofthe-art fitness facilities and a village green framed by decorative gardens. Willowsford will also feature an extensive trail and park network, a lake for non-motorized boating and fishing, an amphitheatre, a dog park, camping and interpretive nature areas. The emphasis on open space as a recreational amenity, sustainable agriculture and the authentic character are all intended to integrate Willowsford into the local landscape in a way that has not been done before in Northern Virginia‌ creating a unique environment and a sense of place that sets Willowsford apart from other communities in the area. PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 27




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Willowsford Information Centers open Fall 2011. For more information call 571-252-3774 or visit

Country Charm Modern Convenience Willowsford is located in the heart of Loudoun County, between Virginia hunt country and thriving eastern Loudoun County, at the foothills of the Northern Virginia Piedmont along historic Route 50. The community offers convenient access to transportation and major employment centers in Northern Virginia: Washington Dulles International Airport, Reston Town Center, Route 28, the Dulles Toll Road and I-66 are all accessible within approximately 15 minutes. The Metrorail extension to the airport and beyond to Route 772 (Ryan Road) is currently underway with projected completion in 2017.

Brimming with history, character, and economic vitality, the local landscape is a patchwork of agricultural fields, rolling meadows, woodlands, residential neighborhoods, shopping and public parks. Willowsford’s exceptional location represents a union between the typically suburban and more densely developed areas east and the pastoral countryside dotted with small hamlets further west. This duality supports the Willowsford vision to enrich the lives of its residents through meaningful connections to nature, neighbors, and Virginia’s rich history. Willowsford offers the best of all possibilities— the charm and character of the countryside with state-of-the-art amenities and a convenient location.

Washington DC





Living What would you like to do today? Boating and fishing? Swimming? Hiking? Biking? Gardening? Yoga? Or perhaps, a cooking class or demonstration by a local chef to add to your own culinary repertoire? Willowsford offers all of these – and more! So, no matter what inspires you, outdoors or in, the community’s unique array of planned recreational and social amenities let you and your family indulge in all of your favorite pastimes, and explore some new ones. Make every day a truly fulfilling experience in the scenic beauty of Willowsford. At Willowsford, the “great outdoors” is a signature aspect of life. With more than 2,000 acres of scenic naturescape--including forests, streams and meadows connected by miles and miles of trails--residents can exercise, spend time with neighbors, let their dogs play in the dog park, or just savor incredible views and a quiet, reflective walk in nature. PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 33

Farm-to-table food. Locally grown produce. Seasonal eating. These ideas have gained strength in Americans’ consciousness over the past few years although, for many people, the closest they can get to these ideals is to shop at a high-end, specialty grocery store. But for Willowsford residents, these healthy concepts will “come home” through the Willowsford Farm.


Willowsford is designed for people with high expectations for themselves and for the place they call home. Qualities that redefine Virginia living: • Over 2,000 acres of natural Virginia countryside, bordered by traditional low stone walls and four-board fencing along rolling pastures bounded by hedgerows and lush forested areas; • Miles of nature trails offering varying degrees of intensity for walking, hiking and biking; • Willow Lake for canoeing, kayaking and fishing;

The vintage 1948 Willowsford farm truck, the traveling "ambassador" for the community.

• Unique amenity areas for a wide variety of outdoor recreational pursuits, including a dog park, picnic and camping areas, and a sledding hill; • Willowsford Farm, offering fresh seasonal produce, a Farmers Market and u-pick garden; • Culinary classes, demonstrations and events in exceptional settings; • Resort-style pools with cabanas and a children’s sprayand-play pool; • Outdoor amphitheater and village green for community and other special events; • An engaging selection of programs and activities designed to connect adults, children, and families.

Willowsford Farm’s homegrown harvests will include a variety of seasonal produce, and some that residents can even pick for themselves – from berries and summer vegetables to flowers and herbs. Or our fresh fruits and vegetables can be picked up ‘market-style’ at the Willowford farmers’ market, where food and fun will mingle. Our professional farmer and staff ensure that everything produced by Willowford Farm is grown with integrity using environmentally low impact methods. PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 35

Sycamore House

The Lodge at Willow Lake will be a vibrant recreation area that embodies the active, natural lifestyle offered by Willowsford. The Lodge is designed to enjoy inspiring views over its large sweeping lawns and across Willow Lake, framed by the picturesque meadow and forest beyond. Its architecture is a blend of sophisticated yet rustic design, reminiscent of a large family lake house with a camplike, fun atmosphere that extends to its Boat House complete with a fishing dock, outdoor fire pit, canoe launch and storage. The Lodge at Willow Lake is projected to open in late 2012, with the Boat House information center open in Fall 2011.


Sycamore House represents a true community hub for recreational activities and neighborly interaction in Willowsford. The centerpiece of The Grange, Sycamore House will engage residents and guests by interweaving the history of the area with local food and wine appreciation, social gatherings, and opportunities for relaxation. In keeping with the area’s agricultural heritage, the design for Sycamore House is reminiscent of a countryside manor. The rambling “estate” will also include the Tenant House constructed using re-purposed stone and wood from a historical structure built on the property circa 1800. Sycamore House is projected to open in late 2012, with the Tenant House information center open in Fall 2011.

Lodge at Willow Lake


The Grange is defined by its natural setting, with rolling hills and woodlands traversed by Upper Broad Run Creek, creating a timeless backdrop for the classic design features integrated into its traditional agricultural areas. The Grange is a key activity center located in the heart of the community and features the Sycamore House recreation center, Willowsford Farm and a number of other unique amenity areas accessible from its trail network, including a dog park and community garden.


Stretching from its secluded entrance off Evergreen Mills Road southwest to Route 50, The Grant is defined by its expansive natural backdrop, featuring lush forested areas and scenic meadowlands bordered by the hedgerows traditional to Loudoun County. A village loop and extensive nature trail network are designed to access the unspoiled beauty of more than 1,000 acres of naturescape, linking multiple parks and camping facilities. In keeping with its natural elegance and “wide open spaces�, The Grant is planned to offer some of the largest estate lots in Willowsford. PREMIER PREMIER ISSUE ISSUE 20112011 INSPIRED INSPIRED 3939

The Grove has an active, outdoor appeal characterized by its mature forests intertwined by two woodland streams, a park and nature area, and its close proximity to The Lodge at Willow Lake, adjacent to its southern border (in The Greens). The character of this village will be emphasized by a scenic, main thoroughfare running along forests and parklands to connect its individual neighborhoods. Whether an outing with family and friends, or a quiet contemplative stroll through the woods, The Grove will inspire interaction with the land and with nature. 40 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

The Greens is the largest village in Willowsford, defined by an extensive patchwork of scenic forests, meadows and agricultural land of rambling topography extending from Braddock Road down to its southern border along Bull Run Creek. In keeping with this diverse landscape, the Greens is designed to offer a variety of living and entertainment options. The Lodge at Willow Lake, a resident destination for sports and outdoor recreation, is located along its northern boundary. Nearby is the trailhead for a loop trail that will circumnavigate the entire village with varying degrees of intensity to interconnect planned camping and picnic areas. PREMIER PREMIERISSUE ISSUE2011 2011 INSPIRED INSPIRED 41 41

The Willowsfo

ford Home Willowsford introduces a distinctive selection of signature home designs on generous homesites. Each collection of new homes has been exclusively designed by Willowsford’s builders to support the community vision and meet rigorous architectural design guidelines. Ranging in price from the $500,000’s to over $1,000,000 these unique home designs are only available within Willowsford.

Picturesque. This program establishes the design framework to create a diversified and scenic streetscape in harmony with the natural landscape of Willowsford and rooted in the area’s heritage. Each home design is further enhanced by a quality selection of building materials which support the architectural style, authentic character and the latest technology.

The architectural design guidelines for Willowsford were thoughtfully created to capture the rich varied character and charm of Loudoun County, and are based on three historical categories: Formal, Arts and Crafts and

For more information about the current builders’ collections in Willowsford, visit the community website at PREMIER PREMIER ISSUE ISSUE 20112011 INSPIRED INSPIRED 43 43

Leesburg •


• Ashburn



• Great Falls

Dulles • Tysons Corner •

• Reston • Middleburg

Dulles Airport

• Herndon


• Chantilly


• Bethesda

Washington D.C.

• Wolf Trap

• McLean • Oakton


• Fairfax • Catharpin

66 • Bull Run

• Centreville

• Arlington

495 Burke •

Reagan Airport

Alexandria •


© 2011 Willowsford, L.L.C. Willowsford, Willowsford Conservancy, Inspired, Inspired Living, and Naturally Planned Community and are all trademarks of Willowsford, L.L.C. (“Owner”). All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any material in this magazine is expressly prohibited. Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising matter. The information, illustrations, maps, and depictions contained in this magazine concerning the Willowsford development are based on the current proposed development concepts and actual development may vary from what is depicted. As the Owner’s vision for the project evolves, facilities, features and other components are subject to change. Certain features and amenities depicted within the magazine have not yet been, and may not be, constructed. Dues, fees and assessments may be imposed for the use of some amenities. Photographs and images are not necessarily of the Willowsford development, are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be an actual representation of any features or designs of any specific community, neighborhood, amenities, facilities or improvements. The information in this magazine is only intended as general information about Willowsford and the surrounding community and is not an offer or solicitation to sell property. Lots within Willowsford are not for sale to individual buyers. Owner intends to only sell lots to unaffiliated homebuilders. If you are interested in purchasing a lot within Willowsford please contact homebuilders building within the community. All information concerning homes and homebuilders within this publication was provided by the builders and not independently verified by Owner. Owner does not warrant or guarantee the obligations, construction, or pricing of builders who may build and sell homes in this community. Buyers of homes in Willowsford contract directly with the builder and must rely solely on their own investigation and judgment of the builder's construction and financial capabilities in as much as Owner does not warrant or guarantee such capabilities, nor does Owner warrant or guarantee the design, pricing, engineering, construction, or availability of any home or any other building constructed by such builder or the obligations of any such builder to the buyer. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. Owner is pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. Owner encourages and supports an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are not barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Prices and terms set forth herein are provided by home builders within Willowsford who are not affiliated with the owner and developer of the community. August 2011. | 571-252-3774

Khovnanian Homes

At Willowsford Chadwick


K. Hovnanian is a nationally recognized homebuilder that has been committed to excellence since 1959, and today builds in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, the Midwest, and in Texas and Arizona. K. Hovnanian is a family-owned, family-operated company, now in its second generation of award-winning homebuilding. The company combines the financial stability of a national company, the stewardship of handson, family executive leadership, and a commitment to proficiency and distinctiveness in the many varying U.S. markets it serves. It is this local focus, combined with a


national scope of experience, which led the Willowsford development team to select K. Hovnanian as one of the community’s dedicated homebuilders.

*Earnest money deposit required at contract. Not to be combined with any other offer. See sales consultant for details. Prices, terms and features subject to a change without notice. Prices reflect base prices and are subject to change. Lot premiums may apply and community association fees are required. Closing cost assistance valid only with the use of K. Hovnanian American Mortgage and approved title companies. Offer not good in CT, NJ and NY. Void where prohibited. PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 45









uilding Willowsford takes a team of people with a bold vision—one that rejects a herd mentality and cookie-cutter sameness, and believes residents’

You have 4,000 acres on prime Loudoun County land. What’s your vision for Willowsford?

quality of life and a sense of community has greater value.

Brian Cullen: We are creating a real

It honors Virginia’s vernacular architecture and its agrarian

place. A community where people are drawn together over common interests, such as gardening, biking, fishing, birding, etc. A place that instills a deep sense of pride and invites you to put down roots.

history. That all this lies just 30 miles from the vibrant U.S. capital is a bonus. Willowsford offers the best of two worlds, with one foot in each. Willowsford is no subdivision. It’s a community of exclusively designed single family homes on generous plots nestled in a landscape that fosters a connection between neighbors and with nature. There are spacious places to gather for celebrations and large events, and quiet trails through private, lush forests to be alone with a thought or the natural world. And there are formal gardens and productive farmland that connects residents directly to the earth. Inspired sat down with the design team to learn more about the inspiration behind Willowsford: Brian Cullen, regional president for the developer; John Rust, architect; Peter Crowley, land planner and landscape designer; owner’s representatives Garrett Solomon and Aimee Martin, RPL, LLC; Suzanne Cameron, design and “placemaking” business strategist; and Fraser Wallace, president of Fraser Wallace Advertising. 46 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

Suzanne Cameron: Willowsford is a state of mind, an escape from the chaos of today’s disconnected society, a community where life is lived. It offers much more than just houses: There are places to meet your neighbors, swimming pools, natural, wild places to wander. It’s like having an estate of your own, with gardens and farms and forests and fields.

Garrett Solomon: This is an opportunity to experience a lifestyle that allows you to be connected to the environment, to your neighbors, to your family, and to the land in a way that isn’t offered in the market today.

Aimee Martin: Willowsford is about “Inspired Living”—the opportunity to engage with this beautiful place and your





















STEWARDSHIP neighbors in a variety of ways that can enrich your quality of life—and is fun! You can walk out your front door and have miles of trails and scenic natural areas to enjoy. You can camp on this property. You can go to the farm and pick your own vegetables or fruit and attend a class to learn a great new way to prepare them—all in your own community.

Peter Crowley: People today have gone through a very difficult economic time. There’s been more of a return to basic core values that, in the go-go days, we were maybe too busy to focus on: family life, a connection to nature, a focus on health and wellness connections in the community. All of that is reflected in the Willowsford design.

The Willowsford team talks a lot about creating a community. How do you build a community? Suzanne Cameron: Close your eyes and ask the question, “Imagine that special place and why does it feel good?” A community is a place, an experience or perhaps a gathering of

like-minded folks sharing common goals. Vision, good teamwork with long hours and a lot of M&M’s provided the thoughtful planning and design needed to develop the framework for Willowsford—to organize streets, pathways and open spaces creating connections and a rhythm. The architecture conveys a sense of stability, of history, built with materials that feel authentic and timeless. Common spaces are the seamless link. Life happens in common spaces—people engage, walk, connect, share, socialize. They know their neighbors because they are out walking with their dogs and kids, they meet in parks, explore the trails, compete on the sports fields, have play dates in the pools, enjoy the best of local harvest in the farmers markets. Willowsford is…the story becoming the place.

THE WILLOWSFORD TEAM The Willowsford team unites innovators from across the “placemaking” spectrum— architecture, landscape design, finance, lifestyle, business, marketing, and development. BRIAN CULLEN







So the design encourages “life to happen”? Can you give me examples? Peter Crowley: Where the ground slopes naturally by Sycamore House, one of our community centers, we





COUNTRYSIDE put in an amphitheater—wouldn’t that be a wonderful place for someone to have a wedding? There’s a great swimming pool immediately adjacent that will accommodate a swim club and kids events. We put in a koi pond; there’s such an enchanting engagement between children and fish in a pond. We’ve located a kitchen garden at the Sycamore House so when there is a cooking demonstration a chef can actually go out and pick fresh herbs or get some of their ingredients from the Willowsford Farm.

Suzanne Cameron: Yes, and those common spaces create opportunities for serendipity—bumping into a neighbor, meeting someone new—that aren’t present in a typical subdivision, where the most interaction you may have with the neighborhood is when you drive out of your garage. People are clamoring for a genuine experience—not a reality show. Common ground that feels real, where folks gather, socialize, play, engage, celebrate. Willowsford is authentic and feels like home. It’s a place.

What do you mean by that— a place? Suzanne Cameron: The typical residential community feels like a way point on the way to someplace else. A place is a destination, an


experience that resonates and holds you close. You feel like you’ve arrived somewhere, and you want to stay. Willowsford is this place.

Let’s talk about Willowsford’s architecture. Explain the design guidelines you wrote for the homes there. John Rust: I drove around the rural western portion of Loudoun County and looked for the most prevalent architecture styles. Loudoun has quite a range of architectural styles. The architectural guidelines were written to provide builders the allowed “vocabulary” to develop their home designs around these appropriate styles. We’re providing guidelines to design the building from the outside in as opposed to the more common approach of designing from the inside out.

Which styles are most popular with builders? John Rust: It’s a mix—I’m surprised, actually. It’s gonna be nice. We have one builder doing very traditional, formal Federal style houses, another doing traditional folk farmhouses, and another builder doing a lot of the picturesque Victorian and Gothic. And one builder is doing nothing but bungalow and four-square style homes.


How will the design guidelines influence the look and feel of Willowsford? John Rust: When you drive down the road it will have more of a sense of identity and separation from what is otherwise available on the real estate market. The home styles will be all mixed, so the neighborhood looks like it grew up over time.

How is this different from the current practice of builders? John Rust: Everything they build is driven by what they perceive the market wants. So when a purchaser says “I want a wraparound porch,” they’ll just put up a wraparound porch from one end to the other, without regard to style. This random, lack of adherence to any particular architectural style creates a feeling of “sameness” within many suburban communities. In contrast, at Willowsford, the builder identifies the style he is going to do—there are four distinct categories to choose from—and then looks to the guidelines to determine the mass, the scale, roof pitches and window types, all of which are prescribed for that chosen style. And then he builds the house the customer wants within those guidelines.




John, what do you bring to this project? Why do you think you were selected to do the design work? John Rust: My experience is working in historic districts. I don’t tend to be hired to do mass-produced housing. Most of my work is urban. I don’t have the same baggage that a lot of the architects have after many years of experience creating suburban architecture.

How are the builders responding to this unusual approach? Garrett Solomon: Some bought in immediately. “We love what you’re doing, we understand it will raise our costs, but think it also creates value.” But then, there were some others who took longer to appreciate the opportunity. I think builders by nature are focused more on production than on creativity or innovation. Homebuilding in general is a lowmargin/high-volume business, meaning you have to build a lot of houses to make money. Standardization is much more efficient from a cost perspective. That’s why this approach involves a very different thought process for them. And we won’t allow the builders to resell their Willowsford designs outside of the community, so

our residents won’t see their houses repeated all over Northern Virginia. This further clouds the cost picture for the builders. All in all, we never expected all of the builders to share our vision immediately. We have a great team of builder “partners” to open the community with. We are confident that we will have far more builder demand than we have lots.

Has the recession had an impact on the approach to this community? John Rust: I think the recession made the builders more open for change, because I think people are now buying homes because they want a home and not a place they can buy and flip for a profit in a few years. People are looking more to what it’s going to offer them and their lifestyle.

I understand Willowsford is only building approximately 2,100 homes on 4,000 acres. Why is there so much open space? Why not build more houses? Garrett Solomon: We actually think the project is more valuable with lower density. There is often a conflict between developers and being true to the land and profitability. Here, because of the underlying zoning, we were driven to a place where there

really was a tight box within which we could operate without having to seek approval from Loudoun County to change the previously approved plan...we did not have a blank slate. By adhering to existing zoning— clustering the density and keeping 50 percent open space—we are able to create something very unique.

Like a community farm, where residents can share in the harvest. How did the farm come about? Brian Cullen: The idea for the farm came from a better understanding of the land and its resource management plan; we had a lot of open space to manage, some of which is agricultural. When you have large tracts of land, you need to maintain them in some way to keep them from becoming noxious and full of weeds. We could keep farming it the way it had been with the industrial production of beans and corn that gets shipped somewhere else. But then we thought: Why not start our own farm that residents in the community could enjoy?

Fraser Wallace: The challenge was to take the best attributes of west and east Loudoun County and meld them into a cohesive community. If we kept some of the property in agricultural use, it would go a long way in terms of intelligent development and help preserve some PREMIER ISSUE 2011 INSPIRED 49






of the area’s heritage. It was doing something that is a nice middle ground. Willowsford has some significant areas in agricultural use already. It wasn’t a huge leap to say let’s keep some of this and grow it within the community, for the community. The idea also speaks to me personally. I live on a Quaker farm in western Loudoun County. The house was built in the early 1800s. We have our own vegetables, hay, and heritage cattle. So it is like the best of two worlds, taking my night and weekend job and my daytime job and melding the two into this place called Willowsford.

How are you going to protect the open spaces in Willowsford? Aimee Martin: Willowsford has over 2,000 acres of open space that include some very scenic natural areas. We needed a way to ensure this land could be managed to maximize the community’s

enjoyment while preserving and maintaining these natural resources in a way that is financially sustainable long-term. So we established the Willowsford Conservancy, a non-profit 501(c)4 to oversee and maintain these great forests, trails, parklands, and agricultural fields. The Conservancy will also offer a variety of programs and activities so folks can “get out there” and learn about how to preserve and connect with the land. Brian Cullen: The developer is initially funding the Conservancy to get it established, and there are a variety of sources for ongoing funding. Through its programs and educational efforts, the Conservancy has the potential to add a great deal of value to Willowsford, its residents, and the extended surrounding community.

We talked about the design of the homes. Peter, how have you approached the landscape design at Willowsford? Peter Crowley: Designers always want to be very clever and have great new ideas and create something that they’ve never seen before—the tallest tower in Dubai, a landscape of thousands of one type of plant material. Willowsford doesn’t want to be a place that looks “designed.” At Willowsford it’s more about being true to the history, culture, and traditions of central and western Loudoun County.



of the Virginia vernacular landscape. We have these incredible rolling plush pastures bounded by hedgerows, and lush areas of forest that will remain forest in perpetuity. They are filled with mature white oaks and hickories. You walk through it and you hear that crisp crunching sound of leaves in the fall and twigs below your feet. Where streams pass through there are fern glades. There are hedgerows made up of mature cedar trees, and little hillocks that are interesting promontory overlook points.

Describe the Willowsford aesthetic.

What phrase or word captures Willowsford? John Rust: Restrained elegance. Peter Crowley: Unspoiled. Aimee Martin: Engaging. Fraser Wallace: Natural. Suzanne Cameron: Home.

John Rust: I’m impressed with the amount of open space that it has, and the fact that the majority of the open space is going to be left natural as opposed to be made into a park-like setting.

Peter Crowley: Willowsford is about low stone walls, and four-board horse fences. As you enter the community, there will be a sign that indicates you are in Willowsford but it won’t look like a master planned community. It looks more like a farm. I won’t say we are anti-master planned community. But we’re the antithesis of it. We have all the lifestyle and amenities, but at the same time we’re a little more understated.

Fraser Wallace: Perhaps “naturally planned community” is a more appropriate description.

What’s unique about this project? Peter Crowley: We have a huge



Peter Crowley: It’s a cornucopia

advantage—the advantage of land. I’ve always thought that when you have a large parcel of land it affords more privacy, and privacy is privilege. It’s such an interesting place in that on 4,000 acres, we have only about 2,100 homes. In contrast, Brambleton was designed with 6,000 homes on 2,000 acres. Opportunities like this don’t come up very often in your career, to have a client with vision who isn’t looking over their shoulder and behind them at what others have done in the past.


What’s the Willowsford land like? What was your starting point?




Make your backyard a welcoming place for Loudoun County’s feathered inhabitants by Gerco Hoogeweg


midst the bustling urban areas and beautiful rural landscapes, there are nearly 300 species of birds in Loudoun County, with at least 110 of these known to make the county their breeding ground. The western edge of the county, bordered by the Appalachians, gives shelter to an abundance of bird species associated with forests and mountains, while in the eastern, urbanized part of the county you’ll find a surprising variety of birds as well, especially near the Potomac or other bodies of water. Common birds in Loudoun County include the vibrant red Northern Cardinal, the equally vibrant but noisy Blue Jay, and the sad-sounding bright yellow American Goldfinch. High above all this color spectacle you can find often a Red-tailed Hawk searching


for prey. In addition to these colorful birds, you may only hear many species that visit your yard, such as the Wood Thrush, the Barred Owl, or even a Scarlet Tanager, if you have enough woods. A rarity may surprise you—local birders have spotted the elusive Eastern Screech Owl, Bald Eagle, Mississippi Kite, and the Common Redpoll in their Loudoun County yards. It is easy to attract many different birds to your yard. All it takes are bird-approved food, shelter, and water. Plant a variety of native trees, shrubs, and flowers: corn flower and trumpet vines attract hummingbirds and butterflies, whereas finches are attracted to thistle and sunflowers. Pokeweed, despised by many gardeners, attracts many birds. The Gray Catbird is especially fond of the berries. Likewise the berries of the Virginia Creeper,

Loudoun County is home—or at least a waypoint—for many rare and colorful birds. (Clockwise from left) American Goldfinch, Wood Thrush, Eastern Screech Owl, Gray Catbird, and Northern Cardinal.

Poison Ivy, and Black Cherry tree draw many birds in the fall. Not only are seed eaters attracted, but the ripe fruit attracts insects, and thus insect eaters follow. When locust trees die, leave them in your yard; they are beloved by woodpeckers (the large Pileated Woodpecker, for example) which hollow out cavities. In addition you can build brush piles to provide year-round shelter for birds. Carolina Wrens and White-throated Sparrows either breed or overwinter in the brush piles. At the same time, the decomposing wood attracts insects which in turn become food for many birds. Water is also critical to attract birds. Especially during periods of dry weather, a water feature such as a bird bath or stream will attract many species. A typical bird bath will do, but birds are especially drawn by the

sound of running water. Hummingbirds are known to play in fountains, and warblers like to bathe during the long spring migration flights. It is important that your water feature is shallow and provides easy access for drinking and bathing. Include water-loving plants to make the setup even more attractive for birds since they can hide if a predator such as a Sharp-shinned Hawk should fly over. Gerco Hoogeweg, originally of the Netherlands, has been birding 37 years. Since moving to Taylorstown in 2009, he has spotted 100 different species in his yard, most recently an Orchard Oriole. Practicing what he preaches, Gerco is converting his lawn to a shrub and wildflower meadow to welcome even more birds, and will next be creating a rain-fed swamp.



Inspired Chef


Inspired by the meats and produce available from nearby farms, Chef Mike Peterson of Mount Vernon Farm created this menu for Willowsford. Styled and photographed by Andrea Hubbell

Prepared by Stephanie Williams

LATE SUMMER MENU FOR SIX Roasted Sweet Corn and Toasted Paprika Soup with Charred Tomato Coulis Arugula, Watercress, Goat Cheese, and Grilled Asparagus Salad with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Gouda Grits and Spiced Blueberry-Fig Chutney Strawberry Crumble with Honey and Lavender Creme Fraiche


EAT LOCAL...... VINAIGRETTE: •Zest one lemon and save zest. Juice 2 lemons. •Slowly add olive oil to juice to emulsify while whisking, or transfer to a blender/food processor to emulsify the two together. Stir honey and capers into dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arugula, Watercress, Goat Cheese, Grilled Asparagus, Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette, and Curried Walnuts

CURRIED WALNUTS: •In a 350F oven, place walnuts on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. •Toss with melted butter, curry powder, and a dash of sugar. Don’t eat them all before the salad is ready!

SALAD: •Thoroughly wash and dry greens.

INGREDIENTS: 4 4 4 1 ½

ounces watercress ounces arugula ounces goat cheese bunch asparagus cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for asparagus. ½ cup walnuts

1 1

tablespoon butter tablespoon curry powder 2 lemons 3 tablespoons capers 1 tablespoon honey 1 bunch basil leaves 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

•Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper. •Grill over high heat until charred and beginning to soften. Allow to cool and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces. •Combine greens, some of the goat cheese, and vinaigrette in a large bowl and toss. When serving garnish with extra goat cheese, lemon zest, thyme, walnuts, and smaller basil leaves that have been taken off the stem. Keep whole.

Roasted Sweet Corn and Toasted Paprika Soup with Charred Tomato Coulis SOUP:

3 ears sweet corn 1½ quarts chicken broth/stock* 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 diced white onion 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried sage 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons toasted paprika (Hungarian paprika which has been heated over medium heat, continuously moving for 2-3 minutes) sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste •Preheat oven to 400F. Place whole corn cobs with husks (silks removed) in oven for 20 minutes. Remove, allow to cool.


2 ripe tomatoes ½ cup chicken broth/stock* extra virgin pure olive oil sea salt/cracked black pepper •Remove the stems from the tomatoes. •Rub tomatoes with oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a hot grill or under a broiler until skins are nearly black, turning often to avoid sticking. •When tomatoes are done, puree them with chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the mixture warm.


1 cup safflower oil ½ large bunch of parsley stems removed •Heat oil in a skillet until it is just about to smoke. Remove from heat. Quickly drop parsley into the oil and step back—it’ll pop •Allow to cool. Place oil in blender for several minutes. Strain the oil through cheesecloth to remove the solids. •For a richer green, add a small handful of washed baby spinach leaves with the parsley.

•Peel and cut kernels from the cob. •In a pot large enough to complete the soup over medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté diced onion until it begins to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add dried sage and thyme. Continue to cook for 3 minutes. •Add corn kernels, paprika, and chicken broth. •Bring to a boil; add heavy cream and maple syrup. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the soup through a fine colander or chinois. Use a spoon or ladle to press on the corn in the chinois to squeeze all the liquid that you can from it. •Add fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a spoonful of tomato coulis in each serving, and drizzle with green herb oil.


*Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken

CHUTNEY: 1 pint fresh, cleaned blueberries ½ cup figs (fresh or dried), stemmed and quartered ½ white onion, diced 1 pinch of cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon ground juniper berries ¼ cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup raisins sea salt black pepper •Add 1 teaspoon butter to skillet and sauté onion for 5-6 minutes or until it has fully caramelized, stirring often. Add blueberries, figs, sugar, and vinegar.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Gouda Grits and Spiced Blueberry-Fig Chutney

•Cook for 30-40 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add raisins, cayenne pepper, allspice, and juniper berries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

GRITS: 3 1 1 1 1

cups low-sodium chicken broth or water cup half-and-half cup uncooked quick-cooking grits cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese tablespoon butter

•Bring chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan. Add grits and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add half-and-half and 1 tablespoon butter. Add cheese. If the grits seem stiff add more chicken broth a tablespoonful at a time. They should have a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

BACON-WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN: One 2 to 3 pound pork tenderloin 1 pound bacon (preferably not cured but smoked) ½ cup whole grain mustard •First, meet the farmer who raised the pig and ask specific questions about the breed and how that relates to cooking. Cooking times will vary from breed to breed. •Preheat the oven to 400F. •Trim the tenderloin of excess fat if necessary. Rub the entire loin with mustard, salt, and pepper. •On a clean work surface, wrap the tenderloin with bacon slices. Don’t feel you have to use all the bacon; no one ever complains about left over bacon. •In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, sear the tenderloin on all sides, rendering the fat from the bacon. Put the skillet in the oven. (If not using cast iron, make sure your skillet is oven safe.) Roast the tenderloin until an internal temperature of 145F is achieved, approximately 5-7 minutes. Pork from a small farm that pasture raises its pigs is best served medium, not well done.

TO SERVE: In a shallow bowl or plate, spoon one serving of grits and place slices of tenderloin on top. Chutney is best scattered on the plate with a dollop on the pork, but don’t cover up the beautiful meat. Sage leaves scattered on the plate would work well, too.



Strawberry Crumble with Honey and Lavender Creme Fraiche INGREDIENTS: 1 ¼ 2 ½ ½ ¼ 2 ⅓

quart strawberries, halved cup honey ounces Grand Marnier cup flour cup rolled oats cup brown sugar tablespoons cinnamon cup butter

•Soak strawberries in Grand Marnier for one hour and drain. Add honey to berries and place in an 8x8 inch pan greased with butter. •Preheat oven to 350F. •Melt butter in a pan on the stovetop. Combine butter, flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl to make streusel. Cover the strawberries with the streusel topping and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Mike Peterson is a chef turned farmer and is currently managing Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville, Virginia, where


cup heavy cream teaspoon buttermilk pinch lavender tablespoon honey

•In a small plastic container combine cream and buttermilk. Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours (covered) or until the cream thickens. Refrigerate. Add lavender and 1 tablespoon honey to creme fraiche before serving with crumble. 58 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

he raises 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef and lamb on 830 acres. Mount Vernon also raises pastured pork and chickens. Mike spent seven years working in fine dining establishments from Colorado to Virginia. He came back to his roots and fell in love with caring for the land and livestock that provide wholesome, healthy, and reliable meat for families from Richmond to Washington, D.C. For private catering, contact Mike at 540-987-9559 or You can also visit

WOOD-FIRED PIZZA AND A SIDE OF SUNSHINE We start with the finest Italian Caputo flour in a hand-thrown artisan crust, top it with the freshest local and imported ingredients, then bake it in a wood-fired oven for a uniquely delicious taste. Wood-fired pizzas are just the beginning. You’ll also enjoy a full menu of inspired salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Plus hundreds of draft and bottled craft beers, a couple of caskconditioned ales, and an extensive list of local and imported wines. From a sun-side table in the great outdoors, there’s a lot to get fired up about at Fire Works!

2350 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA

201 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg, VA



Our members are more likely to reach for a str aw than a stain remover. I f yo u e n j oy g o o d w i n e, Ta ra ra’s Vi n e C l u b i s fo r yo u . J o i n u s by J u n e 1 st fo r a s p e c i a l i n t ro d u c to r y o f fe r. T h e Vi n e C l u m


A Tale of Two Farms: As local

Take a roadtrip to Northern Virginia’s only fine dining establishments built on operating farms. by Suemedha Sood


photos by Molly M. Peterson

as it gets, in Loudoun County


hen Beverly Morton Billand wanted to open a restaurant on her 40-acre organic farm in 1994, Loudoun County thought she was joking. For years, Billand had been selling her produce at farmers markets, leading farm tours, and holding educational activities for local kids. But she also hosted dinner parties on the farm from time to time. As her homegrown dinners became more and more popular, she seized the opportunity to start a new kind of business. Billand eventually convinced the county that she wasn’t crazy and, after four years of navigating local laws and logistics, she launched Northern Virginia’s first farm restaurant, the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm. A few years later, chef Author Clark, Jr. and his business partner Thomas White Orme decided to take on a similar challenge. After a trip to Loudoun’s wine trail,

Winchester-native Clark wondered why an area attracting so many tourists lacked dining options. So he and Orme opened their own place, right on Purcellville’s historic Grandale Farm. Although the local food movement has taken off in the last decade, these two establishments remain the only farm-based restaurants in the region. That’s likely because there’s a lot of risk associated with the concept. In some ways, having a restaurant so far from urban centers flies in the face of industry logic, says Clark. “Location, location, location is the key to opening a restaurant. To make a restaurant in a rural environment work, you have to make yourself a destination. So you have to offer things that are more attractive than the down-the-street concept.” Grandale and Patowmack lend their beautiful landscapes, for instance, as backdrops for weddings. In addition, Grandale offers catering services, while Patowmack hosts cooking classes. Other special events include wine dinners, live music, and dinner theater. The combination of fresh air, fresh views, and fresh food makes the trip out to Patowmack and Grandale well worth it. Less than an hour from Willowsford, these fine dining farms are located in the middle of wine country, just a few miles from Harper’s Ferry. Patowmack’s hilltop perch offers picturesque views of the Potomac River. Walk through the farm and you’ll

PATOWMACK FARM (Clockwise from bottom left) Baby goats eagerly greet visitors. Rice pudding gets a blueberry twist. Inside the garden. A Spring salad.



GRANDALE FARM (Clockwise from left) Tomatoes are grown and picked fresh. The historic farm. The restaurant.

pass fields of fragrant wild ramps, broccoli, strawberries, greens, some very laid-back chickens, and soon, maybe even a few pigs. Grandale is also situated in a scenic country setting. Just across the road from Breaux Vineyards, Grandale’s peach orchards, apple orchards, and vegetable crops span 32 acres. At both farms, it’s the food that’s the main attraction. At Patowmack, Chef Chris Edwards keeps the menu fresh and inventive. From using popped sorghum in a dessert to building an appetizer around Ethiopian injera, to filling dumplings with marrow, Edwards and his tiny kitchen staff of two are always experimenting. The restaurant recently unveiled a new a la carte menu of small plates meant to be shared, making it possible to sample more of Edwards’s creations. Truly committed to seasonal cooking, he changes the menu every month—something he says keeps him on his toes. “The creativity comes out of necessity. I’m not going to have some of the stuff the other guys have, but I know which ingredients I can work with. So, okay, peas are coming next month—what can we do with peas that will really be special?” Finish your meal with coffee or tea or a fantastic cocktail made from freshly picked herbs and fruits. At Grandale, the menu changes four times a year, along with the weather. A cold day in April may still call for thick sauces, while a hot day in September features light, sweet ingredients like fresh fruits. Although the dishes reflect the temperature outside, the ingredients still reflect the local growing season. “In the middle of July, we’re [sourcing] 70, 80 percent locally. In January, we might be [sourcing] only 20 percent locally,” says Clark. He brings his own spin to classic comfort dishes, let62 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

ting local ingredients guide his chowders, steaks, crab cakes, and other staples. One unique dish on a recent menu is the marjoram spaetzle, served with asparagus, local pears, and a fried local egg. Clark is also proud of his local wine list, which features almost every single Loudoun winery. The two eateries offer distinct dining experiences. Patowmack’s 110-seat dining room, a solarium of glass windows, is reservations-only, says Billand, so that patrons don’t have to worry about table turnover. “When a guest arrives, the table is theirs for the evening. So you can sit and relax for one hour, or four hours, or more.” At Grandale, the rustic dining room—complete with a fireplace—is a bit more intimate, seating only 32 people. When the weather’s nice, visitors can sit outside as well. “We want to give people the complete experience,” explains Billand. With fresh, sustainably produced food in a country setting, that’s exactly what you’re getting on each of these gorgeous farms. 7 South King Street Leesburg, VA 20176 703.777.WINE


OF LOUDOU N ’S GROWING BUSINESS CULTU RE! We are delighted to share the fruits of Mom’s labor with:


Frank DiPerna Photography

Flowers by Thea

Ben Renshaw Crafting award-winning wines from his namesake vineyard planted on Mom’s farm hana newcomB Stocking her CSA bags with Mom’s fresh corn, beans and berries LauRa Devines Distributing Mom’s Pies and Breads through her cyber CSA Doug FaBBioLi Choosing Mom’s fresh raspberries for his immensely popular Raspberry Merlot Biansa cox Topping her tangy yogurt with Mom’s fresh strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. maRk gaLLetta Rockin’ Galletta’s fresh pasta with Mom’s buttternut squash and Italian eggplant FRank DiPeRna Loudoun County photographer with an eye for delicious thea cox Growing heirloom flowers for romantic, old fashioned bouquets sold at Mom’s mom’s aPPLe Pie comPany Loudoun County’s own four-generation family farm & bakery




Lucky Finds at

Lucketts T

he Old Lucketts Store commands a corner just up Route 15—at the crossroads to nothing, really. But no matter: it’s a destination all its own. The rambling old farm house is mecca to the design conscious, effortlessly achieving what legions of in-house designers labor to confer on the chain store Anthropologie: quirky, hip, chic, and romantic. But unlike its retail imitators, everything at Lucketts (well, nearly everything) comes with a history. Vintage bathing suits and antique embroidered German bed linens (real linens, with heft) stand cheek to jowl with water buffalo and deer head trophies;


baskets of blown speckled hens eggs nestle by massive handmade chandelier and ottomans upholstered with old feed sacks. Cowboy boots, vintage objets and antique bird cages…there’s pretty much nothing you need, but everything you want. And that’s just inside the store. Outside, a sprawling village of fanciful follies shelOld Lucketts Store ter farm tables, book cases 42350 Lucketts Road, and oddities too large to fit Leesburg, VA 20176 inside. Open seven days a (703) 779-0268 week, from 10 until 5.



On This Spot A Pause Between Battles by Pamela Hess


hizzing down

Virginia’s highways

it’s easy to miss the history amongst the strip malls and traffic jams. But the roads follow in the footsteps of giants in the American story. Their tales are told in abbreviated snips on Virginia’s 2,200 roadside historical markers, many of which dot Northern Virginia. One such nearby marker, on Route 50 just west of Pleasant Valley Road, about eight miles east of Willowsford, captures a brief pause between two major battles—the Battle of Second Manassas and the Battle of Ox Hill—and the brilliant military tactics of a Confederate hero, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. “Stonewall Jackson, sent by Lee to move around Pope’s retreating army at Centreville and cut it off from Alexandria, reached this place August 31, 1862. Here Jackson turned east toward Fairfax,” states the marker…if you can slow down enough to read it. The Battle of Second Manassas—which the Union Army called Second Bull Run—was enjoined when Lt. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson, commander of the Left Wing of the Army of Northern Virginia, ordered an attack on a Federal column of troops on Aug. 28, in an attempt to draw the army of Union Gen. John Pope into battle before Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac could arrive to reinforce him. The ensuing fight at Brawner Farm (located at the western edge of the Manassas Battlefield, on Pageland Road in Gainesville) lasted several hours and ended in a stalemate, but Pope was convinced he had gotten the better of Jackson. Believing he had the Southern commander trapped, he launched a fresh attack on Jackson’s troops the next day. But unbeknownst to Pope, Southern Gen. James Longstreet was bringing his troops around to protect Jackson’s right flank. Pope mounted another attack on Jackson’s army on Aug. 30. Longstreet’s wing of 28,000 men then 66 INSPIRED PREMIER ISSUE 2011

launched a surprise counterattack on Pope’s forces—it was the largest mass assault of the war. The left flank of the Union force was crushed, and it was driven back. Pope retreated toward Centreville. Stonewall Jackson’s own account takes it from here, fleshing out what the road marker only hints at: “It being ascertained next morning (Aug. 31) that the Federal Army had retreated in the direction of Centreville, I was ordered by the commanding general to turn that position, crossing Bull Run at Sudley Ford thence pursuing a country road until we reached the Little River turnpike, which we followed in the direction of Fairfax Court-House until the troops halted for the night,” he wrote. Jackson then describes fighting through “a cold and drenching thunder-shower” that blew directly into the faces of his troops. By morning, the Union Army had lost two generals in the clash—Philip Kearny and Isaac Stevens—and retreated. “By the following morning the Federal Army had entirely disappeared from our view, and it soon appeared, by a report from General Stuart, that it had passed Fairfax Court-House and had moved in the direction of Washington City,” Jackson wrote. The South’s relative victory at the Second Battle of Manassas persuaded Gen. Robert E. Lee it was the right time to invade the North. He would be repulsed at Antietam, the single bloodiest battle of the war. Encouraged by the Union’s showing at Antietam, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and the North dug in for total war against the Confederacy.  Pamela Hess is the editor of Flavor magazine. She was the national security and intelligence correspondent for the Associated Press from 2007 to 2010, and the Pentagon correspondent for United Press International from 1999 to 2007.




—Abraham Lincoln



I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.

Van Metre Homes

At Willowsford The Rose Hill Van Metre Homes is a locally based, family owned luxury homebuilder and developer that has been reshaping the Northern Virginia suburbs for nearly 60 years. Today, we are helping Willowsford take shape with new home designs specifically crafted for the community. These new Van Metre Homes occupy homesites of ¾ to over an acre, and range from an expansive 4,000 to 5,000 square feet. Designs include side-entry garages, gourmet kitchens, luxurious owner’s baths and other exquisite features appealing to today’s discriminating buyer.

The Cumberland Few homebuilders can claim the respect that Van Metre has earned, having won numerous awards for customer service, innovation and quality from J.D. Power and the National Association of Homebuilders. Since 1955, Van Metre Homes has been Building Trust for Generations.


SINCE 1955 703-764-5448 The photo and renderings are for illustrative purposes only. Actual details may vary. See Sales Manager for details. July 2011.

Inspired Living Set in the rolling landscape of Loudoun County is a new community that offers a breath of fresh air and broader horizons. It is a place where you can make friends with your neighbors, and stay friends with the environment. Inspired by Virginia’s farming heritage and a commitment to natural community design, Willowsford cultivates an authentic, new way of living.

Introducing an Inspiring Selection of Fine Single-Family Homes Priced from the $500’s to over $1 Million Prices and terms set forth herein are provided by home builders within Willowsford who are not affiliated with the owner and developer of the community. Such prices and terms, and the quality of the home builder’s homes, are not verified or warranted by owner Willowsford, LLC. or its affiliates. Dues, fees and assessments may be imposed for the use of some amenities. This material shall not constitute an offer or solicitation in any state where prior registration is required. © 2010 Willowsford, L.L.C. Willowsford, Willowsford Conservancy, Inspired Living and Naturally Planned Community are all trademarks of Willowsford, L.L.C. July 2011.

Inspired Magazine  

Inspired, will give you a taste of the lifestyle and character we are creating here in Willowsford.

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