The Pick-Your-Own Farms of Leeds Manor Road: Sowing Community, Harvesting Memory, and Producing a Way of Life in the Post-Rural Economy




Stryker, Kim D

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This thesis explores the ways in which family farmers along Leeds Manor Road in Fauquier County, Virginia are able to shape their identity as farmers through their “pick-your-own” businesses. By continuing the tradition of farming in this post-rural economy, these farm families are preserving a way of life for themselves and their community. Inviting the public to participate in farming by allowing “pick-your-own” has implications for identity that are challenging and also create opportunities for further self-definition and creativity. Analysis of the history of farming in the region highlights that these farm families work both within a tradition and also innovate beyond that tradition. Changing times and increased pressure have created stresses on these farms, but also provided the impetus for this group of farmers to demonstrate creative placemaking and problem solving, while imprinting the land with their own personalities and locally determined sense of place.



Folklore, Agriculture, Fauquier County, Virginia, Farm, Orchard, Identity, Culture