For John and Debrena Gordon, farming was a practical decision. They began growing, baking, and preserving to put food on the table and feed their then young daughters. As their daughters grew so did the farm, each family member bringing their own interests into the mix.
“Some of them loved being outdoors and working with the animals that have come and gone over the years. Some of them became very involved with the garden and have spent hours looking at seed catalogs and doing research to find just the right variety of seed,” Debrena explained. “They have done everything from growing pumpkins and tomatoes to raising chickens, cows and bunnies. When they were old enough to go to summer camp they planted extra in the garden to sell at the farmers market so they had the money to go.”
For Blue Run Spring Farm, this has meant a variety of products at their market table over the years but generally including garden vegetables, herbs, and wildflowers. “If it grows, we grow it!” Debrena laughed, “Just depends on what mood we’re in.” One of their constants has been lavender, which is grown in the “Lavender Patch” and available for sale in bulk, bunches, and sachets. In the 2016 season, they harvested over 1600 bunches of lavender.
In addition, Debrena prepares homemade baked goods and value-added products like jams, lotions, and soaps. She has also worked with the YMCA Daycare teaching gardening and nutrition, has been instrumental in installing a community garden, and previously served on the Bath County Farmers’ Market Management team.
At just over 30 acres, the farm is located south of Covington, Virginia in Alleghany County. The Blue Spring Run, for which the farm is named, flows through the farm’s fields.
You can find Blue Spring Run Farm products at the Bath County Farmers’ Market. The shop on their farm is featured on the Artisans Center of Virginia Artisan Trail with products available at other sites as well and at the Craig County Artisan Center & Farmers Market and The Craft Shops of Covington in addition to regional artisan events.
The Gordons are also expanding offerings at their farm to include a variety of tours, classes, and workshops centered-around gardening, cooking, making soaps, lotions, and ornaments, as well as weddings and overnights. They are working to expand their product line and on wholesaling their many products.