Ginseng Mountain Farm is located along the South Branch of the Potomac River, 6 miles north of Monterey and is owned by SKE and Debora Ellington. After discovering Highland County in the sixties, SKE remarked that he just knew “one day I’d like to live there.” When the Ellingtons bought the old farm which included the north face of Ginseng Mountain in 1982, it came with 40 ewes and 2 rams. Their flock today is still descendant of this original Highland flock. They added commercial Angus cows in 1984 and expanded to include registered Angus seed stock and grass fed beef in 1989. In 1998 they partnered with a friend to produce a natural grilling marinade in the community kitchen at The Highland Center. They now have it processed at a co-packer and sell over 200 cases in the Highlands and the Shenandoah Valley each year.
Though the Ellington’s are relatively newcomers to Highland County (32 years), SKE’s family has been farming in Virginia since the 1600’s. Because of this, SKE feels an obligation to grow food and grow it right. To the Ellingtons, right means naturally. Their Angus cattle and Suffolk Cross lambs are raised on their mother’s milk and graze the high mountain pastures of Highland County without growth hormones, stimulants, antibiotics or grain. SKE and Debora are celebrating their 30th year of raising grass-fed and finished meats and they can be purchased by cuts, sides or whole. Their animals are processed locally at Alleghany Meats. The facility is so close that technically, SKE says, “We could just walk them there!”
Their natural meats, sheepskins and marinade as well as other local products such as maple syrup and regional crafts are available at Ginseng Mountain Store, on US 220, 6 miles north of Monterey. They are open Thursday thru Sunday 12-5 or anytime by appointment. Lodging is available above the store which is adjacent to their farm and guests have the opportunity to trout fish on their stretch of the Potomac River.
You will also find Debora selling their products on the 1st Friday of each month at the Highland Farmers’ Market.
Ginseng Mountain Store
6359 Potomac River Road
Thursday – Sunday 12- 5 pm
Or anytime by appointment by calling