Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 30

VIRGINIA

FARM & STAY: Inn at MeadowCroft,

Swoope, innatmeadowcroft.com. Includes
six rooms adorned with antiques.

DO: Visit pickling plant; view sunsets.
EATS: Breakfast on farm. Lunch at Wright's
Dairy Rite, Staunton, 540-886-0435 (one of
Judie's favorites).

ABOVE LEFT:
Longtime farmer Bill
Croft stands among
his cows in Augusta
County, Virginia.
ABOVE RIGHT:
Judie Croft savors a
sunset on the farm.
LEFT: Lodging for the
Inn at MeadowCroft
is inside restored log
cabins.

W

hat was once a massivelysized farm on land granted
by the King of England has
been split and separated in
Augusta County, Virginia.
Yet cattle still roam across 370 acres of
the Walnut Grove Farm that has been in
the family of Bill Croft for far more than
two centuries. And, here, Croft likes to
check on those cows while savoring the
sunsets of Swoope, Virginia.
"In my childhood, I was a farmer,"
says Croft, 62. "I learned to drive a tractor
just as soon as my feet would touch the
pedals."

30

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Cows aside, Croft spends most of his
time buying local vegetables and overseeing his pickle-processing plant at the Walnut Grove Farm.
Croft's wife, Judie, 65, keeps busy
overlooking the farm's Inn at MeadowCroft (540-712-0791), a recently added,
six-room lodge housed in a pair of historic
cabins dating to 1795.
"That was one of Judie's dreams," Bill
says. "The biggest compliment we get is
people just feel they can unwind."
Inside, the honeymoon suite features a
big copper bathtub. Downstairs, a dining
hall is popular for Judie's tasty waffle-andbacon breakfasts, served with buttery eggs.
The nearby pickling operation dates
to Judie's forays at a farmers market in the
1990s. "People eat her stuff and wanted
more," says Bill. "Then I took it commercial in 2001."
Today, the Crofts make 65 different
products: jams, jellies, salsa, relish and
pickles. And they stay round-the-clock
busy during the crisp days of autumn.
That's when Bill Croft hits the road for
nearly three weeks, selling pickles at a
craft show in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. "And
I have a friend who has a parking lot in
the middle of town," Bill says. "I trade
him a case of zucchini relish, and he'll
park me all month. Pickles are actually a
good commodity."


http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 9
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 26
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 43
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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