Crooked Run Orchard is a small family farm in western Loudoun County, Virginia. The land that became Loudoun County was settled by Quakers from Pennsylvania in the 1740’s and 1760’s. Loudoun County was rolling open space in every direction; Leesburg a condensed town of historic buildings, and Purcellville a train station, local stores and largely self-sufficient households, dairy farms and a patchwork with a Quaker meeting house to the south in Lincoln, that Mr. Brown attended from the time he was born in 1908 until shortly before his death in 2002, at the age just shy of 95. During the last 250 years this farm has been owned by Sam Brown’s ancestors. There are several family trees that trace his relatives back without interruption to the 1760’s, at which time we were not yet a nation of our own.
Cattle were run on the land, corn and wheat were being grown here when Sam’s wife, Uta, first came to work on the farm. Albert Brown, one of Sam’s cousins, was working the back 45 acre parcel, rotating grain crops for his cattle. Albert Brown’s adjacent farm was sold about 20 years ago and is now a suburban development.
In 2011, the Town of Purcellville put a road through our farm, splitting the farm in town in tow. The original route of the road would have only grazed our farm, but Mayor Lazaro moved the road over 80 feet west to make sure the entire road would be on the farm property. The town destroyed a barn that was in heavy usage, half a mature apple orchard and cut down a mature forested area, selling the wood. The road cost the taxpayers over $6m plus over $300,000 to move the intersection the developer of Harris Teeter shopping center had already built as part of the proffers.
Sam is the 6th generation of Browns farming this land and the last of his Quaker ancestor line. Sam has since turned the back 45 into a peach orchard, pumpkins, sunflowers, squash, asparagus he’s planted Colorado Blue Spruce for Christmas trees. The 41 acre parcel is in apples, pears and sour cherries and blackberries. Some open ground is used for growing vegetables, including asparagus. Along with the fruit trees is a farm stand that provides unique quality fruits and vegetables.
Today, much of the tree canopy has returned with heavy growth along the creek banks and the former wetland areas. There is a bluebird trail on all three sections of the farm which is monitored by volunteers who count the eggs and fledglings every year.
Loudoun County was rolling open space in every direction; Leesburg a condensed town of historic buildings, and Purcellville a train station, local stores and largely self-sufficient households, dairy farms and a patchwork with a Quaker meeting house to the south in Lincoln.
Crooked Run is a small tributary of the Goose Creek Scenic River system, which empties into the Potomac, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. In 1933, Crooked Run ran dry for the first time in a local memory but then so did Goose Creek. Those were the Dust Bowl years, the worst drought locally ever recorded. The original spring where Crooked Run starts is northwest of the farm near the car wash is now next to the Finn-Thai Restaurant. The creek is increasingly being covered by roads, sidewalks, and asphalt, but once it crossed Rt. 7 and enter the farm it remains a naturally flowing throughout the farm where it winds through the fields and wooded areas in an east southeast direction. At one point it crosses the road leading to the apple, sour cherry and pear orchards and the blackberry fields. Pick-your-own visitors cross the creek on boards or may slash in the water in their feet to cool down on hot days, and look for minnows or “floaters.”
We have rejected asphalt and other impermeable surfaces on the farm as they cause too much environmental damage. Air above and water runoff from asphalt is polluted. Asphalt also causes heat islands.
The conservation easement severely restricts the potential for development. We would lose the tax benefits we received if we violated the contract we made with the state. There are several direction the farm can take but the fundamental land use will not change. The purpose of the conservation easement is to keep the land in as natural state as possible. There will be no paved roads, no lawns, and no permanently plowed area. No crowds, no larger gatherings as in weddings, concerts, etc. No lights. All of these disturbances are very bad for the wildlife here. We see a lot of birds. Our objective is to find a group of people who will become caretakers of the property such as the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
We accept cash & checks only.
Please call the farm stand for the latest updates: