By Lex Kohler, Farm Fellow
The 2022 Open House at the Allegheny Farm in Highland County, Virginia went off without a hitch. This year's Open House received the most visitors in our program's history. Guests enjoyed a spread of farm fresh food along with a tour of the grounds, including the village where fellows live, the communal “lodge” space, and our one and a half acre farm.
Fellows facilitated the event and, speaking for all of us, we very much enjoyed interacting with everyone who attended. The remote location of our program can make us feel disconnected from the community at times, so it was wonderful to feel embraced by the greater Highland County community.
Preparing for Open House was my favorite part of the experience; cleaning up around the village, weed whacking, and making zucchini bread! All the fellows had roles in preparation and for the day-of. It was a great way for us to show care for each other and the place we currently call home.
In case you missed the event, let me paint you a picture. Our campus is located on Bear Mountain, in the Allegheny Mountain range, at an elevation somewhere between 4,000 and 4,400 feet. The campus is on a plot of land more than 500 acres in size, bordering both Virginia’s George Washington National Forest and West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. This land is the ancestral and unceded territory of the Moneton, Monacan, and Manahoac Peoples. The headwaters of the James, Potomac, and Greenbrier Rivers all begin their flow from a triple watershed divide (Eastern Continental) located on the top hay field. The climate this time of year is lush, with dense vegetation occupying most of the property.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the Open House and those who are interested in and/or support our program. We could not do it without you, and look forward to continuing to work together!