Ecological Practices

At High Meadows Farm, we follow the harvesting practice of selection cutting, which is a silvicultural method that facilitates the establishment, continued growth and final harvest of multiple age classes of trees. Our forests are primarily poplar and oak, with a variety of other species including beech, maple, walnut, pine and hickory. Selection cutting has both ecological and wildlife benefits and is recommended by the Virginia Department of Forestry. According to Wikipedia, selection cutting forests “generally exhibit higher levels of vertical structure (key for many species of birds and mammals), have higher levels of carbon sequestration, and produce a more constant flow of market and non-market forest resources than even-aged forests”.
Trees harvesting improves the health of our woods at High Meadows by controlling the types of trees that grow, attracting beneficial wildlife and improving access for hiking trails. We try to utilize all of the trees that we harvest, both selling the logs and using the tops for firewood on the farm and through selective sales to friends of the farm.
Our ecological farming practices seek to promote sustainable agriculture that preserves the ecosystem, the soil and water retention. We do not follow strict organic farming policies on the farm but generally do not use pesticides and fertilizer in our pastures. We aim to maintain our pastures in a natural manner, using the animals themselves to maintain the grass stands and control weeds as much as possible.
At High Meadows Farm, it is our priority to protect the habitat areas of our indigenous plants and animals, especially those that are conservation-reliant species. Our aim is to prevent their extinction or reduction in number.
Virginia is among the top ten exporters of agriculture in the United States, including our apple harvests. High Meadows Farm has orchards growing several varieties of apples and cherries, peaches and pears.