“I Would rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.”
Blenheim is a family farm and family affair for the Latanés and their son, Cameron. The farm has been certified organic since 2000 when the couple began commercial vegetable production.
Two hoop houses permit the production of cold-hardy crops in the wintertime; a heated greenhouse serves as a nursery for the thousands of plants the Latanés grow each February and March for use in spring planting.
Annual cover crops of clover, small grains and legumes keep Blenheim fertile and protect its top soil. The use of sunflowers and wild flower mixes attracts birds, bees and beneficial insects that pollinate crops and minimize crop damage from harmful insects.
The Latanés continue to experiment with “no-till” vegetable farming to improve soil health and are frequent participants with Virginia Extension Agents in field studies of various techniques that promote sustainable agriculture.
The acreage is under permanent protection through a conservation easement that prohibits development and preserves the farm for generations to come. Some of those protected fields and wetlands attract thousands of Canada geese each winter. A pair of bald eagles nest in a loblolly pine beside the marsh, which is also the site of a great blue heron rookery.
Read more about the historic Blenheim House here.