Landowner: Sam and Uta Brown Location: Purcellville, VA Protected Land: 94 acres
Purcellville’s Last Farm Now Protected by the Land Trust of Virginia
LTV was honored to accept a conservation easement on Sam and Uta Brown’s Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, VA. By donating the easement, the Browns ensure the protection of Crooked Run Orchard’s streams, wetlands, open spaces, and valuable agricultural land for future generations.
The Browns’ 94-acre farm, familiar to many as a “U-Pick” orchard, is the last remaining active farm in the town of Purcellville. Crooked Run Orchard is a place where people can connect with Loudoun County’s agricultural heritage, as well as with the food they eat. Visitors can pick their own berries, vegetables, herbs, apples, pears, plums, peaches, and pumpkins.
Conservation of Crooked Run Orchard holds special meaning for the Browns, as the property has been in Sam’s family for over 250 years. With Loudoun County’s rapid growth, such family farms are quickly disappearing. Sam is proud that the conservation easement will save the land for future farmers. “Here in the Loudoun Valley, we’ve got some of the best farmland in the state, and it’s being developed so fast.”
“Loudoun County is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and I don’t think it’s going to stop,” agrees Uta Brown. “As an environmentalist, I’m all for local food. It’s fresher, and it’s always better to know your food and to know your farmer.”
The conservation easement with the Land Trust of Virginia not only ensures that their family farm will be available for future agricultural uses but allows Sam to continue pursuing his passion. “Sam really loves fruit trees, and he’ll be planting trees until the day he drops in the orchard. He loves experimenting, he loves trying new varieties. We could never leave this place, it’s our whole life,” said Uta.
“Sam and Uta Brown’s property has been in Sam’s family since before the Revolutionary War,” said LTV Board member Chris Dematatis. “Their generous donation of a conservation easement protects more than just open space and precious farmland. They are saving a piece of our history and our culture.”
The Land Trust of Virginia partners with private landowners who voluntarily protect and preserve properties with significant historic, scenic and ecological value to benefit the community through conservation easements. Lands in easement stay in private hands and contribute to important segments of our agricultural and tourism economies as well as cleaner air and water. Founded nearly a quarter century ago, the organization is a non-profit organization that relies upon the generosity of the community and landowners to fulfill its mission.