Photos by Joanne Maisano 

Ayrshire Farm, the first farm in Virginia to be both certified humane and certified organic, brought the country to town in June in more ways than one.

On June 29, Gentle Harvest, a local, organic food market in Marshall, welcomed two Shire horses belonging to Sandy Lerner of Ayrshire farm for a visit. The local farm provides Gentle Harvest and Hunter’s Head in Upperville with all their meats and produce. While visiting the Shires, customers also had the chance to purchase fresh produce from the farm and even buy a bag of organic compost.

Danny Castaneda feeds one of the Shires with some help from dad.
Fresh vegetables brought to Gentle Harvest for sale from Ayrshire Farm.
Evelyn Bradner spending some time with the Shires.
Ayrshire Farm sells organic compost.

The Shires keep the skill of horse powered farming alive at Ayrshire and are an instrumental part of keeping the land organic. They are the largest and strongest of the heavy horse breed, weighing in at one ton. Despite their size, they are extremely gentle and docile and have excellent temperaments. ML

This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.