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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit Hill Orchids’

[VIDEO] Local farmer provides NCC with produce

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

In the beginning, farm-to-table at NCC was only a dream of Kurt Krause’s. Kurt Krause, our General Manager is an avid fan of locavore dining, farm-to-fork, food-for-thought, and creating a partnership between farms and local vendors such as universities, schools, restaurants, and other campus-settings like The National Conference Center.



  • In December, NCC hosted the Virginia Farmers’ Forum for Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland farmers. Panelists such as Matt Lohr – Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture, Kurt Krause of The National Conference Center, Christopher Carpenter of Washington & Lee, Derek Kilmer of Kilmer’s Farm Market, and Emily Manley of The Local Food Hub discussed the possibility of a partnership. (Summary of the Farmers Forum)
  • Kurt explained his dream of providing local fresh food to guests, but the needs of the conference center will require help from the farmers, such as 1 ton of potatoes on a budget.
  • He explained his second dream: On the weekend, one 800 space parking lot at the conference center sits empty. Can this parking lot be the granddaddy of farmers markets? It would prevent farmers in WV, Loudoun County, and other nearby counties from traveling to D.C. every weekend. Farmers like this idea as time is one of the most valuable things to them!

MARCH 2011 -

  • Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market approached Kurt about supplying fryer oil to the conference center and possibly produce.
  • We switched to Linda’s Mercantile (LM) for our canola oil – a beneficial repeating cycle that helps us give back the most we can to Mother Nature. Read about how the canola has a 3-part lifetime cycle with our partnership with Linda’s Mercantile and Shenandoah Agricultural Products.

APRIL 2011 -

  • Linda’s Mercantile agrees to grow local produce to supply the large demands of a conference center, which in turn supports their farm. LM has also planted extra fields of broccoli and other produce to provide us with local goods on a regular basis.
  • Executive Chef Craig Mason accepts the first shipment of local produce from Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market. The items included mushrooms, cucumbers, strawberries, hot house tomatoes, honey, arugula, and spinach.  To watch Executive Chef Craig Mason with David Lay, farmer of Linda’s Mercantile see the YouTube video below:


NCC’s New Green Counterpart: Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market in Winchester, VA

At The National Conference Center, sustainability across the property is a large priority. In the past, we traded in our fryer oil to support the future production of biodiesel fuel. This was a great solution to give back to the environment until recently when we made the transition to a partnership with Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market in Winchester, Virginia.

This partnership between NCC and Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market (LM) is a repeating cycle that helps us give back the most we can to Mother Nature. To explain the process, LM uses local ingredients to create canola oil. We then purchase this canola oil for the cooking needs of our Food & Beverage department. After the canola oil has been used, LM picks up the used oil to bring back to the Shenandoah Agricultural Products (SAP) who then transforms it into Bio-Diesel fuel. This fuel is then put to work at both Linda’s Mercantile (LM) and Fruit Hill Orchids – and this cycle begins again with The National Conference Center purchasing the produced canola oil.

Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market is operated by David & Linda Lay and partners with Fruit Hill Orchards and Shenandoah Agricultural Products. According to Linda, “We have vegetables, fruits, all-natural beef and pork, jams, jellies, homemade soaps, baskets and local roasted coffee.” Together, Linda’s Mercantile (LM), Fruit Hill Orchids, and Shenandoah Agricultural Products (SAP) promote locavore eating in the Shenandoah Valley, by working closely together in distributing their products to local vendors. Aside from canola oil, The National Conference Center is currently purchasing local spinach from the farm with the hopes to obtain more local produce from Linda’s Mercantile in the future.

If you’re a green venue, what other eco-friendly efforts have you implemented on your property? If you’re an event professional or meeting planner, how deep do you divulge into a property’s green efforts? Do you investigate their cooking methods as well?