Since 1983, when Alan Voorhees opened Westmoreland Berry Farm, people have come from far and wide to pick berries, hike trails, feed goats, and enjoy the surroundings. Sadly, this is coming to an end. In an announcement on Facebook at the end of last week, current owners of the farm, Susan Voorhees Hunt (Alan Voorhees’ daughter) and her husband Tom Hunt said they would be closing this treasured place to the public.
“While it was not easy to do so, we have made the decision to close Westmoreland Berry Farm and no longer be open to the public,” they stated.
“We will be changing the operations and implementing more traditional farming practices.”
The main reason, but not the only one, behind this change is very simple and very understandable: family. According to the statement, operating the farm the way they had been was taking away from time that could be spent with their children and grandchildren. In the end, it was not a decision made lightly.
“This decision is bittersweet for us as our farm has been a great place for families to gather. We want to thank the many visitors, customers, employees and friends we have made along the way both at the farm and farmers markets. We will cherish the many memories as we now look forward to spending more time with our family.”
Susan Hunt says that the hiking trails were a main attraction. Her parents donated some of their land known as the Vorhees Nature Preserve to the Nature Conservancy, and Hunt says they are working closely with the conservancy to ensure the public still has access to those hiking trails.
Exploring the 900 acre span of land nestled along the Rappahannock River is a memory so many locals will never forget. The Hunt family implored people to keep supporting other local farmers’ markets.