Lydia’s Fields at Wheatland
“Using and purchasing locally sourced goods is THE way to go because doing so supports the way of being, the spirit, and the economy of a place and its people” – Robert Schubert
An interview with Robert Schubert – Owner of Lydia’s Fields at Wheatland
What’s the origin story of Lydia’s Fields? How did it get its name?
In Spring 2012, soon after I had purchased the farm, I was applying to markets and so of course I needed to call it something. So, I leaned back against my couch and thought of names. Finally, I said to myself, “Lydia’s Fields,” and liked the sound of it. After all, “Lydia” supposedly means “beautiful one” or “kindred spirit” in Greek. By the way, Lydia also is the name of my companion cat.
What sprays, pesticides, or herbicides (if any) do you use?
We try to avoid using any pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides), and when we do, we use only natural, plant-based sprays that are allowed under USDA organic standards. For example, to control an outbreak of flea beetles that are threatening to leave beds of leafy greens such as arugula, lettuce, or spinach full of holes, we might spray strains of Bt. We also have sprayed clay-based Surround on squash and cucumber plant leaves to dissuade insects from munching on them. We use organic growing practices, but we are not USDA certified organic.
Is your farm open to the public? If your answer is no, how can people purchase your product?
Yes, our farm is open to the public, though we do not have a farm stand. We participate in the Loudoun Station Farmers Market, located at the intersection of Gramercy Park Drive and Central Station Drive in Ashburn, VA, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and in the Bluemont Farmers Market in the old general store in Bluemont, VA on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We also wholesale a variety of produce to local restaurants, including Magnolia’s at the Mill in Purcellville and Market Table Bistro in Lovettsville.
NOTE: In 2020, we plan to launch our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and will soon post and distribute applications. Stay tuned for news at www.lydiasfields.com, on Facebook, or on Instagram.
What is your favorite part of running the farm?
I enjoy working with my team – Amy, Jimmy, Rosalie, Cyrus, and Andrew, chatting with customers about why our heirloom tomatoes are simply the best and thus they should buy and eat many of them, and preparing fields for planting.
Share a favorite experience connected to the farm.
I remember the Saturday morning in 2013 when we took nearly 900 pounds of tomatoes into Arlington to sell at the farmers market. We sold all but a pound or so at market and to restaurants in Clarendon.
PET POLICY At this time we do not allow pets on the farm