Location: McLean, Virginia
Webpage: National Park
General Description: The Claude Moore Colonial Farm recreates and reenacts the colonial farm techniques of 1771. As the only privately run park in the National Park System, it has a unique history and events. The Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run, a privately funded foundation, manages the park while the NPS owns the land. The mission of the farm is to recreate the farming practices of the late 1700s, when most of the small farmers in Virginia grew tobacco as their cash crop along with corn, vegetables, pigs, and chickens for their own purposes. Volunteers dress is period clothes and use period hand tools to work the farm. Visitors are encouraged to participate and “lend a hand”. At varying times through the spring, summer and fall, the farm holds special events to educate the public and twice a year they hold Market Fairs to sell the produce and celebrate the harvest with crafts and period foods.
1) Since this is not managed by the NPS, their is no formal Visitor Center. Instead there is a small country store selling period crafts and foods.
2) As with most farms of the period, the site is very small consisting of only a few buildings and fields. Included is a small tobacco field, corn field, vegetable garden, and herb garden. There is a small log cabin, tobacco barn, chicken coop, and hay barn.
3) There were two young adults dressed in period clothes cooking and preparing the corn field for planting. We enjoyed talking with them about what they were doing and their immediate plans for the spring season.
4) I was not surprised to learn that the heavy plowing of the fields are done by tractors, as there was no draft animals that I saw on the farm.
5) It should also be noted that the location of the farms is at the back entrance to the CIA headquarters at Langley. We hypothesized that a main reason for the park is to keep the residential property away from the CIA headquarters?