We'll add the answers to frequently-asked questions on this page as they come in and as we think of them...
Who are you guys?
Potomac Valley Organics (t/a Potomac Valley Pastures) is a registered Maryland Small Family Farm owned by Leah Mitchell, her husband, Will, and Will's mother, Virginia.
Established in Damascus, Maryland in 2011, we got our start selling produce at farmers' markets before focusing on selling greens to retail outlets such as MOM's Organic Market and South Mountain Creamery.
As time progressed, we expanded our operation to include Black Angus cattle and Berkshire hogs and have moved to Union Bridge, Maryland.
Potomac Valley Organics was built with the help of many other family members and lots of friends to whom we're deeply grateful.
What's your logo?
That's the Eastern Bluebird.
Over the years, we've noticed that this little bird starts showing up in March and April, which are important months to us. Since we grow our greens outdoors, we have to wait until Mother Nature allows us to get back to work after winter. By the time March rolls around, we're excited, anxious, and chomping at the bit to start working the soil.
Every year at that time, the Eastern Bluebird has always appeared like a little messenger of luck, perching on fenceposts to watch us work or dipping and diving for flying insects stirred up as our tractors rumble along.
So to us, the Eastern Bluebird has become a symbol of good things to come and a harbinger of the promise of Spring.
What's Potomac Valley Pastures?
Potomac Valley Pastures is our registered label for our beef and pork. Our greens are certified organic by the USDA and our beef and pork are not (thus the label, Potomac Valley Pastures).
Do you plan to certify your beef and pork as organic?
No; the cost of raising certified organic livestock would put them well outside the practical price range we want for our customers. Our mission includes providing the highest quality products at affordable prices.
However, our animals are raised naturally and in accordance with the strictest humane standards. They are all raised outside in their natural environment with plenty of access to food, water, and shelter.
Our cattle graze entirely on grass with free-choice access to spent whiskey grains and our hogs root in the forest with free-choice access to high-protein meal from Farmers' Cooperative Association. Ingredient lists are available upon request.
None of our animals ever receive growth-enhancing antibiotics or any other artificial inductives.
Who's the little blond boy in the pictures?
That's Hank, our Public Relations Officer.
Do you ship your products?
Umm, yeah. Well, sorta; we're new to shipping and are figuring it out as we go, so please be patient with us.
What's the best tractor in the history of the multiverse?
Are your greens available for retail purchase?
Generally we don't sell our greens retail because the logistics of getting them to customers can impact their freshness if they have to sit around a long time to get eaten. However, if you'd like to swing by the farm and get some - or if you'd like some for a large social event - please let us know and we'll work with you.
Can we visit your farm even if we don't want to buy anything?
Sure. Shoot us an email or give us a phone call.
Who does your butchering?
Only the best butcher in the Mid-Atlantic, a rockstar outfit just up the road from us called The Farmstead Butcher.
What's the best way to cook your steaks?
Will's sister Jenny, our resident chef, suggests the reverse sear method. Since learning of this two years ago it's the only way we cook our steaks, and roasts too.
Prepare your steaks by drying them with paper towels, lay them on a wire rack over a baking sheet, and generously seasoning with salt and pepper.
Never ever use a marinade. We're convinced marinades were invented to cover up for the lack of flavor in most meat. We promise you will not need them.
Heat your oven to 225 degrees and cook until internal temperature reaches 90º to 95º for medium-rare or 100º to 105º for medium.
Next, pan sear the steaks in an oil or fat with a high smoke point over high heat until internal temperature reached for desired doneness.
We love to throw in some butter at the end of this process and cook for an additional minute or so.
Make sure to let your steaks rest before cutting into them, which will also raise the internal temperature a few degrees, so keep this in mind for desired doneness. A good rule of thumb is an additional five to ten degrees after ten minutes of resting.