Cool Breeze Farm | Mount Sidney

I ventured out to meet Valerie and Andrew a couple weeks ago on the most beautiful fall morning. The leaves were bursting with bright yellow, orange and crimson colors, the sun was peaking through the trees, and the temperature was just about perfect. As I waited for them to arrive, I spoke with Andrew’s grandmother who owns the horse stables on the farm. Of course I had to say hello and meet all of the furry friends!

I met Valerie a couple years ago at a bible study. She’s the type of person you could chat with for hours and hours. When I met her husband Andrew, I quickly realized why they were a family. He was just like Valerie. Authentic, warm, welcoming and energetic about life. Their carefree joy and passion for the farm was contagious.

As we walked around and met all the farm animals, Andrew filled me in that his grandparents had owned this farm in the 70’s and Andrew and Valerie were of course overjoyed to take over the farm after they married in 2011.

Fast forward 8 years, Valerie and Andrew have welcomed 3 sweet farm helpers to the mix! ;) As I quickly realized, they adore each and every animal and love to lend a hand where needed. They were pretty excited to tell me one of their horses is named Molly ;)

Andrew and Valerie, thank you for letting me come photograph your farm and life!

If you’d like to purchase locally raised pork, grass fed beef or pastured eggs, please head to their website for more information!

Enjoy a few favorites of our time together!

Living Waters Farm Initiative | Broadway, Virginia

When Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance first asked me to photograph Living Waters Farm Initiative, I was humbled and super grateful for the opportunity. As I browsed their website and read their story, I became anxious to speak with the owners, Travis and Mark, and hear how Living Waters Farm Initiative came to fruition. Because I’m a photographer, and not a writer, I want to pass along to you the beautiful story Katie Mitchell of Harrisonburg wrote on the Harrisonburg Downtown blog!

As I approached the farm last Friday morning, an overwhelming sense of calm and rest came over me. I could tangibly feel and see why this farm will serve as a place of rest and rejuvenation for veterans who suffer from PTSD. A place where they can come together and just “be”. Offering a sense of support to one another in many different ways. There is truly a sense of awe and wonder on the 23 acre farm nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Here are a few of my favorite photos that captured the beauty and wonder of Living Waters Farm Initiative.

Living Waters Farm Initiative is in the beginning stages and has a lot more work ahead of them. If you would be so kind, I know they would very much appreciate a donation or help in any way you can. To do so, visit their website and go fund me page.

Thank you!

Framed Botanicals

It’s incredible when you see something you’ve dreamed of come to fruition. As many of you know, my partner Brad and I have started to merge our ideas together. When he was working on an emerald ash wood custom table the topic came up about what an ash tree leaf looked like. So we started to research. I loved learning how to identify and spot different types of trees out in the woods. Sadly the emerald ash tree has been dying at a rapid rate because of the ash tree borer (The emerald ash borer is a green buprestid or jewel beetle native to north-eastern Asia that feeds on ash species.) The amazing part in this tragedy is that Brad and his buddies (Ned Gearing, Landon Heavener and Rhett Miles) started a company called Rocktown Urban Wood where they can use this beautiful locally sourced wood to create one-of-a-kind custom pieces. Brad’s first wood working company Knoched VA began in 2014 and he continues to create beautiful tables, frames, benches, shelves, you name it! Together with his partners, they are serving the Shenandoah Valley with gorgeous unique custom furniture.

Once I sketched the ash tree leaf I was hooked. Every time I walked around the neighborhood or took a hike, I couldn’t help but pickup a dried leaf on the ground or gently pluck one from a branch. I would take it home, open our tree book, or search the web for answers on what type of tree it came from.

This research and interest quickly turned into a “ah-ha” moment when Brad and I were talking and we both looked at each other, “what if I painted a leaf, and you made a frame for it out of the very same tree?!” Mind blown. Not just your typical framed art pieces. It had a story of its own.

So off to the races we went. I was busy researching, sketching, painting, dreaming while Brad was busy in his shop making the custom frames.

And then, this last Wednesday morning we assembled them all. Carefully placing the glass in the frames, attaching the leaf prints and the backing, and voila, our dreams had come to fruition.

These are just the beginning of an adventure. We plan to research many more and get busy making lots of framed leaf prints with local trees! For now, I will leave you with the first three. Sycamore, Red Oak and Red Cedar. Right here from the Shenandoah Valley and ready to hang in your home.

Which one is your favorite? Do you have one you would love for us to create?

If you’d like to purchase one of these specifically, you can do so at OASIS fine art and craft in downtown Harrisonburg, VA. You will find them with the rest of my prints and photographs, along with 35 other artists from the Shenandoah Valley and all of their locally made art!

If you’d like a framed print, or have an idea, we’d love to create one for you! Please get in touch with us at info@mollywhitmorephotography.net or brad@knochedva.com.