Sown since 1919, Johnson's Orchards' 200 fertile acres buttress the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills and checker the landscape with thousands of apple trees. Patrons hand-select 10 pounds of nearly 200 varieties of apples, ensuring the fruits suit specific standards for weight, hue and doctor-repelling abilities. After stocking up on apples, visitors are welcome to meander the foot trails cutting through the orchard, while tots encouragingly pat the heads of amiable farm animals. Visitors can also tipple cold cider straight from the press and weigh down restless hot air balloons with jellies, relishes, and 25 different fruit wines from the on-site winery. A picnic pavilion affords idyllic views and a space to dive into vitamin-packed feasts.
A native of Augusta County who knows its wildlife and terrain, Dwight Wood recreates a simpler time—a time when cowboys rode horses up the mountain trails, ate steaks seared by the campfire, and jumped into a hot tub before going to bed. Granted, that last part is only available if you stay overnight at the bunkhouse, but the Wood family's horseback-riding trips are otherwise historically authentic.
Riders meet at 9 a.m. on the ranch, where they're paired up with a trusty and well-trained steed before trotting out into the wilderness of George Washington National Forest. Dwight guides the trip over water, up slight inclines, and past breathtaking views of mountain country, leading the pack to some of the highest points in the region without the help of cliff-side escalators. He also keeps each trip small in order to better answer questions and provide a personalized experience for each rider. Guests can saddle up for a half-day, full-day, or overnight excursion, and look forward to a cowboy-style supper on longer trips.
Fifth Season Gardening specializes in hydroponics, homebrewing, and organic gardening. Complete hydroponic systems can help hobbyists grow plants in any type of environment, and organic gardening supplies such as fertilizer and composters can maximize produce yields. Customers may also browse a wide selection of urban D.I.Y. products. Aside from serving as a go-to spot for garden items, Fifth Season Gardening boasts must-have supplies for homebrewers of all skill levels, from fresh hops and yeast, to cleaning accoutrements and educational books.
Terrence Morris, owner of Morris Lawn Care & Services, shows up on every job to oversee his technicians as they perform lawn-maintenance, snow-removal, and power-washing services. In addition to one-time visits, Morris also offers monthly and yearly maintenance contracts.
Armed with an arsenal of equipment and years of experience, Petersen Home Services’ expert fixer uppers keep area domiciles in good shape. Insisting that no job is too small, Petersen Home Services’ crew descends upon homes to perform handyman services that range from repairing damaged flooring to winterizing windows, as well as power washing exteriors to clear grime and eavesdropping neighbors out of nooks and crannies.
For more than three decades, Beaver Tree & Lawn Service’s fertilizer programs, pest control, and landscaping services have defended verdant turf and topiary against feeble growth and invasive critters. Keep backyard grasslands thriving and lawn-mower ownership justified with a fertilization procedure ($50) that employs one of eight seasonally targeted lawn applications or spray down a front yard’s foundation trees with insecticide ($55) to ward off shrub-bungling bugs through summertime. A perimeter pest control ($50) staves off sieges from ants, crickets, and miniaturized Achaeans, and a grub-control ($100) or flea-and-tick ($100) yard treatment targets specific species of creepy-crawly.