THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON LOUDOUN TIMES.
Jaclyn and Kenny Jenkins fulfilled their greatest dream two years ago with the purchase of One Day Farm in Hamilton. The 13-acre property featuring a late 18th-century house was in need of some tender loving care but the Jenkins felt up to the challenge.
“We thought we’re young, we can do this,” said Jaclyn Jenkins. “My husband and I are high school sweethearts and it was always ‘one day we will go to college, one day we will get married and have kids’ and the last ‘one day’ was we will have a farm.”
As “legacy Loudouners” the Jenkins felt right at home making renovations to the property so they can raise their three children in the same rural environment they enjoyed as youngsters. With a large garden and farm animals including a cow, mini pony and a sizable flock of chickens, friends and family began inquiring about bringing their own children out for a visit. The Jenkins were happy to oblige.
“Every day my kids come and collect eggs with me and help me in the garden and my friends and co-works started to ask if they could bring their families out,” said Jaclyn Jenkins. “They moved to Loudoun to experience that, but still don’t have these resource.”
With the goal of turning the property into a business, the Jenkins went through several iterations of ideas including a hard cidery. While they decided against working in the liqueur industry, they still planted a large apple orchard in a backfield. Eventually, they circled back to how they could enjoy their farm with their children and the idea of farm education blossomed.
“We thought what if we did a farm school where these kids could come to us year round and see the process from beginning to end,” said Jaclyn Jenkins. “It will be 100 percent farm education.”
Jenkins has spent the last nine months creating a curriculum with her cousin who has been brought on as a teacher, that merges farming and kindergarten prep. One Day Farm will open its doors Aug. 29. Ten children, ages 2 to 5, have already enrolled.