About Second Creek Farm Vacation Rental in Montebello, VA


For centuries, the mountain land that Second Creek Farm is situated on has provided for its inhabitants. The high hills, cool hollows and pristine trout streams were places that people went to cool off in the summer, rest in between hay-making or fish on lazy Sunday afternoons. The farm proper is surrounded by mountain peaks, deep green hay fields and sparkling blue skies. The farm's one hundred and ten acres of mature forest, rolling pastures and amazing views is simply beautiful.


About Us


Luther and Catherine Cash own the property now (Luther is the grandson of Wilson Seaman). Luther worked at the Montebello Fish Hatchery for years as did his father Ralph. Ralph was beloved by school children all over Virginia because of his enthusiasm for teaching children about the outdoors. Luther is the go-to for all things fish and wildlife related. He knows where the wildlife is on the farm (ask him about his wild turkey flock and bear sightings). Luther was also one of the first people to grow shiitake in the mountains.


Catherine grew up in Richmond and discovered Montebello while horseback riding with friends. Later she worked in the organic industry with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and then the National Organic Program at the USDA. She now owns and operates Organic Health Systems in Fairfield. Luther and Catherine live in Fairfield, just down the mountain. Luther manages the farm (along with other property) and generally keeps every thing going! They visit the farm whenever they can – the quiet there just can't be found anywhere else!


Twenty years ago Luther and Catherine renovated and operated Three Sisters Log Cabin, a well-known vacation rental property nearby. When they decided to open their private farm to guests, they already had a good bit of experience in the vacation rental business. They are excited about sharing the farm with others!


Farm History


Second Creek is a working farm – which means there's always something going on! In the spring, the cows are brought up the mountain from the Valley to graze and when cold weather arrives, they return to the low ground. There is always something growing in the greenhouse, hay to be cut and there are occasionally neighbors fishing at the pond. Though we sometimes have to round up a cow that's gotten loose or tend to various farm issues, our goal is to make your stay as private and quiet as possible.

Second Creek Farm has been in the same family since the mid 1800's when it was part of a larger farm owned by the Seaman family. It has always been a diverse operation, as most mountain farms were, but generally the main focus was sheep and cattle. The "sheep house" is the old barn across the creek towards the back of the farm. There were always at least two draft workhorses on the farm, you can see their stalls and feed racks in the old log barn, which is now Shirley's (the donkey's) house. Shirley, the farm mascot and everyone's favorite donkey, oversees all farm happenings and is always quick to notice and greet new arrivals, be they newly born calves, wildlife or visiting guests.

One of the unusual things about the farm is the abundance of water on it - in fact, there is almost a mile of native trout streams meandering through the property.  Multiple springs abound and when winter breaks and the snow melts, the rolling waters are a sight to behold. You may notice several spring "boxes" if you walk around the farm. Some of them are original homestead springs that were build centuries ago.


Our Ethics


Second Creek has always been operated organically, using sustainable and biological farming practices, even before they became vogue. The farm was one of the first in western Virginia to be certified organic and first to use beneficial insects in its production plan and ultimately proved that organic methods can out-perform conventional.


The farm hedgerows are home to many varieties of birds and the wetland areas are habitats for many species of birds and small game. Deer, fox, bear and bobcat have all been seen on the farm and the farm's flock of wild turkeys is a site to behold when they decide to forage the hay fields! A pair of binoculars is a must to have at hand when you visit. One might even catch a glimpse of the bald eagles that fish out of the pond on occasion.


The farm greenhouse is a wonderful place to linger in any season as there is usually something growing there! Preservation, production and education are three things that we try to focus on at Second Creek. We use only organic, open pollinated seeds in the greenhouse and try to use as many Virginia heirloom seeds as possible. We use and share most of the vegetables we grow. The sharing makes a wonderful platform for teaching children how farming works. We always share our vegetable crop with our neighbors.