All in the Geyer Family
Agriberry Farm is owned and operated by the Geyer family in Hanover, Va. The farm specializes in growing blackberries, raspberries and other fruit in their Central Virginia fields. Founded in 2008 the farm is the vision-made-real of Anne and Chuck, and they are supported by their friends, neighbors and community. Above all, the Geyer Family is committed to helping to increase the consumption of locally grown fruit and berries in Virginia and Maryland, and they are especially proud to be able to help young area workers gain initial work experience and an appreciation of agriculture, both as a career option and community resource.
Anne Frackelton Geyer
Anne Frackelton Geyer is the spark that launched Agriberry Farm. Anne operates Agriberry Farm along with her husband Chuck Geyer, her son Pierson Geyer, and daughter Colleen Geyer, along with help from sisters Susan and Molly.
She wants the world to “Eat More Berries,” due to their high nutritional value and health benefits. Furthermore, Anne believes that everyone benefits from the chance to work on a farm. While picking berries requires dexterity, stamina and a tolerance for outdoor conditions, it is a job that can be performed safely by relatively inexperienced workers.
Those ideas converged with the founding of Agriberry Farm in Hanover County in 2008, and the launch of the area’s only fruit-oriented CSA the next year, connecting local food fans with nutritious, healthy fruit and providing agricultural work for a small year-round crew and a summer harvest team.
Anne is a graduate of Wells College in Aurora, New York. She grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and her summer adventures picking and eating wild black raspberries with her siblings helped inspire her desire to grow cane berries on Agriberry Farm.
“Farmer Chuck” knows fruit growing with a depth and intensity few can match. He hand-prunes and hand-harvests the fruit from each of the peach, cherry, plum and apple trees in the farm orchard. As the Geyer family patriarch and the farm’s IPM (Integrated Pest Management) lead, he works closely with the harvest and plant care team to ensure that the fruit, workers and consumers stay healthy and safe. A natural engineer, he keeps all the farm equipment and infrastructure running, and he represents the farm at the Ix Park Farmers Market in Charlottesville every Saturday in season.
Chuck grew up on a dairy farm in Upstate New York, and has a bachelors degree in Agriculture from Delaware Valley College in Doyleston, Pennsylvania, and he also is an active member of many regional and national fruit and berry-growing organizations.
They say apples don’t fall far from their trees, and that is surely true of Pierson Geyer, because he inherited a deep connection to farming and community from Anne and Chuck. Being the farm’s General Manager gives him an active role in all aspects of the farm, including the markets and CSA. In addition, he oversees the field and warehouse activities at the farm. Further, he maintains the farm’s GAP certification and compliance (Good Agriculture Practices, as established by the USDA.)
Pierson’s exceptional talents are recognized on and off the farm, as is evidenced by his selection by the peer-nominated “40 Under 40” Class of 2018 list of national leaders in agriculture. This recognition is due in part to his role as the youngest-ever president of the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association (NARBA.) Pierson also participates in many local and regional programs, including support for emerging farmers in conjunction with the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University.
Pierson has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, and he uses his skills daily in the office and in the fields to help grow the Geyer Family farm.
Owner, River City Bakery
Colleen and her twin sister Mary Claire grew up helping out in the fields, in the kitchen and at markets, so she was steeped in the joy of fresh food, extended family gatherings, and hard work. With her passion for cooking obvious from an early age, Colleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., and she pursued advanced internships in the U.S. and France in Pastry and Baking. She has launched her own business, River City Bakery, and is participating weekly at the Tuesday afternoon Birdhouse Market in downtown Richmond.
Mary Claire Geyer
Homesteader in the Pacific Northwest
Mary Claire Geyer, twin sister to Colleen, farms in the Pacific Northwest. She breeds and shears her own flock of Icelandic Sheep, and travels extensively as a professional sheep shearer. She enjoys fiber arts, and is passionate about heritage food and low-impact living.
Annapolis CSA Coordinator
Susan and her husband Robert visit the farm often and help with planting and other projects and special events.
Ellen and Will
Williamsburg CSA and Market
Ellen is Anne’s niece, and she has been helping at the farm since she was in middle school. She and her husband Will are raising their family in Williamsburg, they represent Agriberry Farm at the Williamsburg Farmers Market every Saturday during the harvest season. When their schedules permit, they offer the Agriberry Farm CSA in the Williamsburg area.
Ellen teaches reading at a Williamsburg area elementary school, and Will works for the College of William and Mary, while they raise their two sons, Johnny and James.
Team Agriberry Working with the Geyer Family
In addition to the Geyer family, Agriberry Farm employs a number of dedicated team members who help keep the fruit coming through the harvest season and beyond. Here are some faces you may find familiar:
Field Supervisor and Site Lead at the Saturday Market at St. Stephen's
Charlie started with Agriberry Farm in 2017. In 2019 he became team lead and began helping at farmers markets and with warehouse support. He stepped into his current role of Field Supervisor in 2021. His favorite Agriberry fruit is Von blackberries, and his favorite thing about the farm is the connection to the land. Fun fact: Charlie can often be spotted picking a tune with the Garden Variety String Band around town.
Juniper started working at Agriberry as a Kitchen Associate in July of 2020, and stepped into the role of Kitchen Manager in April of 2021. Juniper brings a love of food in all its stages to her work and personal life – from planting seeds to tending crops to harvest, preparation, and preservation of many kinds. When she is not making jam or baking oat bars, Juniper can be found growing vegetables, flowers, and fibers from seed, as well as baking delicious gluten free pastries and playing in the woods.
Marjorie helps in the farm office. She began her connection with the farm in 2011 as a CSA member and neighbor, and started work for “a few hours a week” in 2012. She has helped the Geyer family in many capacities over the years, including jam making, warehouse work, helping at markets, and as CSA coordinator.
RVA CSA Coordinator & Market Manager
Sara started with Agriberry Farm fall of 2020 as a harvester and market associate. January of 2021 Sara ascended into her current role of CSA Coordinator. When the Summer season started Market Manager role was added. Sara’s love of fruit expanding once she had access to fresh picked fruit.
Alli began working for Agriberry in 2014, and she became a team lead in 2019. She graduated from Randolph Macon in 2021, and her favorite thing about the farm is her team members on the Field Crew. Her favorite fruit is Nantahala Raspberries. Fun fact: Alli still has and uses the same pair of rainboots she wore on her first day in 2014.
Austin began working seasonally for Agriberry in 2012. After he graduated from Randolph Macon in 2016, he began working for the farm year-round. He became a team lead in 2017 and became production manager in 2018. His favorite thing about the farm is the outdoor environment. His favorite farm fruit is Chickasaw blackberries. Fun fact: Austin spent a summer working on a peach and sheep farm on Middle Island in New Zealand.
Market and CSA Site Leader
Ed takes care of CSA and Market customers for the Geyer Family at the Atlee Farm Stand and the Huguenot-Robious Market. Quality is Job One for Ed, who is a Charter CSA member of the farm. A native of Waynesboro, Ed and his wife have lived in Hanover for more than 40 years. Among his many interest are caning and woodworking, roots music and being the world’s best grandpa.
Jake began with the field crew of the farm in the spring of 2021, and became a Team Lead that summer. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech (Environmental Horticulture with a minor in Viticulture and Mycology), and he worked as farm manager for Beaver Creek Farm from 2018-2021. His favorite thing about the farm is the privilege of being a part of the local food system. Muscadine grapes are his favorite fruit on the farm. Fun fact: Jake was in a Cabbage Patch Kids recall commercial in 1996.
Spotsylvania Market Leader
Rose has worked with the Geyer Family for more than 20 years, including several years as Warehouse Manager. She is the site leader at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market on Saturdays.