Charlie Monica Moody

In the industry, Charles and Monica Moody are well known and respected as the president and vice president (respectively) of Solutex, Inc., a Sterling, Virginia-based distributorship. Outside the office, Charlie and Monica consider themselves farmers — perhaps some of the most enthusiastic and happy farmers one could ever meet. 

Over the last 10 years, the Moody’s have proudly tended to a 150-acre farm near Middleburg, Virginia, a historic town 40 miles from Washington D.C. 

“We always dreamed of having land,” says Charlie. “We found the farm, made an offer, and it became ours. Our dream came true sooner in our lives than we expected it would, and we feel very grateful about that.” 

Part of that dream includes improving and preserving the property, specifically chasing the original historic appeal. Embracing a do-it-yourself attitude, the Moodys stress how much fun it has been restoring and fixing up the farm. This was especially the case when his work/home worlds collided and Charlie was tasked with finishing the cork floors in a refurbished house on the property so his mom could move in.  

It was work, but that task was much safer than the time Charlie decided to replace the barn skylights.  

“I borrowed a giant gymnastics mat from a customer — the kind that is used to keep gymnasts safe while they’re practicing vaulting — and wore the grippiest shoes I could find,” recalls Charlie. “I attached a rope to myself, put the tools on strings, and with help from a friend, got the job done.” 

Then there are the chainsaws, of which Charlie has two. With so much acreage to tend to, downed trees that fall across trails must be removed because the couple makes them available to neighbors who want to enjoy a hike. But why two chainsaws?  

“I use the second one to free the first one when I get it stuck,” Charlie shares with a chuckle.  

After stowing the chainsaws, Charlie set his sights on crafting a new barn door, not a small task when a single door measures 13-by-13 feet. He required a large, flat working area.  

“The barn has a dirt floor, so in order to have a good surface on which to build the door, I brought in 16 pallets from our warehouse, added plywood on the top to make a floor, and built the door from rough-sawn Douglas fir,” recalls Charlie.  

Upon completion, he called the neighbors over and they helped with the installation — not unlike an old-fashioned barn-raising party.   

The Moodys always welcome neighbors to their property, and that includes some less traditional visitors.  

“We like to think of our farm as a reserve. We’re caring for the land in a way that allows the wildlife to thrive. We have wild turkeys, raccoons, minks, black bears, coyotes, deer, and on a single day in the Fall, I counted 28 bald eagles in our trees.” Charlie shares. “We love the nature around us.” 

Along with the wild animals, Charlie and Monica have hayfields where a local farmer cuts and bales the hay. Thinking that maybe the hay was used to feed thoroughbred horses, he learned just the opposite — they ship it off to mushroom farmers, where it’s used on the growing tables.  

“Apparently, our hay is of the lowest caliber,” he says with a laugh. 

In reflecting on farm life, Charlie says, “I feel like the land is loaned to us and put in our care while we’re alive. There’s always work to do, and I’m never bored.”  

The Moodys enjoy their connection with the land in an almost spiritual way, and residing there leaves them with hearts full of gratitude.  

Gretchen Roufs, a 25-year janitorial supply industry veteran, owns a marketing and public relations company in San Antonio. To suggest someone you think should be featured in “Freetime,” contact her at