Rising Scrumptious Partnerships –

The story beneath is a preview from our November/December 2023 challenge. For extra tales prefer it, Subscribe At the moment. Thanks! 

These native farms are producing the products for a lot of of your favourite menu objects.

Chew right into a hamburger at Burger within the Sq..

Sink your fork right into a meat entree at Native Roots.

Lower up a leafy salad at Bloom.

These menu objects are dropped at you by native farmers.

Meet a few of the faces behind your meals, and find out about why they love rising the meals that you simply savor.

Fields Edge Farm

4 years in the past, Leslie and Roger Slusher traded jobs in increased schooling and insurance coverage for a brand new lifestyle.

They relocated from Pennsylvania to Virginia to run Roger Slusher’s long-time household farm, Fields Edge Farm in Floyd.

“We determined that if the household farm was going to maintain going, we’d come again,” stated Leslie Slusher, who taught genetics at West Chester College for 26 years.

At Fields Edge, situated within the Rush Fork Valley space of Floyd, the couple manages the farm’s day-to-day produce and meat manufacturing.

Terry Slusher, Roger Slusher’s brother, manages the farm’s Hereford cattle.

The Slushers promote produce and meat at farmers markets in Roanoke and in downtown Blacksburg. Space grocery shops and eating places additionally promote the farm’s meat and produce, from  Native Roots in Roanoke to Sq. 5 Public Home and Rising Silo Brewery, each in Blacksburg. The farm provides the meals for Villa Appalaccia Vineyard’s farm to desk dinners in Floyd.

Leslie Slusher is the face of the farm on the Roanoke farmers markets, the place she stated she enjoys interacting with the purchasers straight.

“I actually get pleasure from speaking about meals and giving individuals recipes,” she stated.

In actual fact, she not too long ago defined to her market prospects the way to prepare dinner with fennel, an herb that she featured on the farm stand.

For farms like Fields Edge, promoting on to the group is crucial. They will’t compete with massive grocery shops that purchase merchandise in bulk and provide decrease costs, stated Leslie Slusher.

“For the small household run farm, I feel direct to client with a pair wholesale accounts is the one path to survival,” she stated. “We’re searching for the buyer who needs to know the place their meals got here from and know the way it was produced. They’re prepared to pay extra.”

Rabbit Head Farm

Glancing at a map of this Franklin County farm, its title is self explanatory.

Tara and Jordan Sharpes are co-owners of Rabbit Head Farm. The 14-acre property the place they reside and work is formed like a rabbit’s head.

The Sharpes are first-generation farmers who moved to the Roanoke Valley in 2011.

Their farming desires turned a actuality in 2014, and at Rabbit Head, meat is their focus. They increase antibiotic-free chickens, hogs, dairy cows and free vary veal calves. Their focus is poultry and pork, however they’re rising the farm’s veal operation, specifically rose veal.

You’ll discover them promoting entire chickens and different meats on the Grandin Village Farmers Market. Rabbit Head meat is also bought on the Roanoke Co-op and at Yard Bull Meats in Roanoke.

The farm presents a subscription service and residential supply for purchasers as properly.

Like many household farmers, the Sharpes reside on the farm. Jordan Sharpes is an lawyer in Moneta, whereas Tara Sharpes homeschools their three ladies.

Their kids are concerned with farm life as a lot as attainable. Even their college yr is predicated on the farm’s rising cycles.

“We couldn’t do that some other approach,” stated Tara Sharpes. “We’re keen about elevating kids on the farm.”

Thornfield Farm

Flowers are the latest product fueling gross sales at Thornfield Farm in Fincastle.

Susanna Thornton began a flower cooperative a number of years in the past, promoting the farm’s blooms to native florists. She’s rising at the very least 100 totally different varieties, with fall dahlias because the marquee flowers.

However that’s solely a slice of what Thornfield Farm presents. Thornton’s household farm, the place her dad nonetheless raises beef cattle, produces meat, eggs and produce, and is an everyday vendor on the Grandin Village Farmers Market.

“We’ve a robust emphasis on stewarding the land to one of the best of our means,” stated Thornton, who grew up on the farm, however moved away after school to chase nonprofit work in bigger cities.

Finally, a rural life-style beckoned her again to her roots.

“I made a decision that I didn’t need to reside in a metropolis, an excessive amount of concrete,” she stated. “I missed the land of the mountains.”

Thornton labored on a farm in Maine earlier than making her approach again to her household’s farm, the place she now leases about 15 acres of the 300-acre property from her dad and mom.

Thornton and her farm crew promote objects on the farm’s personal stand on Tuesdays, together with one at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke. Moreover, they’ve a pre-order farm share program.

Thornfield’s farm fare additionally is offered at a number of Roanoke space eating places, together with Bloom, Fortunate, Fortunato and Native Roots.

“I benefit from the means to be exterior and work with my physique,” Thornton stated. “It’s an enormous life enchancment to be linked deeply with the surface.”

Wish to be taught extra in regards to the native farms rising produce for a few of our area’s eating places, together with Woods Farms and Backyard Selection Harvests? Take a look at the newest challenge, now on newsstands, or see it at no cost in our digital information linked beneath!

The story above is a preview from our November/December 2023 challenge. For extra tales prefer it, Subscribe At the moment. Thanks! 

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