The Farmer’s market in Charlottesville Virginia along with relayfoods.com and a few other wise foodies put together a fantastic farm tour on Labor Day. There were 19 farms open for touring that day. Some too far for us to travel to but the few farms we did manage to visit were more than interesting. And certainly inspiring.
Free Union Grass Farm is run by Erica Hellen and her partner Joel Slezak. It was great seeing farming on a small scale. I’m terribly interested in small scale.
Erica apprenticed at Polyface several years ago. The two of them butcher all of their ducks, hens, and broilers. Over 1500. It’s impressive. With just 2 people they sometime end up processing for up to 10 hours. Ducks take a long time.
They started their farm in Spring 2010 on Joel’s family land of 13 acres, and lease an additional 25 acres. They raise hens, ducks, broilers, and british white cows. This year they added guinea’s for meat, speciality item for restaurants. Their duck sells for $7/lb. We purchased one and can hardly wait to taste it!
So many fantastic small farms. We visited Appalachia Star a vegetable farm on 5 acres. They have almost no predator issues thanks to their wonderful guard dog and their hen and duck movable shelter. They have several acres in vegetables production, goats, 2 cows, ducks for eggs, and hens.
Virginia is such a beautiful place. These farms are tucked away in somewhat remote places. The farmers serve restaurants in CVille and sell at the farmers markets. Some of them do a lot of driving. We know all about that living out in Bath County. You can learn more about this event at www.marketcentralonline.org. What a great day and an excellent way to get to know yer farmers!