Welcome to Fall Line Farms & Local Roots!
The Center for Rural Culture's Fall Line Farms and Local Roots is designed to connect family owned and operated farms and businesses with customers in search of local food year round. It's Richmond Virginia's non-profit online farmers market!
Give us a try! Use the Promotion Code "one_month_free" for one month of free membership.
Order what you want
Shop by the item
with no minimum order
Order when you want
Shop as often
or as little as you like
Order from the farms you want
Shop directly from individual farms
with no substitutions
Thank you for supporting our local producers!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call 804-878-2166.
Verde Natural Florals
Trails End Farm
The Freckled Farm Soap Company
Rain or Shine Greenhouse Gardens
Night Sky Farm
Misty Morning Sunrise Farm
Manakintowne Specialty Growers
Liberty Tree Farm
Goats R Us
Forrest Green Farm
Elk Island Produce
Deer Run Farm
Cypress Grove Farm
Aynsley + Cp
OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES
X-actly Wright Seafood
Wild Earth Fermentation
Three Hens Candle Co
Salsas Don Sebastian
Honey's Homemade Stuff
Great Harvest Bread Co
The Green Kitchen
Good Health Herbs
Cumberland Middle School
Black Hand Coffee Co
A Local Pie Company
Buy Local for You--But for Your Community, Too!
A guest column by Bailey Mennona, The Food Systems Nutritionist.
(Pictured above, Bailey herself--and her warm carrot and spinach salad.)
Local food is often touted as being super beneficial for consumers. And it is!
When consumers buy local, they enjoy personal interactions at farmers markets and fresher food than when they buy at supermarkets. Food is tastier and more nutritious due to not having to travel as far.
But buying local also extends outward from our own tables and benefits our communities. It helps improve the local economy by keeping money at home, thus creating more jobs. And consumers gain influence when they can talk directly with farmers about their farming methods and ask for what they want.
But what about the producers? How does purchasing local food help those who work tirelessly in the fields to feed their communities?
1. Farmers can set their own fair prices.
We are made to believe that food is cheaper at the grocery store, and it usually is. But what does this mean for the farmers who produced it? Are producers able to live off this pay, or is most of the money consumers spend at the grocery store going toward overhead, like paying truckdrivers and maintaining buildings?
Are farmers able to pay their farm workers a liveable wage? Are they able to adopt sustainable farming methods to keep our water-ways and food safe and to keep us healthier?
All of these questions are important in considering the price of a product. When you support small and mid-size local farmers, you may spend a little more money. But that money goes directly to supporting a family instead of to an industrialized agri-food company.
Consumers are also able to talk with farmers about their farming methods, building lasting relationships and increasing local identity and also helping determine what fresh, seasonal foods are available at the market.
2. Buying local helps shape future farming policy supporting small and mid-size farmers.
Currently, our food policy is shaped and supported by industrialized farms. Purchasing local food creates a shift in our communities. If local farmers are having issues with specific food policy, consumers can mobilize to create local food policy changes that benefit small and mid-size farmers. Then, consumers empower farmers to deliver what the consumers really want.
3. Purchasing from local farmers can increase efficiency and decrease waste--if the right policy is enacted.
Small Farmers can sell more hard-to-sell items directly to consumers and avoid wasting them. This includes chicken feet, bones for broth, liver, etc. They can also offer niche items, like delicious but delicate heirloom varieties of vegetables that wouldn’t survive cross-country travel.
Buying local decreases food waste through the purchase of bulk items. Food left over at farmers markets can be repurposed as specialty items such as canned and baked goods. Any other leftover food can be recycled back into the local food system through livestock feed, compost, and/or bio-fuels.
Buying locally is good for you, but it's good for your community and your environment too!
ABOUT BAILEY: Bailey Mennona is Virginia Beach mom and military spouse who's a big fan of Fall Line Farms and Local Roots, even though she lives too far away to be a member. She has a BS in Nutrition and a Masters in Sustainable Food Systems. She is "constantly questioning the status quo of nutrition and the food system." This is her first guest column for our weekly newsletter. You can find her on Twitter (@FSnutritionist) on Instagram (@thefoodsystemsnutritionist) and on Facebook as The Food Systems Nutritionist.
One Chicken, Several Meals: Making the Most of a Beautiful Pasture-Raised Bird
One of the first things my mother taught me while I was growing up was that buying a whole chicken was a great way to save money. One large chicken made at least two or three meals for our family of four. Even now, the smell of a chicken roasting on Sunday afternoon makes me think about Mom with love and gratitude. It also makes me think about how well I’m going to eat for the next week.
From time to time, you’ll find whole chickens on our pages for sale. This week, they’re from Forrest Green Farm, where they hatch out as chicks, forage for grass and weeds and insects until they are large enough to sell, and then are processed right there on the farm. (See the picture of Forrest Green Farm's chickens in the pasture, above). Then they're sold directly to you through FLF&LR. Forrest Green Farm—like our other producers—uses sustainable practices and offers antibiotic-free birds. You’ll certainly taste the difference from a grocery store chicken.
So how do you get multiple meals from one chicken? Start by roasting it on a Sunday afternoon. Your house will smell divine! Add some green garlic to the usual roasting herbs (parsley, thyme,rosemary) for a late spring twist.
If you’re an FLF&LR member, there are tons of options for sides to go with your roast chicken. How about a fresh salad with crisp, fresh hydroponic greens from Rain or Shine Greenhouse Gardens? Add some Venezuelan black beans from Salsas Don Sebastian for a Latin flair. And finish with juicy, succulent Powhatan-grown blueberries from Owl Orchard, one of our newest producers. Mix the bluberries with some plain Greek yogurt and drizzle them with local honey. This is dessert fit for a late spring feast!
After dinner, pick the meat from the chicken and put it in a separate container. You can use this later to make all kinds of things like chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, chicken and rice (without the highly processed canned soup), or homemade chicken vegetable soup. (Of course, you’ll have plenty of veggies to choose from as an FLF&LR member.)
One of the most important things that my mother taught me was to reserve the bones, fat, juice, and skin. Put them in the fridge, and simmer them later with vegetables to make a delicious stock. The stock freezes beautifully and tastes better than anything you can buy,
A waste-reducing hint: save vegetable and herb trimmings for making stock. Include onion and garlic skins, herb stems, carrot ends, celery leaves, and various and sundry peels and parts. Store them in the fridge and use them to make chicken or vegetable stock.
Just a few ways to maximize the great value of your FLF&LR membership. Eat fresh and enjoy!
New Producer Spotlight: Holly and Don Smith of Owl Orchard in Powhatan
Holly and Don Smith of Owl Orchard have been members of Fall Line Farms and Local Roots since its inception, so they know what it takes to please their fellow members. The name of their business, Owl Orchard, may even seem a bit familiar, as our friends at Manakintowne Specialty Growers have sometimes featured their fruit on our pages. But now the Smiths have joined us as full-fledged producers, and we can’t wait to taste what they’re bringing on board!
This week, Owl Orchard offers a bounty of fresh, juicy no-spray blueberries from their local patch of over 200 bushes. (Click on the picture of the Smiths to go to their page and buy blueberries!) Over the course of the coming year, they will also offer a variety of different fruits from their 400 fruit trees, 50 nut trees, 100 grapevines and 200 blueberry bushes.
“Were best known for our peaches,” says Holly. “Don planted them 8 years ago. When he sells them at farmers markets, people can’t believe that they’re from right here in Powhatan!” The Smiths’ semi-dwarf trees begin bearing in late June and will keep going into the early fall.
“We have over 20 varieties of peaches,” Holly adds, “both yellow and white. They are delicious!” Members can expect to see them on our pages as soon as they are ready for harvest.
Late summer and early fall will bring apples—lots of apples—in a number of heirloom varieties. Holly notes that Owl Orchard will be able to supply apples into the winter, as they have a refrigerator in their barn for storing. “Some apples even benefit from storage and sweeten,” she notes, “like the Arkansas Blacks.We’ll be able to offer those varieties late into the season.”
Arkansas Blacks get their name from their peels, which are such a dark red they’re almost black. Their sugars concentrate in storage, which means they are even better after they have been allowed to rest a while. Each heirloom variety has its own personality, taste, and use, and we'll have a chance to get to know them, thanks to Don's hard work in the trees!
Along with the apples, Owl Orchard raises Asian pears. They're delectable, but that deliciousness comes with quite a bit of care. Don has to give them individual attention to help them bear. “The hornets are a real problem," Holly says. "They bore into the fruit and hollow it out until there’s nothing but a shell left. Don has to go out and put a sandwich bag over each developing pear to keep the hornets out. It’s a lot of work, but the pears are massive and wonderfully sweet.”
Holly and Don have been steadfast members of Fall Line Farms and Local Roots since its inception, enjoying the convenience and—of course—the fresh local produce we offer all year long. We’re proud that they have now become part of our producer cooperative. And we can’t wait to taste what they are bringing to our online market, beginning with this week’s offerings from the blueberry patch!
We've Got Berries.....so, Katie’s Easy Berry Crisp Recipe!
There are lots of great berries on Fall Line Farms and Local Roots right now. Here's a recipe that will let you buy a bunch of them now, freeze them, and use them all winter while you're yearning for fresh fruit. And you know these came from responsible growers! And who doesn’t love a fresh berry crisp?
Some crisps are way too sweet, and you can't taste anything but sugar. This yummy dessert is juuuuuuuuust sweet enough to let the flavor of your berries shine. Fresh out of the oven with a delicious crisp topping, this dessert is really fabulous with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or a dollop of freshly whipped vanilla cream.
You can use any kind of juicy berries or fruit—fresh or frozen. And you can mix them as you wish—blueberry and peach is a winning combination. This dessert is an excuse to buy extra berries in season and freeze them for later!
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8x8 square baking dish.
Another reason to love this recipe: you can make the filling right in the baking dish!
For the filling, combine:
• 3 or 4 cups of berries
• 1/8 cup of sugar
• 1/8 cup of all-purpose flour.
Sprinkle this with cinnamon if you like—but go easy. Or if cinnamon isn’t your thing, add a bit of lemon or lime to brighten and balance the berries, especially if they are very sweet. Stir the filling ingredients together in the baking dish and let them sit while you make the crisp topping.
A stand mixer works well for making the topping. In the mixer bowl, combine:
• ½ cup of rolled oats
• ¼ cup flour
• A scant ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup granulated white sugar
• Small pinch of salt
• ¼ cup of butter (1/2 a stick) cut into chunks.
Using the lowest speed on the mixer, mix until the butter is in chunks a little smaller than peas. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit filling and bake for about an hour, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. This berry crisp is really delicious served warm, with the ice cream or whipped cream melting on top. Garnish with fresh berries.
This recipe can be doubled and made in a 9x13 pan. You just need to monitor the baking time.
Serves 6-8. Go forth and bake!
Better Together: Introducing Commonwealth Market Growers
A Couple of Louisa County Farms Collaborate to Expand Their Offerings
Demand for sustainably raised products is growing, and that increased demand is good news for small farmers like the ones who supply the food you purchase on our pages each week. Of course, growth brings challenges, but our farmers are finding creative ways to meet them, often by coming together in collaboration.
That’s the story behind a new name you’ll see on our pages this week: Commonwealth Market Growers.
Jon and Meredith Bremer of Liberty Tree Farm in Louisa County have faithfully provided our Fall Line Farms and Local Roots members high-quality produce, herbs, and flowers, along with some truly tasty value-added products like their pepper jelly and their Red Anaheim Pepper Sauce. Now they’re joining forces with their friends and neighbors, Mark and Faye Clements of Salt and Pepper Farm, to form Commonwealth Market Growers.
“We were already sharing equipment and labor,” explains Jon, “so this just made sense. Our farms are still separate, but we’re working in partnership now because it allows us to expand our offerings, reach more customers, and still keep a high level of producer involvement in the selling process.” The Clements bring humanely raised meat and pastured eggs to the partnership—the perfect complement to the Bremers’ beautiful produce.
This week’s offerings from Commonwealth Market Growers will include farm-fresh pastured eggs. Eventually, they'll add woodlot-raised pork and other high-quality meats. There will also be fresh cooking greens, pea greens, and leaf lettuce—along with two kinds of pesto (pea green and arugula) and frozen braised Asian greens.
When you purchase from Fall Line Farms and Local Roots, you’re supporting farmers like the Bremers and the Clements, who are dedicated to bringing you the best possible food they can deliver. While you nourish your body and enjoy the tasty meals that you prepare from your market haul, you are also strengthening our local food system. Thank you for your orders, which build our community in so many positive ways!
Pictured Above: Mark Clements and Jon Bremer of
Commonwealth Market Growers
A Bountiful Container: Follow This "Recipe" for a Beautiful Edible Arrangement.
By guest blogger Jacqueline Murphy of Semperflora. (Details after article)
When you think about container plantings you might envision a classic ornamental combination. Maybe you visualize a half wine barrel overflowing with lipstick red geraniums and variegated ivy. And that’s a perfectly lovely recipe for lasting color and visual interest. But maybe you’re interested in benefits beyond beauty. Perhaps you have a hankering for a container garden that provides fresh herbs or vegetables or edible flowers that’s also pretty enough to sit on the back patio or next to the front door. An ornamental edible container gardenwould be a satisfying solution.
You’ll find one container planted with five different ornamental edible designs below.
Choose Local Plants
With almost 200 locally grown plants to choose from at Fall Line Farms and Local Roots, the most difficult task is going to be exercising restraint. Or, if you have the space, you could plant up multiple containers and toss self-control to the compost heap.
One big advantage to using locally grown plants is that they’re acclimated to our growing conditions. That translates to healthier plants that will be easier for you to maintain.
These recipes include plants grown by Fall Line Farms and Local Roots producers and are designed for a single half whiskey or wine barrel planter or a comparable container 26–28 inches in diameter. A half-barrel holds about four cubic feet of soil and you can find bags of soil for sale at Fall Line Farms and Local Roots, too. Each design includes a mix of edibles that are also ornamental.
1 Bronze fennel
3 French marigold
3 Nasturtium, yellow and orange
Plant the borage and bronze fennel toward the center and edge the container with a combination of marigold and nasturtium. If you’re placing the planter against a wall, place the taller plants, the borage and fennel, toward the back of the container. If you prefer, you could use all marigolds or all nasturtium as edging plants instead of a mixture.
1 Hyacinth bean
5–7 Nasturtium, yellow and orange
1 Teepee or spiral trellis, approximately 6 feet tall.
You can buy a trellis or make your own teepee trellis by lashing together three bamboo poles with wire. Sink the trellis about 12 inches deep into the soil and plant the bean at its base. Edge the container with nasturtium.
1 Tomato ‘Black Plum’
1 Basil ‘Amethyst’
3–5 French marigold
1 Trellis or teepee, approximately 6 feet tall
Make your own teepee trellis by lashing together three bamboo poles with wire. Sink the trellis about 12 inches into the soil slightly off center in the barrel and plant the tomato at its base. Place the basil to one side of the tomato and arrange the marigolds around the edge of the container.
1 Rosemary, upright form
1 German chamomile
Place the rosemary slightly off center and the chamomile next to it. Edge the planter with the nasturtium.
1 Lemon balm
2–3 mints (spearmint, peppermint, apple, pineapple)
3–4 Terracotta or plastic pots
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. All mints are aggressive growers and will quickly crowd out other plants. If you’d like to try growing several types of mint together in your half barrel, keep them separated by sinking smaller pots into the larger container.
Place your container garden in a location that gets about six hours of sunlight per day for the most bountiful harvest. The exception is the mint garden, which will be happier with some shade in the afternoon.You might also be happier if you place a table and chairs near the mint so you can easily pluck leaves for your iced tea or other libation.
Jacqueline Murphy earned her MFA in Literature and Creative Nonfiction at Bennington College in Vermont. Semperflora offers garden coaching and design consultation that harmonizes with nature. Visit semperflora.com or find Jaqueline on social media at Instagram @semperflora_virginia or Facebook @semperflora (https://www.facebook.com/semperflora/). Roughly translated, semperflora means “always plants.”
Use Your "Market Haul" to Best Advantage! A Spring Supper Salad.
How about a Spinach, Chevre, and Strawberry Salad with Toasted Nuts? It can go from side to supper with a few easy tweaks--and ingredients from our buying pages!
One of the best things about our Fall Line Farms & Local Roots community is that our producers get along so well. You should see the happy hubbub on Thursday mornings when they arrive on site to swap orders (and greetings, and smiles)!
The items they deliver every week play well together, too. So many fresh, beautiful ingredients --and an infinite variety of delicious ways to combine them!
Here's one example: a fabulous, fresh salad featuring jusicy strawberries and tender spinach as the base, with a couple of additions that take it to meal status in a hurry.
Strawberries don't have to just be sweet. Think about them as a delectable and playful partner to spinach. That's a combo with color, taste, and texture! By now, you know that Agriberry and Thistledowne have some gorgeous, juicy strawberries in. And six of our producers are offering spinach this week. (Liberty Tree's spinach is pictured above. Assemble the spinach and the berries--whole or sliced--in a big bowl. You already have a salad!
Dress with Olive Oil Taproom's lovely olive oil and some tangy-sweet balsamic vinegar.Stop there, and you've got a delicious accompaniment for any meal.
Or go for broke. Add organic pecans from Good Health Herbs. Toast 'em and toss em' on top. Oh my. What a spring delight!
Craving a dinner salad? Manakintowne Specialty Growers has local chevre to add to the mix.The hearty tang of this creamy goat cheese will play to perfection with the other ingredients and transform your salad from a side into a supper!
Not used to using chevre? Just pinch off little bits of it and toss them in amongst the leaves, nuts, and fruit. Or take it up a notch. Mix some olive oil and vinegar (in any proportions you like) and marianate the bits of chevre a little before tossing them in. You can use the marinade as dressing!
Accompany this with a hearty loaf of crusty, fresh baked bread from Broadfork Farm, and you will have a spring supper to remember!
So many great combinations. So much fresh, healthy food at your fingertips.Take your time. Explore our pages. Let creativity be your guide. And enjoy!
Eat well and be well. And know that your orders support small farmers and local food entrepreneurs who appreciate your business. THANK YOU!
Smiling Farmers, Happy Members--Thank You for Supporting the Local Food Economy!
Meet Christy (Thistledowne Farms) and Ann (Mickey&Ann's Farmette), two of our fabulous FarmHers!
These ladies love what they do, and we know that you love what they bring to our "Farmer Flash Mob" every Thursday! That's where the farmers and volunteers all meet up, make sure the orders are all put together properly, and then head out to deliver to the pickup points. Rain or shine, they're out and about, swapping smiles and orders and making sure that your delicous, nutritious food is waiting for you on Thursday afternoon.
Your support has allowed Ann and her husband Mickey to keep raising the quality meat and vegetables you've come to expect from Micky&Ann's Farmette, but also to branch out into aquaponics. And your support has also allowed Christy to offer multiple high-quality items. This week, she's picking asparagus and other veggies for market. She's also got fresh eggs,flower bouquets, and lovingly grown garden plants, all from Thistledowne Farm.
What you do as a member of our community is important, too! When you choose Fall Line Farms and Local Roots you choose great food, sustainably raised. And that's more and more important if we want this kind of local fare, raised by caring local farmers, to continue to be available. The Daily Yonder, a blog that reports on important rural issues, recently noted that farmers make less than 14 cents out of every food dollar. Not if we can help it!
As you probably know, Fall Line Farms & Local Roots is a non-profit. We have no investors--only members like you. And no brokers of food grown elsewhere, either. Just producers like Christy and Ann, who grow or raise pretty much everything that we sell on our pages. We do have a few exceptions for items like olive oil and coffee, which don't grow in Virginia, but even then we're careful to choose small, local businesses that offer the very best.
We keep our operational costs low, so our producers receive the highest level of compensation that we can manage to offer. We do that by maintaining a small, part-time staff and a crew of fabulous volunteers.
So THANK YOU for being part of the Fall Line Farms and Local Roots Community! Your order is good for you, but it's also good for the local food economy. Keep up the good work--and keep ordering!
Announcing a Center for Rural Culture Fundraiser Friday, 6/21 from 5:30 to 9 PM
The Center for Rural Culture (CRC) is having a summer fundraiser,and you won't want to miss this party! You'll have a great time while you also support The CRC--the parent organization for Fall Line Farms and Local Roots.
The event will be held at a private residence in Powhatan (TBA soon). Be sure to set aside Friday evening, June 21st, from 5:30 PM to 9 PM and plan to join the board of the CRC for a casual evening of music and fabulous seasonal and local food.
We'll offer a late spring, early summer menu using the harvest from our hardworking and talented Fall Line Farms and Local Roots producers. We'll also honor the work of our founder, Sandy Fisher, who will be on hand to meet and greet and accept our thanks for great service to our community.
Of course, It wouldn't be a party without a great band! Come dance or sing along (or both) to the music of local favorites Hoosier Daddy, a talented group of Powhatan neighbors who know how to make a party rock!
See you there!
Producer Spotlight: Salsas Don Sebastian
It all started with her husband's irresistable salsa.
America DeLoach loved the freshness of it, and the fact that it was a family recipe handed down from her husband's Mexican grandmother. She craved it all the time, and that gave her an idea!America knew that this deliciousness needed to be shared with others. So she promised her husband not to reveal the secret family recipe and started her salsa business. That was three years ago, and now Salsas Don Sebastian can hardly keep up with the orders.
"I love sharing a little piece of Mexico with others!" she says. Maybe it's America's generosity that makes everything at Salsas Don Sebastian taste so wonderful!
This business is a family affair. The business is named after America's son,
her sister works with her in the kitchen,and her daughter, Valerie,handles the social media for Salsas Don Sebastian.
"Almost everything on our menu is Mexican,"America says, "but I am Venezuelan, so there's a taste of my culture, too. My sister, Rachel, who makes the [traditional Venezuelan] Hallequitas is a better cook than I am, so I call her the Hallequita Queen!"
America loves building relationships with customers and the other vendors. Her big smile and friendly manner make her as popular as her handmade, fresh salsas,
which come in a dazzling and delicious array of flavors. And then there are the Frijoles, Lentils, and Venezuelan Black Beans! Asked what she is proudest of, America says, "People call me the Salsa Lady now.They know who I am!" She also notes that she has "kind of made the Chimichurri my own. Mine is more of a paste--not so oily." We can tell by the way it sells
that her recipe is a winner!
When you shop local and support Fall Line Farms and Local Roots, you also support hardworking, talented local producers like Salsas Don Sebastian. Thank you for your Fall Line Farms and Local Roots orders. You help us keep local farms, farmers, and food entrepreneurs going strong!