It doesn’t take a Southwest Virginia newcomer long to be drawn into the farming subculture. Even in town, vegetable gardens abound. Subsistence farms are even more prolific.
With news of pink slime masquerading as supermarket ground beef, it’s reassuring to get ours grass-fed straight from Mike Cassell’s Family Farms in Wytheville. We indulge in his burgers, probably more than we should, grilled over David Richert’s hand-crafted, kiln-fired applewood. It is in Southwest Virginia that we have had the pleasure of meeting so many like Mike and David who don’t need to get back to basics, because they have never strayed.
With factory farming, genetically engineered crops, and pesticides tainting our food supply and stimulating foodborne illnesses and disease, the farmers and growers of Southwest Virginia represent the kind of retro-progressive thinking we should all embrace.
You’re likely to find a farmers’ market in just about every one of the 19 counties and 4 towns of Southwest Virginia. We’ll be featuring each one of them right here in the coming weeks. But don’t wait on us. Get out and support your local farmers and growers this weekend.
Which Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market will you be heading to this weekend? We’d love to know.
Karen Quina-Doyle | Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation
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