by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi, Jackie Nunnery and AnnGardner Eubank
In a recent designation of the Northern Neck as a National Heritage area, the National Park Service noted the natural, historic and cultural resources “that together represent aspects of American Heritage worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation and continuing use.”
Perhaps no aspects are more basic to that heritage than our connection to the area’s natural resources in the growing and harvesting of food. Shaped by a desire to eat better, a continuing awareness of keeping dollars local and the recent empty grocery store shelves from COVID-19-related supply chain issues, people are again looking to local producers and local farm markets to feed their families. In the process, they are supporting the farmers and waterman—and the local businesses that support them—to help ensure our way of life continues.
Knowing where your food comes from
Knowing your farmer and building a relationship with them means supporting sustainable small farm practices. It also means that you can trust the quality of the finished product, oftentimes with pricing comparable or cheaper than what you would find at the grocery store.
In Alfonso at Centerview Farm, Gene Forrester has been selling his beef directly to consumers for over 30 years. He acquires new business by word of mouth and his product keeps repeat customers coming back.
“My beef speaks for itself,” said Forrester, a fourth generation farmer, who along with his son Jim, raises Red Angus, Black Angus and Black Whiteface Angus. He has about 80 brood cows in the herd and slaughtered 38 cows last year. His client base has grown….