Half the fun of attending the Botetourt Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings at Ikenberry's on US220 N is hearing the personal stories of the vendors....I like knowing who grows my food!
For instance, Teresa Berry is an RN who has worked with dietitians to produce gluten-free baked goods for those with gluten intolerance, celiac disease or wheat allergy. She began baking for her individual patients who had difficulty finding gluten-free products and has expanded her efforts to become Berry Ridge Farm.
At last Saturday's market, she also had free-range eggs from her morning gathering and homemade strawberry jam. She and her step-father, a dialysis patient who benefits from the gardening activity, also tend a large vegetable garden with 100 tomato plants and other produce. Teresa, who sells weekly at the market and fills special orders by request at 254-1689, finds the Botetourt Farmers' Market a good outlet for her products. Although word of the market is spreading, she wants everyone to come try the market which is open on Saturdays from 8am-1pm or sell-out.
Another vendor with unusual offerings is Wendy Hayth-Perdue of Better Batter Baking Company. With two school-age children, Wendy found herself on the run with hungry kids (one of whom is a picky eater!) in the car. Rather than appeasing them with fast-food or sugary snacks, she began baking mini-muffins adding grated carrot, zucchini or wholesome fruits and experimenting with spelt, a nutty grain, high in protein and nutrition content.
Spelt, the 'granddaddy' of today's wheat, was cultivated in the Mediterranean regions and Europe with remains found in archaeological sites dating from 2500 BC.
At the urging of Botetourt Family Farmer Rachel Thomas, Wendy has expanded her offerings to include quinoa. Pronounced 'keen-wah' in the Spanish interpretation of a Quechua Indian word, quinoa is known as the '41-vegetable caviar' due to its complete nutrition content, and has been the staple grain of Andean people of South America for over 5000 years. Having tried Wendy's quinoa cherry muffins, I can attest to their excellent taste as well as nutrition! Wendy likes the people she's met at the Botetourt Farmers' Market and says that it's well worth the effort to come there. In addition to her stand at the market, she will take private orders at 797-5926.