Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Week's Featured Market Vendor

A recent addition to both the Botetourt Farmers' Market and the roster of certified Virginia dairies is White Oak Dairy.

The last four weeks, Anna Bedell of White Oak Dairy has sold goat cheese products at the Farmers' Market, held each Saturday from 8am-1pm (or sell-out) in the parking lot of Ikenberry's on US 220 N of Daleville. The dairy is located on the farm belonging to her fiancé's family, a farm which has been in the same family since the 1920s and was the dairy that supplied Covington with cow's milk. That dairy shut down in the 1970s and the land was leased for cattle. The farm and dairy are now back in operation as White Oak Dairy. Currently, their production is low enough that they are only selling from the farmer's market and off the farm. Next year they will be milking many more goats and will need to expand their market significantly. You can find out more about White Oak Dairy at their website:

Anna Bedell graduated with a Wildlife Science degree from Virginia Tech which, while not directly agricultural, actually helps with the style of farming that she and her fiancé hope to do. Instead of conventional farming, they treat the farm more as a managed ecosystem. Their goal is to create a very diverse farm, with the dairy being only one part of it. They are currently looking into building an aquaponics system to raise fish and garden vegetables year round. Her fiancé uses his Math and Computer Science degrees in order to finance the farm, but he and his parents who live nearby are actively involved in the farm.

Anna learned of the Botetourt Farmers' Market when she attended a farm tour by Botetourt Family Farmer Donna Janeczko.

As Anna describes the market, " I really love the atmosphere of the farmer's market. Everyone, both farmers and customers, are incredibly friendly and welcoming." You are invited to attend a market soon to learn more about White Oak Dairy and the many other vendors who sell their wares.

--Genevieve Goss

No comments: