Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Week's Featured Market Vendors

When Philip Hillery graduated from Roanoke College, little did he expect that life's twists and turns would one day bring him back to the area. Hillery met his wife Ginger at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Life then offered missionary work in Japan, a stint as a jail chaplain and five children. Seeking a simpler, more self-sufficient life, the Hillerys moved back to the area about five years ago, buying land in the Catawba Valley and creating "Full Circle Farm".

Joining Botetourt Family Farmers, Ginger brought baked goods made from freshly-milled, non-GMO wheat to the Botetourt Farmer's Market (held every Saturday from 8am-1pm or sell-out in Ikenberry's parking lot on US 220 north of Daleville) . Assisted by the children, she sold baguettes, milk and honey bread, pizza crusts and chocolate brioches, as well as meat from their own livestock. Daughter Rose even sold iced mint tea to thirsty vendors!

This year, Roanoke Natural Foods decided to create the 'Grandin Village Community Market' and Ginger was asked to bring her special baked goods there. This created a dilemma for her since she is a committed member of Botetourt Family Farmers. So, the rest of the Hillery family pitched in to help at the market here with son Patrick designated as the manager of their Botetourt 'operation'.

The baking process begins with son Thomas, 16 years old, rising at 3am on Fridays to mill the 80+ pounds of wheat, spelt and rye that Ginger uses for her bread baking. Even though he is not often seen at the market, Thomas is a very integral part of the operation. All of the children have learned responsibility and life skills by participating in the market. With fall approaching, the Hillerys will soon have their homegrown beef, pork and lamb available for sale at the market.

-- Genevieve Goss

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