In Charlottesville, a new generation of farmers and market owners is committed to changing how we eat―and live. Come meet them and try our favorite local food.
On a warm afternoon in Esmont, Virginia, with clouds streaking across a robin’s-egg blue sky, Gail Hobbs-Page stands in a field surrounded by her 44 goats. Here at Caromont Farm--named to reflect Gail’s childhood on a farm in North Carolina and these mountains she now calls home--Gail makes some of the finest goat cheese in America. Like so many others, Gail has found a certain kind of magic in the land encircling Charlottesville. In this area where Thomas Jefferson elevated farming to an art form--growing everything from figs to artichokes to raspberries--an increasing population of men and women is leading an agrarian renaissance. The players are as varied as the food they’re producing: a former teacher with a flair for design who sells vegetables and zinnias; a one-time Peace Corps volunteer immersed in the world of cattle, chickens, and eggs; a couple selling gourmet local foods from a country market.