Walk into Messick’s Farm Market in southern Fauquier County and you’ll see things that are typical of most grocery stores—refrigerator cases filled with produce, freezers stocked with a variety of meats and shelves of canned goods and packaged food.
But then your head turns toward the large sliding glass doors at the back, and you realize that things are a bit different here—you’re actually looking out across an expansive field of crops. It’s from those very fields where a large percentage of the Market’s fruits and veggies come from. And it’s that close connection that Jim Messick, a Fauquier County native, hopes people feel when they visit the Market.
“We invite people to go out to the fields to see how the vegetables are being grown to have a better understanding of where their food comes from,” says Jim.
A few years ago, Jim and his brother Ronnie started thinking about ways to diversify their third generation dairy farm. So after selling some produce at a small stand on the property, they decided to invest in a more permanent structure, which opened just last year. “It was quite a leap for us- taking the farm in a completely new direction,” says Jim.
In addition to buying produce and a few prepared food items in the store, people also have the option of joining the CSA or having a more hands on experience in the pick-your-own produce patches.
And when you take a closer look at the other products they sell in the store, you realize that the majority of them are from local farms and artisans.
Jim explains the goal is “to create a place where people can easily access fresh local products.”