We are pleased to announce that Jordan Shaw is the new IFM assistant market manager! She will primarily be responsible for running the On-line Market but I’m sure I’ll find other things for her to do as well. Most of you may already know Jordan, she and her husband Ben joined the Market last year. Here’s the story I wrote about them last year as a new vendor feature for the Gazette and Declaration newspapers.
It’s Farmers Market season and it’s time to introduce some new vendors. Part From Me Farm is managed by Jordan and Benjamin Shaw. They are vendors at 3 area farmers markets: Hillsville, Independence and Wytheville and offer a wide range of products including pasture raised pork, lamb and chicken, produce, canned goods, crafts and baked goods. Benjamin is a graduate of the culinary program at Wilkes Community college where he specialized in baking and pastry arts. Freshly ground heirloom Turkey Red wheat raised on farm highlights the lengths they go to offer fresh and unique products.
The livestock are also heritage breeds: St. Croix sheep, Mule foot pigs and a mix of chickens. There’s also some ducks, turkeys and 2 cows. All are pasture raised and guarded by several Great Pyrenees dogs that protect from coyotes and hawks. Benjamin always had an interest in animals and after a trip to Europe decided he preferred the more humane way they were raised there. He started with rabbits, which they dropped after Jordan realized she was severely allergic. The other animals followed. All the meat is USDA processed and so far, they haven’t faced the delays that became common as a result of the pandemic.
They are thinking about starting the application process to become USDA organic certified. They already grow their vegetables and fruit that way and feed their animals Non-GMO feed as well.
The farm has belonged to Ben’s family since 1966. His grandparentsoriginally bought it as a vacation spot. Located in Pipers Gap, the property borders the Blue ridge parkway on one side. Benjamin moved to the farm 4 years ago and Jordan joined him after they got married in October last year. They have added several animal shelters, a small greenhouse and are starting to build a separate kitchen for canning and baking. Jordan’s family owns Taylor’s farm and Barking Dog Pottery in Indian Valley, Virginia so she’s grown up knowing the farm life. Her retail experience comes from helping her grandma and grandpa, Nancy and Jim Tessar sell those famous Nancy Fried Pies at various festivals.
This is their first year selling at Markets and they are still deciding where they want to focus. They laugh when they say that they are enjoying doing a little bit of everything. The goal is to become self-sufficient with enough extra to continue selling at Farmers Markets. The long-range dream is a store front where they can have a bakery and offer their full array of products. Given that they have come this far and are only in their mid-twenties, I’d say anything is possible.
Be sure to visit a local farmers market and say hello to Jordan and Benjamin, you’ll be glad you did.