Tag Archives: farm freedom


Food Freedom Task Force Takes Legislative Initiative

Task force members met with industry lobbyists on April 15 in Crozet, Va. Pictured from left to right: Lindsay Reames, Eric Paulson, Brad Copenhaver, Randall Anderson, Joel Salatin and Lois Smith. Photo courtesy of The Virginia Food Freedom Task Force.

Task force members met with industry lobbyists on April 15 in Crozet, Va. Pictured from left to right: Lindsay Reames, Eric Paulson, Brad Copenhaver, Randall Anderson, Joel Salatin and Lois Smith. Photo courtesy of The Virginia Food Freedom Task Force.

The Virginia Food Freedom Task Force began its fight for the rights of Virginia’s small farmers and home food producers after House Bill 135, introduced by Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, failed to pass during the 2014 General Assembly session.

HB135, also known as the Food Freedom Act, sought to allow the sale of foods by a farm with 10 or fewer employees or by a private home if the food products are sold directly to consumers and if the product is labeled with the producer’s name and address, ingredients and a disclosure statement declaring that the food product is not subject to Virginia’s food safety laws or regulations.

Virginia small farmer Bernadette Barber, of Tall Trees Farm, was directly involved in the conception of the Food Freedom Act and formed the task force. More


The Williamsburg Farmers Market and its Colonial Roots

Photo courtesy of the Williamsburg Farmers Market.

Photo courtesy of the Williamsburg Farmers Market.

Although the current Williamsburg Farmers Market, located in the heart of colonial Williamsburg, was started in 2002, the city has a long history of farmers markets dating back to the mid-1600s.

The Williamsburg Farmers Market has 63 vendors that offer a variety of locally sourced goods and services, from seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, breads and desserts, to knife sharpening, goats milk soap and Christmas wreaths.
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Environmental Group Seeks Gag Order in Virginia Farm Feud

SQUASHING SUIT? Martha Boneta’s lawsuit against the Piedmont Environmental Council would fall under a “protective order” if the PEC has its way in court. Photo courtesy of Watchdog.

SQUASHING SUIT? Martha Boneta’s lawsuit against the Piedmont Environmental Council would fall under a “protective order” if the PEC has its way in court. Photo courtesy of Watchdog.

By Kenric Ward | From Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

WARRENTON, Va. — Claiming “trade secrets” are at stake, an environmental group wants a gag order slapped on an upcoming case involving Fauquier County farmer Martha Boneta.

The Piedmont Environmental Council is seeking the protective order to squelch public disclosures stemming from Boneta’s lawsuit against the PEC and a neighbor.

Boneta has sued the PEC, along with Phillip and Patricia Thomas, alleging a “business conspiracy” between the parties.

Boneta’s lawsuit charges the nonprofit PEC with “assisting Thomas in actions which are intended to drive down the price of (her) Paris Farm so that Thomas may buy back Paris Farm at a discount.”

Additionally, the lawsuit asserts, “The PEC is using its resources to assist Thomas in the profitable sale” of his property across the street from Boneta’s farm. More


‘Conservation’ Rule Fuels Land War in Fauquier

NATURE’S WAY: Goats, sheep and other animals graze at Paris Farm, which has become a battleground over a “conservation easement.” Photo by Pamela Mullin.

NATURE’S WAY: Goats, sheep and other animals graze at Paris Farm, which has become a battleground over a “conservation easement.” Photo by Pamela Mullin.

By Kenric Ward | From Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

PARIS, Va. — A Fauquier County farmer is accusing an environmental group of trampling her livelihood.

“Our freedoms, property rights and economic liberty are at risk every moment of every day,” said Martha Boneta, who has been wrangling with the Piedmont Environmental Council for eight years.

The dispute centers on a “conservation easement” that covers Boneta’s 64-acre Paris farm.

PEC alleges that Boneta’s agricultural activities violated the terms of the easement, which the PEC enforces on behalf of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. More


Virginia Farm Embraces Innovative Alternative Agriculture

Joel Salatin is a third generation farmer, as well as an author, speaker and advocate for farm freedoms and alternative agriculture.

Joel Salatin is a third generation farmer, as well as an author, speaker and advocate for farm freedoms and alternative agriculture. Photo by Rachel Salatin.

Joel Salatin and his family operate Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The farm has become an example of innovative non-industrial food production for farmers and consumers looking for an escape from America’s conventional agricultural model.

Polyface produces pastured poultry and eggs, forage-based rabbits and forestry products. It also produces “salad bar” beef from cows who eat only forage, are pasture-raised and are contained by electric fencing. Additionally, Polyface produces pigerator pork, which are pigs that aerate bedding to create compost.

Salatin, a third generation farmer who grew up at Polyface Farms, educates others about the importance of natural, ecological farming practices as a speaker and author of nine books. More