What does eating local really mean? It means getting to know the PEOPLE who are working hard to provide your meats, produce, and value-added products. It means scheduling a visit to a farm to gain even more understanding about your dinner. It means knowing that your food does not just come from a farm, but from people. People who are not just farmers but fathers, daughters, moms, and sons working as a family in a community of friends.

Faces of Farmers is a project of The Highland Center created to help unite customers with producers in a whole new way. By telling our farmer’s stories, it aims to help market farms in the Allegheny Highlands region of Virginia and West Virginia and help customers learn more about their food.

Farm of the Month: Church Hill Produce

Michael and Kari Sponaugle of Church Hill Produce in Doe Hill, Virginia grow season fresh produce and berries, from “u-pick” strawberries to tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and sweet corn. In addition, they practice crop rotation and keep honey bees to help with pollination. The Sponaugle’s also raise beef processed at Alleghany Meats​. You can catch the Sponaugle’s every Friday this summer at the Highland Farmers Market​ – but be sure to get there early as the line is often long for their freshly-picked products!

Follow Church Hill on their Facebook Page, and learn more about their farm here.

U Pick strawberries have been a primary harvest at Church Hill produce since the first year in production. Youth and adults enjoy picking their own fruits and taking them home for jam and jelly making and fresh eating.