Lisa Moussalli, editor
I run Frog Bottom Farm in Appomattox County with my husband Ali and a wonderful seasonal crew. We produce lots of vegetables and a few fruits, eggs from pastured hens, and pastured pork. Our food is available to folks in the Richmond, Farmville, Appomattox, and Lynchburg areas through a large CSA program and at farmers markets. For our family we also keep a few goats for milk and raise a batch of chickens for meat every year, and we’re trying to be patient as we wait for our tiny orchard of apple, peach, and plum trees to start fruiting. I was a city girl once upon a time, but the longer I live here, the more addicted I get to producing lots of our own food. I daydream about keeping honeybees, putting in a giant asparagus patch, inoculating shiitake logs, and one day having a family cow – or maybe a neighborhood cow! The farm certainly keeps us busy, but my main job is being mama to our 2-year old son. Exploring foods with him, out in the vegetable fields and inside at the stove, is just the best. He already seems like a natural in the kitchen – he loves to scoop the coffee into the filter for me, and can already scramble his own eggs! Other favorite activities include “washing” dishes, rearranging our spice drawer, and emptying the dishwasher (onto the floor). Yes, this really tests my patience at times – but so does everything about this exhausting delicious journey of parenthood.
I think that when we cook from scratch, not just for but with our families, a lot of good things happen. Our bellies get full, our bodies get strong, and our relationships get sweeter. It feels really good when someone asks for seconds or a recipe. And gosh, I love asking for a recipe – especially when the recipe comes with a story. I also think it feels good to try something new, better to really hone a skill, and just fantastic when you realize that something you were once overwhelmed by has become something you do every day.
I started the Southside Kitchen Collective because I wanted to create a space where friends near and far, old and new, could offer and receive encouragement and resources in their efforts to feed their families well.
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We love guest contributors! Please get in touch if you’re interested! And don’t worry if you’re not a local. While we aim for most of the content here to come from Southside Virginia, we’re glad to be inspired by kitchens further afield. We’re especially interested in topics like:
- How do you cook from scratch with a limited budget or limited time?
- Who taught you to cook?
- What are your go-to recipes?
- How do you involve your kids in the kitchen?