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.

Danielle Hunter

Running Spring Mill Farm is a family affair for my in-laws, my husband, and myself. Nestled on 70 rolling acres in Central Virginia, the farm is home to a variety of livestock and a garden with varying degrees of success.  The farm has been in the family for generations, and is named after the family’s old grain mill, Spring Mill, formerly located less than a mile from the farm.   After moving to the farm in 2007, my husband and I set out to reinvent the farm with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable farm that supports itself and the people who live on it.  Starting with the simplicty and enjoyment of laying hens, our next major step was to start a small goat dairy which has expanded into a small cheese making operation.  The farm has since expanded to include “Whey Good” pastured pork, meat rabbits, and a few beef cattle.  Our vegetable garden varies annually, and we relish in the glory of local vegetables when our own green thumbs fail us.

While my husband, HB, still works off the farm, I’ve been blessed to stay home with our daughter.  Born April, 2011, she keeps me on my toes and helps me delight in life’s simplest pleasures.  For her, a good day is spent with lots of cuddles, play, and visiting the farm animals.  She’s especially enraptured by our pigs.  Becoming a parent has been a unique challenge, one that I am able to delight in, looking past the mishaps that occur along the way.  I look forward to giving my daughter (and her siblings, if we are so lucky) the opportunity to grow up on a farm and the simplicity of knowing where food comes from.  Having the ability to stay home has increased the pleasure I get from mastering new techniques and recipes, discovering the melding of new flavors.  Our household strives to cook from scratch as much as possible, but we honestly succumb to modern conveniences on occasion.  I look forward to being a contributor for the SKC, and blog (as time permits) over at Down on the Farm.


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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?