Farmers Market Heroes: Holly and James Hammond bring organic diversified crops to Virginia markets
Holly and James Hammond started Whisper Hill Farm in 2010, and are already growing over 30 different crops and hundreds of varieties. The farm produces over 30 different types of tomatoes alone, including many heirloom varieties. Holly shared, “It’s both of our full-time jobs and 100% of our income is generated on farm; 75% of that income comes from farmers market sales.”
Full-time job is an understatement. In order to bring the highest quality food to their customers while remaining dedicated stewards of the land, the Hammonds use compost, hay mulch, crop rotation and cover crops to maintain healthy soil and plants. They ward off insects by using raw covers, and control weeds by hand-weeding, cultivation, and experimenting with under-sown living mulch. Fridays are for harvesting and loading their vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and Saturday’s 4:00am wake up call allows them time to set up for markets in Culpepper and Charlottesville, Virginia. “We feel energized by the support of our customers who value our work in providing them organically-grown produce.”
FMC is so thankful for farmers like the Hammonds who work hard to protect the land while bringing fresh, nutritious food to their communities. Help us ensure that farmers markets across the country have the tools they need to serve amazing farmers like the Hammonds.
Be a farmers market hero today by donating or giving your local market an FMC membership! Donate $40 or more in the name of your local market, and they’ll have access to FMC information, network and advocacy tools for one year! If your market of choice is already a member, we’ll extend their membership for another full year!