Sullivan (left) and Harrison Alexander help run Avery’s Branch Farms, their parents’ dairy farm. Beth Furgurson photo
Eating good food grown and produced here grants you automatic admission to the locavore club (an update to the clean-plate club; membership not necessarily transferable), and in Richmond, it's easy to find lots of delicious, local options.
One of the first Community Supported Agriculture crop-share programs in the area was started by Amy Hicks of Amy's Garden (932-9221, firstname.lastname@example.org ) . Certified-organic vegetable and flower shares are available in the summer. You've seen the Farm to Family bus ( email@example.com, farmtofamily online.com ) all over town, haven't you? Winter and summer shares are offered, with lots of pickup points around town. Avery's Branch Farms (561-1930, averys branchfarms.com ) provides raw milk weekly, but you have to buy the cow — or at least a part of it, according to Virginia law. Cow shares and fresh eggs are available year round. Victory Farms' CSA ( firstname.lastname@example.org , victoryfarms inc.com ) keeps growing and growing each year, so get on the waiting list early. Agriberry (559-1791, agriberry.com ) is an all-fruit CSA with a bounty of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and more each summer. Dominion Harvest (402-8481, dominionharvest.com ) allows customers to pay for a weekly or bi-weekly box delivered to their doorstep; you can start or stop service at any time. Other local CSAs include England Wood Farm ( england email@example.com ) , and Fall Line Foods ( flf.luluslocalfood.com ) . For up-to-date information about area CSAs, farms, organic farming and how you can get involved, consult SPROUT ( chris@ sproutorganic.org , sproutorganic.org ).
It all began in Shockoe Bottom with the 17th Street Farmers' Market (Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays, 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April to December, richmondgov.com/econdev/farmersmarket/default.htm ) , and the market continues with a wide variety of offerings, from vegetables to jewelry. The Byrd House Market (Tuesdays, 3:30 to 7 p.m., May to October, byrdhouse market.blogspot.com ) keeps it small but jam-packed with goods. The most festive farmers' market is Forest Hill Park's South of the James Market (Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., May to December, themar ketumbrella.com ) . Others to try include the Ashland Farmer's Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, May 2 to Oct. 31, town.ashland.va.us ) ; Chester Farmer's Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., chesterfarmers market.com ) ; The Goochland Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, May to October, centerforruralculture.org/rural_market.php ) ; Lakeside Farmers' Market (Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, May to November, 262-6593, firstname.lastname@example.org ) , which is building a permanent pavilion for the upcoming season; North of the James Market at Bryan Park (Tuesdays, 3 to 7 p.m., May to October, the marketumbrella.com ) ; and The West End Farmers Market (Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, April to October, west endfarmersmarket.com ) . Gaining in popularity is The Market at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church on Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road (Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, May to October, saintstephensrichmond.net ) . Keep in mind, these market hours were in effect for 2009; they're subject to change this year, so check before you go.
Bread and Cheese
Good bread is everywhere in Richmond, and the Flour Garden (261-5757) makes some of the best, available at retail locations around town such as Ellwood Thompson's Local Market, Belmont Butchery and J. Emerson Fine Wines, and restaurants such as Lemaire, Acacia Mid-town, Balliceaux and Bouchon. Bread for the People (306-8316, richmondbread email@example.com ) transports its loaves in a distinctive three-wheeled vehicle to several farmers' markets Warning: Do not eat the chocolate loaf all by yourself. Billy Bread Bakery (342-9111) makes a crusty, hearty loaf, available at Ellwood Thompson's Local Market, Ukrop's, Strawberry Street Vineyard and Whole Foods. Sub Rosa (703-338-3344, 434-825-7471, sub rosabread.blogspot.com ) will provide you with your weekly loaves by subscription only; Jean-Jacques Bakery and Café (355-0666, carytownbakery.com ) was one of the first to produce French baguettes here, but bakery-disguised-as-a-restaurant Can Can Brasserie (358-7274, cancanbrasserie.com ) is giving them a run for their money. Other places to find good bread include Norwood Cottage Bakery (539-1110, norwoodcottage.com ) , Williams Bakery ( thewilliamsbakery.com ) and The Prairie Grain Bread Co. (379-7500, prairiegrain.com ) .
Belmont Butchery (422-8519, bel montbutchery.com ) has been nationally praised for its extensive variety of meats hand-cut on the premises, plus unusual items like duck fat and venison stock. Other on-site butchers include The Butcher at Bon Air (323-6328) , Nadolski's Butcher Shop in Goochland (556-4888, nadolskisbutch ershop.com ) and Fresh Market (282-3823, 897-0300, thefreshmarket.com ) .
Yellow Umbrella Seafood (282- 9591) works hard to keep its prod- ucts fresh and diverse, as does Bon Air Seafood (272-7771, home.com cast.net/~bonairseafood/site ) . P.T. Hastings Famous Seafood (747-6877, 353-9592) , Tuckahoe Seafood (740-1278, tuckahoeseafood.com ) , Hanover Seafood Mart (559-1226) and Fresh Catch Seafood (360-4008 or fresh catch.biz ) all ensure that plenty of great seafood is available wherever you might live.
Jean-Jacques Bakery and Café (355-0666, carytownbakery.com ) sets the bar high for French pastry, and others work hard to match its sterling reputation. The Desserterie (639-9940, thedesserterie.com ) has a mouth-watering selection of pastries, and 3 Fellers Bakery (556-0671, 3fellers bakery.com ) provides lots of sweet treats, all gluten-free. The Mixing Bowl (359-4224, 360-0942, themix ingbowlbakery.com ) is a Richmond cake standby, and Sally Bell's Kitchen (644-2838, sallybellskitchen.com ) and its upside-down-iced cupcakes have been around for more than 80 years. Williams Bakery puts its own delicious spin on cake, cupcakes, doughnuts and more. Macarons, soft, rich French specialty cookies, can be special-ordered from Petites Bouchées ( firstname.lastname@example.org , petites bouchees.com ) . Swoon-worthy fine chocolate crafted right here can be found at Gearhart's Fine Chocolates (282-1822, gearhartschocolates.com ) , as well as Chocolates By Kelly (814-5496, chocolatesbykelly.com ) , available at several locations, including Blanchard's Coffee Co.
Beer and Wine
Two local breweries, Legend Brewing Company (232-3446, legendbrewing.com ) and Richbrau Brewing Company (644-3018, richbrau.com ) serve up house-brewed suds. Expert advice and a fine selection of wine can be found at River City Cellars (355-1375, rivercity cellars.com ) , Once Upon a Vine (726-9463, 864-9463; onceuponavine.us) , Grape & Cheese (353-9463) , Strawberry Street Vineyard (355-1839), J. Emerson (285-8011, jemersonfinewine.com ) , Private Stock Cigar and Wine Company ( private- stock.com ) , and The Wine Cellar (378-0165, winecellarva.com ) .