amFOG market on Rt. 151 in Afton has reopened under the management of John and Tracey Hill with an impressive assortment of locally raised organic foods.
“We have organic meats and no-spray vegetables and low-spray fruit,” said John Hill. “Everything’s from our own community in Nelson and Albemarle. We want to support local farmers and we want to help people get healthy food. This stuff is beyond organic,” said Hill, gesturing at a case containing pork, chicken and beef, “because it’s raised to higher standards than organic standards.
“We had struggled to find good food in one place. We don’t want sprays on our produce. It’s turned into so much more. For this food, you’d have to go to the farmer. Some of our farmers have greenhouses so we hope to have their produce through the winter.” A chalkboard near the register named 16 local farms whose products were available that day in the store.
“We want to promote these farmers. They don’t resort to chemical practices in order to keep yields up. We want people to know who they are and who we are buying from. For them, the farmers need markets where the prices support them rather than being forced into wholesale and discounted prices that undercut them,” said Hill.
“Our customers get excited when they see what we have. They say, ‘We so need this, what you’re doing here.’”
Hill said he will have Virginia-grown Christmas trees available on the day after Thanksgiving.
Both Hills are working at other jobs, too, and they have three kids. They hope the market will one day be their only job.
The market’s hours are Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.