You can tell a lot about a farmer by the looks of their farm. Wild, orderly, overgrown, neat. In the case of Hill Farm, it’s no surprise to learn that Susan and Scott are a retired teacher and Army pilot, respectively.
Walking around their 10-acre property in Louisa County, it is immediately apparent how smart design and functional innovation guide their work and keep the farm looking tidy. Raised beds built of cedar planks fill the air with a rich, welcoming scent while also deterring pests like slugs. Three high tunnels provide shelter and growing space during cold winter months. Seed-starting equipment and a new Cool-bot help to streamline operations and increase efficiency.
Susan and Scott began their farming endeavors in 2000, after retiring from busy, intense careers. Each year since then, they have systematically developed and expanded their operations, including renovating and expanding their house. It now includes ample wood working space for Scott, an expansive cellar for the 500+ quarts of canned produce they put up each year, and a beautiful kitchen where their produce is meticulously processed and packed.
The Hills have been using organic practices with great results since they began. Susan does trials on a small scale to refining her production techniques before growing a larger crop. Together, they focus on year-round production of artisan and specialty varieties, including lettuces, radicchios, chard, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, and golden beets.
“This is what we really wanted to do all along,” laughs Susan. “I’m having a ball!”
In addition to selling to Local Food Hub, Hill Farm produce has a dedicated following at Foods of All Nations and their local neighborhood markets.