Ben Stowe and Heather Coiner started Little Hat Creek Farm in 2013 as a way to cultivate their passion for food and to create positive change in the food system. In their small way, they hope to forge tangible connections between eaters in their community and the land that they steward.
Ben knew he wanted to continue growing vegetables after working for two years at Waterpenny Farm north of Charlottesville. Heather honed her skills baking in a public wood-fired oven in a Toronto city park and delivering the results by bicycle to homes and businesses. It seemed natural to put their passions for food together and start Little Hat Creek Farm.
Heather and Ben pride themselves on the ecological practices they use for growing over fifty vegetable and fruit crops on about one acre. They feed the soil by keeping roots in the ground, and they cultivate soil micro- and macro-fauna by keeping the soil surface covered. There are plenty of un-mown wild areas in and around the fields to encourage all forms of life to hang out there. Among them, one can find the myriad native pollinators that help produce fruits, and predators like wheel bugs, spiders, and birds, who help keep the farm’s pests under control.
Ben and Heather’s artisan breads and pastries are baked in a wood-fired brick oven that was built in 2015 to replace a collapsed clay oven. In 2016, they finished a bakery building and packing shed. Bread is the coming together of art, science, and craft in a simple, timeless food. Heather honors the traditions, using long cool fermentations, wood heat, and hand work, even as she taps her farm and others for ingredients to imagine new breads and pastries you can find nowhere else.
Ben and Heather work hard to make it easy for you to access the products of their farm. You can sign up for our community supported agriculture (CSA) program, sign up for our newsletter, find our products in your local stores and restaurants, or visit us at market!