The Man Behind The Meats

IMG_8805 - Edited.jpg

The goal I have for our blog is to provide customers with information to enhance their market experience whether it be recipes or tips or some insight to they five Y’s of the market. Besides the wonderful array of products that are available at the market, for me the people behind the booths are what make me smile before the market goodies hit my hands.

I briefly mentioned Hoe Hop Valley Farms a few weeks back in the sausage dip recipe but I did not delve into the man behind the meats, Walter “Jeff” Bates, so I would like to today. Walter started Hoe Hop Valley Farms in Benton, TN after his business of 10 years was closed due to road expansion. He took that opportunity to start a garden, raise some hogs and chicken and become a stay-at-home dad with his two young boys. Like many farms, Walter’s desire to obtain healthy local meats was shared by his neighbors and before he knew it, the demand grew greater than his backyard.

At the Main St. Farmers Market since 2011, Walter sells chicken (as well as other chicken products like feet and livers), pork (sausage, butts and sometimes bacon), and West Virginia maple syrup. He annually goes to the wild and wonderful state to hang out with friends and tap some trees then bring the good stuff back to share with us. He also annually raises and harvests turkeys to bless our tables during the fall holidays. Not that he doesn’t have enough on his plate, he and his wife have recently purchased the Polk County Newspaper.

Knowing where you food comes from and what is in your belly are the biggest components of the slow food movement but I can not stress enough that it includes getting to know your farmer too. Unlike grocery store purchases, a farmers market offers a more personalized approach to shopping. With that being said, our 10th anniversary celebration is happening next week, August 7th, to coincide with National Farmers Market Week. and we will have music, a kids booth, guest vendors and much more! Hope to see you then and every week.

August Blogs: Month Of Sips