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Grown Here at Home: Documentary inspires couple to become first-generation farmers

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 7:38 AM EDT
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BIG ISLAND, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s feeding time on this farm in Big Island and the pigs are in hog heaven. As much as Rachel and Matthew Palma love farming, it actually wasn’t on their radar as something they wanted to do.

“We were just working jobs in the city, trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives. We had no idea about agriculture, anything about our food system. What initially started the fire in us, was we watched a documentary called “Fresh.” Pretty much right after we watched that documentary, we looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s be farmers,’” Rachel explained.

That was in 2012. They were accepted into a farm internship, quit their jobs and moved from Florida to Virginia.

“We got the experience that we needed, we immersed ourselves in everything that we wanted to do, and during that eight months it just solidified that this is what we were meant to do,” Rachel said.

In 2013, they started Restoration Acres Farm.

“Our business focus is to restore the land, restore community, restore health in our customers and in our animals,” Matthew said.

It’s not only their passion, but a lifestyle they have chosen.

“Matt and I are the kind of people that love to be together. We’ve always had the same vision, we’ve always had the same passion, for the most part, and it’s been really fun in our relationship. Now that we have kids, to be on the same page, to be together as a family all the time, to be able to grow a business together, it’s really strengthened our relationship. I think just being with family all the time and doing it as an adventure almost has probably been the biggest thing for me,” Rachel explained.

And the journey continues.

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