RIVESVILLE, W.Va. — No shoes, no problem — just sit back, relax and dig into some homemade baked goods or choose from a selection of homegrown produce at The Barefoot Farmer in Rivesville. Here you will find a road-side stand with seasonal vegetables, canned and baked goods, eggs, and maybe even a surprise or two.
“It’s not as pretty as what you’ll get at the grocery store; but the difference is the taste.”-Cindy Furbee-King, Barefoot Farmer Owner
If you blink, you might miss it; despite its well-marked location that leads you back through the hills behind Grant Town. Down in the holler, you’ll find this charming farm stand and the farmer behind it all, Cindy Furbee-King. Day and night, she makes it, bakes it and grows it all by herself. For Cindy, it’s not just about growth, but education and the possibility of a better dinner.
“It’s a lot about teaching the people what fresh food tastes like, why it’s better for them and just getting people in the community interested,” she said.
Furbee-King does anything and everything she can think of to encourage people to expand their palates and try vegetables they’ve never tasted. She provides recipes, different varieties of baked and canned goods, and even lessons for aspiring gardeners. If those don’t challenge the tastebuds and draw people in, perhaps the animals might.
“People like to bring their kids,” she said. “We do have donkeys. We’ve got miniature cows. The kids love them, and honestly the donkeys love the kids. It’s insane.”
The Barefoot Farmer began with humble roots; Cindy had a garden, but issues with watering would reduce output or cut the season short. That all changed when she started learning about high tunnels.
“You gain a few weeks at the beginning of the season and a few weeks at the end of the season, and you can even do a few crops over winter,” she explained. “Now, I never run out of water. I can keep growing!”
You’ll find whatever is seasonal at Cindy’s stand. This year, she says green beans were the hottest seller.
“I want people to feel welcome, but never obligated. Just come and learn and look.”
You can find The Barefoot Farmer at 370 Panther Lick Run Road — just look for the signs. She’s open on Friday evenings and often all week long.