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Produce farmer creating sustainability

John Price, a producer with Archlynn Farm, a fruit and vegetable farm in Charlotte Court House, has been awarded the 40 under 40 award from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers News. The award honors 40 outstanding individuals making their marks in the industry.

“I feel very excited about accepting the award, and also somewhat undeserving since the farm is a family effort and we all work together on it,” Price said.

Price is a sixth-generation farmer that has worked alongside his family to diversify the operation allowing sustainability as their farm transitioned from tobacco to produce.

According to Charlotte County Extension Professional Joanne Jones, who nominated Price, he has incorporated new agricultural technologies allowing higher yields and incorporated high tunnels into the operation, allowing year-round production.

“Our last year doing tobacco was 2008,” Price said. “In 2011, we started about a half acre garden spot and started selling and giving away produce, just to see what the potential was in that area.“

Price said that in 2012 the decision was made to start Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

For more than 25 years, CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

The new venture into CSA sparked Price’s interest, and those interested in locally grown fruits and vegetables quickly grew.

In 2018, Archlynn Farm had 36 members in their CSA. This was their last year participating in the program.

“Since we added a number of new selling opportunities, including marketing products through the Southside Virginia Fruit and Vegetable Producers Association,” Price said.

Produce from Archlynn Farm can be purchased at the farm, or by visiting the Drakes Branch, Farmville, or the Lynchburg Farmer’s Markets.