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Carrying on the family farm tradition

South Boston News
Star and Princess Thaxton sell their varied produce at South Boston’s Farmers Market. Along with their father, John Thaxton, they operate Thaxton Farms in the Hyco community, proving that family farms are alive and well. / July 17, 2017

In the estimation of some, the small family farm may be going the way of the rotary phone and the floppy disk. To John Thaxton and his Thaxton Farms, that way of life is making a comeback.

The Thaxtons grow and sell fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs and preserves and USDA-approved meats at local food outlets. The East Hyco business also supplies firewood.

Thaxton and his family have been doing this for 20 years, since starting out with a small pig farm. He operates the farm while also working a full-time maintenance job at Westside Village Apartments in Sinai.

Thaxton and his young-adult daughters, Princess and Star, sell their goods at the South Boston and Halifax farmers markets, sometimes venturing as far as Danville. Their meats also are for sale at Halifax’s Blue Ribbon Market.

“We’re just the helpers,” said Princess Thaxton, adding that her dad is “pretty well-known.”

This weekend, their stand at the South Boston Farmers Market offered a wide selection of vegetables and meats: cantaloupes, cucumbers, tomatoes, butterbeans, beats, corn, bacon, eggs, sausage, pork tenderloin, pork chops and fatback. Specially-made pies can be requested.

“I try and keep it in the community,” said Thaxton. “I meet a lot of people where I go, and they know I treat my customers fair and square.”

Among the items he offers, the firewood is big, as are the meats. With Thaxton Farm’s expanding popularity, growth will likely come with a larger gardening area.

The past few years he’s tilled 2-3 acres, but now moved up to 4-5 to try and satiate his hungry customer base.

“I see a big demand” in produce, said Thaxton, adding that it is a return to how he got his food as a child.

His customers come from all over, sometimes even past the county line.

“Word of mouth gets out!” laughed Thaxton. “I want to continue it full time.”

“What I’m trying to do is become part of the [local] economy,” he said.

Thaxton Farms, which frequents the South Boston and Halifax farmers markets, can be reached at (434) 579-1748.

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