This is not the average roadside farm store.
Messick’s Farm Market sells heirloom tomatoes grown on the property, private label moonshine jelly and bright orange “cheddar cheez powder” (for popcorn, of course).
There’s a lot in between those disparate items, too, like aisles of locally grown and milled flours (Big Spring Mills Inc. from Elliston) and also preweighed mass-produced flour that Messick’s buys in 50-pound sacks and packages in more customer-friendly sizes. Spices and candy are like that, too, and so is meringue powder, granulated tapioca (from France) and xanthan gum. It’s actually kind of amazing what’s stocked on these shelves, like a foot-long tube of apple pie filling. This is not the average roadside farm store.
Co-owners and brothers Jimmy and Ronnie Messick are third-generation dairy farmers (Lakeside Diary is about a mile down the road), so it makes sense their market grows vegetables on the land, including crops dedicated to pick-your-own. Beef, pork, chicken and dairy (like unhomogenized milk and butter from grass-fed cows) come from local farms, as do fruits. Also on the farm: three goats. “Just for entertainment,” Jimmy says.
The in-house kitchen offers customizable sandwiches, assorted pies, biscuits and frozen custard, which uses local fruit for the strawberry and blackberry versions. Peanuts are freshly ground and come in flavors like butterscotch and cappuccino. Coffee is brand-name: Orange County Roasters and Lucas Roasting Company, which is now based in New Hampshire, but because it started in the Shenandoah Valley, residents here remain loyal.
And back to that spiked jelly, “If you’re buying it for a grape jelly, you’ll be disappointed,” Jimmy says. It’s made with white grapes infused with Culpeper-based Belmont Farm Distillery’s hooch. “People buy it more for the novelty. It’s not anything that’s gonna get you high.” // 6025 Catlett Road, Bealeton