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Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away...Oops, wrong story. This is the story of Ken and Mary West and how Mt Olympus Berry Farm came to be. This is the condensed version: Boy meets girl in 1985 and they date for a few years. She works in a bookstore in Shockoe Slip and he works for a lawn company. The bookstore is sold to Boo & Jim Smythe. Boo is from Richmond originally and they are moving back to the area to the farm her father bought in the 50's as a weekend getaway. It was originally called Magnolia Farm but he renamed it Mt Olympus. That's another tale.
Mary came as a fixture with the bookstore and Ken came with Mary. Eventually he started doing odd jobs for the farm and other independent contracting projects. Fast forward to 1988 and they get married and go into partnership with the Smythe's and their son Scott. Voila, a farm is born.
We started out with 5 acres of blueberries. After planting a small garden plot of vegetables, Ken thought, "Hmmm, we could make money selling vegetables". HA! Thirty years later we are still trying to make money selling vegetables. In the early 90's we expanded into strawberries and blackberries and each year we added more acres of vegetables. We now farm 50 plus acres.
In 1995 Ken and Mary started a personal project. Ken designed and built a timber frame home with trees off of the farm. It was designed to be energy efficient with lots of south facing glass and radiant floor heat. In the fall of 2014 we added an outdoor wood furnace to fuel the boiler to the house and shop.
In the late 90's/early 2000 along came the newest additions, Emily and Ben. Emily helps at some of the Fairfax farmers markets and keeping our packing house and market trucks organized. Ben thinks he may be interested in running the farm one day. Right now he's learning everything from running equipment to emptying compost. Who knows, we may have Farmer Ben one day.