We’re Melanie and Rob Lewis, and Rill Cross Farm was created out of our greatest passions.
We love American Saddlebred horses, delicious food, and our beautiful farm. Each of us started our work life in the restaurant business. We fell in love with great food and wine. The more we learned about how to create amazing dishes, an education started by our mutual family of wonderful cooks, we developed a deep appreciation for where our food comes from, and how good local produce can taste.
In 1988, we relocated to Central Virginia from Connecticut, where we met and got married. Here we found Rill Cross Farm, and began breeding American Saddlebred horses. Rob, a long time restaurant chef, took care of the farm and the horses, and worked catering jobs on the side. After 30 years, we have stopped raising horses and now only have three retired broodmares and a retired show horse.
While we’ve always had some type of garden, we really started growing produce for sale in 2010, when we started selling at the Nelson County Farmers Market. In the coming years, Rob connected with local restaurants in nearby Charlottesville to sell produce, establishing our new farm-to-table type business. In 2016, we began the process of one of our lifetime dreams, to own our own business. Melanie began preparing to stop working full time, taking her experience as a CPA into the world of entrepreneurship.
It was about this time we decided to focus on specialty produce that we also enjoyed- currently, we focus most of the garden on French green beans, eggplants, peppers,okra, summer squash, garlic, and regular and cherry tomatoes. All our produce is farmed using organic methods.
We have a commercial kitchen in a trailer that was built for us and are able to prepare food on the farm or pull the kitchen to a venue and provide incredible food to our customers.