Two Sides of a Very Different Farming Story
Bitter Harvest for Small Farms Legal Troubles Mount as Local Producers Buck Food Safety Rules
By Jane Black Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, October 20, 2007; A01
WINGINA, Va. -- To some, Richard Bean is a folk hero: the small farmer who dared to sell local, naturally raised pork chops, ribs, sausages and bacon. To the government, Bean looks like a felon.
Since 2001, Bean has sold his pork to restaurants and at farmers markets in the Charlottesville area, where he also offers chicken, vegetables and homemade bread. In many ways, his Double H Farm is exactly what the burgeoning eat-local movement wants: a diversified, family-run farm that sells to nearby customers.
But to make farming sustainable, Bean said, he has evaded government requirements that producers have animals slaughtered and processed in inspected facilities. His defiance led to his arrest Sept. 21 when state police officers, armed and dressed in flak jackets, arrived at the Double H with a search warrant and arrest…