Unique Store Open in Lovingston

NEWS & ADVANCE | EMILY SIDES

It’s incredible to think how the local craft brewing industry has flowered in Nelson County. In just a decade, the bar has been permanently raised as talented visionaries have manifested their individual tastes into tangible experiences all can share.

This embrace of personal preference and a vibrant faith in the time-tested ideals these ideas are rooted in, are what inspired Luke and Adrienne Ramsey to open the doors of Home Remedies Mercantile and Exchange., located next to the Post Office, in Lovingston.

“A heartfelt affinity for local, organic, non-GMO food, and farmers committed to food integrity, is certainly a foundation stone of our market,” says Adrienne Young- Ramsey, proprietor. “Along-side a deep desire for establishing authentic community is a passion for the land Divinity has given us to nurture and protect. We just had a simple hunger for the best food out there which, fortunately for us, is just around the corner. Otherwise, we would have to drive hours to get it! So, we aim to bring it back home, so to speak.”

At Home Remedies Merchantile and Exchange, you’ll find grass fed, grass finished dairy, eggs, meats and poultry, (much sourced from The Ramsey’s own farm,) produce and fruits cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner, local herbs, culinary/seasonal medicinals, organic sourdough breads and pastries, fermented foods and beverages, and delicious coffees and teas made with the best fairly traded ingredients.

In purchasing these sorts of products, we create a vibrant local economy.

Handing money to the farmer that grew the fresh produce being delivered, or the bread just baked, or the cheese just made, or the meat that was lovingly tended and finished on grass rather than GMO corn, nurtures all the right things, and brings back the old ways which are so in danger of being lost, thus ensuring longevity for the land and the people who have been charged to care for it. Biodynamics, organically grown, local, certified naturally grown, grass finished, non-GMO – all these buzz phrases actually stand for something bigger than any multinational corporation. They are directly connected to the personal power of the dollar. It is the consumer that creates the world we live in, but we forget we can choose, whatever choice that may be.

For the Ramsey’s, it’s more than just the foods of our forebears they are spotlighting with their Mercantile; it’s also the skills and tools that made life possible before modern electricity.

The Store holds many relics of days gone by, including early American tools and antiques. “If these tools could talk”, Luke says of their collection, “we would gain access to so much wisdom – what we could learn of the extraordinary efforts it took to truly live off the land…it’s pretty humbling”.

Luke Ramsey, a native of Nelson County, leads Ramsey Restoration Inc., a business he inherited from his father, renowned restorationist, Lewis Ramsey. They specialize in historic homes, barns, and log cabins, breathing new life into old structures.

Adrienne, a seventh generation Florida native, graduated from Belmont University, in Nashville, TN, making her living as a touring singer songwriter before moving to Virginia in 2007, even receiving a Grammy nominee for her efforts.

She then worked at Monticello for many years and amidst marrying Luke and mothering their son, Elijah, began Backyard Revolution as a familial pastime (which was an educational program spotlighting the practical skills and wisdom of our ancestors).

Says Adrienne, “Our name includes the word ‘Exchange” as, in addition to offering healthful food options, we are grateful to be able to offer a common ground upon which folks can gather or trade both ideas and goods-our public barter will allow participants to exchange everything they have personally cultivated, grown or nurtured-imagining it will help establish mutually beneficial relationships while helping us to remember how flexible the currency can be…it’s exciting!”

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