Checking in with the Locals: Erica Hellen

Posted on March 18, 2014 by

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Charlottesville is a city filled with local-loving people, and a spirit of community and collaboration unlike anywhere else. Every week, Cville Niche will celebrate that spirit by featuring a local’s top picks. Check out previous local check-ins!

Erica Hellen, © Andrea Hubbell

Photo Credit: Andrea Hubbell

Erica Hellen

This local-lovin’ lady is half of the dynamic duo that started and run Free Union Grass Farm. Look no further for a local expert on fresh, organic, down-right good eats.

Describe what you do in town.

I run a small pastured livestock farm just west of town called Free Union Grass Farm. We specialize in pastured chicken, duck, eggs, pork, and 100% grass-fed and finished beef. Raising meat the right way = Good Farma.

Describe yourself in 5 syllables or less.

Opinionated

Top Picks

A favorite dish in town, what it’s called, where it’s at, describe what makes it special/different/one of your favorites.

The pizza at Vita Nova on the downtown mall – that crust blows everyone else out of the water. For real. You can get a slice and a San Pellegrino for $4.05. Better than New York, possibly Italy. Do it.

A favorite drink in town, what it’s called, where it’s at, describe what makes it special/different/one of your favorites.

Potter’s Craft Cider’s “Oak Barrel Reserve” –  Dan & Tim are my pals so maybe I’m biased, but I think aging their already-exquisite “Farmhouse Dry” in Laird’s brandy barrels is just the bee’s knees. Warming, subtle, delish.

A favorite local artist (any type other than musician), who is it, what type of medium do they use, where was your favorite showing of their art.

Eliza Evans is pretty fantastic. Her look-right-at-you portraits of everyone in Cville are accurate and a tiny bit abstract. She also makes an annual “Every Day is a Holiday” calendar with days like “Eavesdropping Day” and “No Pants Day” that I love.

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