Checking in with the Locals: Dawn Story

Posted on September 16, 2014 by


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!

Photo courtesy of Dawn Story

Photo courtesy of Dawn Story

Dawn Story

Describe what you do in town.

My passion is transforming vegetables, fruits, herbs and grains — many of which we grow — into nutritious and delicious fermented foods and beverages or herbal teas and medicines.

A day in the life usually involves running the farm and businesses, Farmstead Ferments and New Moon Naturals, and doing things like creating a new seasonal blend of sauerkraut, wild-foraging berries for a new flavor of water kefir soda, tending to the flock and garden, running a farmers market booth, harvesting herbs, and delivering products. I am grateful that my lifestyle has become my livelihood.

Describe yourself in 5 syllables or less.

fermentation freak

Top Picks

A favorite drink in town.

So I don’t eat out much, but I DO stop for a cold beer now and then. My favorite place to do so is Beer Run. It’s impossible to pick a favorite beer on the menu because it changes all the time but I love sampling all of the different craft beers. I also am a big fan of our local kombucha brew houses, Nuggets Raw Kombucha and Barefoot Bucha.

A favorite dish in town.

I confess. I hardly ever eat out and I realize that makes me very uncool. However, I will share with you one of my favorite dishes to eat at home which — by the way — we jokingly call the “best restaurant in town”:

Bone-in pork butt from our own pastured pigs, stewed in the crockpot along with some old sauerkraut, some potatoes and some onions, a splash of kraut juice and/or some beer. Throw it in the pot and walk away, so it’s ALMOST as easy as eating out! Preferably served over gluten-free, freshly-made Bombolini Pasta and always paired with fresh salad greens and seasonal veggies from Planet Earth Diversified, Bellair Farm, or our own gardens.

A favorite local musician.

Music is my medicine and it is hard to pick just one remedy. Plus, there is just so much dog-gone talent out there! But some of my favorite local musicians include The Steel Wheels, We Are The Design, Brian Elijah Smith, Holly Allen, Adrienne Young, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Slinky Cobblestone, Darrell Rose, Red & the Romantics, Infamous Stringdusters, Beleza, William Walter and Tucker Rogers, Corey Harris, John D’Earth, Sarah White and many, many more.

A favorite local music venue.

Charlottesville is brimming with music venues, so I love the variety. My “favorite” depends on the season. So right now, I’m enjoying popping over to the Jefferson Vineyard for their outdoor shows amidst picnic blankets and dogs and kids and beautiful views and, of course, great wine plus yummy food by Salt Artisan Market.

A favorite local artist.

Milo Farineau’s photographs of music festivals and musicians, Lynn Szarabajka’s wool and fiber arts, Angel Shockley’s herbal body products, Deborah Davis paintings (the Moth series), Edward Thomas paintings, Tom Elliot hardscapes, Susan Hendrix floral artistry, Jona Noelle and Flora Lark poetry, and the fresh produce grown by Jamie at Bellair Farm.

A favorite local shopping destination.

Circa is my favorite place to sneak away and look for treasures. Just the other day, I found an old, flawless fermentation crock! What more could a girl want?!

A favorite local fitness class or fitness event.

I don’t go out of my way to get fit. “My life is my stairmaster” is one of my favorite sayings. Come on over and I’ll show how easy it is to get buff juggling cases of cabbage and 5 gallon crocks of sauerkraut, shoveling compost and mulch, hauling around coolers, chasing chickens, and making off with the garden booty.