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Richard Bean ran Double H Farm in Nelson County with his longtime partner Jean Rinaldi from 1997 until Richard’s passing in November 2013. Richard was a kindred spirit to so many in this community, and with his vibrant personality and can-do attitude, he was a driving force in the effort to bring awareness to issues impeding local farmers and to facilitate getting locally-produced farm food into more homes and restaurants. Richard’s one-of-a-kind, butter-yellow dome-roofed van could often be seen on delivery in the Charlottesville area, where he sold vegetables, eggs, and meat to local restaurants.
Transplants to Nelson County by way of New England in 1997, Richard and Jean settled into their Nelson County homestead so thoroughly you’d be hard-pressed to call them anything but Virginians. Once known around town as much for Richard’s brass pig belt buckle as for their generous nature and friendly spirits, Richard and Jean embodied the meaning of Double H: Happy Hearts.
Richard’s legacy will live on in his mentoring of Armenian immigrants Ara and Gayane Avagyan, who he groomed to take over his farm and helped to navigate the complicated bureaucracy of trying to establish citizenship. A Local Food Hub partner producer since 2009, Ara and Gayane have carried on the Double H tradition of fresh, thoughtfully raised goods, delivered to Local Food Hub, the Charlottesville City Market, and countless retailers and restaurants in the same butter-yellow dome-roofed van.
A rambling 32 acres, Double H Farm boasts a little of everything: fresh vegetables, heritage Berkshire pigs, chickens, and at one time, even sheep. The grounds are beautifully kept, the air sweet, the vegetables picture-perfect, the pigs magnificently muddy. In short, it’s everything you hope a local, family farm might be. As of July 2020, Ara and Gayane's family have become United States citizens, carrying on the dream of taking care of the land and securing a sustainable future.
Double H Farm is a partner of Local Food Hub Grower Services. 4P Foods is proud to partner with Local Food Hub to to increase community access to local food.
Profile and photos courtesy of Local Food Hub.