The Public Market Expands Local Food Menu With This Wheeling Farm

Since 2019, The Public Market has provided the community with a year-round farmer’s market to access local, healthy food. The market also has helped patrons feel more connected to the local food system by familiarizing them with the farmers who produce the fresh foods and specialty products that fill their shelves. One such farm is Farm One-Eleven, based right here in Wheeling! After years of passionately cultivating their own food and fostering a deep connection with the land, this family-run farm invites patrons at The Public Market to savor the same experience firsthand!

So, how did Farm One-Eleven get started? The seed was first planted in 2016 when Julie Meredith and her family watched a documentary about the treatment of animals in factory farms, which encouraged her to start sourcing meat ethically and eventually led to her learning how to live off their land.

This newfound passion was further solidified during a family camping trip when, on a whim, she and her husband visited the Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia – owned and operated by Joel Salatin, legendary farmer, lecturer, and author. While touring Salatin’s farm, the Merediths drew inspiration from his connection to the land and how his animals lived symbiotically. As they had goals for clearing their overgrown land, they researched how pasturing animals for land restoration not only heals the land but also promotes animal health.

“After discovering how amazing this process was, our interests shifted from wanting just healthy food and the animals to have a good life to a realization that animals can help heal our land,” says Julie. “Instead of letting our equipment depreciate and spending money on fuel, the animals get this amazing life how they want to live, and we get really good food as a result.”

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  • The Berkshire pigs help to clear land, which also ensures that they will have a varied diet.

They initially started with laying hens and meat birds but found a genuine passion for raising pigs. Specifically, they focus on Berkshire pigs, a heritage breed that originated in the United Kingdom over 300 years ago and is renowned for its depth of flavor. Thanks to Birch Creek Farmery, a multi-generational family farm in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, the Merediths got their first Berkshire feeder. In addition to Berkshire pigs, they occasionally raise Idaho Pasture Pigs, a newer breed bred for living on pasture.

Though they started this venture to raise food for their own family, according to Julie, their long-term goal evolved into hosting community engagement events. Knowing the difference these experiences have made in their lives and where their food comes from inspires her to share what she has gained with others. 

To share this knowledge and passion, the Merediths of Farm One-Eleven recently hosted a three-day whole hog butchering workshop. In May 2023, they partnered with Andy Lane and Doug Wharton of Hand Hewn Farm in Fresno, Ohio, to teach attendees how to efficiently take a hog from pasture to plate while wasting as little of the animal as possible and adequately curing and preserving meat. 

The Meridiths are committed to improving access to high-quality, sustainably farmed food. That’s why, for a limited time, you can taste the difference of heritage Berkshire pork at the Public Market! Farm One-Eleven’s pork will be featured daily at the Public Market kitchen from their made-to-order menu. The Public Market kitchen is also offering a unique take-out dinner featuring Farm One-Eleven’s pork for Valentine’s Day. The dinner includes Osso Bucco pork shanks with asparagus and tomato risotto. And that’s not all, the meal also includes a cauliflower and leek soup, broccoli salad, and a chocolate layered cake. A vegetarian menu featuring a mushroom ragu is also available. Orders for this special take-out dinner will be accepted until Friday, February 9. Dinners are $50 per person or $80 for a dinner for two. To pre-order, you can call the Public Market or stop by and place your order in person. 

• Victoria White is a Wheeling native with deep roots in the Ohio Valley. She works for Grow Ohio Valley as the Public Market’s Vendor Manager and is a lifelong 4-Her, farmer, retired competitive swimmer, and lover of all things Appalachia.