Sweet Augusta in Bridgewater, Virginia, occupies a large, flat expanse of land with a beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop. Farmer Davey and his family grow a large garden abundant with flowers and vegetables in the summertime. Their back porch provides a view of their chicken houses, the kids’ playhouse, the swing set, the garden and the gorgeous mountains in the distance.

Davey grew up on a poultry farm in Montezuma; Paula grew up on a dairy farm in Dayton. They bought their current farm in 1995, where they raise chickens, grow soybeans, hay, and corn, and raise their seven kids. A purebred German Shepherd “Chief” and spunky bobtail cat keep things cute around the place.

The three youngest kids -- Marcus, Benjamin, and Renee -- walk through the houses to check the feeders and drinkers. Paula usually handles the early morning walkthrough while the kids are getting ready for school, and Davey makes sure all the birds in are tucked in safe and sound each night. Davey also handles the management side of the operation, plus mechanical or equipment issues as they arise.

Davey and Paula appreciate the flexibility that comes from growing for SVO, and they like growing “quality poultry that is healthy and well-cared for.” A typical day on the farm involves hard work and lots of time together as a family. They make a point to eat breakfast together every day and then have their morning devotions before the kids head off to school. After chicken checks, mowing, and maybe some repairs, Paula and Davey reconvene for a light lunch. Afternoons consist of various errands and visits to members of Davey’s congregation -- he’s the pastor at Bethany Mennonite Church. After a family supper together, Davey and Paula love to visit with their older kids over coffee.

The Showalters love socializing with family in the evenings and cultivating their coffee-brewing skills with their new coffee grinder. An occasional hunting excursion and spending time with their church family are also favorite pastimes.

Lynda Bostrom