Who are the Thompson’s and why should you take time out of your day to help them.

The Thompson's, Ronald (Pete) and Leisa, are a loving, friendly and caring, couple who have for the past 24 years owned and worked a small farm in the City of Salem, Virginia. Doing the best one can do under Life’s Trial of Tribulation.

“Hardships of Blessings”, one might hear Leisa saying along with a story of some type that will take its time back around somehow to what she meant in the saying. While all the time bagging up produce from the garden, she’d be selling at the gate in the summertime.

She’s been a volunteer at the City of Salem library since 2004, and for the past two years held the library and FOSL supported “Tellabration”.  A lot of people around town recall the years she drove a school bus for the City of Salem’s school system. Some people recall the years she volunteered at the Baptist Children’s homes 4H program.

Ronald (Pete) is known best for his 34 years of heavy mechanic work at Certified Truck and Auto Service. Nine years ago he had a massive Heart Attack and when he had awoken from heart surgery, his left arm rotator cup was all torn out leaving him permanently disabled; taking and lowering family income by several dollars. You can now find Pete doing what he can around the farm.

The small farm is a ‘working for survival’ type of place. The work is continuous throughout the four seasons. In the winter the Thompson’s bring in pigs so that they can clean-up their garden. The pigs are enjoyed by many whom walk the River Greenway. The Thompson’s pigs are so happy they even have gotten their picture in the newspaper. In the spring comes plowing and planting the garden. Summertime has an early hay cutting and put up chores, along with product picking and selling time. Fall is hay cutting and put up potatoes and winter squash chores.

All year long the Thompson’s feed chickens, horses, dogs, and cats; for all critters have a job, and all of the Thompson’s critters are rescued animals.
The cats keep down the mice and gophers; for they are let out at night to hunt.
The dogs keep deer, groundhogs, and other critters out of garden.
The chickens keep snakes and insects down. They also give eggs for food and for additional critter feed.
The horse entertains children and adults as they drive or walk by.
The pigs clean and fertilize the garden and provide food for the table.
Hay provides critter feed and helps the garden plants.
For all this to work they need their road and their barn to continue their way of life.

Every spring they, along with their 2 children, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter head to the field where they spend weeks plowing, digging, and planting their garden mostly all by hand, and following old time farmer traditions. Then in the summer months, the results are sold to the community at their gate. People from all walks of life get to enjoy as fresh as it can get (usually picked same day) organic vegetables.

Each early summer and usually in the fall, they head to the hay field where they cut, bail, and store hay in the barn. Once again this is carried out by the family and friends. The hay that is gathered is then sold to a wide variety of people around the community. Some use it for raising goats, some for keeping their horse’s well fed, and other times it’s people or churches wanting them for a wedding or a winter hay ride.

The Thompsons aren’t the only ones enjoying the things the farm produces. For things purchased for the farm are bought locally, and products of the garden and hay is sold locally. All being created by a single family unit of hard working, caring people, who value and enjoy talking and helping people around the community.

The farm also provides a huge sanctuary for a large number of wild life; from a herd of deer, to all types of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other small animals. It is also a wonderful site to pass by while walking on the river trail and enjoy watching the pigs play and root each fall.

The reason to help is because what the City of Salem is doing is wrong and unfair. The way they have left things regarding Erosion and Sediment Control leaves us without the earth to fix the problems. They have wrongly left us in a horrible situation.

WHY WE NEED HELP SAVING OUR FARM

We need help to save our farm, because we are being washed away by rain water run-off from our neighbor’s up the hill from us taking Erosion and Sediment Control out.  Turning his water run-off and the properties above him onto us which is, washing our road to the barn and house away, and is washing the dirt away from the roots of trees. Many of which have fallen and caused damage to our barn’s roof, and is making the whole hill side become more and more unstable.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We need your help raising awareness of the problem so we can get help to resolve the problem. We would greatly appreciate it if you would call your City Council, City Manager, your Congress Member, DEQ (department of Environmental Quality), or any one you think could help us save our farm. Below is a list of phone numbers for people you can reach out to show your support.

City of Salem Manager: 540-375-3017 kboggess@salemva.gov
City Mayor (Randy Foley): 540-375-3017 rfoley@salemva.gov

City Council
Jane Johnson: jjohnson@salemva.gov
Bill Jones: bjones@salemva.gov
James Martin: jmartin@salemva.gov

City Engineer: William Simpson Jr. 540-375-3032 engineering@salemva.gov

Member, House of Delegates
Gregory D. Habeeb 540-915-2962

Senate 19th District
David Sutterlein 1-804-698-7522

U.S. Representative 9th District
Morgan Griffith
1-202-225-3861 (DC office)
540-381-5671 (Christiansburg office)
1-804-698-1008 (Richmond Office)

State Governor
Terry McAuliffe 804-786-2211

Contact Form: https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/Communicating-with-the-governors-office
Virginia Attorney General
Mark R. Herring 1-800-552-9963

Government Offices State Attorney Generals Office
540-562-3570

DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality)
State Office: 1-800-592-5482
Regional Office: 540-562-6700
Regional Director Robert Weld: 540-562-6870 robert.weld@deq.virginia.gov
Roanoke Office Manager: Tracey Hogancamp 540-562-6748 Tracey.Hogancamp@deq.virginia.gov

Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Region 3 Office: 1-800-438-2474
Contact Form: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/forms/contact-epas-region-3-office

News Agencies
WDBJ7: 540-344-7000
WSLS: 540-981-9126
WFXR: 540-344-2127

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