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Preserving the goodness of the garden

“My grandmother taught me how to can. With all the fresh vegetables the farm produces, one day she just pulled me aside and said I was going to learn how to can. But it was Bobby’s mother who helped me with my first canning experience with tomatoes.” Tracy Respess has been canning ever since.

On Twin Springs Farm in the Foster area of Mathews County, Bobby, (still called “Little Robert” by some) and Tracy Respess are operating a complete farm that Bobby’s great-great-grandfather, along with Wesley Hogg, bought from Mary L. Miller and B. Miller Jr. in 1898. A Respess has called this parcel home and farmed its land over the past 123 years, not only the 40 original acres but additional parcels that have been added over the years.

Tracy grew up in Gloucester. Her family moved to Mathews when she was a sophomore so she graduated from Mathews High School, married a Mathews man, and became almost a Mathews native. I guess I learned to cook in my early twenties, but before that I tried ...

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