By Marc Hammes
True to it’s name, Bella Vista Farm and it’s owner, Anne-Marie Bilella has a beautiful view just outside of Monroe. With a panorama of rolling hills, trees, creeks and farm animals (pets), it is an oasis and natural home base for this Monroe Farmers Market vendor of three years.
Anne-Marie began her beautiful journey by making bread for her family. It was the inspiration from her friend, Cyndi Ball of the Lazy B Farm and fellow member of the Ladies Homestead Gathering, that pushed her to go beyond her farm and market Bella Vista products. Since then, she has grown to offering baked goods, natural teas, herbal remedies, mushrooms, herbs, vegetables, writing a newsletter, and classes for all ages.
Bilella offers internships and classes on foraging, baking, mushroom growing, tea making, and home apothecary. This one person dynamo easily slips from one topic into another as she moves through her house and farm educating as she goes. Anne-Marie’s excitement and love of what she does is contagious, as you look at her products and discuss the ideas of sustainability on the farm.
The idea of living off of the farm has become more and more popular, as evident from Bella Vista’s growth. Watching Anne-Marie’s eyes light up as she talks about her love of learning and sharing with others, and the thrill of empowering people to follow her footsteps is inspiration in itself. By using foods and herbalism as medicines, Bilella’s fun comment, “Make Tea Not War”, rings true.
Anne-Marie Bilella of Bella Vista Farm not only has an beautiful view, but an incredible vision of the sustainable future. Be sure to visit her at the market and get inspired to live more natural!