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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Charlie Wade


Deep Roots Milling

Charlie Wade was born in 1984 and raised in the Roanoake, Virginia, area. For Wade, working with grain was all but inevitable. He is a sixth-generation miller, a family legacy that traces back to the nineteenth century. Though infrastructural and market obstacles prompted the family’s separation from the industry in 1990, as an adult he felt drawn to pick up the mantle for himself.

In 2017, Wade opened Deep Roots Milling in Nelson County, Virginia. Today, Deep Roots operates out of Woodson’s Mill, one of Central Virginia’s last commercially run water mills, and processes modern and heirloom wheat and corn varieties. Charlie candidly discusses the regional grains renaissance, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and other satisfactions and challenges that attend the working life of the twenty-first–century miller.

Date of interview:
2020-07-10

Interviewer:
Sarah Adams

Photographer:
Julia Rendleman

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