"It's a tool they can use to help the farm sustain itself," he said. "That goes for any farmer that produces crops. The Smiths had no intention of being Wegmans or a distribution center. They want to sell product directly to the consumer."

Webb said the family has spent so much time and money deflecting the many appeals, they now need to sit down together and determine when it will be financially feasible to move forward.

On Sunday, customers came and went, usually one or two at a time, some carrying small coolers and many of whom Webb knew by name. Customers peered into cases containing fresh and frozen chicken, beef, lamb, pork and turkey. Cartons of eggs sat piled on two long tables in the middle of the store.

Bob Stalick, who moved to the area several months ago, stopped in for milk, eggs and meat as he does every weekend.

"I know where my food is coming from," Stalick said. "I can see where my eggs are coming from."

In a room behind the store, Webb's brother-in-law, farm manager Doug Lafferty, lowered baskets of freshly collected eggs in a sudsy tub, washing them by hand.

He said the Court of Special Appeals decision "made us feel like what we are doing is right. It reinforced that."

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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