Farmers and entrepreneurs hold community dinner to kick off growing season

Greenbrier County
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Endless acres of land are used across the Appalachian region to plant crops that will fuel the economy in states like West Virginia.

Now with spring on the horizon, farmers, buyers, and community members gathered at the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company Wednesday evening for a meet and greet event, as their busiest time of their year will kick off soon.

Executive Director for Grow Ohio Valley, Danny Swan, explained that this time of year is a farmer’s spring training before the full season.

“All the farmers in the region and across the state are getting their plants started, getting their fields prepped and getting ready to get food in the ground,” Swan said.

Anyone who grows anything from a seed was welcome, and any restaurant or business representative looking to have fresh produce in their stores were encouraged to check out what small town farmers in West Virginia have to offer.

“This is about brining farmers together and connecting them to markets, so then the farmers can prosper and the people of southern West Virginia and central Appalachia can have access to really high quality healthy food,” Swan said.

That is exactly the purpose of companies like Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective and Sprouting Farm, who put together this interactive event.

Operations Director, Doug Koenig, said that Turnrow brings farmers and markets together by selling and distributing locally produced goods across southern West Virginia and into Virginia, to give small town farmers some equity in bigger places.

“In Central Appalachia,for West Virginia and food producers especially, there just isn’t a whole lot of opportunity in larger markets,” Koenig said. “We’re finding unique ways to carve out an opportunity for those smaller farmers.”

The event was part of Turnrow’s three day farm training that is happening this week, where the company is teaching local farmers how to grow and get bigger so they can meet bigger markets.

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