Preserving At-Risk Plants for the Future
Pocahontas County, WV
Foraging wild-edible plants has long been a part of Appalachian heritage and rural culture. From ramps, fiddleheads and morels in the spring, to chicken of the wood, ginseng and goldenseal in the fall, we are able to wild craft medicine and food from the forests and trails all year round. This instinct to gather is one that has evolved with us and enabled us to become the most dominant species on the planet today; it is in our biology. As the number of people interested in wild...
Farmer : Donald Blake
The turkey is such an iconic part of American culture that it is hard to imagine holidays without a beautifully dressed bird on the table. Many of us find these large birds fascinating and feel excited when we catch a glimpse of a wild flock in the woods. The hunters among us know that for our ancestors, catching a turkey was no easy feat. The turkeys we raise today are quite a bit different than their wild counterparts. Modern turkeys are bred to be larger and have more meat, yet our affinity for them...
—Input Sought on Attitudes Toward Locally Grown Food—
Maxwelton, WV—The Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative (GVLFI) needs the input of residents, businesses and tourists in and around the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia. Turn your “2 cents” into a chance to win $100!
Created in 2010, the Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative is a project of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation. GVLFI’s mission is to support local projects and organizations that increase economic return to the agriculture industry...
Linside, Monroe County
If you’ve been out to any of the festivals or farmers markets in the area, you have probably smelled, and if you’re lucky tasted, Johnny Spangler’s famous kettle corn. Johnny, who has grown organic vegetables in Monroe County for over 20 years, sells this tasty snack across the Greenbrier Valley and offers his homegrown popcorn for those who want to pop their own at home. The popular treat has allowed him to continue his passion for farming while nourishing and building his community.
At one time Johnny’s...
Tim, Carrie, and their son Eli Hancock, are brains and power behind Laurel Creek Farm in Wolf Creek, West Virginia. They live in one of the first homesteads in Monroe County built by settlers in the 1800s. Tim’s great grandfather did not build the log cabin but traded it for a house in the town of Alderson in the late 1930s. Tim and Carrie moved to the farm full time about five years ago and started Laurel Creek Farm to continue the tradition of working the land.
The farm was full of bounty when I visited in August, with...
Greenbrier County, WV
Living in the Greenbrier Valley makes it easy to take for granted the picturesque landscapes of lush rolling hills and cows dotting the pastures. Local grass-fed meat is readily available and as a foodie, I have to admit, I am totally spoiled living here. As food culture and access to food begin to change across the nation, there are many areas of the country and West Virginia in particular, where quality local food is still a rarity. Jennifer “Tootie” Jones of Swift Level Land and Cattle says “Growing food is...
Tolly Peuleche, founder of Hidden River Farm is first and foremost a lover of the land. From my visit to her mountainside farm, bordered by both Pocahontas and Randolph County, I learned about her love of experimenting with plants and design. I actually learned a LOT from our time together. As a new farmer, I could quickly tell this woman has much knowledge to share about farming and growing.
Hidden River farm is indeed tucked away behind the “hidden” Elk River, which runs along the front of the property and usually is in...
Earth Ridge farm in Renick, WV, surrounded by a large oak forest, is an ideal place for raising pigs. Greenbrier Valley native Justin Lewis, who has been farming for four years, owns and operates the farm. “I started out interested in the preservation and selling of quality breeding stock and feeder pigs”, says Lewis.
He raises critically endangered and rare breeds of swine. Some (but certainly not all) of the breeds found on the farm include the slow growing Ossabaw Island Hog, Gloucestershire Old Spots, one of his best...
One of the original apple trees at Twin Sugars Orchard
Way up in Friars Hill in northern Greenbrier County apple trees at Twin Sugars Orchard are pink -tipped with the whites of the flower buds starting to peak through. It is late April and soon the trees will be in full bloom creating a forest of white and green. This is the time of year when the rose-breasted grosbeaks return and take refuge in the trees. “They always arrive when the trees are in bloom and their coloring is so similar they blend in, you have to look very...
If you stopped by the Indoor Winter Market, this winter you likely met Timothy Peregoy behind the counter at the Market Café or tried one of his amazing salad plates. Tim has been a part of the greater Greenbrier community for over 20 years. When he arrived here in 1994 he noticed there was no organized market in the county. He and a small group of others organized to start the Lewisburg Farmers Market.
Ever since leaving his short career as a humanities teacher, Tim has applied his love of teaching and learning to...