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In This Issue
Local Harvest Potluck in Spencer Nov. 18
Free low tunnel gardening workshop Nov. 18
Field trip for aspiring cheesemakers
Seminars on medicinal uses of mountain roots
Accessing Land: Recommended Reading
Project Spotlight: WesMonTy RC&D Blog

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Coalition is establishing a statewide conversation about the development of local food systems across West Virginia, with the goal of providing healthy, locally-produced food to all citizens, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups. 

The Coalition's startup process is advised by a temporary advisory committee.  As we gain members, we are working towards a more developed decision-making structure inclusive of the various geographic regions of the state as well as a broad range of stakeholders.  We invite you to get involved!

The West Virginia Community
Development Hub
is a statewide non-profit organization with the mission of engaging communities and providers in an intentional, aligned and continuous system of community development.
Join our mailing list, join our network!

Greetings from the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition!  'Tis the season for row covers, apple butter making, farmers market wrap-up meetings, and harvest dinners -- a good time of year, and a settling one.  We hope it finds you well.  Please read on for news and events...

Tri-State Farm & Food Conference a success
Congratulations are due to the WVU Small Farm Center and Unlimited Future for a successful Tri-State Farm & Food Conference.  We enjoyed seeing many of you there.  The event was so well-received that we hear rumors it may be repeated next year, and possibly even in other areas of the state.  Our panel discussion on beginning farmers featured Julie Schaer of The Potager, Matt Starline of Starline Organics, and Larry Gardner of Gardner Farm.  Thanks for lending your knowledge, thoughts and expertise.

Get connected to WV local foods discussions

Our new web site features a "Get Connected!" portal to help you to tell us more about yourself.  With this information we are creating a statewide database of food system stakeholders.  Visiting this page enables to you be included (if you wish) in statewide conversations about specific topics you're interested in (e.g. farmers markets, SNAP benefits, resources for producers, etc.) as well as conversations with other people in your geographic region.  Please take a moment now and get connected!

Food & Farm Coalition joins Northeast Beginning Farmers Learning Network

At the end of October we attended a meeting hosted by Cornell University's Northeast Beginning Farmers program with about thirty other organizations who provide assistance to beginning and aspiring farmers -- from internship programs to business planning to land access assistance.  Thus begins our research on how our collective efforts in WV could better serve the needs of new farmers, sustaining agriculture into the next generation.  Are you a new or experienced farmer with thoughts and ideas to contribute?  Please contact us.

This is your space. 
This is YOUR newsletter and YOUR Coalition.  If you have suggestions, announcements or resources you would like to share please contact us.

Upcoming Events 
Local Harvest Potluck in Roane County

 Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6:00 p.m. Heritage Park Community Building Spencer, WV

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by: Roane Wellness Coalition, WVU Extension, HUB Community Development, and AmeriCorps VISTA

  • Share food and swap garden stories from your 2010 harvest
  • Connecting local food, healthy soil, and feeling great
  • Students, agencies, and market outlets will have table displays on food and health.
  • Time to share ideas for building a healthy community

If possible, please bring a covered dish made partly out of some local food.

For More Information Contact:

Alley Snider, Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department 304 927 1480 alley.n.snider@wv.gov

WVU Extension hosts free low tunnel gardening workshops

Those with an interest in extending the life of their gardens are invited to attend one of West Virginia University Extension Service's free low tunnel workshops, hosted by WVU Extension Commercial Horticulture Specialist Lewis Jett.  Each session will focus on winter crops, with attendees learning how to use a full spectrum of tools to protect their gardens.  Techniques in using raised beds, frost blankets and low and high tunnels will be covered.

Thursday, Nov.18, 1-4 pm at White Farm near Spencer

Directions:  From Spencer, use these directions to get to the workshop: travel on US Rt. 33, West to Peniel Road.  Travel 8 miles on Peniel Road toward Jackson County line. Rod White's Farm will be the last driveway on left, before Fairview Drive (the old Board Hill Rd). Look for a large black mailbox and a red Chevy Suburban at the end of the driveway.  The location is approximately 18 miles from the first intersection in Spencer.  For more information, contact Brabham (Brandy.Brabham@mail.wvu.edu) or call the WVU Extension Service Roane County Office at 304-927-0975.

Aspiring WV Cheesemakers: Join a field trip to Vermont!

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the WVU Small Farm Center are planning a trip to Vermont to study cheesemaking methods and equipment and speak with farmers who are engaged in the business, as well as those who teach cheesemaking in Vermont.  They are seeking interested agents and farmers! The date and other arrangements will be influenced by those interested in participating. This is the first step toward developing a cheese community and huge step toward learning what our cheese industry could look like.  If you are interested in this educational opportunity, please contact Carrie See (WVU Extension Small Farm Center) at (304) 293-2715 or Carrie.See@mail.wvu.edu.

WV Society of American Foresters offers seminar on medicinal uses of mountain roots

The WV Society of American Foresters in collaboration with the WVU Extension Service and the Frostburg State Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies is sponsoring the "Mountain Roots" seminar.  This evening seminar is taught by certified herbalist Mimi Hernandez, who describes traditional medicinal uses of many of our woods grown roots. 

The fall seminars will take place as follows:

Wood County WVU Extension office, Parkersburg--Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kanawha County WVU Extension office, Charleston--Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Raleigh County WVU Extension office, Beckley--Monday, December 6, 2010

All seminars run 6:30-8:30pm.  Registration begins at 6pm and costs $5 at the door.  Light refreshments will be served.  Contact:  David W. McGill, Ph.D., Forestry Extension Specialist, WVU Appalachian Hardwood Center, Ph: 304-293-5930 / Email: dmcgill@wvu.edu

Food for Thought

Accessing Land: Recommended Reading

The Greenhorns, a national group that recruits, supports and promotes young farmers, recently released Land. Liberty. Sunshine. Stamina: a Mini-Compendium on Land Tenure Resources, based on presentations at their Land Access Forum in September.  Although some aspects are specific to the state of New York, aspiring or current farmers may find this to be useful reading with some good ideas on how to secure land

By the way, The Greenhorns also publishes The Greenhorns Guide for Beginning Farmers (free), which is recommended reading for anyone considering a farm career.

Project Spotlight: WesMonTy RC&D Blog

WesMonTy Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) runs a variety of useful and innovative programs to help farmers and market local produce within its region of north central West Virginia.  With help from AmeriCorps*VISTA Ben Nemeth, the RC&D operates a blog to keep the general public informed about its work.  For some good inspirational reading, take a look:


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