The W.Va. Department of Agriculture will host nine farm-to-table dinners at state park restaurants between June 15 and September 12 in conjunction with the W.Va. Farmers Market Association and the state Department of Natural Resources.
Several dinners this year will heighten the excitement with themes that compliment the local food pairings, including “Hoedown-on-the-Hill” at Chief Logan park and “Pickin'-Pull” at Pipestem.
According to Kent Leonhardt, state Commissioner of Agriculture, the mission of each theme dinner to enhance the overall atmosphere of the dinner or further educate participants about local food.
“Our goal has always been to introduce more local products into state-owned properties. State park restaurants are a great way to do just that,” Leonhardt said.
Jeanie Smith, communications chair of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association, said she's excited that so many people will have the opportunity to enjoy West Virginia foods.
"It's a great opportunity to show off what our state parks and West Virginia farmers markets have to offer," she said.
Dinner Dates and Locations
Pipestem Resort State Park (Summers County): Saturday, June 15
Holly River State Park (Webster County): Thursday, July 25
Twin Falls Resort State Park (Wyoming County): Friday, August 16
Hawks Nest State Park (Fayette County): Saturday, August 17
North Bend State Park (Ritchie County): Thursday, August 22
Chief Logan State Park (Logan County): Friday, August 23
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park (Pocahontas County): Thursday, August 29
Cacapon Resort State Park (Morgan County): Tuesday, September 10
Canaan Valley Resort State Park (Tucker County): Thursday, September 12
Leondardt stressed the continued need for state agencies to support farmers and producers.
“To ensure food security in West Virginia, state institutions must show a commitment to local producers. We must work alongside producers and food providers on an overarching effort to grow our food systems. Networking with one another helps each point on the distribution chain better plan and understand how to work together.”