New River Gorge farm to launch online farmer's market

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New River Gorge farm to launch online farmer's market
Farm manager Susanna Wheeler tends a garden at New Roots Community Farm near Fayetteville, West Virginia.

Technology is providing a boost for farming and agritourism in the northern New River Gorge Region, thanks to a partnership between a central-Appalachian agricultural collective and a community farm initiative near Fayetteville, West Virginia.

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will host a community dinner and launch party at near Fayetteville on March 6 to celebrate the launch of the new Fayetteville Online Farmers Market, which will be based at .

According to Kelsey Abad, a spokesman for Turnrow, the online market will serve local farmers as well as local consumers.

"Through the partnership, farmers in and around Fayetteville now have a resource to sell their fresh products to customers in every corner of West Virginia," Abad said.

"And customers in and around Fayetteville can now access a huge array of foods produced by farmers across West Virginia."

Participants in March 6 meeting, to begin at 5 p.m., will learn to set up an online account that will enable them to shop for fresh foods produced across the state.

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They may also enjoy meat or vegan chili, fresh-baked bread, and a winter greens salad prepared with ingredients from local and regional farmers.

Live music performed by Matt Mullins and craft beer will round out the celebration. Many area farmers will be in attendance, Abad said, and the community is invited to meet the folks who grow their food.

Turnrow is a coordinated group of farmers and organizations that market, sell, distribute, and process local products for customers across the region and is the largest food collective in West Virginia, serving a regional customer base that reaches beyond into Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Approximately 100 farmers partner with Turnrow throughout the region to ensure fresh, quality food is distributed quickly and efficiently to buyers, Abad said.

New Roots Community Farm, a project of the Fayette County Resource Coordinator’s Office, offers access to food grown in the northern New River Gorge region, according to farm manager Susanna Wheeler.

The farm provides opportunities for businesses to begin or expand farming operations and provides community garden space and vocational training for farmers and affords a local food-distribution site.

Educational and community opportunities at the farm include program planning, infrastructure development, apprenticeship programming, community engagement, crop planning, and planting, land leasing, local food distribution hub, and fall harvest.

To learn more about the farm, contact Susanna Wheeler at susanna.l.wheeler@wv.gov. For more information about the event, contact Kelsey Abad at kelsey@turnrowfarms.org.

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