West Virginia is home to many close knit communities. As strong as we identify as mountaineers, we identify with the city, town or unincorporated areas we come from. Whether that's Charleston, Sophia or Forks of Coal. We know the businesses, churches and institutions that make up our main streets and neighborhoods and we're proud to support each other.
One of the centers in our communities is our schools. Our local businesses take out advertising in the yearbooks and on the signs that line the high school football fields. Our neighbors gather at ball games and other events at the schools.
The State Journal recently shared another way that individuals can partner with their community schools. A group of farmers in Preston County is now working to provide local food for their county's school district.
From The State Journal
As part of the Preston Growers’ Co-op, Stemple partners with several other local farms to provide fresh goods to the local school district. The co-op acts as a conglomerate, each offering diffrent products and filling in gaps.
“Since farms and small farms in particular can’t provide every kind of product, teaming up to meet our customers diffrent needs has worked out great,” Stemple said. “My farm can provide lettuce, while another farm can provide potatoes and so on.”
If the district, for example, orders 500 pounds of tomatoes, the tomatoes can come from any of the farms in the co-op or even multiple farms if the order is large enough. This streamlines the ordering process while allowing each farm to profit.
In addition to the ease of ordering, Stemple said that locally grown produce will always be fresher than anything that needs shipped in.
Read more about this program in the State Journal.