It's winter and there is snow on the ground but the Tygart Valley Growers Association is already thinking about gardening. They've just completed a group order for seeds and are making plans for marketing fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Tygart Valley Growers Association (TVGA) is a group of farmers/growers committed to quality locally grown foods. The association uses sustainable agricultural practices with a mind towards environmental stewardship. Many members have high tunnels allowing them to provide fresh produce much earlier and later than the normal growing season.
Members meet monthly for education, fellowship and sharing ideas. These meetings are open to the public. If you are a grower of fruits and vegetables, they invite you to join in. The next meeting will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Soil Conservation District Office in Philippi. Tom McConnell from the WVU Extension Small Farm Center will be the guest speaker. Members will be discussing ways to organize to enhance marketing, cooperation, and education.
As a group, the TVGA has marketed to restaurants and schools. They look forward to increased marketing in the future. If you are interested in obtaining quality local produce this spring and summer, contact them.
As part of the members' interest in education, they will be providing a carpool to Glenville State College Jan. 26 for the 2013 Farm Opportunities Day Conference. For more information about this conference, see www.anr.ext.wvu.edu/farm-opportunities.
Members are also making plans for attending the West Virginia Small Farm Conference: smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/conference. If you are interested in fresh local produce and/or these conferences, email at TVGA2013@gmail.com or call Mary Beth Lind at 304-457-1420.