Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Meeting of the TVGA!

TVGA Meeting 1/18/2012

      The Tygart Valley Grower’s Association had their first meeting of the year yesterday at 7pm at the NRCS Philippi office. Everyone was excited about this year’s group seed order and eager to discuss the upcoming crops.  Ben Nemeth of WesMonTy RC&D passed out some information on organic Stinkbug management and discussed some resources from the CASA Future Harvest conference he recently attended.  Millie G. recommended a book called “The Farmer’s Market Cookbook” and made the point that chef’s input is important when deciding what to go grow to sell in to restaurants. She also inquired about an efficient means of seed storage and organization.   

   The new manager of the Philippi Garden Market, Reggie Trefethen, introduced himself and talked about his plans for the market this year. As it will be the market’s 20th year of operation, he has a lot of exciting things planned, and is hoping to open as early as the first of April. The growers were interested in learning about what sells well at the market and when, in order to plan some scheduling of their plantings. They also suggested that cooking demos, education and recipes might help customers appreciate and buy more of their produce. Many of the growers also expressed interesting in finding a local USDA butcher or processing facility, a desire that we have heard repeated over and over by farmers all over the state. 

     Dave P. discussed a trip to graft some fruit trees in the spring, and Ellie C. suggested a field trip to Dave Hawkins’ farm. Mary Beth L. suggested a pot-luck seed swap in the future and a potential group-order of High Tunnel supplies like irrigation tubing. Ben asked for a few volunteers to attend and present with him during his panel @ the small farms conference Mar 1-3 ( Attendance would be covered and carpooling could be arranged.  

For more info on the TVGA, check out