PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Locally grown food, always popular in the Mountain State, is becoming even more so.
“The local food movement is really taking off in West Virginia. We are one of the top states for caring about local food and local food sourcing,” said Elizabeth Spellman, executive director of the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition.
For proof, Spellman cited the 2015 Locavore Index, which ranks West Virginia 14th best among the states in consuming locally-produced food.
Farmers markets are the most visible evidence of the movement.
West Virginia Department of Agriculture spokesman Buddy Davidson said that in 2002 the department identified only 16 farmers markets in the state. “In 2014 we had nearly 180 markets that accepted vouchers in farmers’ market nutrition programs,” he said.
West Virginia farmers market sales increased from $4 million in 2012 to $9 million last year, according to the farmers market association.
Farmers markets are visible because of the interaction between farmers and consumers but they are just one facet of the local food movement…