Sprouting Farms Corp
About Sprouting Farms Production & Education Farm: Sprouting Farms is a four-season non-profit farm and an education and resource center located in Summers County, WV. We believe that long-lasting impact is created by training new farmers in quality and sustainable production techniques, and by providing shared resources and educational opportunities to the whole farm community. Our programs provide farmers with sound business management and production skills, hands-on training and mentorship, and the land and resources necessary to launch and refine their farm businesses. The farm in Talcott, WV is an 86 acre diversified specialty crop farm. We grow year-round in over 30 high tunnels and greenhouses. We also have several acres in seasonal field production. A fledgling agroforestry program is underway that will incorporate an on-farm hiking/biking trail system. The farm is located on the beautiful Greenbrier River and sits just outside of Hinton, WV where the New, Bluestone, and Greenbrier Rivers converge. We pair the opportunity to learn how to farm for profit with the love of the outdoors and all that these wild and wonderful mountains have to offer.
Sprouting Farms primary mission is to help beginning farmers improve their success in farming through an education, training, and technical assistance needed to make informed decisions for their operations and enhance their sustainability. The target audience for the Beginning Farmer Training Program (BFTP) is farmers in West Virginia who have never operated a farm or have operated a farm for less than ten years.
The Education & Training Farm is an 85-acre diversified specialty crop farm located on the Greenbrier River in Summers County, WV. The lower 15 acres house nearly all of the standard crop production, supporting (13) 100’ x 22.5’ high tunnels, (14) 200’ x 22.5’ high tunnels, (1) 50’ x 20’ high tunnel, and (1) 96’ x 30’ hydroponic greenhouse, as well as seasonal field production. At peak season there are approximately 12 acres in production. The lower section also supports the barn/offices, wash and pack space, an outdoor farm stand, cold storage for use by area farmers, and a shared tool shed. The upper 70 acres are leased for rotational grazing and standing hay and are the primary sites for research and development of a fledgling integrated agroforestry program.
Sprouting Farms offers experiential learning opportunities that include a combination of hands-on activities included facilitated reflection from farm staff as well as through e-modules:
Traditional Season BFTP: This program is offered for a six-month period from April through October. Trainees participate in the e-learning learning modules in addition to hands-on work on the farm.
Weekend Intensive BFTP: This program is offered one weekend a month for 9-months. Trainees access the e-learning modules in addition to hands-on work on the farm.
Workshop Series and Individualized Technical Assistance Program: This component will be built in 2021 based on the producer surveys. Participants will access e-modules and receive technical assistance.
Community Workshops: This program offers interactive on-farm events such as cooking classes, backyard gardening, nature walks, and more. The aim for the community workshops is to engage the community around food, farming, and local food systems.
Sprouting Farm’s incubator program offers land leases and a resource sharing program to support beginning farmers. The land lease program provides farm acreage in the form of high tunnels or field production space through lease arrangements at per-acre rates for Sprouting Farms participants and area farms to expand their production. Incubator farmers have access to essential space within the greenhouse, the tool shed, and other resources to address their production needs. They also receive routine and impromptu TA from the Sprouting Farms education team. Currently, this program supports nine small farm businesses.
The resource sharing program that provides tools, equipment, implements, bulk buying services, and labor sharing in order to increase local farms’ access to these resources. These resources serve onsite incubators and area farmers, allowing them to use scale-appropriate equipment without the capital expenditures required to purchase outright.
About Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective: Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective is a team of farmers, businesses, organizations, and nonprofits across West Virginia that work together to market, sell, and distribute local products for customers across the region. Our producers, drivers, sales, and processing team are passionate about local foods and providing quality fresh produce to our community. Our focus is “seed to box,” working with producers and buyers to bridge the necessary gap to fundamentally changing our approach to accessing local food. Turnrow formed the largest food collective in West Virginia by combining several food hubs and co-ops under one “roof”. We’re already growing to serve the greater region by working in surrounding states like Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia. We are working with approximately 75-100 farmers throughout the region to ensure that fresh, quality food is distributed quickly and efficiently to buyers that value the grit, dedication and craft that working in these mountains and valleys have required of our farmers for generations.
About Blue Acre Appalachian Aquaponics: Blue Acre Appalachian Aquaponics is an aquaponics production and training center located in Kermit, West Virginia. This project is funded by the WVDEP and US OSM Abandoned Mine Land Pilot program and began operation in late 2020. Aquaponics is a system in which the waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purifies the water. Our greenhouse has capacity to produce over 150,000 heads of fresh lettuce and over 20,000 pounds of fresh tilapia each year. Our aim is to operate the facility sustainably and employee 3 to 5 full-time staff while also offering workforce development and beginning farmer education and training opportunities. We hope this operation can become a production model that can be replicated across Central Appalachia to increase our ability to provide healthy and nutritious local food to our communities while growing farm businesses. Our facility will also implement an education program that will introduce aquaculture to college students, school groups, and others interested in learning about this production model.
About Greenville Farm Kitchen: Greenville Farm Kitchen is an FDA-approved food processing facility located in the former Greenville High School cafeteria in Monroe County, West Virginia. GFK’s processors are trained in their craft, proud of their work, and personally motivated to ensure its products are of the highest possible quality. This program utilizes WV and Central Appalachian grown produce to develop products such as apple chips and frozen produce while also providing workforce training for underemployed people and experiential learning opportunities for college students. In 2021, the GFK team is adding pickled vegetable products to their product lines in development. Greenville Farm Kitchen is proud to be part of a local food value chain that brings fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables from family and community farms to West Virginia customers.
About Sprouting Farms Community & Food Access Program: An often overlooked component of economic development is people. Our Community & Food Access Program provides gardening, farming, and cooking/nutrition information and resources to our community in-person and virtually through our social media. In order to develop flourishing farm businesses we must address food insecurity within our community. Our Community & Food Access Program works to connect local farmers’ produce and products to our food insecure community members by providing local produce at affordable prices through our farm stand and mobile market. The SF farm site has a farm stand to provide produce, seeds, and plants to the community. In 2021, we are preparing to launch our first mobile market route where we will take food into the most food insecure communities of Summers Co. We recently developed a relationship with a Summers Co Dollar General which will allow us to be the first mobile market in the nation to operate with a Dollar General as a host site. This is a significant precedent as Dollar Generals or other similar stores are often the only source of any food for miles in rural communities. Our mobile market and SF farm stand participates in all state and federal supplemental nutrition programs such as Senior Vouchers, EBT, and SNAP Stretch. The produce for the mobile market and farm stand is sourced directly from the Sprouting Farms production and education site and the incubators on site, as well as SF’s food hub, the Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective. We also work in partnership with statewide nutrition and food access programs such as KEYS 4 HealthyKids, WVU Extension, SNAP-Ed, and Mountaineer Food Bank. We coordinate the sourcing of produce for these programs through the Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective, we also provide our services to pack produce or facilitate markets for our partners with help from our AmeriCorps.
Accelerators and Incubators
- Co Working
- Market Research
Economic and Site Development
- Economic Development
Human Resources, Workforce and Talent
- Workforce Training
Internship Programs and Student Services
- Internship Program
- Student Training
- Online Courses and Videos
- Trade Education and Training