When I first began my service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in November, I began to draw a “kinship chart” to fully comprehend who the different characters were in the stories I was hearing around the office. The characters included farmers, service agents, legislators, professors, nutritionists, community organizers, nonprofit partners, artists, chefs, and consumers from across the state and the Appalachian Region. Each and every one of the “characters” contributed to West Virginia’s food and farm community, and I, a student of anthropology, resorted to a “kinship chart” to illustrate the relations between them and to understand this statewide network. Today, I no longer rely on the chart. In the five months since joining the Coalition, I’ve either had the opportunity to meet, speak, or email with many members of the food and farm community.
A protagonist featured in many of these stories contributes to the food and farm community as a farmer, an educator, and a man of influence. And, for many of us across the state of West Virginia his name has become synonymous with everything high tunnel.
In late February at the West Virginia Small Farm Conference, I was finally introduced to the character of many stories, Terry Hudson, the founder of Hudson Farms, LLC. A couple weeks later Spencer Moss and I traveled to Big Chimney to discover the beginnings of a growing season and the making of Hudson Farms’ mobile market. The biodynamic farm, conveniently located 20 minutes outside of Charleston, West Virginia, provides the Kanawha Valley Foodshed access to a variety of produce and eggs through CSA shares, farm-to-table dinners, restaurants in downtown Charleston, and a mobile market coming June 2016.
To learn more about Hudson Farms’ mobile market, check out this video created by Spencer Moss, Communications Director with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition. And, stay tuned for a Hudson Farms mobile market update in June 2016!