Refresh Appalachia by Coalfield Development is an economic and workforce development initiative in southern West Virginia. By providing training in farm and food entrepreneurship, we aim to transform the lives of young people and those displaced by the coal mining industry.
Refresh Appalachia is an economic and workforce development initiative in southern West Virginia. By providing training in farm and food entrepreneurship, we aim to transform the lives of young people and those displaced from the coal mining industry. Refresh Appalachia was founded in 2015 as an agriculture-focused enterprise of Coalfield Development. Like all the social enterprises of Coalfield Development, we aim to operate like a business but also to provide services in ways and places that aren’t being being served by the private sector. We work to build our own thriving food and farm businesses, but also to strengthen other farmers throughout the region. We provide training, market access, and distribution services for farmers. We strive to make healthy food more accessible in our communities by creating new market outlets that serve low- and middle-income people.
We aim to aid more than 100 local farmers in southern WV by providing support and development of resources and measure our success by the “triple bottom line”: people, planet and profit. And because we are a nonprofit, all our earnings cycle back into supporting our crew members and serving our communities. Our crews, our farms and our food hub all play an integral role in advancing our “triple bottom line” objectives. In cooperation with Greenbrier Valley Grown, we provide an online shopping portal for customers to purchase a variety of products during weekly periods of sales. These items are then distributed at several different pick up sites.
We are excited to announce that the Greenbrier Valley Grown Food Hub in Southeastern West Virginia and Refresh Appalachia’s Food Hub in Southwestern West Virginia are joining forces. Together, we look forward to growing markets for more producers across southern West Virginia and expanding access to local food.
Both oranganizations started and ran their own food hubs in 2017, jointly grossing over $200,000. To reach financial sustainability and improve efficiency the organizations decided to combine operations starting in 2018. The combined food hub is now planning and implementing key activities such as production planning, post-harvest handling and food safety, marketing, sales, and delivery across southern West Virginia.
The partnership will continue to collectively grow and support our existing aggregation and distribution activities but will also rely on key partnerships with existing distributors in the region. Together, we aim to open new market options and enrich relationships between producers, buyers, consumers, and our regional communities.
Join us October 19, 2019, in Milton for the inaugural Local By Local: A Food & Farm Conference & Expo. The free event will feature local producers and industry experts leading sessions in business management, farm financials, diversifying your income, marketing and selling your story, and navigating regulations. In addition, the event will include a networking social, exhibition hall and a free locally-sourced lunch. But hurry, registration ends soon! For complete details, check out our post!
Refresh Appalachia’s Meat Sale: Place your order here for local, humanely raised pastured meats! We’ve teamed up with some of the best of West Virginia’s farmers (Black Oak Holler Farm, Swift Level Fine Meats, Noni’s Farm, and of course our own farms at Refresh Appalachia) to bring you this amazing all-natural pork, chicken, beef, lamb and local trout. Proceeds help support our beginning farmer training programs at Refresh Appalachia.
Food Service Distribution: Our truck delivers weekly to Huntington, Charleston, Williamson, and areas in between. Restaurants, grocery stores and food service customers can order a range of items our our seasonal price list. Most produce is harvested only 24-48 hours before delivery!
Farm Share Subscription Program benefits:
Mini Markets: We partner with retailers, corner stores and restaurants to offer produce in places where fresh food is hard to come by. We help business owners to set up a produce area in their store, and then supply the food.
Refresh Appalachia is currently Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified on one of its farms, and working towards certifying all of our farms. We ask all our partner farms to be trained in GAP and to use our Food Safety Checklist to improve their on-farm food safety practices. We prioritize sourcing from farms that use sustainable farming practices, including organic or biological pest control, natural fertilizers and cover crops.
We currently purchase from small and mid-sized producers in the Charleston, Huntington, Hamlin and Williamson areas and the communities in between. We buy produce, meats, poultry, dairy and eggs. We are also interested in value added items (breads, cheeses, canned goods, snacks, etc.) that are labelled for resale.
We place orders with producers once a week and generally pick up 24-48 hours later at various locations along our driving route. We pay within 14 days. Selling to Refresh Appalachia might be right for you if…
Contact us today for more info about selling with us.
Refresh Appalachia has a great team, does interesting projects, provides lots of training and is always trying new things. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services!