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Five Rivers Initiative

The Five Rivers Initiative is a movement within Nicholas County, WV that hopes to bring a much needed economic boost to the area.  This initiative involves farming and farm-related employment. 

What business man, except a soil worker, will ‘stop and talk’ with a stranger? Who but a farmer or fruit grower or gardener will tell his experience so fully and freely, and so entirely without hope of gain? Who else will so frankly reveal his business secrets for the benefit of his fellows? Who else so clearly recognizes the fact that the world is large enough for all mankind?”

Above is a quote from Henry Dreer, author of the book: Vegetables Under Glass: A Little Handbook Telling How to Till the Soil During Twelve Months of the Year (1896). Yes, this is a 110 page paperback book that was first published in 1896! It has been preserved by Cornell University because of its “cultural importance”. This book describes how vegetable growing and harvesting can be continued in the winter months in France and England. The techniques described in this paperback have been improved upon by such notable farmers as Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier; two of the leading proponents of “market gardening” in North America.

What is interesting is that many of the techniques described by these farmers have been used in central West Virginia for decades (if not centuries). What Five Rivers Cooperative hopes to accomplish is to teach new and beginning farmers in this region how to extend their growing seasons and to monetize their efforts. Farming, especially when using organic farming techniques is physically and economically rewarding.

Pictured is Norvill Clark, the Executive Director of Five Rivers Cooperative. Creating Five Rivers was an obsession for many years. Now it is a reality!

Pictured is Chris Lodge, our Farm Manager. Chris has an uncanny knack for growing tomatoes. He has expanded the variety of tomatoes that we now offer. He also loves growing peppers, cucumbers and snap beans (some call them green beans). Basically, he has what old timers like to call “a green thumb”.