MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Spring temperatures have arrived in north central West Virginia, which means it’s gardening time.
On Tuesday, Operation Welcome Home’s Veterans Agriculture Training Program met for the first time to start planning what they will be gardening this season.
The veterans had the help of the WVU Master Gardeners to plant diverse and colorful fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. Specialists had them start with potatoes, peas, spinach, radishes, carrots and swiss chard.
“We’re using raised bed systems. We’re showing that you can grow food on an area without using the soil on the farm but you can actually make your own soil … we’re just showing that we can do this in any part of West Virginia,” said Louis Jett, WVU Extension Services Horticulture Specialist.
This is the first time the veterans have been able to have the program in the new greenhouse high tunnel at Mylan Park that was built in 2021. The greenhouse will be used for year-round planting.
Specialists said they want to show veterans that there is a strong demand for local food.
“We’re just trying to showcase that we can grow food year-round here in West Virginia, the ways to grow it year-round and we can also market and turn this into a profitable business,” Jett said.
The class meets every 10 to 14 days to check on the progress of the gardens and to harvest the finished products.
Enrollment for the Veterans Agriculture Training Program is still open. More information can be found here.