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Pikewood Energy Donation Helps Market With Most Successful Season

September 26, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

The Wetzel County Farmers Market is having a record year, and it would not be possible without the generosity of community organizations.

This is the second year Pikewood Energy has supported the local farmers market with a Diamond Sponsorship. Pikewood Energy has been buying mineral rights in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania for several years. They are a local company operated in Morgantown and understand the value of having farmers markets available to provide fresh produce to the communities in which they operate.

Another Diamond sponsor for the 2018 market season was the Wetzel County Commission. The commission has supported the Wetzel County Farmers Market in starting the market in Hundred as it helps an area, that is a food desert, get access to local produce.

Article Photos

Photo Provided
Pictured is Ryan Bashour, founder and president of Pikewood Energy, along with Holly Morgan, Wetzel County Farmers Market Manager.

The Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau was a Silver Sponsor, and Upper Ohio Conservation District was a Bronze Sponsor of the market. The funds received were used to purchase signage, pay entertainment and cover the extra operating expenses of the new market in Hundred.

To date, this is the most successful market season Wetzel County Farmers Market has experienced. The visitor attendance is 30 percent higher than in 2017, and 223 percent higher than 2016. The market has had the most vendors to date at 16. The market this year has welcomed a variety of new vendors in addition to produce and baked good vendors. The Wetzel County Farmers Market has had handmade jewelry, linen sprays, bug repellent, sugar scrubs, soaps and shirts. There have been several quality entertainers at the market with performers such as Bill Stokes playing dulcimer, Ben Tharp, Pickin' Daisies, Mark Goldstein and Clinton Utt.

The market is not only a place to shop and spend time with friends, as it can also be a tool for education. Girl Scout Troop 51301 took a tour of the market and learned where their food comes from and got to try some new things. They really enjoyed the chickens that vendor Loretta brought in for them to see. Kacey Gantzer of the Wetzel Virginia Department of Agriculture offered educational materials and advice to visitors in July.

Wetzel County Hope and Memories had a fundraising hot dog stand at the market, which was a hit with shoppers and the other vendors. The Back Home Appalachian Arts and Music Festival had an informational booth set up before their festival.

The Wetzel County Farmers Market organizers want to thank customers most of all, "because, without you, there would not be a market."

"When you purchase something from the Wetzel County Farmers Market you can be assured that it is locally grown, produced or made right here in Wetzel or Tyler counties. Spending money at farmers markets put money directly back into your own community."

The Wetzel County Farmers Market will host its last market of the year in New Martinsville at Bruce Park on Thursday Sept. 27 from 3:30-6 p.m. The last market in Hundred at the former West Virginia State Police Barracks will be Saturday Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to noon.



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