General About the Organization/Mission
Grow Ohio Valley is a not-for-profit based in Wheeling, West Virginia with a mission to strengthen communities, families, and residents through growing food, sustainable living, and economic development.
The organization's vision for Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley includes:
- Vacant city lots will become fertile and productive, and serve to galvanize communities around food and health.
- Residents of low-income neighborhoods will have access to low-cost, healthy organic vegetables, and be shown how home gardening can supplement their families’ budgets.
- School cafeterias and restaurants will furnish menus with locally grown organic herbs and vegetables.
- Local family farms will thrive.
- Backyard and community gardens will be the rule rather than the exception.
- Grocery stores will carry locally produced, healthy and bulk foods, creating market opportunities for local farmers.
- Entrepreneurs will emerge and enter new cottage-industries with new specialty food products, and new jobs will be created to package and process local foods.
Grow Ohio Valley serves communities through community gardens, low income food access programs, a mobile farmers market, and urban farm education. The organization operates programs in Ohio and Marshall Counties in West Virginia, and Belmont County in Ohio.
|Type of Organization||Non-profit, Local Food|
Ken Peralta, Executive Director
Phone: (304) 620-9181
Issues of Focus
- Urban Farming
- Community Gardens
- Low-Income Fresh Food Access
- Agriculture Education
History of Organization
Grow Ohio Valley was formed in 2014 when leaders of East Wheeling Community gardens joined with Black Swan Organics to expand the scope of local food access and availability throughout the entire Wheeling area. GrowOV expanded growing at Farm18, hiring a full time farm manager and expanding to 38 CSA members. In 2015 the organization doubled CSA membership, constructed a greenhouse complex, and launched a mobile farmers market.
Programs and Projects
"Farm18" is Grow Ohio Valley's urban farmstead, located on 18th Street in East Wheeling. The farm utilizes no-till and permaculture principles to overcome urban gardening obstacles (rubble, soil contamination, etc), while raising organic fruits and vegetables, chickens, and honeybees. The farm sits on land owned by the West Virginia Division of Highways under the WV Route 2/US 250 viaduct.
East Wheeling Greenhouse Complex
The complex of two greenhouses incorporates elements of geothermal, solar collection, thermal banking, groundwater retention, and underground heat exchange, this greenhouse uses the whole lexicon of sustainability in its design and operation. The facility provides seedlings and starts for GrowOV's farming operations, as well as directly marketed to local residents.
Mobile Farmers Market
In 2015 GrowOV launched a custom-designed mobile farmers market to bring fresh, local food to communities throughout the Wheeling area. The market has roughly 20 stops, and primarily targets communities with large amounts of elderly and low-income residents - who often also lack access to transportation.
Appalachian Immersion Trips
Grow Ohio Valley hosts groups of 3-30 students several days per week as part of Appalachian Immersion experience and service trips. Students a the high school and college level learn about local food systems and permaculture.
Youth Garden Education
Throughout the school year GrowOV provides garden-based education programming for elementary and middle school students.
Partners and Frequent Collaborators