West Virginia Tomatoes, Sustainability and Hungry Adventurers

Photo of Tomato on the vine: David Besa, Sonoma, USA

Photo: David Besa, Sonoma, USA

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes
What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love & homegrown tomatoes

Guy Clark, Homegrown Tomatoes

So we’re doing the sustainability thing here at ACE, because, well, we think it goes hand in hand with sharing our love of the outdoors. We not only want to get out on West Virginia rivers and trails and lakes, we also want to do our part to minimize our impacts on those resources.

To that end, we’ve planted a big garden right in our backyard just like West Virginians have done for generations.

Putting the land to work

To give you an idea just how homegrown this produce is, Ernie Kincaid, our Vice President and local heavy machinery operator, started the tomato seedlings right in his kitchen this spring.

When the plants were ready, he took them up to the garden spot near the Mountain Top Campground and planted them. The ACE crew then built a high tunnel over the whole thing. Building the high tunnel extends the growing season, by protecting the crops from fluctuations in West Virginia weather, especially in the spring.

Now we pick fresh, ripe heirloom tomatoes, along with varieties of lettuce, spinach, radishes and basil and bring them down the hill to use in the dishes we serve our guests after a day of white water rafting or any other adventures here at ACE.

More than just great tasting tomatoes

The best part is that the produce we’re growing in our high tunnel tastes good to you. But there’s more to the story. The benefits of growing our own produce on a small scale results in more nutritious crops and reduces the need for pesticides to control for weeds and bugs.

Tomato plants in ACE's high tunnel

Also, growing our own produce results in less reliance on tomatoes that have been shipped over hundreds or thousands of miles, as well as fewer fuel emissions. Instead of California tomatoes, we get homegrown West Virginia tomatoes, some of the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes in the world.

Can you think of any great sustainable projects that could be implemented at ACE? Let us know in the comments.

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