US (WV): Organic growers earn plenty, but where's the local demand?

Redbud Farm in Berkeley County, W.Va., was among West Virginia's 16 certified-organic farms that sold nearly $4 million in commodities in 2015, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Statistic Service report released last month.

Yet Inwood, W.Va.-area farm owners Haroun Hallack and his wife, Clarissa Mathews, said they primarily sell their produce and flowers at Washington, D.C.-area farm markets because the demand for organic products simply isn't strong enough closer to home.

"That's what we wanted to do ... but you have to stay in business," Mathews said Tuesday.

The lack of demand also prompted the couple to discontinue its Community Supported Agriculture program in the Hagerstown and Martinsburg areas, where customers once received multiple varieties of organic produce during the growing season.

"We would never make it if we marketed locally," Mathews said.


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