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Made in America

Farms Across America: Growing Hope in Appalachia with Patriot Guardens

My family has a long history of service. My father, uncle, several cousins, and both grandfathers all served our nation proudly across generations, battles, and branches. And, deeply ingrained in them is an inherent love of country – the people who make America great as well as the rich natural resources of our lands.  The story of Patriot Guardens is that story. 

Patriot Guardens helps to build resiliency in veterans and civilians across West Virginia, bringing them back to the land to heal themselves, while revitalizing the local community and economy. 

For a state rich in natural resources, #WestVirginia is the sixth poorest state in the country. The West Virginia National Guard’s Patriot Guardens program aims to change that through their joint initiative of agricultural and economic development. Patriot Guardens is their boots-on-the-ground, all-hands-on-deck approach to building infrastructure– and everyone can do it, no matter where they live.

Despite having a high number of small family farms throughout the state, West Virginia is not known for its agriculture, but #PatriotGuardens sees a future where West Virginians grow and enjoy their own food on a small-scale community level, feeding the entire state and eradicating food deserts across Appalachia. With its mountainous geography, WV has to get creative about its agricultural production. So Patriot Guardens is teaching people to grow vertically, hydroponically, aeroponically, successfully. It’s the West Virginia mountaineers way, centered in a long-standing heritage of self-reliance and innovation.

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