CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On Thursday, area residents crowded into the Charleston Mission Savvy Juice Bar and Cafe to pick up fresh, sustainable produce grown by Kanawha Valley farmers.
Each person had subscribed to Kanawha Valley Community Supported Agriculture -- a new program that plans to deliver locally grown produce to patrons once a week from June through September.
A subscription for the four-month season costs $500 for new members.
Leslie Drake, who been interested in community-supported agriculture for 20 years, chose to subscribe to the Kanawha Valley CSA because it uses local, organic, heirloom growing methods.
"Anything that has just been picked and goes straight from a farm to your hands is going to taste better and have more nutrients," Drake said.
She added that locally grown produce eliminates shipping, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and helping the environment.
Community Supported Agriculture provides more nutritious vegetables to the Charleston community and a steady stream of those vegetables.
"It's a great way to support local businesses," Drake said.
The program also encourages more creative ways to cook since chefs have to use new vegetables, Drake added.
Kelly Crane, who runs Kanawha Valley Community Supported Agriculture with her business partner, Terry Hudson, agreed.
Community Supported Agriculture provides more than just goods and services, Crane said. "It creates a community. People can network and exchange recipes."