When Nikki Parker began growing her vegetable garden a few years ago, she did not dream that her produce eventually would be featured at popular local restaurants.
Thanks to connections made through Patriot Guardens, an agricultural initiative of the West Virginia National Guard, Parker’s Four Arrows Farm is supplying fresh vegetables to restaurants like 1010 Bridge and The Pitch.
“The idea that a restaurant is using my produce is truly like living a dream,” Parker said. “I am absolutely blown away that my first year in business I was able to get this opportunity.”
Maj. Chris Parker of the West Virginia National Guard’s 111th Engineering Brigade, Nikki’s husband, grew up around farming. Her mother and grandmother did a lot of canning, she said, and that inspired her to get into production herself.
“For me, growing is almost like therapy,” Parker said. “I just enjoy working in the high tunnel, growing things from seed and seeing the reward.”
Like many Guard families, the Parkers started farming with the hope of having continued income after Maj. Parker retires from the military.
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