Wild Ramp provides Huntington with locally grown food

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Wild Ramp provides Huntington with locally grown food

The Wild Ramp is located in Old City Central in Huntington. It is open seven days a week and all year round.

The Wild Ramp is located in Old City Central in Huntington. It is open seven days a week and all year round.

Brianna Paxton

The Wild Ramp is located in Old City Central in Huntington. It is open seven days a week and all year round.

Brianna Paxton

Brianna Paxton

The Wild Ramp is located in Old City Central in Huntington. It is open seven days a week and all year round.

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The Wild Ramp, located in Old Central City, Huntington, is a local market that commits to connecting local farmer’s directly to the community.

Its mission of operating a community-supported market that provides a viable economic outlet for local food producers while providing consumers access to locally grown agricultural lasts all year around.

“Most of the farmer’s markets like the one we’re hosting now are here a couple days of the week,” said Sarah Lane, assistant manager at The Wild Ramp. “The Wild Ramp wanted to offer a place that’s nonprofit where our farmer’s can come, drop off food and provide that every day of the week, expect for Sundays and year around. That way they get to go home. That’s better profit for everybody and provides food for the community consistently because traditional early morning farmer’s markets don’t always work for families.”

The Cabell Country Tailgate Farmer’s Market, located behind the Wild Ramp, runs June through Oct. 31, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, opening 7 a.m. until the produce runs out.

The final days of the season do not slow down the growing for these local farmers.

“Your warm weather crops, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, things like that are your early crops,  and once the frost hits you have your cold crops ,your greens, turnips, cabbage and things that can hold the colder weather,” Dane Steele said.

Dane Steele is a local farmer from Fayette County, Ohio. He has been raising and selling produce for 13 years to the Farmer’s Only Market.

Steele said this is important because people are not allowed to buy the produce and bring it in, everyone raises their own.

“It keeps people tied to the land, which is important,” Steele said. “You get fresh, nutritious food and one of these days the trucks may not run. I just heard the other day there’s about 4.5 million people in America that raise their own food. So, if the trucks quit running for whatever reason there’s going to be a disaster. The more local produce you have the easier it’s going to be on a community in case of difficult times.”

Lewis Bodieme, a local farmer who partners with his family to raise and sell local produce, has been doing this since he was born and his passion continues to grow.

“I love doing it,” Bodiemer said. “Plant in the spring and it gives you something to look forward to, you can watch it grow. It’s really fun, you get to work on your own, make your own money. You don’t have a boss telling you what to do. It’s fun growing it, coming down here and selling it. You can live off the land, you don’t have to spend all your money at the grocery stores. You don’t have to buy your canned food that has all kinds of chemicals and everything.”

Lewis Bodiemer and his parents, Lewie and Rebecca Bodiemer, have been a part of the Tailgate Farmer’s Market for over 25 years.

There is a growing concern in our society about the ethical treatment of our foods, both meat and vegetables. As ethical concerns continue to rise about the treatment of our foods, so do the prices. Lillian Bryd has been a customer to the local Farmer’s Market for over 40 years. She proudly showed off her bench covered in bags full of local produce.

“I got all this stuff for $8, now I couldn’t go up there to the store and get this for $8,” local customer, Byrd said. “This is fresh. Only the good lord and the people at Kroger know how long that cabbage has been there or where it came from. This is locally grown, we know where it comes from.”

The Wild Ramp eases ethical concerns for their customers about where their nutritional foods come from by ensuring they’re fully up-to date on the products they offer and where they come from.

“I think one of the best things about buying local is your money stays local, you’re putting your dollars where your heart is,” Lane said. “It’s nice to know who your farmer is, you can come ask one of us and say hey, these are my concerns, these are my dietary needs and we can tell you confidently what all of those practices are and who lines up with those ethics.”

Local meats available at The Wild Ramp are ash-free, antibiotics free, hormone free and steroid free.

“A lot of it is pastured versus free range,” Lane said. “A lot of the free range commercial industry just means there’s a twenty-five foot pen with three hundred chickens in it and that’s not really helping anybody. If The Wild Ramp feels like something shady is going on with their farmers, we go visit them. You can feel good about the food your get here.”

The Wild Ramp is a non-profit organization that takes just enough money out of every dollar to “keep the lights on,” as Lane would say, 15 cents to be exact. It has a three person staff with a strong volunteer community. The Wild Ramp volunteers get rewarded community service hours while networking and meeting new people.

The Wild Ramp market hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brianna Paxton can be contacted at [email protected]

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