The Blue Acre Story
Few would recognize the possibility of a little plot of land off US Route 52, but the innovative and industrious people of Kermit, the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, and Sprouting Farms, saw potential and together created a new wave of opportunity for the region. Blue Acre—a response to a local need and a product of possibility—was the result.
By serving as a source of healthy local food, jobs, income, and training, Blue Acre Appalachian Aquaponics, signifies a new direction for the region—the start of a new economy built for the 21st century and the next wave in farming. While it promises to gather momentum and lift a lot of people up, it isn’t the kind of wave that will sweep anyone away or leave them behind. Collectively- imagined and locally-rooted, Blue Acre’s path and trajectory belong to its community.
When you buy Blue Acre Foods, you join this
community and become part of a larger movement to reshape the economic and local food landscape in West Virginia.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a sustainable method of farming that combines raising fish in tanks with growing plants in water. The nutrient-rich water from raising the fish is used as a natural fertilizer for the plants, and the plants help to purify the water for the fish. This system mimics the ecosystems of rivers and lakes for natural, efficient agricultural production that requires less water, land and labor than traditional methods.
The Blue Acre greenhouse has capacity to produce over 150,000 heads of fresh lettuce and over 20,000 pounds of fresh tilapia each year.
Ty is a former underground coal miner who now works as Blue Acre's General Manager. Ty enjoys sports, the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
Christian is a graduate of Marshall University with degrees in Science, Chemistry and History. He enjoys traveling and visiting state parks.
Jack is a graduate of WVU Tech with a degree in electrical engineering technology. He formerly worked for Columbia Gas for 28 years.
Funding and Partners
Blue Acre is a unique education and economic development project in the coalfields of Southern West Virginia. Great investment has been made into this facility, program and community; with high hopes and expectations. Blue Acre is a joint project between Mingo Redevelopment Authority and the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition. This project is supported by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and through an Abandoned Mine Land grant awarded to the Mingo Redevelopment Authority.