Farms Work Wonders is an umbrella nonprofit organization with a vision to create an agrarian focused community based around a sustainable, organic farm that elevates local food as an economic driver.
To financially sustain the project long-term, our goal is to launch connected income-producing social enterprises (market, bakery, restaurant, production kitchen) which also serve as living classrooms providing unique opportunities to gain real-life experience for local Appalachian youth.
The social enterprise model allows us to address historically negative economic development in Appalachia—which often only created profits for outside companies—by operating like mini-businesses, harnessing the power of market demand to generate income while creating positive impact locally.
Unlike a traditional business, success is not only measured by profits, but by our impact locally in three areas:
1) people / social—creating educational and economic opportunities,
2) planet / environmental—protecting the natural environment, and
3) proceeds / financial reinvestment—100% reinvested locally
In mid-2016, we launched our first farm-based enterprise, the Wardensville Garden Market, on the historic 100-acre Frye farm, with the hopes of creating a small onsite farm market connected to a one-acre garden that would create ten new jobs locally.
Today, the farm has a bustling produce market and from-scratch bakery and employs 72 people, with over 40 of them local high-school students. In 2018, the market and bakery doubled sales from the previous year and recorded over 3,800 customer transactions. The project has also been recognized as Best Regional Bakery and placed second as the Best Charity statewide by WV Living Magazine.