Working Landscapes is a nonprofit rural development organization based in Warren County, NC. We are working to advance the economic and environmental resilience of our region. Learn more about our mission and vision>
In order to grow the economy and improve health in northeastern North Carolina, we work with partners to build a food system that connects local farmers to local consumers. We have developed a unique food processing hub in downtown Warrenton.
Are you a food service professional? We offer a line of premium quality, fresh-cut local greens for your cafeteria. Learn more>
Are you a farmer? We can help you enter wholesale markets. Learn more>
Are you a food entrepreneur? Launch or grow your business in our shared-use commercial kitchen. Learn more>
Are you a school district? We can help you get students engaged in healthy, local eating. Learn more>
To learn more about our story, check out this video created by Vittles Films:
Working Landscapes and Warren County Cooperative Extension conducted a cabbage taste test today at Northside K-8 School and South Warren Elementary!
Cabbage is December’s featured harvest in our What’s Growing On program. Students got to taste some coleslaw made from locally-grown cabbage from Bender Farms and tell us whether they loved it, liked it, or simply tried it. As you can see, most students LOVED this local veggie! … See MoreSee Less
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Growing Your Produce Business event at Halifax Community College last night! More than fifty farmers and their allies attended. In just 2 and a half hours, attendees heard from 11 speakers including Whole Foods, the Coalition for Healthier Eating food hub, Halifax County Cooperative Extension, Green Rural Redevelopment Organization, Self-Help Credit Union, RAFI, and Carolina Common Enterprise. Alex and Gabe of Working Landscapes also provided information on obtaining GAP certification and opportunities to sell wholesale produce in our region. Following the presentations, attendees had the opportunities to network with the speakers and each other.
Thank you to the North Carolina Growing Together program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) for making this event possible, to the Halifax Community College Small Business Center for hosting, and to Cooperative Extension and Black Family Land Trust for their partnership. Thanks also to the Halifax Community College catering team, Bender Farms, and Clovermead Farm for the delicious, locally-sourced dinner. … See MoreSee Less
Members of the community braved the snow and ice to come together for community dinner last night! We had a wonderful time of fellowship and great food, and took home some delicious fresh collard greens, cabbage, and broccoli from Bender Farms!
We were joined last night by Crystal Smith of Warren County Cooperative Extension, who spoke about strategies for eating healthy and stretching one’s grocery budget during the holiday season, as well as food safety tips for storing prepared foods.
Looking for a fun way to keep your little elves busy on the first day of winter break? Come join Warren County Cooperative Extension and Working Landscapes for a day of holiday cheer! We will be making festive crafts and ornaments, baking holiday treats in the Main Street Kitchen, and singing Christmas carols downtown. All kids ages 5-11 are welcome to join!
When: December 21, 2018 from 10am- 2pm Where: Main Street Kitchen, 108 S Main Street, Warrenton, NC
Registration fee of $15 provides all materials as well as lunch! Please contact the Cooperative Extension office at (252) 257-3640 to register by December 18, 2018. We can’t wait to see you there! … See MoreSee Less
Here’s the announcement of a recent publication whose co-authors include Working Landscapes Associate Director Gabriel Cumming and Board Member Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, along with collaborators from UNC Chapel Hill.
Working Landscapes is committed to conducting and sharing research that builds on our firsthand experiences working to develop regional food systems.Mission-Driven Intermediaries as Anchors of the Middle Ground in the American Food System: Evidence from Warrenton, NC
Meenu Tewari, Sophie Kelmenson, Andrew Guinn, Gabriel Cumming, and Rudolph Colloredo-Mansfeld
Abstract Moving beyond direct marketing, food systems work is increasingly connecting sustainably grown food with supermarkets, dining services, and other mainstream outlets. It is here that growers come face-to-face with the rigid conditions of a globalized food system. In this paper we document the emergence of mission-driven intermediaries as bridging institutions in the middle spaces of American agriculture that are using value addition and strategic scaling up to connect alternative food systems to local and regional markets at profitable prices.
Through in-depth interviews with Working Landscapes of Warrenton, North Carolina, we describe one path to becoming a Mission-Driven Intermediary, in which intermediaries with roots in the nonprofit sector evolve into organizations of hybrid form that include revenue-generating activities. This institutional heterodoxy allows lateral alliances with diverse entities that help recombine existing resources in new ways, enabling the organization to demonstrate long-term commitment to the local food project while successfully improvising to survive in a highly competitive and corporatized industry. [Working Landscapes, local food systems, mission-driven intermediaries, supply chains]
Warren Early College High School Beta Club is in the Main Street Kitchen (108 S Main St, Warrenton) right now, selling hot chocolate during the Christmas Parade! Stop by and support them! … See MoreSee Less
Today, Working Landscapes assisted in getting the student farm at Enfield Middle School GAP-certified. This means that the school farm program can sell produce to their own school cafeteria as well as to other school districts and to wholesale buyers!
The Enfield Middle School Farm is one of only a handful of school farms across the state and the only school farm in Eastern North Carolina that has achieved the Harmonized GAP certification. We are beyond excited to be partnering with Halifax County Schools in their mission to build a model farm-to-school program that provides fresh produce for cafeterias and gives students the opportunity to learn job skills that they can carry with them past graduation. … See MoreSee Less
This is wonderful! Now Warren County Schools needs to get on board!
HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to Working Landscapes during the Giving Tuesday event, and to those who participated in the raffle at A Farmers Christmas, held on November 17th. We are so very appreciative of your gifts to our organization, which will support our farm-to-school education efforts in Warren County.
A special thanks to Deborah Phillips, who organized A Farmers Christmas, and also to Anne and Tommy Satterwhite for hosting the event in their event venue, The Old Cotton Gin, in downtown Warrenton. Deborah invited Working Landscapes to be the recipient of donations from a raffle that consisted of donated items from all of the vendors at the event. For those who missed it, A Farmers Christmas brought hundreds of people from across North Carolina and Virginia to Downtown Warrenton, as well as over 60 artists, crafters, and vendors selling their wares. At the event you might’ve found pottery, soaps, beauty products, cakes, cookies, popcorn, radishes and turnips, a parrot, story telling, a tortoise, mushroom logs, and much, much more. We can’t wait till next time! … See MoreSee Less
Any superstars out there wanting to get dirty on a chilly day? We have an opportunity for you! Come out to South Warren Elementary School this Saturday, December 1st, from 10am to 1pm for a garden work day!
The gardens at South Warren were built last year by a team of school and community volunteers, led by our FoodCorps Service Member Rachel. We are hoping to get them back into shape before the spring planting season. These school gardens are not only an important teaching tool, but they also help get kids active outside and engaged with healthy foods. This Saturday, we will mostly be weeding beds and putting the finishing touches on a brick herb spiral.
Tools will be provided, but please bring comfortable, warm clothes, closed-toed shoes, and a water bottle. We will also be bringing some snacks, so please RSVP by emailing email@example.com, or calling (252) 257-0205, so we know how much to bring! Can’t wait to see you out there! … See MoreSee Less
We are so thankful for all who attended Wednesday night’s community dinner! Our November meal was a Thanksgiving feast, complete with turkey and all the fixings. While they ate, attendees were invited to participate in the healthful living discussion questions that were placed on the tables.
As always, there was delicious local produce to take home! Thank you to Bender Farms for the squash, collard greens, and cabbage, and Shady Oaks 1812 for the salad mix and baby turnips!
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we encourage you to think about ways you can include locally-grown produce in your Thanksgiving dinner!
I remember well when this concept was in its infancy. Congratulations on your tenacity and hard work!
What beautiful looking produce!
Last Thursday, Executive Director Carla Norwood and Education and Outreach Coordinator Hannah Hiller presented at the Seed to Table Conference in Wilson, NC, which was convened by the Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities program. Carla and Hannah introduced the concept of a food system and talked about how Working Landscapes advances local food systems through value-added produce processing and school programs.
"A specialized program of The Conservation Fund, Resourceful Communities supports a network of community groups, faith-based organizations, small towns and resource providers. The triple bottom line is the foundation of our work: environmental stewardship, social justice and sustainable economic development. Rather than addressing community challenges as isolated issues, this integrated approach nets sustainable, comprehensive improvements."
Below: Carla and Hannah with the Resourceful Communities staff. From left to right: Justine Post, Carla Norwood, Hannah Hiller, Ena Aguilar, Kathleen Marks, Monica McCann, Olivia Percoco, Sara Dillon … See MoreSee Less
The Working Landscapes crew and our volunteers got a lot of work done at the Northside K-8 Community Garden this past weekend! We weeded the garden beds, unloaded and spread THREE truckloads of mulch, and raked the outdoor learning space and walking trail. Our AmeriCorps VISTA service member, Leah Steffens, is hosting monthly garden work days on the first Saturday of every month. The work days will alternate between Northside K-8 and South Warren Elementary and the next of these work days will be on Saturday, December 1st at South Warren Elementary School. Come join us in tending to the gardens! To get get involved, email Leah at Leah@WorkingLandscapesNC.org. … See MoreSee Less
This morning, we delivered What’s Growing On Harvest Boxes to several teachers in schools across Warren County. This box contains books, art supplies, enough local produce for an in-class taste test, and a fully developed lesson plan for teachers to use in their classrooms to teach their students about healthy living and the importance of the local food system.
This month, the featured harvest is Kale! Students will get to taste a delicious kale salad, and then take the time to write notes of thanks to local farmers who grow kale in our community.
A big THANK YOU to our participating teachers: Brianna Chace – Northside Jill Ellis – Northside Deanna Hayes – Northside Katie Johnston – Northside Patricia Willaimson – Northside Pearl Simes and Karen Paynter – Mariam Boyd Celestine Williams – Mariam Boyd Michel Cole-Bailey – South Warren Mona Liza Deleon – South Warren Scott Garlock – Vaughan
If you are a teacher in Warren County or the surrounding region who is interested in participating in our Harvest Box program, please contact Hannah Hiller at firstname.lastname@example.org 252-257-0205 … See MoreSee Less
Hey y’all! Come get your hands dirty in the Northside K-8 garden this Saturday, November 3, 11am-2pm!
The garden at Northside is used by students throughout the school. It’s a great way to get kids active outside and engaged with healthy foods–how cool is it to eat something that you’ve grown? On Saturday we’ll be spreading mulch along the garden paths to keep weeds down, as well as doing some general maintenance of the garden beds and nature trail to keep them in tip-top shape.
Tools will be provided, but please bring comfortable clothes, closed-toed shoes, and a water bottle. This will be the first event in a series of garden work days on the first Saturday of each month, so stay tuned for more! We will also be bringing some snacks, so please RSVP by emailing email@example.com, or calling (252) 257-0205, so we know how much to bring! Can’t wait to see you out there! … See MoreSee Less