After nearly a century of farming fun, Gritt’s Farm in Putnam County continues to wow.
MONTHLY FARM-TO-TABLE DINNERS, A FOOD TRUCK, AND EVEN HOMEGROWN PINEAPPLES—these are just a few of the ways Gritt’s Farm in Buffalo is continuing to evolve after almost 100 years in business. What started out as a simple farm in 1927 has changed with the times over five generations to become one of the premier farm destinations in the state.
The Gritt family isn’t afraid to reinvent what they offer, and each new phase has honored the family’s time-tested passions for local food, family, and community. “When it first started and got going, it was a chicken and egg farm that had up to 15,000 chickens at a time—and now there’s not a single chicken here,” says Alexandra Pfost, marketing and agritourism manager for Gritt’s Farm. “Over time, the family adapted to what was going to be the best moving forward to support their vision and their mission. And they continue to do that every day.”
Folks who aren’t familiar with the farm might recognize it because of its West Virginia–grown pineapple—the fruit is clearly not something you see sprouting from native plants in this neck of the woods. Pfost says it went a little bit viral in December of last year when they shared a photo of their handiwork on social media. It started as an experiment, and, now that they know their greenhouse mimics the pineapple’s natural climate well enough to pull it off, they’re continuing to nurture the plants. They even sell pineapple jam made from their fruits.
That exotic jam is just one of the many ways Gritt’s Farm promotes locally grown foods. They have a food truck that comes out for special events and offers meals prepared from their homegrown ingredients whenever possible. And farm-to-table dinners have become a staple of the farm in recent years. Gritt’s partners with chef Jesse Lyons, owner of Coco’s Kitchen and Cafe in Charleston, to pull off the event every month.
“He takes our produce and produce sourced from other local farmers, and he comes up with this beautiful four-course dinner,” Pfost explains. “It’s a really special experience that guests are coming here for. It’ll be in the evening, so we’re closed to the public. There’s not really anyone else around. These 50 to 70 guests come out, and we’ll have live music and beer and wine. We love using it to feature West Virginia products, so we try to make it as special and unique to the state as we possibly can.”
These kinds of experiences aim to bring guests closer to the food they eat and the ground that nourishes it. “We always like to educate our guests and our audience when they’re here with us and help them really visualize and understand where their food is coming from—and why it’s so important to source it locally,” Pfost says. “They can see us face-to-face, hear our story, and encourage others to eat local and support local businesses.”
Gritt’s Farm is already fostering the beginnings of its next phase: When the first Christmas trees are ready for harvest in just a few years, it’ll be a true four-season farm—a destination where folks can create their own hanging baskets in the spring, eat good food and connect to where it grows through the harvest months, pick flowers in the late summer and fall and enjoy a full-fledged fall festival, and decorate their homes at the end of the year with locally grown holiday cheer.
“There’s something different every month, and that’s what is exciting and interesting,” Pfost says. “We’re always talking about the next new thing that we want to do.”