Almost two decades ago, health problems drove Marcia Laska and her husband, Richard, out of the city. In Pocahontas County, they found the perfect retreat — an old homestead 4,000 feet above sea level on Top of Allegheny Mountain. Except for the massive Green Bank Radio Telescope six miles away in the valley the site is little changed since the 19th century.
Now known as Laska’s Grove, the site was homesteaded in 1847 and farmed until the 1940‘s by the Wilmoth Family. Off-grid and five miles from the nearest paved road, the farm has dozens of ancient, heritage apple trees. The Laskas have called it home since 1995.
Using wind and solar energy, the Laskas crafted a modern life for themselves. From one point on their ridge top you can see the four highest peaks in the state. Under ideal night-time conditions they recently watched a missile launched from Wallops Island on the distant coast of Virginia.
The couple began growing food and herbs for themselves and soon worked with their new friends to build the Pocahontas County Farmers Market. Today, they specialize in growing herbs, both culinary and medicinal. In addition, they propagate wild local plants and cultivate herbs where synthetic chemicals have never been used. Marcia Laska sells fresh and dried herbs, herbal salves and more in the valley at the Green Bank Gallery.
The Laskas welcome WOOFers to work on their farm and learn about herbs and experience nature on the mountain.
Richard and Marcia Laska