ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

ASAP News and Information

ASAP’s Local Summer Cookout

What’s the best way to celebrate summer? A cookout, of course! ASAP’s Local Summer Cookout will feature the talents of Chef Philip Bollhoefer of the Omni Grove Park Inn. Join us at the beautiful, brand new Catawba Brewery on the South Slope on August 13, 5:30-9 pm as we cook out summer-style with Hickory Nut Gap Farm pork ribs, all your favorite summer sides, and special desserts, courtesy of Vortex Doughnuts! Two batches of Catawba brew will be featured with all of the ingredients sourced from North Carolina farmers. Catawba will also be unveiling their new t-shirts using North Carolina cotton.

Tickets are only $20, which will also enter you into a raffle for two private dinners at the Omni Grove Park Inn’s Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen, a Catawba Brewery gift basket, and a free pass to ASAP’s Farm Tour! Tickets are good for food; beer and other drinks will be sold separately. Reduced price tickets for children 12 and under, available at the door. All ticket proceeds benefit ASAP. The brewery is located at 32 Banks Avenue in downtown Asheville. Buy your ticket here!

ASAP’s Farm Tour – September 19-20, 2015!

Mark your calendars for ASAP’s Farm Tour! Passes are on sale now for the weekend of September 19-20, 2015, and are $30 per carload for both weekend days. Or sign up to volunteer and attend the tour for free the day you are not working.

Choose from 38 farms, featuring 8 new farm stops! ASAP’s Farm Tour is a chance to experience firsthand how food is grown and raised in the Southern Appalachian mountains, taste farm fresh products, meet farm animals, and connect with the community’s food producers. Discover some of Western North Carolina’s unique and beautiful working farms through tours, demonstrations, and hands-on activities

Learn more about the tour and start planning your tour route today! 

 

The 2015 Local Food Guide is Here!

The growing season has arrived in WNC and the Southern Appalachians! Look for signs of spring with seasonal specialties found at tailgate farmers markets, featured at restaurants, and purchased at roadside stands. It is also the time of year to pick up the newest edition of ASAP’s Local Food Guide to help you find the best sources for Appalachian Grown™ food. In the guide, you can find nearly 700 local farms, 100 farmers tailgate markets, hundreds of restaurants, grocers and other outlets for food and farm products with an astounding variety of local products.

This year’s Local Food Guide offers new information, such as which Appalachian Grown tailgate farmers market can accept credit, debit and SNAP/EBT. The guide also includes a look at several multi-generation family farms, celebrating their stories and hearing about why generations continue farming in the Southern Appalachians. Other new features include designated Get Local restaurants committed to going above and beyond when sourcing local food, along with listings of grocers, artisan food producers, B&Bs and farm lodging, wineries, and more.

The latest guide listings can also be found at our online Local Food Guide. Print copies will be distributed to locations throughout the region, or you can stop by the office.

Cost Share & Promotional Support for Farmers

ASAP announces the launch of a farmer cost share program and the renewal of our popular wax produce box initiative, both designed to maximize economic opportunities for local farmers and identify “certified local food” in the marketplace in Western North Carolina. Both programs are part of our Appalachian Grown™ program, which helps farmers enhance the competitiveness of their products in local markets.

Cost share funds are made possible through support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, and are available for farms in North Carolina to be used for design and production of custom labels, packaging, or promotional materials featuring the Appalachian Grown logo. Click here for more information about the cost share program. 

The Appalachian Grown wax produce box program allows ASAP to use the bulk buying power of over 700 farms to offer packaging materials at an affordable price for growers, helping them meet market requirements and enhance the visibility and marketability of their products. This program is supported by the Golden LEAF Foundation, the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. A new shipment of boxes will arrive in early April in time for the spring growing season. Click here for more information about wax boxes.

ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference

ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference is a day of learning and networking for farmers and those seriously considering farming as a profession. Each year our conference offers business and marketing themed workshops, networking opportunities, and resources to help farmers grow their businesses. The conference features meetings with wholesale buyers, professional consulting opportunities, business and agricultural exhibits, and locally sourced meals.

Our 2016 Business of Farming Conference dates will be released this summer.  Contact robin@asapconnections.org for more information. 

ASAP offers opportunities for learning for farmers throughout the year. Keep an eye on our Workshops and Trainings page for an event near you! 

 

 

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Growing Minds

Visit growing-minds.org to learn about ASAP's Farm to School program!