ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

ASAP News and Information

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

Choose your own farm adventure this fall!

FT2015 cover finalASAP’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. Don’t miss out on the region’s biggest farm event of the year!

Purchase your pass now and start planning which farms you’d like to visit from over 35 participating family farms! Passes are only $30 per carload for both weekend days. Or sign up to volunteer for the tour and enjoy a free Farm Tour pass on the day you aren’t working.


Sign Up Now for ASAP’s Grower-Buyer Breakfast

ASAP is hosting a pair of regional Grower-Buyer Breakfasts on Tuesday, September 29 from 8 – 9:30 am in Jackson and Watauga Counties. These meetings are a way for farmers to connect with area buyers (restaurants, grocers, value-added producers, wholesalers, institutions) and begin the conversation about products, volume, requirements, etc. There are no promises made and no contracts signed on site; it’s just a chance for you to introduce your farm and products to buyers in the region looking to source from Appalachian Grown Farms.

A complimentary locally sourced breakfast will be served and mileage reimbursement is available for both farmers and buyers. Visit the Workshops and Trainings page for registration and more information.

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 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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