ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

ASAP News and Information

CSA Time is Here!

Spring is fast approaching. That means Southern Appalachian farmers will soon begin harvesting asparagus, greens, and spring onions to sell at farmers tailgate markets and to pack directly for their CSA—or Community Supported Agriculture—farm share subscribers. To help those interested in a CSA find the right one for them, ASAP is hosting our Annual CSA Fair as an opportunity to meet farmers face-to-face and learn more about their CSA programs and products. We offer two fairs: one in Asheville featuring farms that offer Asheville and Buncombe County deliveries, and one held in the High Country in Boone, NC.  Find out more about the fairs here.

As another way to celebrate the coming growing season, Early Girl Eatery is hosting a local food social and fundraiser to showcase Early Girl Appalachian Grown certified farms and support ASAP. A Celebration of CSA will take place on March 12 from 6 to 8 pm at Early Girl Eatery immediately after ASAP’s Asheville CSA Fair. First, head to the fair to meet local farmers and browse their CSA options, then walk down the street to Early Girl Eatery and enjoy an array of local food choices featuring ingredients sourced directly from participating farms!

Expect tasty small bites including mini-quiches, kale salad, Korean chicken, local Monte Cristo sandwiches, and more.  Tickets are only $20 and include food and one beer or glass of wine. Buy tickets here or at Early Girl Eatery today!

ASAP is Hiring!

We are excited to announce that ASAP is hiring this spring!  ASAP is accepting applications for a new Local Food Campaign Program Coordinator position. Please visit the Join Our Team page for the job description as well as details about applying.

ASAP’s 12th Annual Business of Farming Conference

Thank you for everyone who participated in this year’s  Business of Farming Conference! Over 300 farmers, business and agricultural professionals, wholesale buyers, attorneys, exhibitors, and more came together for a day of learning and networking. We were delighted with the turnout and plan to expand even more in 2016 to give more beginning and experienced farmers the opportunity to network and acquire resources to grow their farm businesses!  Relive the experience by scanning the photo galley from this year’s conference. Our 2016 conference date and registration will be released this spring, so stay tuned.

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

 

 

ASAP and RAFI-USA Partner and Launch Connect2Direct

ASAP and RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) have partnered on the project, Connect2Direct, a major new initiative to increase farmer direct sales and expand local food access. The goal for the collaboration is to support and build equitable community-based local food economies through the development of direct markets for farmers in North Carolina.

Connect2Direct aims to dramatically increase farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC – by over 100% within two years – by providing training and technical assistance to markets and market vendors, creating effective marketing and outreach campaigns, facilitating the transactional process for EBT/SNAP, and building statewide capacity and efficiency to sustainably ensure that all North Carolinians have access to fresh foods grown by local farmers.

For upcoming Connect2Direct workshops and announcements, click here.

Click here for the full press release and more information about the project.

Follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

Local Food Sales Surge in WNC

ASHEVILLE, NC (May 2, 2014) – Local food sales in Western North Carolina have grown significantly in the last five years. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, released on May 2, shows that direct sales alone have increased by nearly 70% in the region according to analysis by ASAP’s Local Food Research Center, from under $5 million in 2007 to over $8 million in 2012. The 2012 Census of Agriculture also shows that the region has reversed a disturbing trend in loss of farm acres, actually adding over 10,000 acres between 2007 and 2012 while the rest of North Carolina and the country lost farmland.

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Growing Minds

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