ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

Sisters in Cheese

Growing up on a farm isn’t always idyllic, but the three women who run Cane Creek Creamery in Fletcher, North Carolina say they wouldn’t have wanted their childhoods any other way. Sisters Mollie Hembree and Alma Nesbitt are cheesemakers at […]Read More ▶▶

Meet Your Farmer: Donna Gains

For Donna Gains of High Mountain Meadows Farm and Creamery, all it took was one agricultural project with her granddaughter to change her way of life. Before she became a farmer, Donna was a nurse for 30 years. “When I […]Read More ▶▶

Mountain Fresh Flowers

Big, beautiful poppies waver in the breeze at Flourish Flower Farm in Candler, North Carolina. Their peach, orange, and off-white petals are just beginning to unfurl. “As you can see on this one, the bud is just starting to crack. […]Read More ▶▶

From Farm to Taproom with Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is boosting markets for local farmers and food businesses at its taproom in Mills River, North Carolina. While the ingredients  for beer are not prevalent in our region, Sierra Nevada is showing its commitment to local […]Read More ▶▶


Local Food: Then and Now

Agricultural traditions in Western North Carolina stretch back generations, particularly farming tobacco and raising cattle, but the idea of a local food movement is still relatively new. When ASAP was founded in the mid-1990s, the idea of consumers seeking out […]Read More ▶▶

Volunteer for a Stronger Food System

Let’s say you want to get your hands dirty, but don’t have your own garden. Or maybe you want to support the local food movement, but don’t know where to start. Volunteering at a farm, community garden, or local food […]Read More ▶▶

Local Food Guide is Here!

Every farmer has a story, and so do the foods they produce. When you see strawberries at the farmers market or local cheese on a menu, it’s worth thinking about the people who spent months and sometimes years producing your […]Read More ▶▶

Chef in the Cafeteria

Elementary students rush into the cafeteria at North Buncombe Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Kirk Fiore, a chef from the Biltmore, is here with kale pesto for the kids to taste. The kale was grown at the estate and […]Read More ▶▶

Ginseng: Bringing a Mountain Tradition to Market

Deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina, there’s a plant that’s been prized for hundreds of years. Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial with valuable roots that can be exported to Asia where it’s sought after for its medicinal properties. […]Read More ▶▶

Seeds for Schools

Kids and gardening go hand-in-hand, especially in springtime. Planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and learning how to enjoy food you grew yourself are just some of the benefits of school gardens. Math and science lessons come alive in the garden, and […]Read More ▶▶

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From Here

Research from ASAP

Learn about the work of our Local Food Research Center.
Growing Minds Farm to School Program

Growing Minds

Visit to learn about ASAP's Farm to School program!