Why get local? Our choices matter.
Keep Value in the Local Economy
Buying local is about more than where we spend our dollars. It’s about supporting what we value in our community, such as fair pay, sustainable agriculture, healthy food, and strong local economies.
Build Community Resilience
Buying local supports a diversity of innovative and interdependent businesses that make it possible for communities to survive and thrive in both good times and bad.
Strengthen Community Ties
Purchasing products made or grown by our neighbors builds relationships that strengthen the economy while creating opportunities for greater civic engagement.
Create the Food System We Want
When we get local, we exercise our power to change the food system to one that is more transparent and more supportive of our farms, workers, environment, and entire community.
Celebrate Local Character and Heritage
Buying local ensures that our farms and local businesses remain vibrant and productive and contributes to preserving our scenic landscape and unique culture.
Appalachian Grown™ means Certified Local.
ASAP developed the Appalachian Grown program to support Southern Appalachian farms and build a community-based food system. With the Appalachian Grown program, we aim to expand local markets for area farms and provide a way for the public to easily identify their products.
ASAP’s research shows that you want your food purchases to support the local community, local economy, and local farmers. When you see the Appalachian Grown logo, you know the food featured is authentically local: it has been grown or raised on a family farm in our Southern Appalachian region.
How do you get local?
- Pick up a copy of ASAP’s Local Food Guide at many locations throughout Western North Carolina. Use it to find farms, markets, and restaurants that feature the foods you’re looking for. You can also download the print version of the guide as a PDF. Try browsing the online version of the Local Food Guide, which allows you to search for products by region.
- You can find Appalachian Grown produce and locally-made farm products at dozens of tailgate farmers markets across the Southern Appalachian region. Shopping at tailgate markets is a great way to get to know the people that grow your food and learn more about how they do it.
- Buy direct from farms by shopping at local farm stands and/or picking your own. Use the online Local Food Guide to search for farms with farm stands and u-pick fields.
- Support a farm by purchasing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and reap the rewards all season long. ASAP’s annual CSA Fair is a great way to meet farmers and learn about their CSA programs.
- Look for the Appalachian Grown logo in grocery stores and restaurants. Many chefs in our area make it a point to feature locally-grown seasonal ingredients, and they’ll let you know on their menus.
- Take the time to visit a farm for yourself! Many farms open their gates to the public during ASAP’s annual Farm Tour, and many more are happy to welcome visitors any time of year. Use the online Local Food Guide to find farms that offer tours and/or lodging.
- Help us help farmers! Support the work that we do by making a donation to ASAP or by volunteering to help out at ASAP events.
How you can shape our region’s food system:
Share your experiences: You can support our region’s farms and local food system just by talking about your food and farm experiences with others. Sharing through conversation, via social media, and inviting others to join you on next year’s Farm Tour helps others learn about farming in our region and expands a community of supporters.
Ask questions: If you want to know more about where your food comes from, who is growing it, or how it is grown, ask farmers or ask the businesses where you shop and dine. Do you have preferences for what and how you want food to be grown? Let them know.
Ask for local food: Let grocery stores and restaurants know that there is demand for food grown locally. If you’re not sure whether produce or farm products are local, just ask! Speaking up encourages food buyers to source and stock more local foods.
Connect with farms: Get local with farms all year long. ASAP’s Local Food Guide is a great resource for finding farmers markets, farm stands, u-picks, farm lodging, farms to visit, and so much more.