If you look for local products when you shop or dine out, you might notice the term “local” is often left undefined, or given a broad definition. For those of us who want to support family farms in the Southern Appalachians, ASAP has developed the “Appalachian Grown” branding program to identify products that are grown in a mountain county within 100 miles of Asheville.
The Appalachian Grown logo is a green sticker with a mountain scene and that says Appalachian Grown: Local food certified by ASAP. It means that the food is grown or produced in the Southern Appalachians, and is part of ASAP’s certification program to offer a clear definition for local in our region.
The Appalachian Grown seal appears on farm signs, produce bags, postcards and flyers from local farms, and as stickers on value-added products like jars of honey or salsa. Restaurants that serve local food can put up window stickers to let people know that they source ingredients from Southern Appalachian farms.
It’s a way to know, with a glance, that a farmer, grocer, or restaurant supports the local food system. Customers can choose to keep their money in the local economy and support farmers and producers who provide food directly to the community.
Almost 900 farms in the region are certified and 400 partner businesses are committed to supporting local farms through purchasing.
This April, ASAP will publish its Local Food Guide, a community resource that catalogues Appalachian Grown farms and partners in the region. You can search by product or location year-round in our online guide www.appalachiangrown.org