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 next meal.
Many farmers spend early mornings picking blueberries by hand at the peak of ripeness, or hours milking cows at the break of dawn, just to bring those foods to your table. Learning more about that journey from field to plate, or barnyard to farmers market, creates a richer understanding of where food comes from and the people who work so hard to produce it.
ASAP’s Local Food Guide is a print and online publication that highlights local farms, artisan producers, farmers markets, restaurants, and grocery stores that offer local food. It also shares stories of farmers who are making a difference in the food system of the Southern Appalachians.
The new 2017 print guide was released in April, and in addition to more than 800 listings, it features stories about farmers, chefs, and farm to fork experiences in the region. You can read about a local farm that supplies berries for ice cream, a family that has shifted from raising chickens for a national company to growing produce for local markets, and an orchard that is making their late step-father’s dreams a reality.
The guide is available at dozens of restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, cooperative extension offices, and visitor centers throughout the region. There’s also an online guide that makes it easy to search for local food opportunities. Whether you’re planning a trip to a u-pick farm or searching for a restaurant that sources locally, the guide has plenty of information to get started.
Visit www.asapconnections.org to see a list of pick-up locations or to check the online guide at www.appalachiangrown.org