When you’re driving through the Southern Appalachians, nearly every twist and turn reveals steep hills and cascading creeks. Cattle dot the hillsides and tidy rows of vegetables line the bottomland by the road. This landscape has been cherished for generations and working farms are helping to preserve it.
More than one hundred families have permanently conserved their land with the help of land trusts in Western North Carolina. From diversified vegetable farms in Buncombe County to Christmas tree farms in the High Country, many families are maintaining the landscape through farming.
Some families farm the land themselves, finding new ways to engage their multigenerational farm with the local food system. Other families lease their land to a new generation of farmers who preserve it by starting their own farming operations. Sustaining small farms protects the rural landscape and builds an economy that bolsters farm businesses.
ASAP helps small farms thrive by providing support and training to farmers, and helping them connect with restaurants, farmers markets, and other food producers who work together to build a local food economy. Supporting farm businesses creates opportunities for local families and preserves the landscape for everyone who appreciates the beauty of our region.
Find out more about how ASAP helps sustain local farms at www.asapconnections.org