ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities.

Building Community Connections at Beacon Village Farm

It takes farms of all sizes to create a thriving food system. Here in Western North Carolina, some farms sell directly to customers through farmers markets and community supported agriculture. There are also larger-scale local farms that use food distributors […]Read More ▶▶


Starting a Farm During COVID-19

When even established farms are struggling during COVID-19, what’s it like to start a new farm? When we spoke with Stephanie Vinat of The AppaLatin Farmstead in February, she was full of enthusiasm for the year ahead. “We’re in Marshall, […]Read More ▶▶


Community Colleges Incorporate Farm to School Learning

When COVID-19 hit, many universities and community colleges pivoted to online learning. While some courses are a natural fit for e-learning, there are other majors that benefit from in-person training, like early childhood education. “When I first heard that early […]Read More ▶▶


When Restaurants Closed, The Culinary Gardener Started a CSA

Evan Chender had big plans for 2020. For the past four years he has grown edible flowers and specialty greens for restaurants in Asheville and Atlanta under the name The Culinary Gardener. He hired employees, purchased a four-acre piece of […]Read More ▶▶


New Grant Helps Local Farmers Adapt

Restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 have caused major disruptions for farmers. The closure and delay of many farmers markets combined with restrictions on North Carolina restaurants have left farmers with many immediate needs, including where to sell crops […]Read More ▶▶


Chefs and Farmers Help People Affected by COVID-19

Chefs and farmers have always worked together to feed the community. These partnerships are more important than ever during COVID-19, especially for community members who have lost their jobs or are facing a greater risk of food insecurity. Several local […]Read More ▶▶


New Farmers Market Protects Public Health

Spring is a pivotal time for farmers and food producers who rely on direct sales. While each season comes with challenges and opportunities, spring can feel like a leap of faith. Farmers start new crops, artisan food producers plan production […]Read More ▶▶


Sunburst Trout Farms Persists During COVID-19

2020 was going to be a big year for Sunburst Trout Farms in Waynesville, North Carolina. The family-run business has over 70 years of experience raising and selling rainbow trout, and recently leased an additional farm to meet the growing […]Read More ▶▶


Dry Ridge Farm Pivots to Reach Customers

The food system in Western North Carolina has been fairly predictable for the past decade. Hundreds of farms in the region have found their niche—from vegetable growers selling at farmers markets, to roadside fruit stands, to meat and egg producers […]Read More ▶▶


Local Food Fuels Meals for Kids

Nutritious food is especially important during a crisis, yet children who rely on school meals may not have easy access to prepared foods at home. Many children and families depend on schools for most of their weekly nutrition.  Over half […]Read More ▶▶


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