Growing Local Research Project

In 2003, ASAP launched the multiyear Growing Local Research Project to determine how food and other farm products move through the production and distribution system of Western North Carolina. The study, which concluded in 2007, provides a detailed look at the food and farming economy of Western North Carolina and explores the potential to expand local markets for local farm products.

Specifically, the research explored:

  • what food and farm products are currently produced in the region,
  • how much of what is produced is also consumed in the region,
  • the potential for increasing local consumption of locally-produced food and farm products as a way to strengthen the regional farm economy,
  • and where investment of resources or other actions could eliminate barriers currently impeding the purchase of local food.

Start with the summary report,  Growing Local: Implications for Western North Carolina. The full report, Growing Local: Expanding the Western North Carolina Food and Farm Economy, includes the sub-reports listed below. You can also download only the analysis section.

Growing Local Research Project Sub-Reports

  • Locally Grown Foods Strategic Positioning Research
  • A Market Analysis of Tailgate Farmers’ Markets of Buncombe and Madison Counties
  • Results from a Survey of Farmers’ Tailgate Market Vendors in Buncombe and Madison Counties
  • Community Supported Agriculture in the French Broad River Basin
  • Results from a Western North Carolina Farm-to-College Survey
  • Defining Success in the Farm-to-School Arena
  • Western North Carolina Food and Farm Economy
  • Summer Camps and Local Food in WNC
  • The Value of Appalachian Grown Labeling for Nursery Growers in WNC
  • Opportunities for Expanding Food and Farm Tourism in WNC
  • Hospital Foodservice in WNC: Implications for the Local Food System
  • A Survey of Local Food Activities in the Southern Appalachian Region
  • A Survey of Cooperative Extension Agents in Western North Carolina
  • Local Food Purchasing by Highly Motivated Consumers and Businesses
  • A Survey of Shoppers at the Western North Carolina Farmers Market
  • Exploring the Role of Latinos in the Western North Carolina Food System
  • Restaurants as a Potential Market for Local Farm Products in WNC
  • A Survey of Licensed Dairies in WNC
  • Examples to Follow: Case Studies From Within The Local Food System
  • Food Distribution and Processing Infrastructure in WNC: Implications for the Local Food System

The research was been funded by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, a division of the USDA whose goals include advancing knowledge about sustainable farming systems.

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