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Posts Tagged ‘local food’

ASAP’s 2014 Local Food Guide Set to Hit Stands

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The growing season is in full bloom in WNC and the Southern Appalachians. Tailgate farmers markets are opening, restaurants are featuring local food, and roadside stands are beginning to come to life again. To help local food lovers find and support these certified local farms and businesses—this spring and beyond—ASAP is releasing their 2014 Local Food Guide. The guide is a core component of ASAP’s 14-year old Local Food Campaign; more than one million copies of the Local Food Guidehave been distributed since 2002.

“It wasn’t that long ago that our region was home to only a handful of farmers markets or CSA farms and less than a handful of restaurants and grocers that bought and sold products from local farms,” shares Charlie Jackson, ASAP’s Executive Director. “Today, things have changed dramatically–witness the 2014 Local Food Guide! There are hundreds of markets, grocers, restaurants, and other outlets for food and farm products with an astounding variety of local products.”

This year’s Local Food Guide includes more Appalachian Grown tailgate farmers market and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) listings than ever before. The guide also includes newly opened area restaurants committed to sourcing local food, along with listings of grocers, artisan food producers, B&Bs and farm lodging, wineries, and more. This year’s guide features “Local food by the numbers,” national and regional local food statistics, illustrating how the local food movement has changed over ASAP’s past decade of work.

The 2014 Local Food Guide can be picked up hot off the press at ASAP’s booth at the Mother Earth News Fair, April 12-13, at the WNC Ag Center. ASAP is a supporting partner of the fair and we will be joined there by many Appalachian Grown™ farms and retailers. The latest guide listings can also be found online at appalachiangrown.org. Print copies will be distributed after the fair to 400+ locations, listed on the guide page of asapconnections.org.


ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Ingles Renews Commitment to Local Farms for 2012

Monday, April 9th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – In 2012, Ingles’ shoppers can once again be sure that locally grown produce will be abundant at Ingles stores. The Buncombe County, NC, based grocer recently renewed their local food buying commitment through ASAP’s Appalachian Grown™ branding and certification program. The renewed partnership says not only that Ingles will continue to purchase products from area farms for the seventh year in a row, but that they’ll also continue to increase their local food buying.

“Ingles’ founder, Bob Ingle, had a deep commitment to local farms, and we continue that tradition today,” says Ron Freeman, the grocer’s CFO. “We’ve been an Appalachian Grown partner since ASAP began the program in late 2006, and our commitment has only grown over the years.”

Through ASAP’s Appalachian Grown program, area farms become certified as local family-owned operations. Businesses like Ingles become Appalachian Grown partner retailers to assure their customers that they buy fresh foods that support family farms, strengthen the local economy, preserve rural culture, and protect the region’s natural beauty.

“It’s important today as local becomes more and more popular—and often removed from its original meaning—to note that Ingles is committed  to buying ‘certified local’ Appalachian Grown products. ASAP started Appalachian Grown so that Ingles’ customers and other area shoppers could be sure that ‘local’ food does in fact come from a local farm in WNC and the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” says Charlie Jackson, ASAP’s executive director.

In addition to the local food on shelves, Ingles’ relationship with ASAP and area farmers can be seen in farmer profiles created by the grocer and nonprofit. The profiles help shoppers “meet” the face behind their food. “Profiles hanging in the produce department speak to Ingles’ longtime dedication to local, and some even note that the farmers have been selling to Ingles for decades,” Jackson says.

ASAP’s 2011 consumer survey shows that shoppers care about that relationship—both with their food and that their grocer has with area farmers. Seventy-seven percent of respondents deemed local food an important consideration in choosing a grocery store, with over 55 percent mentioning Ingles as their grocery store of choice for locally grown food. The nonprofit estimates $62 million of local food was sold in the area in 2010. Says Jackson, “It’s clear that Ingles is a large contributor to that figure.”


Ingles Markets, Incorporated is a leading supermarket chain with operations in six southeastern states. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, the Company operates 203 supermarkets. In conjunction with its supermarket operations, the Company also operates 70 neighborhood shopping centers, all but 12 of which contain an Ingles supermarket. The Company’s Class A Common Stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market’s Global Select Market under the symbol IMKTA. For more information about the Company, visit Ingles’ website at www.ingles-markets.com.


ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282. Browse their online Local Food Guide, in which Ingles is included, at buyappalachian.org.

Asheville Chefs, Educators are Star Pupils in Farm to School Programs

Monday, August 1st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – During the 2010-2011 school year, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s (ASAP) Growing Minds Farm to School Cooking Program reached nearly 1,400 area students with the help of educators, chefs, and community volunteers. Overwhelming interest and community participation in the organization’s recent Farm to School Cooking Conference indicates that ASAP’s program is poised to impact even more children when the school year begins. The event was held in late July on the campus of UNCA in partnership with the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness, a new state hub for the coordination and promotion of healthy-living initiatives that will contribute to the prevention of chronic disease among all North Carolinians.

Despite a busy summer season for area chefs and much-needed down time for teachers, more than 100 cooks and educators from across WNC attended the event’s workshops aimed at readying them to prepare fresh local foods in classrooms this school year. Sessions were led by chefs and educators who were star participants in ASAP’s cooking program last year; chefs included Liz and Katie Button of Cúrate, Adam Hayes and Brian Knickrehm of the Red Stag Grill, and Becky Tillman from the Stable Café at Biltmore, along with Biltmore’s director of food and beverage, chef Brian Ross. Topics ranged from “How to Get Kids to Try (and Like!) New Foods” to “Connecting to Curriculum.” During the sessions, Asheville’s top chefs shared their recipes, stories, and tips with attendees new to cooking with children. The result? “I’m ready to cook now! Bring on the students!” one teacher-turned-student shared.

“Cooking fresh, whole food is a lost art,” says Dr. David Gardner, executive director of the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness. “This program gives kids all over Asheville and Buncombe County a new set of life skills. We’re grateful for the partnership with ASAP and their efforts to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of this region.”

To be a part of this hands-on, exciting work alongside fellow chefs, farmers, parents, and other community members during the 2011-2012 school year, contact Program Coordinator Anna Littman at 828-236-1282 ext. 113 or [email protected].

[Caption: ‘Trish Hipgrave, a student from Western Carolina University (center), and conference attendees Sara Cole (R), an early-childhood educator in Buncombe County, and Ann Hamilton (L), benefits and wellness coordinator for HomeTrust Bank, whip up local veggie sliders at ASAP’s recent Farm to School Cooking Conference in Asheville.’ Biltmore’s Vegetable Slider recipe is included below. For additional photos and information, contact Communications Coordinator Maggie Cramer at [email protected].]

Vegetable Sliders
From Chef Becky Tillman, The Stable Café at Biltmore

Makes 20-25


3 zucchini
3 squash
1 fresh tomato
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 cup onion, caramelized and diced
1 lb arugula or spinach, blanched
3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs thyme
1 bunch parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
2 carrots
Salt and pepper as needed
1-2 cups chickpea flour
3 tbs olive oil
20-25 small slider buns
20-25 tomato slices
1 lb goat cheese (optional)
1 pint quinoa
1-2 pints rolled oats
2 sprigs rosemaryMethod:

Shred zucchini, carrots, and squash using a cheese grater. Wash and cook quinoa in boiling salted water.  Drain in a colander and spread onto sheet trays to cool. Roughly chop tomato and red pepper. Finely chop the rosemary, thyme, parsley, and garlic. Combine and mix all vegetables and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Add the quinoa and oats to the vegetables and mix together. Add the blanched spinach or arugula to the vegetables and mix. Add the chickpea flour a quarter cup at a time until the mix is able to form a ball. Form into small rounds about the size of a golf ball. Pack tightly and then gently smash with your hand to form a “patty.” In a medium sauté pan, heat a small bit of oil and cook a few of the vegetable sliders at a time, flipping only once on each side. They should take about 2-3 minutes on each side. Once finished, place on a slider bun with a slice of tomato and a bit of goat cheese and serve!

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Growing Minds, ASAP’s Farm to School Program, works to connect farms and schools and give children positive experiences with healthy foods. Experiences include farm field trips, nutrition education, school gardens, and local food in cafeterias. Growing Minds has been the Southeast Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network since 2004.

To learn more about Growing Minds, visit growing-minds.org. For information about all of ASAP’s work in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call 828-236-1282. Search their online Local Food Guide at buyappalachian.org.

ASAP: It’s Family Farm Tour Time!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – For one weekend every summer, the gates and barns of WNC farms open to the public for the Family Farm Tour, even those farms that don’t normally allow visitors! The self-guided driving tour is your chance to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh treats, interact with farm animals, and meet the community’s food producers. How does it work? Buy an ADMISSION BUTTON, pack your car with your family or a group of friends, grab a tour guide (or download one HERE), and set off to celebrate the region’s agricultural heritage and enjoy our beautiful rural landscape!


Buying Your Farm Tour Button

Pack your car with a group of friends or family; the more people in your vehicle, the better the deal. One button admits an entire carload!

Family Farm Tour button is your ticket

Purchase a button for admission at any of these button vendors or use the Farm Tour online form.

Get your carload into all farms:
$25 pre-purchase
$30 the day of the event
$10 per carload to visit individual farms.

This year, your Family Farm Tour button gets you into the Polk County Farm Tour, too!

Get the full Polk County Farm Tour Map at Mills Spring Ag Center, 4 School Rd Mill Spring, NC 28756, or at any of the participating farms. While ASAP’s Family Farm Tour happens on Saturday and Sunday, June 25th and 26th, Polk County farms will be open ONLY on Saturday the 25th.


Want to support a farmer the weekend of the tour? Sign up to volunteer and attend the farm tour for FREE!

Working with an organization, business, or club committed to supporting local food and farms? Recruit a volunteer team! For more information on volunteering as an individual or as a team contact [email protected].

Many thanks to the following organizations, businesses, and institutions currently forming volunteer teams:

Asheville City Schools Teachers
Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training
French Broad Food Co-op
NC Cooperative Extension – Madison County
NC Cooperative Extension – Yancey County
North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement
Warren Wilson College
Western North Carolina Alliance


This year, there are 41 participating farms — that’s the most that have ever participated! What’s more, 18 participants are NEW stops! Find a list of all 41 farms below, and click HERE to learn more about what you’ll find and experience at each location.

1 Becki’s Bounty
2 Blue Ridge Bison
3 Dillingham Family Farm
4 Emma Farms
5 Flying Cloud Farm
6 Gaining Ground Farm
7 Good Fibrations
8 Hawk and Ivy
9 Hickory Nut Gap Farm
10 Hominy Valley Farms
11 Hop’n Blueberry Farm
12 Imladris Farm
13 Ivy Creek Family Farm
14 Jordan Blackley Farm
15 Lady Luck Flower Farm
16 Long Branch Environmental Education Center
17 Looking Glass Creamery
18 Martins Creek Homestead
19 Ox-Ford Farm
20 Round Mountain Creamery
21 Thatchmore Farm
22 Venezia Dream Farm
23 Whispersholler Farms
24 East Fork Farm
25 The Farm Retreat and Home of Farm House Beef
26 Fisher Branch Farm
27 New Direction Farm
28 Philosophy Farm
29 Spinning Spider Creamery
30 Sunswept Farm Conservancy
31 Wake Robin Farm
32 Wild Mountain Apiaries

33 Arthur Morgan School
34 Green Toe Ground Farm
35 Mountain Farm
36 Mountain Gardens
37 Wellspring Farm

38 Chambers Farm Market
39 Mountain Organic Research and Extension Unit
40 Sunburst Trout
41 Ten Acre Garden

City Market South Has Kicked Off at Biltmore Park Town Square

Monday, June 6th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s City Market South returned to Biltmore Park Town Square earlier this month.  This is an excellent opportunity for south Asheville residents to enjoy convenient access to Western North Carolina’s very own fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, handmade crafts, and more.  Why buy local?  Click here to view 10 Reasons to Buy Local Food.

The market lined the median of Town Square Boulevard and included a variety of local vendors.  The array of vendors at the first market included:  gourmet cheeses, locally grown fresh produce, handmade gourmet chocolates, and locally roasted coffee & beans.  Below are some of the vendors at the City Market South:

Be sure to check out the City Market South, every Wednesday, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Sponsors Cooking Demonstration

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Local chefs will show us ways to prepare meals highlighting different foods and food products that are available from area producers.

On Tuesday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m., Laurey Masterton will join us as we highlight local honey, greens and meats. Each class will include the health benefits and ways of preserving selected foods. Bring your appetite for tasty local food and your questions for the experts.

Preregistration is required and confirmed with receipt of $5. Call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522 for more information.

Program sponsored by Cooperative Extension and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.

Posana Cafe Celebrates Third Anniversary with Benefit Dinner for ASAP

Friday, May 13th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – On Thursday, May 19, Posana Cafe will commemorate their third anniversary and include Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project in the celebration! They’re hosting a benefit dinner for our Growing Minds Farm to School Program, as they graciously have every year since first opening. The restaurant will offer a special Appalachian Grown Local Menu from 5-9 pm that is sure to please. Thanks to the contributions of farmers, if you order off of the special menu, we’ll receive 100% of the proceeds! Keep reading to find out which local farms and ingredients will be featured.

Posana is receiving generous donations from the following farms and partners:

East Fork Farm
Sunburst Trout
Hickory Nut Gap
Brasstown Beef
Three Graces Dairy
Looking Glass Creamery
Pisgah Brewing
Biltmore Estate Wines

Get Local With ASAP: December’s Focus is Farm Raised Meat

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Turkeys have gotten all the attention lately, haven’t they? While area farmers do raise the birds, they also raise bison, chickens, cows, goats, lambs, pigs, and rabbits. In honor of the variety, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) is shining the spotlight on farm raised meats this December in their Get Local initiative.

A year-round component of ASAP’s Local Food Campaign, Get Local brings together farmers, chefs, and community members in celebration of a featured food available at tailgate markets, groceries, and restaurants during the month. Area tailgates close just before Christmas, making December the perfect time to stock up. But, don’t worry; although local meats are getting special attention now, you can find them for sale and on restaurant menus throughout the winter.

Find lamb from East Fork Farm featured at Posana Cafe in Asheville, goat at Asheville’s Simma Down; and local beef, bison, and pork (from Apple Brandy Beef, Carolina Bison, and Hickory Nut Gap) at Square One Bistro in Hendersonville. The list of restaurants doesn’t end there. You can also enjoy local meat from a hot dog cart, Local Buggy, Saturdays at Asheville City Market this month (keep your eyes peeled for the cart at the East Asheville Home Depot, too).

For a complete list of Get Local restaurants, as well as more information about the initiative, visit the Get Local page of asapconnections.org. There, you can also download a Get Local school calendar; from December through March, participating schools will highlight local apples. Search for farm stands, groceries, and tailgate markets in ASAP’s Local Food Guide, online at buyappalachian.org. If you’re a chef or restaurant interested in participating, contact Marketing Coordinator Lee Seabrook at [email protected].

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Announces Upcoming Events

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – ASAP or Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, an organization that helps bring local food to the area in attempt to preserve the areas agricultural heritage hosts a number of events during the month of November.

On November 4th from 6pm to 9m come join in for a workshop of Chinese Herbs grown in WNC, held at AB Tech Enka-Candler campus from national expert Jean Giblett. November 6th from 2pm to 6pm at McDowell Community College participants will gather for an afternoon on poultry and rabbit production. Also on November 6th is a nursery walk at the Earth Haven Eco-village in Black Mountain from 9am to 6pm, where attendees have the opportunity to learn about native plants in the area, purchase plants on sale, and talk to experts in the field. Visit http://www.asapconnections.org for more information about events happening through ASAP and information about how you can get involved.

Local Food Institute Almost Here, Registration Deadline Oct. 7

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – This year’s Local Food Institute will be held October 13 and 14 in Asheville, NC. Build your local food economy with the two-day program designed to share information about and strategies behind Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s (ASAP) innovative approach to creating environments where local food economies thrive. The cost of attendance is $300. You can register online by October 7th.</p>

The Program:

This two-day program is designed to share information about and strategies behind ASAP’s innovative approach to creating environments where local food economies thrive.

On Day One: Learn proven steps from ASAP and other community leaders and organizers through guided instruction, panel discussions, and networking.
On Day Two: Visit local farms and businesses that illustrate how entrepreneurs are successfully accessing local markets.

What You’ll Do:

– Learn from ASAP and other leading innovators through structured instruction.
– Examine specific aspects of the local food market and learn about initiatives that have helped farmers and local food entrepreneurs experience success.
– Interact with farmers, economic development specialists, farmers market planners, and community organizers.
– Apply what you have learned to your own work and area.

What You’ll Take Home:

– A solid understanding of and talking points on the benefits of developing your local food economy.
– Knowledge of the key resources, community assets, and partners needed in order to undertake local food initiatives.
– Resources to use in your community.
– Models for successful entrepreneurship.

Find a PDF of the tentative agenda here. For speaker bios, click here.

Cost and Registration:

The program runs from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on October 13th and 14th, and ASAP provides lunch both days. The cost of attendance is $300.

Click here to fill out a registration form, pay online, and find more information about sign-up. The registration deadline is October 7. If you have questions about the event or registration process, contact administrator Allison Perrett.

Directions and Accommodations:

This year’s Local Food Institute will take place in and around Asheville. Day one will be held downtown at Jubilee! Community. A central meeting location at the start of day two will be announced shortly.