Business of Farming Conference this weekend, sponsorship opportunity for ASAP's Farm Tour + more

Newsletter received on 02/19/20 from [ASAP] Sarah Hart
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Local Food, Strong Farms, Healthy Communities
monthly news from ASAP    |    FEBRUARY  2020    |
Business of Farming Conference This Saturday!
Business of Farming Conference at A-B Tech Conference Center and welcome speaker Joey Owle
Business of Farming Conference week is finally here (the event is this Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at A-B Tech Conference Center)! There are only a few slots left, so if you're interested in attending, register as soon as possible
Conference welcome will be given by Joey Owle, Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and ASAP board member. Find more workshop speakers and one-on-one session consultants on our website. 
Need directions? A-B Tech Conference Center is located on the college’s Asheville campus at 340 Victoria Rd. Get printable directions here. Look for ASAP event signs on campus to direct you. Free parking is available in the garage and adjacent parking lot. 
Stay for ice cream! Following the last workshop block, The Hop Ice Cream Cafe will be offering free treats for conference attendees. 
Farms Announced for Asheville CSA Fair
CSA box from Bearwallow Family Farm
Join us for the Asheville CSA Fair March 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing Co. (the event is free and family-friendly). Learn more about CSA (Community Support Agriculture) programs and talk to farmers offering pick up locations in Buncombe County. This is a friendly setting where you can come just to learn more or go ahead and purchase a CSA membership. 
Participating farms include A Way of Life FarmBearwallow Valley FarmsThe Bird and the Beasts’ FarmsteadColfax Creek FarmFull Sun FarmHickory Nut Gap FarmHighgate FarmMighty Gnome Market GardenOlivette Farm, and Watershed Forest Farm. Check back for updates, as more farms may be added.
Stay tuned for more details about ASAP's High Country CSA Fair March 26 in Boone, co-presented with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and the Beaver College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University, in our next newsletter.
New From the Growing Minds Library
New books from the Growing Minds library
Our Growing Minds library has added new material this winter. Remember that you can use the diversity tag to search for books featuring diverse characters or subjects, including these four featured titles. Children’s literature is a powerful tool for teaching kids about diversity and equity, and we're committed to representing as many experiences as possible. Have a book you think should be featured in our library? Let us know!
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn
Reading a book about garden poetry inspires young Lola to plant her own garden. She and her mom plant their garden full of flowers and anticipate when the flowers will blossom. Lola celebrates with a garden party with her friends.
Fresh Picked Poetry by Michelle Schaub
This collection of poems about a lively farmers market aims to spark excitement in little ones about eating healthy and farmers markets.
Mystery Vine by Cathryn Falwell
The story follows two kids who are curious as to what the mystery vine growing in the garden really is. They soon find out as summer changes to fall.
The Apple Tree by Sandy Tharp-Thee
The story centers around a young boy who plants an apple seed and hopes for it to grow into a strong apple tree. The boy tries to encourage the tree to grow ripe with apples after there was not a single apple during the first season. This is a Cherokee story translated into English.
Call for 2020 Farm Tour Sponsors
ASAP's 2019 Farm Tour
Would your business benefit from the visibility a Farm Tour sponsorship offers? ASAP’s Farm Tour is the premier farm event in the region, welcoming more than 1,500 area residents and tourists each year. This year's tour will take place June 20 and 21. Our region is know for its passion for local food, and a Farm Tour sponsorship is a great way to showcase your support of local food and farms. Media or other in-kind sponsorship will also be considered. Contact to learn more.
Melissa Harwin
Melissa Harwin from Highgate FarmASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month we're talking to Melissa Harwin of Highgate Farm, which offers a traditional CSA. Meet Melissa—and many other CSA farmers—at the Asheville CSA Fair on March 12.
For anyone who doesn't know, how are CSAs beneficial to farmers and buyers?
The traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model was conceived back in the 1960s as a way to provide capital to farmers during the part of their season when expenses are high, but income is low. Farmers face expenses such as ordering seeds and fertilizer, purchasing and repairing equipment, hiring staff, and more before the first CSA is delivered. CSA members help manage those expenses by providing the funds to start the season. We feel honored by our members' investment, show of faith, and willingness to join us in the risks and rewards of farming each season.
Our CSA members receive a discount on the value of their share, saving anywhere from 2 to 20 percent off market price and they receive a great selection of the week's harvest. They benefit from knowing where and how their food is produced, and knowing they are supporting the folks who produce it.
How is the CSA Fair important to you and the community? Does it bring more interest to your CSA?
Each year at the CSA fair we meet and sign up several new CSA members. The fair allows farmers to showcase their offerings and for potential members to compare programs to find their best match. A good match means a happy customer. Satisfied customers return and spread the word! 
What does Highgate Farm's CSA include? 
Each week we carefully plan the selection of items to be packed for our CSA members, who always get first dibs on our top-quality produce. Our shares include seven to ten varieties of beautiful, fresh produce with an average value of $35. My partner, John Kunkle, and I combine our love and knowledge of great food with hands-on, small-scale farming to produce delicious and healthy foods to inspire the chef in all of us. We are a Certified Naturally Grown farm. With a focus on good stewardship, we employ natural methods and organic inputs to improve the health of the ecosystem, quality of the soil, and the vigor of our crops. We believe this is the right thing to do for people and the planet.
Do you have opportunities for CSA members to visit your farm or have a hands-on experience?
During the season, our CSA members enjoy an open house get-together and tours of the farm. We occasionally schedule work days for those who are interested.
Mark your calendar for the Asheville CSA Fair!

Hydroponics greenhouse at Farm Fresh Ventures

Our February photo of the month comes from Eugene Jones, a certified horticultural therapist for Recovery Ventures - Farm Fresh Ventures in McDowell County. Greenhouses can keep lettuces and microgreens like these available to shoppers and chefs year round.
 RAD Quiche
RAD quiche, courtesy of River Arts District Farmers MarketFarmers market vendors and managers can be a great source for new recipes that utilize the best of what's in season. River Arts District Farmers Market recently started including beautifully illustrated recipes in their newsletters, website, and social media. We're sharing a simple one here. Find more farmers market recipe inspiration in our Fresh at Farmers Markets report each week. 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or cream
  • 16 ounces mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped hearty greens
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • feta
  • your favorite quiche crust
  • microgreens
  • Beat the eggs thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Add cream, mix again, and set aside.
  • Sauté your mushrooms and your preferred greens with garlic and onion. Spread over the quiche crust of your choosing. Crumble feta over the vegetables. 
  • Pour your egg mix over all the goodies in your finished quiche crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  • Let cool, slice, and top with microgreens. Enjoy!
ASAP in the News
An article in the Mountain Xpress on the Jewish Farmer Network mentions ASAP as an organization that has "bolstered the region’s reputation as a laboratory space for organic, sustainable and resilient agricultural methods." 
ASAP's CSA Fairs were previewed by the Mountain Xpress and Morning Ag Clips.
ASAP on the Air
Growing Local RadioASAP’s Growing Local audio series runs on WNCW on Monday mornings during Morning Edition at 8:45 a.m. Here are a few recent episodes:
You can listen to all Growing Local episodes on SoundCloudiTunes, or on ASAP's website.
Pinterest |
ASAP's mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. 
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ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)  •  306 W. Haywood Street  •  Asheville, NC 28801

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