New Farmers Market + Resources for the COVID-19 Emergency

Newsletter received on 03/20/20 from [ASAP] Sarah Hart
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Local Food, Strong Farms, Healthy Communities
An Update from ASAP During the COVID-19 Emergency
ASAP is working on solutions to navigate this rapidly changing environment. Our physical office is closed as we continue our work from home, but you can reach us by email and voicemails
New ASAP Farmers Market Tomorrow
ASAP Farmers Market location map
 
In response to farmers market closures due to the COVID-19 emergency, ASAP has organized an interim outdoor farmers market on the campus of A-B Tech in Asheville, beginning this Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. The new market will operate for as long as necessary, possibly expanding to other locations and days of the week as needed.
 
The ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech is designed to protect shoppers and vendors and the market will enforce several safety procedures. The number of people in the market area at one time will be tightly controlled. Please approach from the end of Persistence Dr. (off Victoria Rd.), and remain queued in your vehicle until staff instructs you to park and move into the market. No walkups allowed. Social distances of six feet will be maintained between vendors and shoppers. Customers will select pre-packaged or bunched items and will not handle other product on vendor tables. Children, if they must attend with adult shoppers, must be closely supervised.

To minimize potential virus transmission points, no payments will be transacted at the market. Purchases will be paid in a secure online portal after shopping. Credit, debit, and SNAP/EBT are accepted (no Double SNAP right now). ASAP will cover the risk for honor system payments, and farmers will be paid in full for all product sold. Customers will have the option to provide a donation to help cover operational costs and shortages.
 
Vendors for this Saturday, March 21, are: Beeswax and Butter, Black Trumpet Farm, Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, Brew Naturals, Carolina Flowers, Dry Ridge Farm, Headwaters Market Garden,Hominy Farm, Jah Works Farm, Jake’s Farm, Rio Bertolini’s Fresh Pasta, Serotonin Ferments, Shanti Elixirs, Simple Bread, Sister of Mother Earth, Sleight Family Farm, Spinning Spider Creamery, Sweetheart BakeryTen Mile Farm, and Wildwood Herbal.
 
To continue to receive weekly updates on the interim market, as well as other farmers market news, make sure you are subscribed to ASAP's Weekly Farmers Market Report
How to Connect Directly with Farmers
Arrange a pickup or delivery. Many farms and farmers market vendors are offering alternate methods in order to get product safely to customers during the COVID-19 emergency. ASAP is compiling this information here, updated as often as we can. If you are a farmer or market vendor, please share temporary updates about your business offerings here and/or update your online Local Food Guide listing to reflect new market outlets.
 
Join a CSA. As a CSA member, you pay upfront to receive a weekly box of local produce, or other farm products and provide much-needed financial support to farmers at a time when other market outlets may be limited. Use these links to ASAP’s online Local Food Guide to find CSA farms by region: Central Mountains / Southern Mountains / Far West / Foothills / High Country / Upstate SC / TN Mountains / VA Mountains / Northeast GA
 
Visit a farm stand. Many farms have a roadside stand or farm store. Some of these may have options for pre-order and pick up or self-service. Use these links to ASAP’s online Local Food Guide to find farm stands by region (contact farms to confirm hours of operation)Central Mountains / Southern Mountains / Far West / Foothills / High Country / Upstate SC / TN Mountains / VA Mountains / Northeast GA
Assistance for Farmers
ASAP is continuing to advocate for relief and assistance to farmers as well as partnering with other ag service agencies to amplify resources. We will announce additional opportunities as they are available.
  
The Small Business Administration has low-interest loans available for small businesses severely impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. Small business owners in some states, including North Carolina, are currently eligible to apply. 
 
RAFI-USA will be distributing emergency mini-grants of $500 to farmers who are drastically impacted by market sales disruptions caused by COVID-19. Funding is currently limited to farmers located in North Carolina. Find out more and inquire about the application here.
Find Meals for Kids During School Closures
Schools in North Carolina and many other states have been closed at least through March 30, and likely longer. While all students are adversely impacted by these unanticipated school closures, students who depend on school meals as their primary source of food are most severely affected.
 
No Kid Hungry North Carolina is compiling and updating a list of school districts and community partners that are continuing to provide meals, particularly for low-income students, through various innovative strategies. Be sure to check websites and social media accounts for for the most accurate and up-to-date information. This list is about school food. Other food resources might be available in your area. Start by finding your local food bank.
 
Visite esta página para obtener una versión traducida por Google de todo el documento en español.
Growing Minds Learning Resources Available Online
With many schools and childcare facilities closed, families are struggling to keep kids occupied and engaged. Our Growing Minds team is sharing a few resources that might make being home a tad bit easier.
 
This Week in the Garden (TWIG). We have a TWIG activity guide for every week of the school year, with versions adapted for K-5 as well as preschool. These include a suggested garden or outdoor experience, book of the week, journaling topics, and a recipe.
 
Database of children's literature. Many of these books can be found in Kindle libraries or other e-readers. Our recommended book selection this week is And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano. The full searchable database of children's literature can be found here. 
 
Stay tuned in the days and weeks to come as our Growing Minds team works on other virtual avenues for distance learning, such as read-aloud podcasts, online lessons, and more.
CANCELLED: High Country CSA Fair
The High Country CSA Fair, scheduled for March 26 in Boone at the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University, has been cancelled. But you can find information about CSAs from the farms set to participate and learn more about Community Supported Agriculture on our website. Please reach out to farms directly with questions or to sign up for a CSA. 
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appalachiangrown.org | fromhere.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. 
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ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)  •  306 W. Haywood Street  •  Asheville, NC 28801

http://www.asapconnections.org

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