The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) began in the mid 1990’s and frankly, through hard work, creative minds and sincere effort they have come a long way. Their mission statement is partly to create sustainability in the farm community in the Appalachian area. In recent times, farms largely engaged in “enlargement” as a strategy for success. Due to the mountainous topography, the customary methodology of success by growing larger was not really an option for locally owned small farms. That path was closed to them but they simply sought another option to achieve viability. Relevance could be an option, helping people understand the real connection of the land to their food was an option, seeking to develop close symbiotic relationships with farmer’s and the customers they serve was an option and engaging Asheville’s culinary scene enabling direct buying (farm to table) was an option. They pursued each and every one of these with vigor. The result is that Asheville is blessed with the best, freshest, locally sourced produce around creating significant health benefit options for our small city and a population that has been educated to understand that value.
This weekend ASAP is offering a Self Guided tour of locally owned farms willing to open their doors to the public offering a birds-eye view of all the workings of farm life. Meet farm animals, taste fresh farm products, buy their product, meet the growers who can help you gain a more complete understanding of the growing process. On this tour you’ll really get a “behind the scenes” look at all the variant taskings that the people actually growing the food we eat accomplish every single day.
It is one of my very favorite events in Asheville and we try to go every year. From the goat cheese, to beef, to chickens, rabbit, eggs and more…I guarantee that you will leave the tour knowing much more than you ever did before about farming and the lives of those who grow our food. You’ll learn about the cyclic nature of farming from planting, to harvesting and production and in that knowledge gain a real appreciation for those working every day to provide fresh produce, meats, eggs and more to our population.
When: Friday, June 25, 2016 and Saturday, June 26, 2016
Where: You’ll get a map with your ticket purchas. From Fairview to Madison County there a participating farms. You can see them all in the two days or pick the ones that hold the most interest for you. l
Cost: Tickets Required One full car load pass is $30 in advance and $40 on the weekend of the tour. Go to the ASAP Connections.org for more information.
Advice: There is much for sale on these tours. Some of the farms are set up to accept credit or debit cards. Some are not so bring some cash with you.