Our Go Local Partners are community building groups and are a big source of pride for us. We’ll be spotlighting several of them over the next few months. The first spotlight is on ASAP – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP is a regional nonprofit whose mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Through its Local Food Guide and the Appalachian Grown branding and certification program, ASAP identifies local food in the marketplace.
Below are some “factoids” from their 2021 annual report to give you an idea of the impact they have in Asheville and the surrounding areas.
- 854 farms, 371 partners, and 104 farmers markets participated in the Appalachian Grown program.
- 130 farms, 35 buyers, and 33 farmers markets were provided with training and technical assistance through workshops, events, and one-to-one assistance
- 70,000 copies of the Local Food Guide were printed and distributed across the region.
I had a chance to sit down with ASAP’s Executive Director, Molly Nicholie, and we walked through the ASAP Connection on-line directory, which is a user-friendly source for finding all the local farmer’s markets as well as farm tours, roadside stands, u pick locations…the list goes on. You can find the directory here.
Asheville alone has 8 Farmer’s Markets. To find the locations, days and times of operations, you can search in their on-line directory here. ASAP operates Asheville City Market, located at N. Market Street in downtown Asheville on Saturday mornings. Recently I visited Go Local members Tamana Candle, Hominy Creek Farms and Mother Ocean Market booths at the City Market to say hi and thank them for being part of our community. I also bought candles, microgreens pesto and salmon from them while there!
In Go Local’s business listings, members can be recognized as local food certified through ASAP. Currently, 38 of our business members are certified. If you’d like to support these businesses, they’re recognized in our print guide, on-line directory and app with this icon: