Think Inside the Box
ASAP’s Eighth CSA Fair Planned for Thursday, March 15
ASHEVILLE, NC (February 21, 2018)—The traditional growing season is getting closer and Western North Carolina farmers will soon begin picking asparagus, greens, and radishes to sell at farmers tailgate markets and to pack boxes for their CSA—or Community Supported Agriculture—farm share subscribers. To help the community learn more about CSAs, ASAP is hosting their Eighth CSA Fair on Thursday, March 15, from 3-6 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing Co. (21 Craven Street, Asheville, NC). The annual family-friendly event is free and provides an opportunity to meet area farmers, browse farmers’ CSA programs and products, and sign up.
Family farms offering traditional CSAs is a chance for community members to support a farm at the beginning of the season and receive a box of fresh produce, meats, or flowers from their farm on a regular basis through the growing season. Many farms feature half and full size shares to accommodate different size households, and offer convenient add-on options such as farm fresh eggs. Many farms also offer opportunities for CSA members to connect in person with the farm, either through on-farm CSA pick-up, farm tours, member work days, or end of season celebrations.
Meridith Miller, a Buncombe County resident who has attended and volunteered at previous CSA Fairs, values the interactions with farmers. “Getting to see all the different farms represented at the CSA Fair really opened my eyes to the range of choices available,” Miller said. “It adds a lot to be able to talk to the growers to learn about their plans for the season. I like being able to find out what they are planting because I have some favorite products that I look for.”
According to farmers, the CSA Fair is valuable for their farm business. “The CSA Fair is such a great way for us to connect directly with families wanting to invest in local farms and their own health through the purchase of a CSA share,” said Melissa Harwin of Highgate Farm. “The fair provides us with the opportunity to answer questions and share information to help folks find the best match for themselves.”
Highgate Farm is one of the 15 Appalachian Grown™ certified CSA providers slated to attend the fair. ASAP’s Appalachian Grown certification program identifies local food from family farms in the Southern Appalachians. All of the participating farms in the CSA Fair have pickup locations in Buncombe County.
- A Way of Life Farm (Bostic)
- Betsy’s Farm (Candler)
- Blue Meadow Farms (Hendersonville)
- Edmundson Produce Farm (Hendersonville)
- Flying Cloud Farm (Fairview)
- Full Sun Farm (Leicester)
- Hickory Nut Gap Farm (Fairview)
- Highgate Farm (Marshall)
- Intentional Swine (Asheville)
- Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm (Marshall)
- Olivette Farm (Alexander)
- Reeves Home Place Farm (Leicester)
- Stonecrop Garden (Marshall)
- Terra Lingua Growers (Etowah)
- Wildwood Herbal (Weaverville)
This year’s event is sponsored by the The Market Place, ImageSmith Communications, Food Life, and Buncombe County Service Foundation. The Market Place will offer a local food inspired cocktail the week of March 5 to celebrate the CSA Fair.
To learn more about the fair and ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org. Those unable to attend can search for more local farms offering CSAs in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org; the new 2018 print guide hits the stands in April.