Bountiful Cities plans Buncombe County’s first food hub

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Local nonprofit Bountiful Cities has plans to build Buncombe County's first food hub on a 1-acre plot in West Asheville. Sunil Patel, pictured, of Patchwork Urban Farms has been farming the property for four years with the help of Bountiful Cities and will continue its cultivation once the two-level facility is built. Photo courtesy of Bountiful Cities

For about a decade, a growing number of communities across the U.S. have been bolstering their local food systems by creating food hubs — facilities or organizations that provide infrastructure to help small-scale growers reach broader markets. Several months ago, community leaders in McDowell County announced plans for such a facility, and now Asheville has its own food hub on the horizon.

“This will be the first project of its kind in Buncombe County,” says Kellie Adkins, project manager for urban agriculture nonprofit Bountiful Cities’ proposed Falconhurst Community Food Hub. 

Plans are for a two-level, multiuse pavilion to be constructed on a 1-acre tract in West Asheville’s Falconhurst neighborhood, she says. The land was historically farmed by the Broome family and was recently donated to the nonprofit by Asheville resident Robert Wood. The structure, which will be built on the former site of the original farm’s barn, will primarily serve Bountiful Cities’ network of community gardens and local urban farmers and will also host the nonprofit’s planned Urban Farm School. 

The lower level will offer shared cold storage, a root cellar and a produce processing center with a triple-wash sink and packaging area. “Upstairs would be a value-added kitchen for community outreach and educational programs, but community gardeners would also have access to it to process their value-added products,” Adkins explains. “It’s really a hub to encourage and continue the support of agriculture in the Falconhurst community and the broader city of Asheville as well.”

For the past four years, Sunil Patel of Patchwork Urban Farms has grown crops on the property and used a Bountiful Cities facility in Montford for packaging and distribution. “What we want to provide for him and for other urban gardeners in the area is a space and a hub to support their agricultural yield,” says Adkins.

The lot currently lacks road access, and Bountiful Cities is working with the city to find a mutually agreeable solution. As for the hub itself, the nonprofit has secured funding for about a quarter of the low-end estimate of $250,000 that’s needed for construction, Adkins says. It hopes to earn the rest through fundraising efforts, including participation in Chow Chow: An Asheville Culinary Event in September, the FEAST program’s Feasting for FEAST event and the Mountain Xpress GiveLocal! campaign.

The project’s timeline is contingent not only on the road access question but also on city permitting once final plans are submitted. “We would love to be able to say we can break ground in early winter to midwinter — before spring to avoid interfering with the farming activities; that would be ideal,” says Adkins.

For more, visit Send questions to


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.