Garden Journal

Testing, testing: Aiming to help local farmers increase profits, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will establish demonstration plots in Buncombe County, showcasing enterprises that could boost on-farm incomes.

This year alone, the service plans to create plots for vegetables, small fruits, medicinal herbs, livestock, nursery production and ornamental plants.

In a similar vein, NCCES is also engaged in a feasibility study to see if the region can support a milk-processing facility for the production of locally branded milk products. Results are expected by June 30, the service says.

Funds for the studies, to the tune of $18,000, come from Buncombe County by way of the Asheville HUB project.

Now that’s-a tomato!: The Buy Haywood Market Development Project (www.buyhaywood.com), a recently formed organization that boosts the county’s farm products, including its fabled tomatoes, with the help of Golden LEAF Foundation grants, recently garnered some good attention—from all the way across the Atlantic.

Journalist Benny Manocchia sought out the project for a story in L’Informatore Agrario (www.informatoreagrario.it) an Italian agricultural magazine with distribution throughout Europe.

Market on your calendar: The Asheville City Market will open on Saturday, April 19, at the Asheville Public Works Department parking lot, located at 161 S. Charlotte St.

The market intends to be the area’s premier producer-only farmer’s bazaar, and the site’s generous size should make for good public access. Former French Broad Food Co-op manager Michael McCreary will run the show.

For more information, visit the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Web site (www.asap.org), or call McCreary at 236-1282.

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