ASAP Hosts 10th Annual CSA Fair on Thursday March 12, 2020; Free CSA guide available now.
As spring approaches, farmers in Western North Carolina are busy preparing for the season and selling CSA shares. To help the community learn more about CSAs (or Community Supported Agriculture), ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) offers several events and resources.
ASAP’s 10th annual Asheville CSA Fair will take place Thursday, March 12, 2020, from 3 to 6 p.m, at New Belgium Brewing Co. (21 Craven St.). This free, family-friendly event is open to the public. In addition, Full Share, a free printed guide to CSA farms in the Appalachian Grown region, is available now at farmers markets and community centers throughout the region.
Becoming a CSA member connects you directly with local farms. Members buy a “share” of the farm’s harvest upfront and receive a weekly box of fresh produce or other farm goods, such as meat, eggs, or flowers. The CSA Fair is a relaxed setting for attendees to talk to farmers about their products and growing practices, learn more about the CSA process, and see if there is a program that is a good fit.
Attendees can purchase a CSA share at the fair or get farmer contact information to follow up later. Farms at the Asheville CSA Fair all offer CSA pickup locations within Buncombe County, and some have a variety of options for size of the share, frequency of delivery, or payment plans.
“The CSA Fair a great way to remind folks that CSA season is just weeks away, and that membership is so important to farms,” says Melissa Harwin of Highgate Farm in Madison County. “Months before our CSA members receive their first share, we farmers face expenses to get the season underway: ordering seeds and fertilizer, purchasing and repairing equipment, hiring staff, and so many others. Our members help us manage those expenses, by providing the funds to get the season off to a good start. We feel honored by our members’ investment, show of faith, and willingness to join us in the risks and rewards of farming.”
Participating farms at the Asheville CSA Fair include A Way of Life Farm, Bearwallow Valley Farms, The Bird & The Beasts’ Farmstead, Colfax Creek Farm, Full Sun Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Highgate Farm, Mighty Gnome Market Garden, Olivette Farm, and Watershed Forest Farm. Check asapconnections.org/events/csa-fair for updates, as more farms may be added.
In addition to the Asheville CSA Fair on March 12, ASAP will partner with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and Beaver College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University to host a High Country CSA Fair on Thursday, March 26, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences in Boone.