2015 marks ASD’s 20th year serving Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Sullivan and Washington counties in northeast TN and Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise counties in southwest VA. With strong roots in sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry and food access, the future looks bright for this local non-profit. As trends continue to show growing consumer interest in locally grown and raised produce, ASD believes they are well positioned to support local farmers and food producers by creating more outlets for them.
ASD strives to partner with lots of folks to create a strong local food culture and increasing its important impacts. ASD believes that collaborations and partnerships that support a collective impact model that can drive social change.
ASD’s mission is to grow food, communities and opportunities to build a thriving Appalachia.
With a lean staff of 13 full-time employees and a host of part-timers, volunteers, contractors and others, ASD executes 10 programs that help farmers earn income to stay on family farms, farms, connect secondary wood mills with green building projects, teach people about where their food comes from and donate fresh, healthy second produce to food banks.
Some highlights for 2015:
- Garden Box Project will grow from having 85 boxes in use to 110. Garden boxes are boxes on legs with casters that allow people with limited green space or physical limitations to grow fresh, healthy produce.
- Healthy Families~Family Farms is currently raising money to purchase seconds produce from local farmers that it will then donate 100% free to charge to food banks/pantries.
- Grow Your Own is currently at capacity. This year we will serve 33 home gardeners, 7 community gardens and 4 market gardens… for a total of 300+ individuals.
- Learning Landscapes has new installations at Boys & Girls Club and Sullins Academy in Bristol.
- Appalachian Harvest is currently recruiting farmers to grow food and offering food safety/handling workshops.
- Rooted in Appalachia is making visits to local restaurants to learn levels of interest and get ordering projections for this season.
- AFMA is proud to see all the markets opening up for the season.
- WoodRight has new forest hardwood products in its brandline that are now available to architects and contractors.
And ASD’s signature fundraiser; the 5th annual Farm to Fork Gala is just around the corner. This year, it will be held at Meadowview Marriott on June 6. ASD stays true to their work and features local foods, local beer, local wine and live, local talent. This year entertainment will be provided by Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes. Guests will enjoy a truly meaningful experience by enjoying dishes prepared using fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins; sown, grown and lovingly harvested by local farmers and food producers, right here in our region. Guests are always delighted when they support what’s truly local and in-season. 100% of the money raised stays right in our region and that’s especially important. The event is always limited to 250 guests and there are still a few tables left for purchase. For more information, visit the ASD Website or call Sylvia Crum at 276-791-5572.