Food Sustainability

ASAP’s Virtual CSA Fair Set for March 10 on Zoom

CSA boxes from Mighty Gnome Market Garden. Photo courtesy of Mighty Gnome Market Garden

ASAP will host a virtual CSA Fair on Wednesday, March 10, from 4–6 p.m. on Zoom. The fair will feature about 10 farms in Asheville and the surrounding areas that provide Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, programs. The fair is free to attend, but participants do need to register to get the Zoom link. “As we saw last year at the start of the pandemic, people are becoming even more interested in shortening their food supply chain,” says Sarah Hart, communications coordinator for ASAP. “Food from a CSA box has traveled pretty much the shortest route possible to get from the field to your table. But even more than that, joining a CSA connects you more deeply with a farm and your local community. It’s also a chance to challenge yourself to cook more, incorporate more veggies into your diet and generally eat more healthfully and mindfully.”

Mighty Gnome Market Garden, owned by Danielle Keeter and Mark McDonagh, will be participating in the fair. “I’m optimistic the virtual CSA Fair will be even more effective thanks to the group setting,” says Danielle. “Instead of each individual asking the farmer questions, other people ‘in the room’ will be able to hear what’s being asked and build off of that for follow-up questions.”

CSA programs benefit farms and gardens like Mighty Gnome by providing an income stream at the beginning of the farm season, when there is a lot to purchase, such as starting materials and packaging supplies. “Not only do we base our entire crop plan around our CSA program,” says Danielle, “we also rely on this program for early season income. The boost from CSA members as they sign up for a season’s worth of fresh produce is crucial, and transforms the market garden by establishing a strong sense of community support.”

Visit ASAPConnections.org/events/csa-fair to register for the fair. Also, find a free guide listing 60 CSA farms in the Appalachian Grown region at ASAPConnections.org/find-local-food/csa.

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