By Calie Brummer
ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) will host its annual CSA Fair on Thursday, March 14, from 3-6 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing Company in Asheville. In its ninth year, the Fair showcases local farmers offering unique CSA (community supported agriculture) programs.
Those attending will be able to visit individual tables during the fair to learn what products participating farms offer, where they deliver and how their produce is grown. During the Fair, guests can also sign up for CSA programs and connect in person with local farmers.
CSA members purchase a share of a farm’s harvest before the season begins and, in time, receive a box of fresh produce, meats, flowers and other goods. Many farms offer half and full shares to accommodate different sized households. During the harvest season, members can also receive add-on items such as farm fresh eggs. Membership fees act as investments in local farms, providing financial support early in a farm’s season and keeping food dollars within the community.
“The CSA Fair is always an exciting time for us to share our unique CSA program while potential customers find the best fit for their needs,” says Sara Jane Davis, owner of A Way of Life Farm in Rutherford County. “Guests are able to compare pick-up locations and schedules, and learn more about season duration, growing practices and product selection. We’ve met many new members at this event who have now been in our CSA for years.”
A Way of Life Farm has participated in the ASAP CSA Fair for several years. The farm offers a unique program that includes standard and unique varieties of vegetables for 33 weeks throughout the season. Members can also choose from spring, summer and fall options and can optin to include pork shares from the farm.
The CSA Fair showcases farms in Western North Carolina that offer flowers, vegetables and meats. All participating farms have designated drop-off or pick-up locations in Asheville or Buncombe County. Some farms also deliver items directly to a business or group through the workplace CSA program, which provides CSA shares for employees at participating businesses.
During the Fair, ASAP will release a new CSA guide, Full Share, which highlights local farms and CSA programs to help guests get background information about the offerings in their communities. The guide will be available at select locations across the region and is the companion publication to ASAP’s 2019 Local Food Guide, which hits stands in April.
The CSA Fair is a free, family-friendly event open to the public. In celebration of Pi Day on Thursday, March 14, Sweetheart Bakery will host a popup pie stand during the fair. Guests can also enjoy locally sourced food tastings and family-friendly activities throughout the afternoon.
New Belgium Brewing Company is located at 21 Craven Street. To learn more, visit ASAPConnections.org.