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WNC Business

ASAP encourages support for local agriculture

Feb 13, 2024 06:12PM ● By WNC Business

Joining a CSA (or Community Supported Agriculture) program connects consumers directly with local community farms. Members buy a “share” of a farm’s harvest upfront and receive a weekly box of fresh produce or other farm goods. The best time to sign up for a CSA is in February and early March — prompting ASAP to declare Feb. 15 to March 15 to be CSA Month. CSA Month will include a social media campaign with CSA education and farmer features, digital tools for finding CSA programs, and an in-person CSA Fair at the YWCA of Asheville on March 8 from 3:00 to 5:30 PM. 

The CSA Fair on March 8 highlights farms with a CSA pickup location in Buncombe County. In addition to traditional produce CSAs, the fair includes farms with specialty CSA products, such as meat or flowers. The fair is a relaxed, family-friendly setting where attendees chat with farmers about their products, growing practices, payment structure, and more. Attendees can sign up for a CSA during the fair or follow up with farmers later. The fair also features local food tastings and activities for kids, as well as produce and food products available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public. The YWCA is located at 185 S. French Broad Ave. in Asheville.

For those unable to attend the fair or who are looking for a CSA outside of Buncombe County, online tools at help customers compare CSAs throughout the Appalachian Grown region, making it easier to choose a program that fits individual needs. The Appalachian Grown region includes Western North Carolina as well as bordering counties in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

Things customers could consider when choosing a CSA include convenient pickup times and locations the farm’s growing practices, and appropriate share size (i.e., how much food). Some farms offer variations on the traditional CSA model, such as online selection, shorter commitment, or a market share (members pay upfront, but select their own produce at the farmers market each week).

About Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project:
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more, visit
Source: Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project