Family farms and local food are the heart of healthy communities.
What if every child in your community understood where their food comes from and how to make healthy local food choices? What if everyone in your community had access to fresh, healthy, locally produced food? What if local economies were more stable and stronger thanks to a greater connection to and reliance on quality products from local farms? What if your food was safer because you knew where it came from, how it was grown, and who grew it? With a thriving local food economy, these what ifs are a reality.
For more than a decade, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) has helped create a vibrant local food economy in the Southern Appalachians and served as a national leader in the local food movement. ASAP's mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. We achieve our mission by partnering with individuals, other organizations, and farmers. Together, we form a growing movement that is committed to preserving our agricultural heritage; increasing access to fresh, healthy food; and saving family farms. This guide is intended to provide your community with valuable guidance on the core components of developing a strong local food economy.