Photo courtesy of the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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Event coincides with release of 2013 Local Food Guide

ASHEVILLE — Farmers are planting and starting to pick from their hoop houses and fields, tailgate markets and roadside farm stands are opening with garden starts and early produce, and Appalachian Grown partner restaurants are featuring local spring veggies on their menus. In other words, the harvest season has arrived in the Southern Appalachians. To celebrate, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will host its first Local Food Fest on Saturday, April 27, from 2 until 6 p.m. on Wall Street in downtown Asheville. The free family-friendly event also marks the release of ASAP’s 2013 Local Food Guide.

“In the past, we’ve hosted a Local Food Guide release party,” said Scott Bunn, ASAP’s development director. “This year, we wanted to create an event where local food supporters of all ages could come together to celebrate not only the guide, but also this exciting time of bounty and many of the key players that make up our thriving food community.”

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A farmers market at the event will feature farmers and artisan food producers who sell to Wall Street restaurants, including Sunburst Trout Farms, Rise Up Rooted Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, Farm & Sparrow, Imladris Farm and Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Wall Street restaurants—all Appalachian Grown partners: Early Girl Eatery, The Market Place, MG Road, Cucina 24, and Laughing Seed Cafe—will whip up local specials during their regular hours on April 27. Early Girl and Laughing Seed are open throughout the fest. The Market Place will open early for the event, offering a special local taco from 2 to 5 p.m.; they will serve their regular menu with local specials beginning at 5 p.m. Cucina 24 and MG Road open at 5 p.m.; MG Road will also offer goodies outside of their restaurant throughout the event. A percentage of the day’s sales at these eateries will benefit ASAP.

The fest will also feature live music by Galen Kipar of Galen Kipar Project from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; a children’s area with a local food tasting, face painting, and story time once an hour from Malaprop’s, Spellbound and Buncombe County Library; a counter top chopping block demonstration from local artist Steven Tengelsen; and the opportunity to enter raffles with prizes ranging from a free pass to ASAP’s Farm Tour to a free night’s stay at Hawk & Ivy B&B, and gift certificates to Asheville City Market and Livi’s Pantry to a gift box of salsa and hot sauce from Smoking J’s Fiery Foods.

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The fest is also a chance to grab ASAP’s 2013 Local Food Guide, as well as an opportunity to talk with the organization about its work and learn how to get involved. The twelfth edition of the Local Food Guide contains more than 800 listings of farmers markets, CSAs, u-pick farms, restaurants, groceries and more, along with articles from area food and farming experts. Those unable to make it to the event can browse the 2013 guide online at appalachiangrown.org. Print copies are also distributed to more than 400 locations around the region; find these locations at asapconnections.org.

-Press release from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, shared April 23.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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