Current Programs and Projects
Current Programs and Projects
Ashe & Watauga Seed Libraries
Housed in repurposed card catalogs, the Ashe and Watauga County Seed Libraries offer free, open-pollinated seeds to community members who can take seed packets, grow and enjoy fresh vegetables from their gardens. Patrons are also welcome to then save seeds from those plants, returning the seeds to the Seed Library.
Blue Ridge CRAFT
Blue Ridge Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) cultivates meaningful mentor relationships between aspiring and experienced farmers through a series of on farm peer-to-peer workshops and winter round table discussions. We believe that the educational and professional development of tomorrow’s growers and producers informs the health of our diverse local-food system and rural economy. The CRAFT website has internship listings for the High Country and workshops for farmer training.
Annual High Country Farm Tour
The Farm Tour connects the public with local food sources, teaches consumers how food grows, and allows all of us to celebrate agricultural heritage while enjoying our rural landscape. The Farm Tour is an opportunity to visit a variety of family and small farms in the High Country while they hold open houses multiple times throughout the year. The tour takes place in the summer in three different NC counties - Ashe, Watauga, and Caldwell.
Throughout the year, we partner with local experts to present seasonal, educational workshops that promote sustainable living and self-sufficiency. These workshops are meant to serve as educational tools to raise awareness for our local food system. We know that healthy food systems depend upon community support and provide opportunities for people outside of the farming community to learn about local agriculture and actively participate. Community workshops, events, and meetings are designed to encourage and reawaken the High Country's appreciation for the local food system.
Occasionally throughout the year we profile a Woman in Agriculture in our region. These women are diverse - they have come from a variety of backgrounds and include farmers, homesteaders, and activists. They exemplify the multitude of ways women are working to connect with and change our food system.
Greening My Plate
A series of events in spring are organized by the 'Greening My Plate Gang', a coalition of non-profits and individuals. This coalition is dedicated to improving the economic and personal health of our community by encouraging the consumption of fresh, locally produced food. BRWIA is one of the core member organizations and hosts the website where the events are posted.
High Country Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
High Country Community Supported Agriculture (HC-CSA) is the region's pioneering multi-farm CSA. They are a collaborative of four small farms and a network of other producers providing our community with socially and environmentally sustainable food. Shares are bought in full or using payment plans at the beginning of the season and then members enjoy weekly boxes of local food for a 22 week period that can be picked up in convenient locations or delivered in bulk orders.
High Country Community of Gardens
The High Country Community of Gardens is a network of community, service agency, church, and K-8 school gardens that work together to grow food for low-income families in the High Country and to inspire and educate our youth to grow food for themselves and their families. Many of the gardens are part of the Lettuce Learn Program which provides resources, lesson plans, and workshops to K-8 school gardens. Several of the gardens offer plots to low-income families, encouraging them to grow their own food, while others donate the produce they grow to local food banks and the F.A.R.M. (Feeding All Regardless of Means) Cafe.
All of the gardens are sustained by a strong network of volunteers, small grants, donations, and resource sharing. If you would like to contribute to our gardens, please consider volunteering your time or donating to Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.
High Country Food Hub
The High Country Food Hub is a central storage facility for locally-grown food located at 252 Poplar Grove Rd. in Boone.
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and the Watauga County Cooperative Extension worked together to create this space which will open new markets for our community’s farmers and serve as a collection site for vegetables grown in community gardens, before they are distributed at local food banks.