Current Programs and Projects
Blue Ridge CRAFT
Blue Ridge Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) cultivates meaningful mentor relationships between aspiring and experienced farmers. 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 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. In 2014, the Tour featured 20 diverse farms across three counties in the High Country. Takes place the first weekend in August.
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 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.