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Components of Farm to School
Local Food in Schools
Farm Field Trips
Nutrition Education
School Gardens
Lesson Plans
Children's Literature
Kids' Recipes
Articles and Resources
Get Involved
Contact Us
Field (Trip) Recording

Appalachian Sustainable
306 West Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Voice: 828-236-1282
Fax: 828-236-1280
Email Us

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Growing Minds Sponsor

Growing Minds Farm to School Program

spacer Growing Minds is Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's (ASAP) Farm to School program, and the Southeast regional lead agency for the National Farm to School Network.

We work to connect farms and schools and give children positive experiences with healthy foods, including farm field trips, nutrition education, school gardens, and local food in cafeterias.

Educators, farmers, parents, and all community members are invited to join us.

Components of Farm to School

Local Food in Schools Schools provide farmers with a viable market in their community, while local farmers supply our schools with the freshest food possible.

Farm Field Trips This component teaches kids where food comes from and who is growing food in our communities.

Nutrition Education Cooking demonstrations and classes help students learn to enjoy preparing and eating healthy local foods.

School Gardens Students will eat what they grow. We give them skills, experience, and a connection to their agricultural heritage.

What We're Doing

Our current projects include:

- Serving as the Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network

- Offering experiential nutrition education with chefs in the classroom

- Supporting school gardens

- Providing resources through the web

- Building connections to help schools serve local food

- Training educators, chefs, and Cooperative Extension

Jackson County Farm to School Education Project

ASAP’s Growing Minds is currently partnering with professors at Western Carolina University and area community colleges to integrate Farm to School into the course of study for pres-service teachers, early childhood educators, and health science students. Additionally, we’re working with the Jackson County school system and Head Start on Learning Lab sites, locations where university and college students can see Farm to School in practice! Learn more about our Jackson County Farm to School Education Project HERE.

This project is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Farm to School Community Grant

Sourcing local product for the school cafeteria can be the most challenging piece of this grant opportunity for many communities. To clarify, your school system does not have to be currently sourcing local product, but the Child Nutrition Director (CND) must be committed to trying to increase local purchasing. Distribution and food safety requirements are two of the major hurdles that CNDs are faced with for local procurement and currently they are only allowed to purchase local product through GAP certified farms or approved vendors.

We understand that some communities are more limited than others by a lack of approved vendors. ASAP can assist grantees in identifying GAP certified farms and working with approved vendors to source more local product, but grantees need to ensure that their CND is on board to make a concerted effort with menu planning, promotions and working with the community team to do the best they can to try to feature two local items a month. This language has been updated within the RFP, but please feel free to contact Molly Nicholie with specific questions. 

Click to download the updated RFP.


Support ASAP -
Donate Now!



  • Apply Now for ASAP's Farm Field Trip Mini Grants
    (deadline extended)
  • This week in the Garden - a weekly Farm to School resource for teachers
  • Regional Cooperative Extension Conference for NC, SC and GA Cooperative Extension personnel
  • Farm to School Cooking Conference for teachers, chefs and community cooks


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