Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Hey y'all, 

I've been thinking a lot about local agriculture lately (yup, I'm dropping hints on the August issue 🤫). I've always entertained these dreams of returning to the land and tilling soil for a living, in part because I was born into it—my earliest memories are of tugging carrots from the ground and delicately lifting chicks from under heat lamps—but also in part because it sounds like such an escape from the monotony of modernity. 

But as I broaden my network both professionally, through stories like last year's Leisure & Libation on flower farming and personally (falling for someone who's passionate about agriculture and food economies), I'm realizing that farming is hard—like, really hard. Just check out the reports from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and ASAP below.👇🏽 So while I might be scaling back on my own overall-and-dirty-nail dreams, I'm recommitting to supporting those of others and buying local whenever possible. Check out the CFSA's guide to buying local while social distancing if you want to, too. 

Until next week,

Emily Glaser, Managing Editor

PS. We're still looking for pics of you enjoying the great outdoors! 🌲 Share them here.
A new report from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) indicates the large scale impact of COVID on NC and SC farmers. Photo courtesy the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA)
  • Still Going Strong  💪🏽  Remember #AshevilleStrong? The movement, founded in March as a way for Buncombe County to support local businesses through COVID, is now a not-for-profit organization. The official designation will allow the org to better provide resources to local businesses and workers and raise funds for its newly formed small business crisis relief program, the Asheville Strong Fund; the micro-grant program is now open for donations

  • Mixed Reviews 🥴 The Asheville Metro Economic Report for the first quarter of 2020 shows that March's economic drop offset growth in Jan. & Feb. Unemployment, for example, averaged 3.4% over the first quarter, with minor gains the first two months. But Buncombe Co.'s lodging sales reached just $65.4 million—10.2% below the first quarter of 2019, marking the first quarterly year-to-year decline in ten years. Learn more

  • Dry Ground  👨🏻‍🌾  The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) surveyed farms in NC and SC to quantify the impacts of COVID. Weekly sales dropped for 3/4 of local farms, including 1/3 that lost more than $1K per week.  87% of farms with restaurant customers saw a decline in that sector, 79% of farms with agritourism saw that income drop, and 68% with farmers market income saw a decline there, too. Check out the report

  • On the Other Hand  🤷🏻‍♂️  The 2019 Appalachian Grown Producer Survey Report had interesting insights into ag growth before COVID: 89% of farmers reported there were more or the same number of market outlets to sell their products in 2019 compared to 2018. 92% of these farmers sell some or all of their products to direct markets, while 64% sell some or all wholesale. Farmers markets are the most popular market outlet, followed by restaurants and farm stores. Check out the full report

Local org Sisters in Circles is making masks and giving back locally and abroad.



Grab game day snacks in the infield at the new McCormick's Summer Grill

🍺  Back to Highland | Highland's Meadow will reopen July 10 as a family friendly space with social-distanced seating circles and picnic tables.

🌭  Home Run | Baseball may be cancelled, but game day treats aren't. McCormick Field has opened up a Summer Grill serving up ballpark classics in the infield Thu.–Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.  

🎸 Livestreaming | Bands2Fans is continuing to livestream live music from Ambrose West. Upcoming performances include the Carolina Reapers tonight and Snake Oil Medicine Show on Fri. July 17.

☕️  Open for Biz | Leadership Asheville's Buzz Breakfast series returned with panelists like Katie Cornell of the Asheville Area Arts Council and Lucious Wilson of Wedge Brewing Company discussing reopening in their industry. 

🤝  Network & New Knowledge | Young Professionals of Asheville will host Professional Development: Five Leadership Traits of a High Potential Employee tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. 

🎓  Support Students | United Way of Asheville & Buncombe Co.'s annual School Supply Drive is all online this year. Make a donation.

Moonlight Makers' sales have shifted from majority online to brick and mortar and back again. Learn more about how they balance the two markets in this month's issue
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