Yes, that's what a gentleman named Peter Marks of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project recently dubbed the Asheville, NC and the region of Western North Carolina. "Cool name", you say. "But what does that actually mean? Why call it that? I thought Asheville and the surrounding area was home to artists, not farms."
Yes, again. There are indeed a great many artists in he Asheville NC area. But reason to call it the "Silicon Valley of Sustainable Agriculture" is that the number and variety of farms producing organic, sustainable products, including meats, has grown many times over in the last ten years. Ten years ago less than 10 farms were raising and selling meats directly to consumers. Now that number is about 90.
Why Asheville and the western part of North Carolina? Several reasons come to mind. It is clear that in and around Asheville NC, where our Asheville bed and breakfast is located, there is a market for fresh food including organic produce and meat from humanely treated animals ...without the hormones and antibiotics that have crept into the U.S. food supply. As the bulk of U.S. production of meat and vegetables has been consolidated into fewer large corporations, more "output" has resulted in more non-organic methods and the wide use of chemicals.
And since Asheville is a place where many people "think outside the box"(or even refuse to believe that there is a "box") when it comes to deciding how to live ones' life... it seems perfectly logical that "organic" and "pure", "sustainable" and "with regard to all aspects of the environment" would all be things that are important to the people of Asheville and the area.
So, don't expect one tailgate market...there are many. Can't get to a tailgate market on Saturday? No matter, there are several on weekdays, too. Want restaurants that also support local farmers and have organic items on the menu? Not to worry, there are many. In Downtown Asheville, just a half mile from our Asheville bed and breakfast, you'll find The Market Place Restaurant, Early Girl, the Laughing Seed and others who can measure putting their "sustainability" "local" and "organic " philosophies into everyday use on their menus in years. Yes, Asheville has been out there 'walking the walk' of sustainability for a long time.
Even better to see farmers organizing and working together to support the opening of a nearby USDA poultry plant so that farmers can actually expand their operations without giving up their wholesome methods and beliefs. Healthier, more accessible food for all. A goal that we heartily support at this Asheville bed and breakfast,Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, right here in the Montford neighborhood of Asheville, NC. Eat hearty!