About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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ASAP Links

Special Projects

Farm to School Presentation

If you are trying to gain support for a Farm to School program at your school, a workshop or presentation by a member of the Growing Minds team can help inspire staff, parents, administrators, and school board members.

WCU students at the CVS cafeteria

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) partnered with professors at Western Carolina University to integrate Farm to School into the course of study for pre-service teachers, early childhood educators, and health science students. We are working with the Jackson County school system and Head Start to establish one elementary school and one Head Start Center as “Learning Lab sites” where university and college students can see Farm to School in practice.



A combination of project activities will further develop regional supply chains to serve the needs of school districts in the region, develop and implement a promotional campaign in support of farm to school initiatives, and create a model Farm to School program that integrates local food in the cafeteria with experiential food and farm‐based education in classrooms.


Preschooler enjoying a snack

Farm to school activities are the perfect fit for preschools and childcare centers. Check out our resources for this age group!

Bald Creek garden

(2012-2013) ASAP’s Farm to School to Community Project focused on multiple intervention points to positively impact food environments, promote healthy food relationships for children, and build a stronger, more transparent local food system. This two year project, funded through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, begun with a focus on Farm to School in three communities in year one and expanded to include restaurants, groceries, Head Start centers, hospitals and colleges in year two.


hazelwood student

(2012-2013) The Haywood County Farm to School Project was a collaboration of the NC Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville, ASAP, and Haywood County Schools. Funded by the Community Foundation’s Fund for Haywood County, the project brought Farm to School activities to five Haywood County schools and approximately 3,000 participants for the 2012-2013 school year.


emily pdp

(2010-2011) As an Extension agent, your work with agricultural producers, youth, and community education puts you in the unique position to offer an integrated approach to Farm to School and become a leader in the movement. As Farm to School continues to grow, farmers and other community members will look to Cooperative Extension for help implementing Farm to School initiatives.