Meet brother and sister Jorge and Paty Tomas of Tomas C Farms in Marion, NC. “Our vision for the farm is to try to improve the farm, help the community, help the environment, do best in taking care of the soil. Farming is not easy. Sometimes you have weather, diseases. You have to enjoy every moment. You have to go out and say okay, I can do this, I can do this better. I like farming. It’s a job, but I enjoy it,” says Jorge.
Meet Malcolm and the Banks family, the farmers at Yellow Mountain Garden in Franklin, NC. Set the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will learn about small farming, agriculture, and why Malcolm grows a little bit of everything. The farm is set in the middle of a wetland area so you will see a lot of radishes being grown. You will also learn what motivates Malcolm and his family to be farmers, their community visions, and goals to help support food deserts with their local crops.
Meet Terry and Debbie Perry, the farmers at Perry’s Berry’s, a blueberry farm in Morganton, NC. Learn all about what blueberries do, what their health benefits are, and what the Perry family loves about farming. Perry’s Berry’s is an organic farm, they do not use pesticides on their crops. Their blueberries have a fruit sugar scale measurement of 13% on the brix scale, two times the normal fruit sugar of a normal blueberry. Plan a trip to Perry’s Berry’s, try a blueberry, and taste the sweetness of their fruit for yourself!
The NC Farm to Preschool Network (NCF2PN) launched the 2021 North Carolina Farm to Early Care and Education Survey in January 2021. We heard from 656 respondents, representing 83 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Childcare providers shared their current farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives, including motivations for participation and challenges to starting
Tony Norcia is a dietetic intern at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Lenoir-Rhyne is a partner in ASAP’s Growing Minds @ University program, which equips pre-service students with knowledge and experiences to be able to incorporate local food and farm to school/farm to preschool activities into their careers as dietitians. Tony is currently completing a 12-week Community Nutrition and Administration rotation at Bearwallow Valley Farms with farmer/owner and registered dietitian Nicole Coston (who we’ve profiled in a past farm to school educator spotlight).
Melinda Aponte is the nutrition coordinator for the YWCA of Asheville’s Early Learning Program. The YWCA is part of ASAP’s Appalachian Farms Feeding Families program, working with Ivy Creek Family Farm to provide fresh, local produce for the children. She is pictured on the left with farmer Anna Littman of Ivy Creek.
Join eight year old junior farmer Lyra for a tour of her family’s farm in Haywood County, NC. Two Trees Farm (home of the Sustainabillies, aka Lyra and her parents Sara and Dustin) is a sustainable homestead focused on supporting a healthy, diverse ecosystem while also growing food.
From picking blueberries and tasting garden-grown lettuce, to polliwogging for tadpoles and digging for worms, Lyra shares with other kids what it’s like to live on a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains.
Ever wondered how apples are grown in Western North Carolina? Join Natalie, Rylie, and JJ–the junior farmers at TK Family Farm in Rutherfordton, NC–for a kid’s perspective on growing apples and living on a farm. Hear about how farmers like the Klimstra family help to take care of their land, along with how apples are planted, grown, and processed for sale. JJ also shares his favorite things to do on the farm, plus tips for buying apples at the family’s self-serve farm stand!
This book makes it easy to teach children gardening, nutrition and cooking with fresh, Hawai’i grown foods. While originally written for Hawaii’s pk-3rd grade teachers, the information can be adapted for any age group or educational setting (school and home) anywhere in the world! Learn more and purchase this book here. Learn to Teach Children: