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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“You know your doctor, you know your lawyer, you know your accountant.  Who’s your farmer?”  In this non-fiction book, author dee Hobsbawn-Smith profiles 75 growers and producers of the Canadian province Alberta to answer just that question for her neighbors and her readers.  Although these farmers are located in Alberta, anyone can read this book to learn more about the lives of farmers in general: from their struggles, to their stance on government involvement, to their future goals.  Oh, and you don’t want to miss out on the 26 original recipes dee includes throughout the book!

Join junior farmers Leah and Abe Littman for a tour of their family’s farm in Western North Carolina. See how tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse and in the field, find out when different crops are ready to harvest, see a tractor, and meet some adorable, cabbage-loving goats. Learn more about Ivy Creek Family Farm here. Find lesson plans and educational resources that compliment this video below. Watch our Meet Your Farmer interview with Leah and Abe’s mom, Anna, here. 
Growing Minds Day by Day Resource Lists:

Tomatoes & Other Nightshades
Farm Animals

Preschool Lesson Plans:

Tomato Exploration
Tomato Salsa
Roots & Shoots
Vegetable Crowns
Garden Plot Crackers

K-2 Lesson Plans:

Tomato […]

This beautifully illustrated book depicts markets around the world, from Ecuador to Nepal to New York City. How are the markets in the book similar to markets in your own community?

Meet Anna Littman, one of the farmers at Ivy Creek Family Farm, a diversified vegetable farm in Barnardsville, NC. Learn about why Anna chose to become a farmer, find out what she loves most about farming, and see what veggies are cultivated on her farm. Learn more about Ivy Creek Family Farm here. Find Growing Minds lesson plans that compliment this video below.  Watch a virtual tour of this farm, led by Anna’s children, Leah and Abe, here. 
Preschool Lesson Plans:

Roots & Shoots
Seed Exploration
What Plants Need

K-2 Lesson Plans:

Planting in the Garden
Root Exploration
Soil Exploration
Seed Starting
Lettuce Exploration

3-5 Lesson Plans:

Inch by Inch, Row by Row
Eating […]

Meet Chris and Cullen Owen, farmers at Spinning Spider Creamery, an artisan goat dairy in Marshall, NC. Learn about why the Owen’s chose to become farmers, find out what they love most about farming, and learn about the cheese making process. Learn more about Spinning Spider Creamery. Find Growing Minds educational resources that compliment this video below.
Lesson Plans & Resources:

Farm Animals lesson plan (K-2)
Seasons on a Farm lesson plan (K-2)
Thanksgiving for Farmers lesson plan (K-2)
Butter Investigation lesson plan (3-5)
Bacteria for Breakfast lesson plan (3-5)
Farm Animals Day by Day resource list
Goats Day by Day resource list

A book about all the sounds you will hear the animals make on a farm.

Mrs. Millie has a silly way with words that keeps her kindergartners on their toes during a farm field trip to a pumpkin patch.

A unique variation of the typical Johnny Appleseed story. This book is a beautifully illustrated compilation of information about John Chapman, and why his legacy should matter to people today. The book ends with an invitation to “make our country and our world a better place,” as Chapman did — “seed by seed, deed by deed” — and a recipe for apple pie.

On a crisp fall day just before Thanksgiving, students at Mills River Elementary met with local farmers to thank them for their hard work growing food for their community. 


Review activities that happen on the farm and animals that live there. Make the connection between farms and the food we eat each day, emphasizing the importance of community farms. Introduce letter writing, specifically thank you letters, and guide students in writing thank you letters to farmers in your county or region.