A Sustainable Ag Education

Between starting the AmeriCorps gig, learning the ropes of Agricultural Economic Development in Polk County, and exploring the diverse communities and landscapes of WNC, the past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind.  An exciting whirlwind! Which has included a valuable professional development experience that I’d like to share now that things have quieted down a bit. From November 4th to November 6th, 2016, the Polk County Farms team got to attend the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham, NC.  As someone ...

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Some (holiday) food for thought

For me, food is one of the highlights of the holiday season. Actually… let’s be serious.  Eating is one of my most favorite activities, in general, at any time of year. However, the act of gathering with family and friends and chowing down on some lovingly prepared holiday food is particularly special to me.  And that’s what I appreciate so much about agriculture; the food that our farmers cultivate has an ability to bring people together.  I’ve been lucky to get to experience this through the monthly Polk County Friends of Agriculture Breakfast. ...

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Agricultural Attractions of Polk County

This past Saturday, I took my nephew Samuel with me for a morning of agriculture related events. Our first stop was to a demonstration of a piece of equipment called a Commercial Brush Mulcher, which was recently added to the line of services offered by a local company.  Before we were even out of the car, Samuel said, “That thing is cool!” Now, you have to understand that this statement is coming from an eight-year-old boy who has both of his wrists in casts.  The question that is probably coming to your mind is, “How did he manage that?” And my response has ...

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Introducing…

... this year's AmeriCorps Service Members!  Amy and Alex will be serving at Polk County Office of Agricultural Economic Development for the next year and will work to preserve farmland, support beginning and experienced farmers, and strengthen ties between farmers and consumers in the county. Amy DeCamp - Farm & Consumer Outreach Specialist Amy grew up in a small beach town on Long Island, NY where she was taught to swim in the frigid waters of the Long Island Sound alongside prehistoric horseshoe crabs and gelatinous jellyfish. She was also lucky to have ...

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Grow Food Where People Live: Harvest and Cultivation

This time last year, we began to nurture our first Microfarm at Ashley Meadows in Columbus, NC as part of the Grow Food Where People Live initiative launched in January 2015. Grow Food Where People Live aims to improve the health, food security, and economic wellbeing of people in Western North Carolina, and is a joint initiative of Groundswell International, Polk County Agricultural Economic Development, Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, and Growing Rural Opportunities (GRO). Now, a year later, we get to see the actual fruit of our labor while simultaneously spreading ...

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Announcing TIEC Farmers’ Market

        We are so excited to announce our partnership with the Tryon International Equestrian Center on a new farmers' market in Polk County. The first market of the season will be Thursday, May 5th from 9 to 12 and will also be the same day as the ribbon cutting for the new General Store which also features local food. The market is a fantastic opportunity for the entire community around the Equestrian Center to access high quality local food. The market is open to new vendors and if you are interested please see the information ...

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GRO Launches Website

We have alot of hopes for our new website. Websites can be static hubs for information but we also hope it becomes a hub for activity in the Forum section and here on our Blog. We welcome your comments, feedback and more. We are not web designers - so if you see problems with the website such as misspelled words (nor were we English majors), text that doesn't make sense, or anything of the like please let us know. We might be able to fix it, might not, might take a bit - but we want to make it as great as we can. We would like to thank some folks for their help in ...

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