Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Local Foods & Local Development

Track Leader: Grow Appalachia Staff

This track will examine the production, processing, and sales of local foods as drivers of both community and economic development. Although focusing on the central Appalachian region, particularly coalfield counties, much of the material covered will have application in a broad range of settings. Historical and cultural context will be covered as well as the promising growth of individual and organizational efforts to create food security and financial opportunity through the effective cultivation and management of the Appalachian local foods movement.

This track would be of use to anyone who has a genuine interest in Appalachian food security and economic growth. This session will be facilitated by members of the staff of Grow Appalachia and invited guest speakers.

Track Limit: 30


Grow Appalachia seeks to solve pervasive food insecurity issues by restoring the relationship between the people and the land. Through funding and technical assistance, Grow Appalachia has supported thousands of gardens through hundreds of community partnerships in five states; from backyard gardens to community gardens to school and summer camp gardens to greenhouses to mini-farms; producing more than 1,781,000 pounds of healthy, organic food for thousands of people in its first five years.The gardens are worked by nonprofits, farmers’ market entrepreneurs, the elderly, the Girl Scouts, inmates, the disabled, and others who believe a better food system equals better lives. Some participants garden to save money. Others garden to make money.Grow Appalachia seeks both to educate communities and to learn from communities. It works to preserve the past, build hope for the future, and empower Appalachians to live healthy, productive lives.

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