Farm Heritage Trail: Sandy Mush

Farm Heritage Trail: Sandy Mush

Saturday, July 15, 10AM
19 School Road, Leicester, NC (MAP)

Buncombe Country farmland is a valuable, beautiful natural resource.  And one thing is certain: no one is making more land.  What we have is all there is, and the Farm Heritage Trail celebrates and safeguards all of it.  Join PSABC for a day devoted to local family farming — past, present and future.

Courtesy NC Room, Pack Memorial Library

Our two speakers, Terri Wells and Ariel Zijp, envisioned and realized the Farm Heritage Trail in northwest Buncombe County, which showcases family farms of the Leicester, Alexander, Newfound and Sandy Mush communities.  In a two-hour presentation at the Sandy Mush Community Center, Terri and Ariel will share their perspective on family farming heritage and the vital importance of farmland conservation.  Learn how Buncombe County agriculture, from the late 18th century on, shaped and influenced the larger community’s growth and prosperity. Come and experience how the land grounds us in so many ways.

Terri Wells is a 9th generation Sandy Mush farmer at Bee Branch Farm and a member of the Buncombe County Agriculture Advisory Board.  She and her husband Glenn Ratcliff, chemistry professor at AB Tech, are dedicated farm conservationists, helping their family give 600 acres to the Appalachian Highlands Conservancy through a permanent easement.

Ariel Zijp, a Carrabus County native with a degree is Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry from Warren Wilson College, is the Farmland Conservation Coordinator for Buncombe Country Soil and Water. She and her husband have a 2-acre homestead in Mars Hill, where they host farm-to-table dinners, cooking workshops and more.

After the talk, everyone is invited to spend the afternoon on the scenic Farm Heritage Trail. The Trail has farm stops far and wide, with the chance to visit produce fields, a bison ranch, an herb nursery and a vineyard.  Wear comfortable shoes and bring along some extra cash for everything from jams to jerky, fresh eggs to smoked bacon, homemade cider to handmade crafts.

“The Farm Heritage Trail is like a treasure map,” says Kieta Osteen-Cochrane, Education Committee Chair, “with every stop brimming with things to see and savor. Come hungry for a great experience.”

This event is planned for Saturday, July 15 th, from 10 am to noon, at the Sandy Mush Community Center.  The Center is in Leicester at 19 School Road (MAP), about 12 miles/20 minutes from downtown Asheville.  If you choose to explore the Farm Heritage Trail, dress appropriately for farmyard exploring.  Generous sponsors include the Sandy Mush Community Center and the Farm Heritage Trail.

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