Oct. 8, 2012. In January 2012, with funding support from the Appalachian District Health Department and Heifer USA, Maverick Farms in partnership with Appalachian State University’s Sustainable Development Program and the Valle Crucis Conference Center, opened the Farm Incubator and Grower (FIG) Farm to the first cohort of beginning farmers.
The FIG Farm seeks to provide the necessary resources for aspiring, landless farmers to start their farm enterprise, by providing low-cost land leases for vegetable, cut flower, herb, and pasture-based animal farm ventures as well as a shared equipment pool and mentorship opportunities for beginning farmers. The new FIG Farm is located in the heart of Valle Crucis, on the site of the former ASU Teaching & Research Farm, on land owned by the Valle Crucis Conference Center.
Maverick Farms director Hillary Wilson says that FIG will incubate two farmers each year, continue to build and develop local markets and infrastructure for those new farmers, and connect FIG farmers with long-term low-cost land opportunities once incubated.
The FIG Farm is now accepting applications for the 2013 cohort. The application can be found at www.fig-farm.com and the deadline to apply is November 15. And for all those interested in learning more about the program, seeing the farm, and tasting some of its bounty from this year, we are planning a fundraiser pig pickin at the farm on October 12. The fundraiser event will be an excellent opportunity to meet FIG Farmers as well as mentor farmers and program directors Hillary Wilson and Matt Cooper.
The pig pickin’ fundraiser will be held at the FIG Farm and will feature Tamsworth hogs, winter squash, salad greens, potatoes, cooking greens all grown by FIG Farmers and mentors. We will also have music and beer for those who just may not want to indulge in the pig pickin. Suggested donation price of $20 per person for food and $5 for beer. For more information regarding the fundraiser, check out our website www.fig-farm.com or call Hillary Wilson at 828 963 4645 or email [email protected]