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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Jenny Sechler

Women in Food: Maria Topitzer Follows Grandmother’s Path to Farming in Western Massachusetts

January 11, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Maria Topitzer

Photo courtesy of Maria Topitzer

Maria Topitzer, the owner and proprietor of Lyonsville Farm in Colrain, Massachusetts, comes from a family of farmers.  Her grandmother grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and Topitzer has idyllic childhood memories of visiting her great grandmother there.

“I loved the open space,” she describes. “I loved running through the hay fields. I loved the whole feel of it.” Read More

Nonprofit Helps Appalachia Farmers Sustainably Adapt to Changing Markets

November 24, 2014 |
Asheville Farmers' Market. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Asheville Farmers’ Market. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

How do you create a thriving, sustainable local food system?

According to Charlie Jackson, the executive director of the Asheville, NC based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project “you’ve got to jump in and start doing it.”

This is precisely what Jackson and a group of fellow volunteers did in 1999, when they began to develop community programs aimed at protecting the farming economies of their western North Carolina communities. Their efforts were so successful that now, 15 years later, ASAP has developed into an model for communities across the United States looking to invigorate their farming economies and improve public health and vitality.  Read More