Appalachian Sustainable Development

Written by Kathlyn Terry, ASD

Appalachian Sustainable Development is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Abingdon, Virginia, serving ten counties in upper east Tennessee and far southwestern Virginia. ASD’s mission is to help build a healthy, locally rooted economy, which meets people’s needs and sustains the environment. ASD was formed in October 1995 by a diverse group of farmers, loggers, entrepreneurs, community activists, environmentalists, and economic development leaders. We continue to work closely with this broad range of folks, both through representation on our board and through numerous joint projects.

Two of these projects are in the form of businesses that ASD owns and operates. These businesses – Appalachian Harvest and Sustainable Woods – are integrated from the farm or forest to the marketplace, and include facilities to add value to the products and prepare them for market.

Appalachian Harvest coordinates the production, packing, shipping, marketing and sales of locally raised, certified organic produce to buyers such as Ingles, Food City, Ukrops, Whole Foods, and others. The Appalachian Harvest facility burned to the ground in May, 2007. Despite that disaster (and the late freeze and ongoing drought), Appalachian Harvest surpassed 2006 sales by 30%. Plans are currently underway to rebuild before the start of the 2008 season.

Sustainable Woods is similarly integrated: Logs from sustainably managed private forest holdings are sawn, dried and manufactured into flooring, trim, and other products which are then sold to contractors, architects, and others in the building industry.

Other programs involve youth, needy families, and the development of local farmer’s markets. Please see our website for more details: www.asdevelop.org.

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