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Western North Carolina Agricultural Options

2013 CALENDAR

WNC AgOptions Throughout the Year
In January 2012, the WNC Agricultural Options program awarded three community groups and 23 farmers grants totaling $150,000 to assist them in farm diversification and joint marketing, processing and distribution efforts. Four of the farm businesses received $3,000 grants and 19 received $6,000. Community groups each received $8,000. Projects increase the economic sustainability of farm businesses as well as provide demonstration to other transitioning farmers. This calendar displays images from the year and descriptions of each of the projects. With these grants, farmers are responding to the high demand for naturally raised and grass-fed beef. They are trying out unique marketing methods such as home delivery systems and cooperative distribution of medicinal plants. They are also experimenting with innovative production techniques such as symbiotic tilapia and greenhouse leafy green production—and generating impressive results. They are creating shared infrastructure to process, preserve and package their produce as well as trying out crops new to their area, such as hazlenuts and pecans. The WNC AgOptions recipients are also ensuring the survival of their family farms, including an 85-year-old dairy farm and a 64-year-old trout farm. An older generation is creating opportunities for the next generation of farmers—as well as beekeepers. The recipients also proudly share their knowledge with local farm groups, such as the Southern Appalachian Family Farms. Meanwhile, many recipients struggle with the challenges typical of new endeavors—such as delayed timelines and steep learning curves—as well as trials not anticipated. The Wavras in Jackson County experienced the loss of their husband and father John. In honor of him, Joni Wavra and her children continued with the project to diversify their Christmas tree farm with truffles. The WNC AgOptions team’s thoughts are especially with them, and with all farmers struggling to create sustainable businesses in changing times.

Pictured left: Avery King, a future beekeeper at Axios Farms in Swain County

2013 At-a-Glance
January 2013
S 6 13 20 27 M 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 W 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 F 4 11 18 25 S 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 4 11 18 25 5 12 19 26 6 13 20 27 7 14 21 28 S

February 2013
M T W T F 1 8 15 22 S 2 9 16 23 3 10 17 24 31 4 11 18 25 S M

March 2013
T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28 S M 1 8 15 22 29

April 2013
T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27

May 2013
S 5 12 19 26 M 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 W 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 F 3 10 17 24 31 S 4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30 3 10 17 24 S M

June 2013
T 4 11 18 25 W 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 F 7 14 21 28 S 1 8 15 22 29 7 14 21 28 S M 1 8 15 22 29

July 2013
T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 31 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25 5 12 19 26 S M

August 2013
T 6 13 20 27 W 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 F 2 9 16 23 30 S 3 10 17 24 31

September 2013
S 1 8 15 22 29 M 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 W 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 F 6 13 20 27 S 7 14 21 28 6 13 20 27 7 14 21 28 S M

October 2013
T 1 8 15 22 29 W 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 F 4 11 18 25 S 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 S

November 2013
M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30 S 1 8 15 22 29

December 2013
M 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 W 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 F 6 13 20 27 S 7 14 21 28

Sydney Lambert (pictured above), daughter of Danny (January 30) and Krista Lambert of the Cherokee Indian Reservation, enjoys her family’s grass-fed cattle, a heritage breed called Belted Galloway. The Lamberts are improving their pastures with the purchase of an overseeder as well as enhancing their poultry operation with a plucker and scalder. Megan and Randy Smith of Smith’s Sweet Grass Farm in Polk County (January 3) are transitioning from conventional cattle grazing to Managed Intensive Grazing so that the cattle constantly rotate to forage at the grass’ optimum growing state. Bobby Gragg (January 15) of BRG Angus in Avery County is improving his cattle production with the incorporation of grain storage bins and other equipment that will facilitate an increase in value at market. Jeanette (January 19) and Frank Wilson of Hominy Valley Farms-Land and Cattle in Buncombe County are expanding their home delivery marketing of beef, chicken and produce with a freezer, coolers and promotional materials.

December 2012
S 2 9 16 23 30 M 3 10 17 24 31 T 4 11 18 25 W 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 F 7 14 21 28 S 1 8 15 22 29

Sunday

30

January2013
Monday

31

Tuesday

New Years Day

1

Wednesday

2

Thursday

3

Friday

4

Saturday

5

Notes

6

7

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10

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February 2013
S 3 10 17 24 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 S 2 9 16 23

Martin Luther King Day

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1

2

Donna Gains’ goats (pictured above) in Clay County are producing milk for cheese for the new creamery at High Mountain Meadows Farm (February 27). Donna is opening a kitchen certified by the N.C. Department of Agriculture. Susan and Terry English (February 4) of English Dairy Farm in McDowell County are also adding cheese production to their third generation farm, which is the only dairy left in their valley north of Marion. Ryan Norris (February 8) of GOat GREEN farm in Watauga County is increasing the number of leasing jobs and the efficiency of his business with the purchase of additional fencing. His goats clear unwanted brush on his client’s land.

January 2013
S 6 13 20 27 M 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 W 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 F 4 11 18 25 S 5 12 19 26

Sunday

February2013
27
Monday

28

Tuesday

29

Wednesday

30

Thursday

31

Friday

1

Saturday

Notes
3 4 5 6 7 8

Ground Hog Day

2

9

10

Martin Luther King Day

11

Lincoln’s Birthday

12

13

Valentine’s Day

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March 2013
S 3 10 17 24 31 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30

President’s Day

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Rachelle Clark of Nantahala Farms and Nursery in Macon County is experimenting with hydroponic production of strawberries (pictured above). With the construction of a new greenhouse (March 23), she and her family can offer produce year-round as well as grow their own vegetable starts for their 100-year old farm. She shares her knowledge about hydroponic growing with other members of Southern Appalachian Family Farms. The Jackson County Farmer’s Market, co-led by Ron Arps (March 8, pictured with Baldwin Sanders, professor of nutrition at Western Carolina University), is establishing a community commercial kitchen and educational venue, which will be available for local farmers and food producers to process, preserve and package foods. To complete the project, the market partnered with an existing organization called the Community Kitchen, which serves nutritious meals to local residents in need.

February 2013
S 3 10 17 24 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 S 2 9 16 23

Sunday

24

March2013
Monday

25

Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

28

Friday

1

Saturday

2

Notes
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Daylight Savings Time Begins

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St. Patrick’s Day

17

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Vernal Equinox

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April 2013
S 7 14 21 28 M 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27 Easter

24 31

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The California Poppy (pictured above at Appalachian Seeds Farm & Nursery) is one of the crops that Appalachian Botanical Alliance in Buncombe County is testing. The medicinal herb is sold as a remedy for anxiety, insomnia and other conditions. ABA, a cooperative of herb growers, is exploring the production and marketing of medicinal herbs (April 24) as well as acquiring climate-controlled warehouse space and standard packaging. Kevin King of Axios Farms in Swain County, with a little help from his son Avery (April 4), is establishing a fully operational apiary and mobile pollination trailer. They plan to transport bees to farms in the mountain region to help successfully pollinate crops. Kevin is experimenting with preferred materials to control mites and other pests. The beehive bodies (April 20) are constructed of a food-grade polymer plastic, which is virtually indestructible to many insects and is climate-controlled for the bees. In winter, Kevin is feeding bees fondant, a sweet substance that bakers use to decorate cakes, which delivers high quantities of sugar without delivering excess moisture to the hive, reducing the likelihood of freezing.

March 2013
S 3 10 17 24 31 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30

Sunday

31

April 2013
Monday
April Fools Day

1

Tuesday

2

Wednesday

3

Thursday

4

Friday

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Saturday

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Notes

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Tax Day

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May 2013
S 5 12 19 26 M 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 W 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 F 3 10 17 24 31 S 4 11 18 25

Earth Day

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Traci (pictured May 7) and Joel McMahan (May 3) of Mt. Mitchell Produce in Yancey County are expanding sales to Ingles Markets, the farm’s primary customer. With the purchase of a cargo transporter utility trailer, lettuce (above) can be picked at sunrise and still be fresh when delivered to the store the same afternoon. The trailer is equipped with an air conditioner and fluorescent lights and a portable generator powers the unit. Bill Hunt (May 22) of Kay Farm in Henderson County is expanding the production of an uncommon romaine, Kalura, which is outstanding in all attributes—size, rapid growth, heat and cold tolerance and shelf life. It can endure temperatures in the low 20s or even lower in a hoophouse.

April 2013
S 7 14 21 28 M 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27

Sunday

28

May 2013
Monday

29

Tuesday

30

Wednesday

1

Thursday

2

Friday

3

Saturday

4

Notes
Cinco de Mayo

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Mother’s Day

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June 2013
S 2 9 16 23 30 M 3 10 17 24 T 4 11 18 25 W 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 F 7 14 21 28 S 1 8 15 22 29

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Memorial Day

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1

David Hughes (pictured June 4) in Mitchell County is moving entirely away from growing tobacco with the addition of Kennebec potatoes (above). Yields of potatoes in his county are typically at least double the yields in other parts of the country. In comparison to tobacco, David expects to double his net income per acre as well as significantly lower his workload. David sells directly to customers and to local produce stands, and the high demand for the superior quality potatoes of Mitchell County continues to grow.

May 2013
S 5 12 19 26 M 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 W 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 F 3 10 17 24 31 S 4 11 18 25

Sunday

26

June 2013
Monday

27

Tuesday

28

Wednesday

29

Thursday

30

Friday

31

Saturday

1

Notes
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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Flag Day

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Father’s Day

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Summer Solstice

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July 2013
S 7 14 21 28 M 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 31 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27

23 30

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Harold Hunter of Rockbar Farms (pictured July 19 and 24) in Madison County is growing one acre of yellow onions (above), which he primarily markets through Madison Farms. He is a third generation farmer, and his family has grown tobacco on his land since 1890. “It is my sole purpose to explore ideas until I have a farming operation that my son and his son will be proud to take over,” said Harold, who is excited that his son has expressed interest in farming. Harold’s concern about the future of farming in Madison County fuels his activity in the county’s agricultural community.

June 2013
S 2 9 16 23 30 M 3 10 17 24 T 4 11 18 25 W 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 F 7 14 21 28 S 1 8 15 22 29

Sunday

31

Monday

July 2013
1
Tuesday

2

Wednesday

3

Thursday

Independence Day

4

Friday

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Saturday

6

Notes

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August 2013
S 4 11 18 25 M 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 W 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 F 2 9 16 23 30 S 3 10 17 24 31

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Seth Salmon (pictured above) and his father Alan Salmon of Wildwood Herbal in Buncombe County are establishing an aquaponics greenhouse system integrated with greens production. They are transforming a 1,500 square foot greenhouse into a symbiotic leafy green and tilapia production area. Excrement from the fish provides nutrients for the plants in grow beds. In turn, the plant’s nutrient uptake cleans the water for the fish, which feeds on algae and other aquatic plants (August 22). The Salmons are offering customers tilapia in their Community Supported Agriculture share. Sunburst Trout Farms (August 9) in Haywood County is improving the water quality of rainbow trout ponds with the purchase of an ozone generator. This project will increase the production of fish in hot summer months. To fill the trout ponds during the warmest months, the farm accesses cool water from the lowest portions of Lake Logan. However, gasses that are harmful to fish are present in this water. With the generator, ozone is produced from pure oxygen and then introduced into the water via Low Head Oxygenation Units. This improves water quality for the fish and boosts production.

July 2013
S 7 14 21 28 M 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 W 3 10 17 24 31 T 4 11 18 25 F 5 12 19 26 S 6 13 20 27

Sunday

28

August 2013
Monday

29

Tuesday

30

Wednesday

31

Thursday

1

Friday

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Saturday

3

Notes
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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September 2013
S 1 8 15 22 29 M 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 W 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 F 6 13 20 27 S 7 14 21 28

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Joni Wavra of Ty-Lyn Plantation in Jackson County is working with her children to install oak and filbert trees (pictured above) as part of their new truffle operation. They are continuing the vision of her late husband John (September 20) to diversify their Christmas tree farm with lucrative Black Perigord and Burgundy truffles. Mario DeLuca of DeMariano Vineyard (September 4) in McDowell County is ramping up wine production with the purchase of materials to help the family realize the value-added income from the farm’s grapes. New equipment includes: fermentation/storage tanks, a mist pump, hoses, valves and connectors, oak barrels, a wine filter and bottling supplies (September 24-25).

August 2013
S 4 11 18 25 M 5 12 19 26 T 6 13 20 27 W 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 F 2 9 16 23 30 S 3 10 17 24 31

Sunday

September2013
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Monday
Labor Day

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Notes
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Autumnal Equinox

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October 2013
S 6 13 20 27 M 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 W 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 F 4 11 18 25 S 5 12 19 26

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James Phillips (pictured above) and Danny Edwards of Apple Valley Orchard in Graham County are establishing a one-acre fruit orchard (October 28). They are planting 200 hundred apple trees and installing an irrigation system. No other orchard currently exists in the county, and apples will be a unique product at market. They are planting a total of seven varieties of both semi-dwarf apples and Golden Delicious to encourage good pollination. Alex Brown (October 10) and Vanessa Campbell of Full Sun Farm in Buncombe County are diversifying their mixed vegetable operation with tree nuts. No other farmer in the county currently produces nuts for commercial sale. They are planning a one-and-a-half acre orchard with hazelnuts, pecans and Chinese chestnuts.

September 2013
S 1 8 15 22 29 M 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 W 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 F 6 13 20 27 S 7 14 21 28

Sunday

29

October 2013
Monday

30

Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Notes
6 7 8 9 10 11 12

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Columbus Day

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November 2013
S 3 10 17 24 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30

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Halloween

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William Newell (pictured November 23) of Cherryfield Farm in Transylvania County is expanding his lamb meat operation by increasing his herd to 40 breeding ewes (above). The purchase of livestock handling equipment enhances William’s ability to manage health and lower animal stress. The improvements will increase the number of animals available to the meat market and decrease the number of days it takes to get them to marketable weight. The Independent Small Animal Meat Producers Association advanced the opening of the Foothills Pilot Plant in Marion by paying for labor and sanitation supply expenses. The plant is the first community administered, non-profit meat processing facility in the United States, tapping into the unmet demand for small-scale rabbit and poultry processing (November 18). Dewain Mackey (November 29) of Madison County is constructing an on-site meat processing and storage facility to better meet customer demand for pork, chickens, rabbits and turkeys.

October 2013
S 6 13 20 27 M 7 14 21 28 T 1 8 15 22 29 W 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 F 4 11 18 25 S 5 12 19 26

Sunday

November2013
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Monday

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Notes
Daylight Savings Time Ends

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Election Day

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Veteran’s Day

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December 2013
S 1 8 15 22 29 M 2 9 16 23 30 T 3 10 17 24 31 W 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 F 6 13 20 27 S 7 14 21 28

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Thanksgiving Day

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Rickey (pictured above) and Judi Postell of Fir Heaven’s Sake Tree Farm in Graham County are creating a unique family experience at their Christmas tree farm, which was established in part because of a 2006 WNC AgOptions grant. They are building a gift shop (December 22) with an oversized lean-to that will serve as a picture area for a Santa sleigh. The scene includes a backdrop painted by Judi, whose artwork has been published by two national arts and crafts magazines. Visitors can take a sleigh ride through the farm, where they will see various Christmas scenes that incorporate music. Local products, such as honey, bee products, quilts, and hand-painted ornaments (December 11) will be sold in the gift shop. They will also sell their own homemade wreaths and garlands.

November 2013
S 3 10 17 24 M 4 11 18 25 T 5 12 19 26 W 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 F 1 8 15 22 29 S 2 9 16 23 30

Sunday

December 2013
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Saturday

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Notes
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Winter Solstice

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January 2014
S 5 12 19 26 M 6 13 20 27 T 7 14 21 28 W 1 8 15 22 29 T 2 9 16 23 30 F 3 10 17 24 31 S 4 11 18 25

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Christmas Day

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Pictured right: Nantahala Farms and Nursery in Macon County Front cover photos: Dairy goat at Donna Gains’ High Mountain Meadows Farm in Clay County; filbert trees for truffles at Joni Wavra’s Ty-Lyn Plantation in Jackson County; bees at Kevin and Shelley King’s Axios Farms in Swain County. Western North Carolina Agricultural Options builds sustainable farming communities in our mountain region by providing resources directly to farmers who are diversifying and expanding their operations. WNC AgOptions grants also encourage groups of farmers to solve logistical challenges in the local agricultural system. The ultimate goal of WNC AgOptions is to protect mountain farmland through farm profitability. Since 2004, approximately 335 producers and farm groups in Avery, Buncombe, Clay, Cherokee, the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties received mini-grants for a wide range of capital improvements for their farms. With support from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, the N.C. Cooperative Extension partnered with WNC Communities in 2012 to administer the grants. Current and past partners include the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, HandMade in America and RAFI-USA’s Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. In 2013, WNC AgOptions continues to offer grants to assist farmers in tobaccodependent communities generate alternative farm income. The growers also benefit from technical and marketing assistance, business planning training, and increased exposure to their farms. To learn more about the program, contact the Madison County Cooperative Extension Center at 828.649.2411 x 305 or visit www.wncagoptions.org To learn more about the program, contact the Madison County Cooperative Extension Center at 828.649.2411 x 305 or visit www.wncagoptions.org Calendar photography by Jennifer Ferre, WNC AgOptions Project Manager. Calendar text and coordination by Megan E. Riley, www.wncmretc.com Calendar design by Cindy Wheeler: www.cindywheeler.com