FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/9/2016 Contact: Emily Lachniet, Forest Farming Manager   276-623-1121



Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) expands economic development opportunities by providing mini-grants to develop forest farming    

Abingdon, Virginia, December 9, 2016 – Appalachian Sustainable Development, a local non-profit committed to transitioning Appalachia by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food, is pleased to announce that it is supporting local forest farmers with pass-through funding in the form of mini-grants to conduct forest farming training in their communities.

Supported by Virginia-based Sacharuna Foundation, various workshops will be conducted by herbal entrepreneurs, community leaders and wild food foragers for the general public from now until spring 2017 about topics like growing shade-loving forest plants, plant ID, wild foods, and more. Locations and details will be announced at a later date.

Recipients of the grant funding include the following: Willie Dodson, coordinator of the Mountain Music and Medicinals series in the Wise, VA area, Tammy Owens, of Foxfire Farm in Haysi, VA, Lexi Close with Appalachian RC&D Council in Johnson City, TN, Samantha Stephens, with Cherokee Cove Training and Retreat Center of Mountain City, TN and Carol Judy, a traditional root digger near Eagan, TN.

Emily Lachniet, agroforestry program manager at ASD explains, “There is a growing market for sustainably grown and harvested forest botanical products in our region. ASD is working with community partners to build stronger networks among growers to share knowledge and resources about forest farming. Forest botanicals include a variety of herbs, fruits, nuts and mushrooms, including ginseng, goldenseal, ramps, pawpaws and more.

To learn more about forest farming or to register for free, upcoming workshops, contact Emily Lachniet,, 276-623-1121 or visit

About Sacharuna Foundation

Sacharuna Foundation combines grant making for land and wildlife conservation with indigenous rights.

About Appalachian Sustainable Development

Appalachian Sustainable Development is dedicated to its mission to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food. Since 1995, ASD has been serving northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. As ASD’s work continues, it will expand its focus to include regional partnerships that build important connections to increase market access and bring necessary resources to the rural communities in its physical footprint. ASD operates programs in sustainable agriculture food access.

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