Coggins Conservation Project will provide a formal presentation of its business model to the community at large on May 7, 2015, 7pm at 67 Biltmore Avenue (previously Laurey’s) in downtown Asheville. This event is free and open to the public.
Coggins Conservation Project (CCP) announces its new ruralism business model as an alternate exit strategy for retiring farmers. The CCP is attempting to assume the current developer’s contract on the Coggins Farm™ property in East Asheville and aims to establish a center for sustainable agriculture and farmland preservation. Currently in the region, career farmers have had few retirement options. In the past 10 years, open land and farms in Western NC have given way to suburban sprawl. As a result, an increasing number of rural communities on the edges of cities have lost their biodiverse habitats and land used for local food production. The co-founders of CCP have developed a business model to incorporate some suburban-rural population growth while maintaining necessary space for sustainable agriculture and conservation of natural habitat. The goal is to establish a model site on Coggins Farm™ just outside of Asheville, NC and then aid other communities throughout Southern Appalachia and beyond.
“Conserving open space in perpetuity has been a driving mission for the CCP,” says Nesta Kennedy, co-founder. “The project was born from our desire to preserve one of the last large pieces of open farmland on the outskirts of the city. As we’ve seen support rally around this concept, it’s grown into something more: we want Asheville to be a mecca for new, sustainable ways of living. What better way than to create a solid, thriving model for alternative growth in our rural communities?”
The CCP new ruralism model aims to recognize the needs of the individual farmer while maintaining dynamic agri-diversity in the region and support for active farms that contribute to the growth of the economy.
As Ron Ainspan, owner of Mountain Food Products, puts it, “Our region has been instrumental in developing and nurturing local food chains. We see the conservation initiative for the Coggins property as further inspiration for that effort. At the same time, we live in an area experiencing population growth. An approach which integrates a small residential component accommodates the population demand while not crowding out the agricultural contribution or the rural character”.
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