Seeds are currency

Seeds are currency.

We are inspired by the Food is Free Project from Austin, TX. Food is Free project is a 501c3 non-profit that highlights the Seeds are currencyimportance of growing and accessing locally grown food, as well as its ability to bridge community connections. Through this active and growing community building and gardening movement, their mission is to gain independence from a broken, industrially-centered agriculture system.

Seeds are currency. After growing a garden, let one of each variety go to seed and it will produce up to 1,000 or 10,000 seeds for sharing and future seasons. We always recommend heirloom seeds. Nature teaches us abundance is the new normal!


Farmland without Farmers

The Atlantic recently published an interesting article called Farmland without Farmers and discussing the negative affects of industrial farming on a longstanding culture.

It highlighted the decline of today’s active farmers and that most “field work” is completed by high tech machinery or airplanes. There is a major disconnect and limited contact between the farmer and its soil.

The rise in industrial farming has also deterred children and families from completing farmwork together on their land, mainly due to its dangerous and complex nature. A clear difference from mid century farm and countryside living.

This article expresses how a vital part of this countryside culture is being lost.

“We have an ancient and long-enduring cultural imperative of neighborly love and work. This becomes ever more important as hardly imaginable suffering is imposed upon all creatures by industrial tools and industrial weapons. If we are to continue, in our only world, with any hope of thriving in it, we will have to expect neighborly behavior of sciences, of industries, and of governments, just as we expect it of our citizens in their neighborhoods.”

To read the full article, click here



Strengthening Support for our Conservation Plan

In the last two weeks, the Coggins Conservation Project held a series of community meetings right on the gorgeous Coggins Farm. We shared the overview of the conservation plan to potential project participants, investors, and interested community members and then opened it up for Q&A and a collective discussion.

We were met with great enthusiasm and interest in helping this Conservation Plan become a reality. We welcome your interest and encourage you to reach out with your questions and proposals for connecting to the project. Investors and strategic partners have the opportunity to be involved through the project’s conservation efforts, small-footprint development, and/or innovative agricultural programming.

Contact us here.


Coggins Farm Featured in a Real Estate Ad

The developer has begun advertising the Coggins Farm as premier “mountain living” real estate. This comes less than a month after Buncombe County’s Planning Board approved the development proposal to subdivide the Coggins Farm into 99 private lots. This full page ad was published in last Sunday’s Citizen-Times.

Although the new development plan subdivides virtually all 169 acres of this North Carolina “Century Farm” into private lots and does not indicate any plans for land conservation or agricultural use, the developer has chosen to carry forward the historic name, “Coggins Farm”. This teaser states that “the seeds have been planted which will set a new standard for mountain living in the southeast”. We are left wondering what the real connection is between “planting seeds” and a full-scale subdivision development.

What’s your take? Comment here or send us a message. Our intention with these public notices is to keep the community informed and the conversation open. This land has incredible potential to support and enrich the Asheville community. This ad presents Coggins Farm as a subdivision, which hinders the opportunity for community connection, educational programming, land conservation, and agricultural use.


coggins farm alternative plan

Farmland Values in Western North Carolina

Have you heard of the Farmland Values Project initiated by students and researchers at UNCA?  This Project was designed to collect, analyze and communicate the values that people have for farmland in four western North Carolina counties (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison).  Over 1100 residents and 307 visitors participated in the survey, focus groups, or mapping exercises between 2006-2008.

Their findings echoed the our collective concerns for the future of this region’s farmlands and showed that WNC residents find great value in farmland preservation and it’s potential to support the greater community. Below are some of their findings:

  • 88% of resident respondents are concerned about the likelihood that farmland would be developed for non-farm use
  • 83% of resident respondents agreed their community needs to do more to protect farmland
  • On average, resident respondents indicated they would be willing to make annual voluntary donations of $185 per year if the money were earmarked for farmland protection in their county
  • Nearly 2/3 of respondents (64% of residents, 88% of visitors) indicated they would be willing to pay more for their food if the increase in price went directly to protect farmland
  • Participants valued the following regional locations for their cultural heritage and scenic beauty:
  1. Sandymush and Fairview in Buncombe County
  2. Mills River and Etowah in Henderson County
  3. Bethel and Jonathan Creek in Haywood County
  4. Big Pine and Spring Creek in Madison County

To learn more about the Farmland Values Project, please visit


Update on Subdivision Development Approval


The Coggins Conservation Project would like to thank the community for an overwhelming response over the last few days regarding our latest public notice. Keeping the public informed and the conversation open has been central to our purpose.

Today, the Buncombe County Planning Board decided to approve the Case Enterprise proposal to subdivide the Coggins Farm into 99 private lots, so our focus as an organization now is to take action on our next steps. Over the past few months, we have developed an alternative plan. This plan is built around our core principles of encouraging conservation, local agriculture, and minimal residential development.

We are engaging in discussions with potential investors, partners, strategic planners, and community members to help manifest this alternative.

If you have support or resources to offer, please contact us. As always, we will keep you posted as new information is received.

Map of the Subdivision Development Approved on February 16th can be viewed at the link below. Each lot is labeled from 1 to 99 and separated by a black dashed line. You can click on the map to zoom in.


Case Group Shifts Coggins Farm Subdivision Plans

This Monday morning, February 16th, Case Enterprises will seek approval by the Buncombe County Planning Board for their newly revised subdivision plans. For the developers, this represents a substantial shift from their original concept for Coggins Farm.

While the number of residential lots has been reduced to 99, these new plans seem to indicate that the developers have removed all aspects related to innovation, agriculture, aging-in-place, attainable pricing, or education. It also appears that there are no designated plans for conservation of land. Virtually the entire 169 acres will be subdivided into private lots.

Notice from the Buncombe County Planning Board:
This meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:30 am in the meeting room located at 30 Valley Street. Your attendance and comments are encouraged.

SUB2015-00030: John Kinnaird, P.E. of Brooks Engineering Associates is seeking approval for a revision to the approved preliminary plan of Old Coggins Farm Subdivision Phase 1, located at 88 Old Coggins Place (PIN 9679-15-1760).

Map of Case Enterprise’s Current Subdivision Plans
Click the link above to view the current subdivision plans that will be presented this Monday. Each lot is labeled from 1 to 99 and separated by a black dashed line. You can click on the map to zoom in.

Any questions or comments that you may have regarding this notice are always welcomed and can be sent to us here.

Coggins Farm Asheville Conservation

Conservation on Coggins Farm…What’s your input?

In effort to raise and maintain greater community awareness around the conservation efforts for Coggins Farm and the pending development activity on the land, we have created a simple community survey that will take 5 minutes or less to complete.

Your participation in this survey not only gives the CCP a greater understanding of your level of awareness surrounding the project and Coggins land, but it also provides the opportunity to listen to and consider your concerns and/or suggestions before the Coggins Farm conservation proposal is finalized and released to the public.

To participate in the survey and provide your valuable input, please click the button below or enter the following Coggins Conservation URL into your browser:

We greatly appreciate your feedback!

Start Survey

Coggins Farm Conservation Asheville

Coggins Conservation Project Update

1) As many of you remember, the Buncombe County Board of Adjustments decided to approve the revised development plans for Coggins Farm last April. A local advocates group that’s in opposition of the development has appealed this decision. This case will now be heard in Superior Court this Tuesday morning (November 4th). We will report on the result as information becomes available. The local news reported on the Board of Adjustment’s decision last spring. That Mountain Xpress news article can be viewed here.

2) The Coggins Conservation Project will be releasing the specifics of our conservation plan for Coggins Farm within the next 2 weeks. In the meantime, please enjoy some new images of the farm taken right before winter hit Asheville early with a blanket of snow!

Coggins Farm Conservation Asheville

Coggins Farm Conservation Asheville

Coggins Farm Conservation Asheville

Coggins Farm Conservation Asheville

More images can be viewed in the photo gallery on our website here.