Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Project

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2006: $40,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
John Jackson
Appalachian Native Plants Inc

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: asparagus, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, greens (leafy)
  • Additional Plants: native plants, ornamentals


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, foliar feeding, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, physical control, sanitation
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures, community development


    This Sustainable Community Innovation Grant has established the closed county landfill as an asset in the community. On this site commercially viable native plants and technical assistance are available to interested farmers in the region. A Subterranean Heating and Cooling System has been installed in the production greenhouse, plant material has been provided to growers in the region, and outreach efforts have gained new grower interest in native azaleas as a viable alternative crop. With this foundation in place, the project is well positioned to include sustainable/organic food crops in the program within the next year.


    Appalachian Native Plants set out to establish the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Project. The closed county landfill is now being used to produce native azaleas and the site has been expanded to prepare for additional greenhouses that will produce sustainable/organic food crops. Established growers of native azaleas and emerging growers now have a source of hard to find native azalea liners and technical assistance on how to grow them. Partnerships with University of Tennessee professors and extension agents, Appalachian State University, local officials and economic development organizations, as well as the local school system have been elemental in the success of this project.

    Project objectives:

    Meeting the Goals

    The purpose of this project has been to provide commercially viable horticultural crops and technical assistance to interested farmers in the region. ANP produces native plant liners for other farmers to grow on to finished landscape size plants. The outlined objectives/performance targets for this project are as follows:

    1. Economic stimulation and viability.

    2. Educational benefits derived from the Horticultural Education/Demonstration Center.

    3. Demonstration of “Green energy” technologies in agricultural production.

    4. Demonstration of Sustainable Agricultural methods of producing native plants and organic vegetables.

    5. WEB based marketing of crops produced through the project. Co-op style procurement of materials needed for the growing of these crops.

    6. Job and wealth creation through value added agricultural enterprises.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.