I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in our Sandy Mush community, and to once again be living here, surrounded by our beautiful mountains, the prime farmland, and, most importantly, our family, friends and neighbors who create our community. This place that I have always called home, even when I lived elsewhere, is a small farming community that is, thankfully, surrounded by our mountains, which has helped slow the encroaching development and allowed us to maintain much of our agricultural heritage. Our community has a strong commitment to farming and to conservation practices; there are currently over 6000 acres of farmland and mountains protected from development through conservation easements. Fortunately, others like me are returning, and new farmers are moving to the community to continue our agricultural heritage. This will help us continue to be a viable farming community.

We are excited that others are recognizing the beauty and value of our community and our efforts to conserve it. We have recently partnered with the Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association to offer a Farms and Artisans Fall Tour in our lovely Sandy Mush community. We are happy that many of our fellow farmers and artist friends are joining us in offering this tour to ABBA guests. As I mentioned, it is the people that truly make this a special community. We love the mix of farmers and artists and those who trace their local heritage back 200 years along with those who felt pulled to this community. The New York Times noted how folks can take the roads less traveled and visit our local farms and artists. We certainly think they are worth the visit; they are what make our community the place we love to call home.

Some of my favorite memories of growing up here are centered around community gatherings and food. Food was lovingly prepared, people gathered, stories were told, and bonds were built. This is one reason we enjoy offering our wine dinners. We like coming together to enjoy the wonderful food, company and conversation; now, however, we add wine to the experience. Sunday, October 11th we are going to celebrate the end of our 2015 harvest season with a special dinner in the vineyard!

We look forward to sharing this lovely experience with friends, new and old, in the place we call home.