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A Preservation Landscape: The Farm Heritage Trail

Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 10 am
Sandy Mush Community Center - 19 School Rd., Leicester, NC 28748

A Preservation Landscape: The Farm Heritage Trail

Our mountain farming landscape has shaped our community from the late 18th century
to the present, and the preservation of significant portions of this landscape are integral
to the future of our county. Learn how the Buncombe County Farmland Preservation
program and the Farm Heritage Trail project are working to build awareness and
conserve our agrarian landscape. Join us at the Sandy Mush Community Center
located in the historic Sandy Mush School Building and enjoy a glimpse into our a rural
farming community’s past as we discuss the importance of our future. You are invited
to enjoy the scenic Farm Heritage Trail and visit farms stops along the route:


Terri Wells, 9th generation Sandy Mush farmer and Buncombe County Ag Advisory
Board Member. After a career in education, Terri returned to her family’s farm in Big
Sandy Mush to initiate a new farm venture with her husband, Glenn Ratcliff, who is a
Chemistry instructor at AB-Tech College: Bee Branch Farm grows and sells
vegetables, plant starts and honey utilizing organic practices. Terri’s passion is
farmland preservation; she was pleased when her family conserved 600 acres of their
family farm in 2009 with a permanent conservation easement with Southern
Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. She works to advocate for and educate about
farmland conservation; it is in this capacity that Terri, along with Ariel Zijp, created and
implemented the Farm Heritage Trail, a scenic driving and cycling route through
beautiful farming communities with farm stops and seasonal events.

Ariel Zijp grew up on an organic farm in Cabarrus County and she studied Sustainable
Agriculture and Forestry at Warren Wilson College. Ariel has worked on a variety of
farms in the area and currently works for Buncombe County Soil and Water as the
Farmland Preservation Coordinator. Through this position she works with farmers in
Buncombe County and helps preserve their farmland for future generations. Ariel lives
with her husband in Mars Hill, NC on a 2-acre homestead, where they have a large
vegetable, herb and flower garden, chickens, rabbits and honeybees and host farm
dinners and cooking workshops.