Episode 66: Agritourism, Farm to Table with Laura Lauffer

50m | Jul 26, 2022


What does Agritourism mean for farmers, entrepreneurs, and residents in the mountains? Tune in to find out the answer to this question from our guest today, Laura Lauffer as we go on with our conversation with her.


Joseph will interview our special guest, Laura Lauffer, Project Director of EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems and Appalachian Regional Commission Power Project Center for Environmental Farming Systems sponsored by North Carolina State University – an organization whose objective is to offer financial, technical, and business support to regional farms and food-related businesses, while also being an advocate for agritourism. 

This conversation will cover the process of creating and implementing a business model that emphasizes community development, as well as the relationship between public policy and economic development in Appalachian communities.



EPISODE QUOTE: “ Everybody’s got a yellow squash in July, so maybe planta different kind of beet instead. You have to be smart.” 


Tune in for this fun conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.

Facebook Live Video from 2022/07/26 - Agritourism, Farm to Table with Laura Lauffer


Segment 1

Lauffer is a native of North Carolina, her father retired when she was in elementary school. She gotta enjoy the tightly knit community of soldiers and their families. Whilst taking part in the Peace Corps she got to visit Zaire, a country in Africa.


In Zaire she was an extension agent. She would get seeds and extend them to farmers in the area to increase protein consumption as it was lacking in the people’s diet. The Peace Corps also gave her the opportunity to learn the local dialect and also used French. She goes on to share that she earned a minor in Spanish in Montreal. Before starting a farm in Garner in Hohnston County she toured around Europe. She then became a Peace Corps recruiter in Grad school. Her area of expertise is food systems and economic development. She started a program at North Carolina Community College where she taught sustainability. She left the classroom and applied her skills in the field as a program director at NCA&T for regional food systems. Agritourism is tourism that is added to an existing farming operation.


Using her website people can create appointments to get hooked up with different resources being offered by the program. One of the resources includes Advanced Business Services which helps local businesses that are advanced. The small business centers are partners that community colleges host to offer free business counseling. In agriculture, she is noticing carbon sequestration, which is recognizing farmers as a solution to climate change instead of as a factor of climate change.


She uses storytelling to give people background and context to farms and agriculture including their purpose. The ideal farm-to-table program is where the farmer and chef are expressing creativity and have a relationship of understanding. An example is Silva Ilda, they change their many every week according to what’s coming in fresh.



00:00:40.740 –> 00:00:57.240 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy, welcome you to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park in the surrounding towns, this area is filled with H in that.

00:00:59.460 –> 00:01:03.690 Joseph McElroy: Deep-storied history filters that we explore with the weekly episode.

00:01:04.500 –> 00:01:11.850 Joseph McElroy: As I said, I’m Joseph Franklin McElroy man in the world, but also deep roots in these mountains by families living the great smokies for over 200 years.

00:01:12.270 –> 00:01:20.160 Joseph McElroy: My businesses and travel, but my heart is a culture today we’re going to talk about agritourism and farm to table with Laura lot left.

00:01:20.910 –> 00:01:29.220 Joseph McElroy: The first, you know a few sponsors and things like that you know when you start planning a trip.

00:01:29.790 –> 00:01:38.310 Joseph McElroy: After you decide where you’re going to go usually the first things you do is, you choose a book your flight you book your place you’re going to stay.

00:01:38.820 –> 00:01:47.010 Joseph McElroy: As because you need to have a place to start your vacation adventure and then you can get done you get to work on it in Tenerife now I place.

00:01:47.880 –> 00:01:52.740 Joseph McElroy: and finding a place to stay, I want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past.

00:01:53.550 –> 00:01:58.920 Joseph McElroy: Modern and vibrant with a Chic Appalachian feel a place for adventure and for relaxation.

00:01:59.520 –> 00:02:07.410 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you efficient a mountain heritage trout stream grill to catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wines or craft beers.

00:02:07.800 –> 00:02:20.100 Joseph McElroy: So imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

00:02:20.940 –> 00:02:27.720 Joseph McElroy: Now, one of the things that we can help you with is to help you build your itinerary once you decide that you’re going to stay.

00:02:28.080 –> 00:02:39.780 Joseph McElroy: and come to the smoky mountains for vacation state the middle art we actually have a site called smokies adventure calm, that you can actually do your research on to find out about.

00:02:40.950 –> 00:02:46.920 Joseph McElroy: The best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment that you can find here.

00:02:47.910 –> 00:02:59.940 Joseph McElroy: And you can find a lot about the great smoky mountains National Park, you have the best trails the best waterfalls and what you can do in caves code, you find out about the history of the smokies and how to explore that.

00:03:00.960 –> 00:03:04.290 Joseph McElroy: That smokies adventure smokies plural adventure com.

ew-]\00:03:05.490 –> 00:03:16.620 Joseph McElroy: For your research pleasure and then when you get here will be more than happy to sell to set you up with tours or other things to do, and of course, we have a lot of things going on here we have the metal dark smoky mountain.

00:03:17.730 –> 00:03:20.070 Joseph McElroy: Historical Center here with lots of.

00:03:21.150 –> 00:03:27.390 Joseph McElroy: Events coming about mountain heritage and music and culture, here in the mountains and I’ll tell you about a couple of

00:03:28.170 –> 00:03:39.810 Joseph McElroy: Recently there was a viral event on TikTok and Instagram with some cloggers and specifically one color flogger I live, right here and Maggie Valley, the valley Jonathan.

00:03:41.490 –> 00:03:52.500 Joseph McElroy: And we’re going to actually bring those cloggers here this weekend to the Meadowlark Motel to do performance the J creek cloggers and.

00:03:53.100 –> 00:04:03.210 Joseph McElroy: And they are going to be here on Friday night on Saturday night and your father, going to be performing at 730 but previous to that you can have a free Barbecue.

00:04:04.050 –> 00:04:20.730 Joseph McElroy: There is sort of an iconic dance group that has been forming for a number of years, but zip the legend Ross was just picked up on tick tock and Instagram doing some solo buck dancing that was reminiscent of a lot of.

00:04:21.750 –> 00:04:31.440 Joseph McElroy: Urban dancing going on, and he became sort of a hero and he’s actually got a nickname now in the army online things he says he’s called the legend.

00:04:32.550 –> 00:04:34.710 Joseph McElroy: Is he doing something called any call it, Chris walked.

00:04:35.910 –> 00:04:42.750 Joseph McElroy: that’s an urban culture but it’s part of the clogging that he does here so so it’s kind of cool.

00:04:43.500 –> 00:04:56.850 Joseph McElroy: That that happened I don’t think they’ve had I think they’ve had 100 million views it’s crazy, so you know we invite you to come out and see it live on Saturday night July 30 here at the Meadowlark

00:04:58.110 –> 00:05:11.160 Joseph McElroy: admission is free for the motel guests and for heritage club members and it’s $20 for people that are just visiting it’s called 8289261717 to find out information reverse to reserve your room.

00:05:12.390 –> 00:05:22.320 Joseph McElroy: Now, another thing that on August six that we’re doing a smoky mountain heritage Center is putting on starting a Cherokee heritage series and they’re bringing in.

00:05:23.910 –> 00:05:34.530 Joseph McElroy: What true Appalachian Appalachian treasure baby arch and Davey is a world-famous Cherokee tribal historic and storing and Ward winning craftsman.

00:05:35.070 –> 00:05:43.410 Joseph McElroy: Traditional Cherokee crafts, especially mass and baskets and he’s a beloved spokesman for the Eastern Cherokee tribe.

00:05:43.980 –> 00:05:56.520 Joseph McElroy: And this will be on August six starting at six the Barbecue dinner and music and then there will be a whole presentation that you will find very interesting.

00:05:57.240 –> 00:06:08.160 Joseph McElroy: Michigan is $20 for guest three for hotel guests in here to close my hair does club Members call eight to 89261717 to reserve your seat.

00:06:08.820 –> 00:06:22.080 Joseph McElroy: One of the events coming up that I’ve been promoting for a while now is a songwriters camp I don’t know if you’ve heard of Jim Lauderdale but he’s a grammy award-winning artist I think 30 hit songs under his belt.

00:06:23.340 –> 00:06:39.630 Joseph McElroy: That he’s written for various artists or more he wrote a lot of George strait’s songs he wrote king of the broken hearts might be one of the big ones that you know so and he’s leading a crew of grammy award-winning artist here there’s gonna be Charles Humphrey the third.

00:06:41.370 –> 00:06:57.330 Joseph McElroy: And then there’s gonna Be daring Nicholson of Balsam Range les mills and Charles Chamberlain it’s like a dream team of songwriters and top musicians here at the metal art and it’s a two-day event, where you have a meet and greet and have a.

00:06:58.590 –> 00:07:08.910 Joseph McElroy: concert by the songs from the road band and Barbecue dinner and all star concept on a Saturday night and then you’re going to have.

00:07:09.660 –> 00:07:29.640 Joseph McElroy: An all day intensive workshop where you actually walk away with a DEMO tape of one of your songs and it’s gonna be it’s gonna be incredible it’s a great way to meet and learn from some of the top in the business so call eight to 89261717 to reserve your space and to get a ticket.

00:07:31.440 –> 00:07:42.810 Joseph McElroy: get a space for the workshop and the two concerts are also available to the public, just to come and enjoy the music so again eight to 89261717 to get your spot.

00:07:44.940 –> 00:07:51.420 Joseph McElroy: So today we’re going to be talking about tourism with lunch.

00:07:54.810 –> 00:07:55.560 Joseph McElroy: it’s with.

00:07:56.670 –> 00:08:10.050 Joseph McElroy: Our guest his name is Laura laufer is and she is the project director of empowering mountain food systems at appalachian regional convinced Commission power project Center for environmental party farming systems.

00:08:11.250 –> 00:08:13.260 Joseph McElroy: You can’t say that a lot of times fast.

00:08:15.000 –> 00:08:15.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: Natural.

00:08:15.990 –> 00:08:26.670 Joseph McElroy: sponsored by North Carolina State University an organization, whose objective is to offer financial, technical and business support to regional farms and food related businesses.

00:08:27.090 –> 00:08:35.820 Joseph McElroy: while also being an advocate for agritourism, she holds degrees from Western Carolina university nc State University speaks for language.

00:08:36.180 –> 00:08:47.340 Joseph McElroy: And there’s a webinar producer blogger and Community activists she resides in western North Carolina enjoys hiking and spending time with family or friends Hello Laura how are you doing.

00:08:47.370 –> 00:08:49.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: hey hey guys.

00:08:49.920 –> 00:08:51.270 Joseph McElroy: I pronounce your last name right.

00:08:51.570 –> 00:08:52.140 Laura Lauffer she/her: Now offer.

00:08:52.410 –> 00:08:56.730 Joseph McElroy: offer okay so we’re very thrilled to have you here today.

00:08:57.990 –> 00:09:02.400 Joseph McElroy: You know, we are, we are getting in into farm to table here it’s of lr.

00:09:03.480 –> 00:09:11.100 Joseph McElroy: we’ve actually put in a raised garden back in the back here and then yeah I went out to my old family farm wish I owned.

00:09:12.120 –> 00:09:22.950 Joseph McElroy: A third of it and on my on my land grant visible where my grandfather farm I put in my first field and now i’m a farmer feeling so proud of myself.

00:09:24.480 –> 00:09:31.140 Joseph McElroy: As I got a lot to learn, but I did, I do have some candy roasters and things like that.

00:09:31.980 –> 00:09:43.200 Joseph McElroy: Growing there so i’m looking forward to this conversation because i’m sure you can teach me how I could do this much better so, but first I want to get a little bit of your background you’re a native of fayetteville North Carolina right.

00:09:43.890 –> 00:09:44.850 Laura Lauffer she/her: Yes, I am.

00:09:45.030 –> 00:09:46.140 Joseph McElroy: yeah and then.

00:09:47.160 –> 00:09:54.090 Joseph McElroy: You know I whenever I think of that area I automatically think it for broad were you were you an army brat by chance.

00:09:54.660 –> 00:09:58.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: My dad was in the army, yes that’s how I like to answer that.

00:09:59.160 –> 00:10:01.530 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did I did grow up more closer to.

00:10:01.530 –> 00:10:12.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: Fort bragg and my dad was career special forces, and it was a really wonderful wonderful way to grow up, it was a really nice Community there on base.

00:10:12.660 –> 00:10:15.000 Joseph McElroy: So you got to stay in one place for your whole childhood.

00:10:15.360 –> 00:10:16.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did.

00:10:16.410 –> 00:10:17.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: My dad died.

00:10:17.430 –> 00:10:24.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah my dad I was a kind of a late comer as far as the in the order of children, so my dad retired.

00:10:25.620 –> 00:10:35.070 Laura Lauffer she/her: When I was still in elementary school, but we stayed there because of the tight Community bond with all the soldiers families so well.

00:10:35.340 –> 00:10:46.650 Joseph McElroy: yeah I was just recently out there, my son my 13 year old son is happens to be a power lifter and there was a there was actually a major power lifting event out there, so.

00:10:47.880 –> 00:10:54.000 Joseph McElroy: You know I I it’s interesting mixed bag place or some really beautiful places in some places that.

00:10:55.590 –> 00:10:55.950 Joseph McElroy: But.

00:10:57.030 –> 00:11:00.960 Joseph McElroy: All of North Carolina is it beautiful so.

00:11:01.440 –> 00:11:04.080 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah I used to consider myself a beach girl.

00:11:04.500 –> 00:11:04.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: And then.

00:11:05.280 –> 00:11:16.350 Laura Lauffer she/her: To the mountains and I was coming back from the beach a couple years ago and I, and I was so happy to come to the mountains, so I just decided, I was in North Carolina girl.

00:11:16.740 –> 00:11:18.330 Joseph McElroy: There you go you got everything here.

00:11:18.360 –> 00:11:18.630 yeah.

00:11:19.890 –> 00:11:25.980 Joseph McElroy: We have a rain forest, we have snow ski mountains and we have a white this white sand beaches.

00:11:26.790 –> 00:11:36.270 Joseph McElroy: You can’t really beat that yeah so how did you end up going to Western Carolina university from high school and fayetteville.

00:11:37.590 –> 00:11:40.860 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, it was a circuitous route as you.

00:11:41.910 –> 00:11:44.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: can imagine, and there was a boy involved in.

00:11:44.490 –> 00:11:44.760 So.

00:11:47.070 –> 00:11:47.760 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

00:11:47.850 –> 00:12:04.560 Laura Lauffer she/her: But I was very glad I ended up here, and so this was a sweet homecoming for me since I graduated there in 1988 and another boy I met and I took off to the Peace Corps from from cali so.

00:12:05.970 –> 00:12:15.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: So 30 years later i’m back and really, really appreciating it more you know in my advanced age, the beauty.

00:12:15.960 –> 00:12:28.770 Laura Lauffer she/her: Of the region, you know, back then, I you know we were hiking and kind of go into paradise falls and stuff like that, but this time i’m really, really enjoying the beauty of the of the region.

00:12:29.340 –> 00:12:31.530 Joseph McElroy: Peace Corps where’d you go in the Peace Corps.

00:12:32.010 –> 00:12:33.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: went desire.

00:12:33.420 –> 00:12:33.990 Joseph McElroy: wow.

00:12:34.140 –> 00:12:43.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: it’s this country in the middle of Africa it’s a probably the one of the most difficult posts, you can have honestly and.

00:12:44.460 –> 00:12:50.970 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was an amazing experience and many volunteers don’t have that experience anymore being.

00:12:50.970 –> 00:12:52.140 Laura Lauffer she/her: So rural.

00:12:52.920 –> 00:12:58.050 Joseph McElroy: Well, I gotta I want to hear a little bit more about the experience but we got to take a break right now and then.

00:12:59.640 –> 00:13:01.950 Joseph McElroy: And then and talk a little bit more about that.

00:13:02.040 –> 00:13:04.380 Joseph McElroy: and other than, of course, Western North Carolina.

00:13:04.920 –> 00:13:05.520 Great.

00:15:21.300 –> 00:15:36.300 Joseph McElroy: Howdy! this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast my guest is Laura Lauffer so Laura you are the peace corps and you were in Africa and what you were doing, and they have anything related to agriculture, what.

00:15:37.080 –> 00:15:38.430 Laura Lauffer she/her: It did and.

00:15:38.940 –> 00:15:53.520, Laura Lauffer, she/her: We were extension agents what most people know what extension agents do here is extend the research from the land grant university to farmers and enzyme air, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

00:15:54.630 –> 00:15:59.760 Laura Lauffer she/her: There was a Research Station but there were no agents, and so my husband and I.

00:16:01.290 –> 00:16:08.040 Laura Lauffer s: would get seeds and extend them to farmers in the region, mostly corn and soybeans.

00:16:08.550 –> 00:16:22.110 Laura Lauffer she/her: To try to increase the protein content of diets because malnutrition, was an issue there, so it was a lovely amazing experience, who lived in a mud hut with no plumbing and no electricity and only got around on bikes.

00:16:22.560 –> 00:16:27.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh, it was It made me appreciate all that we have.

00:16:28.470 –> 00:16:38.670 Joseph McElroy: Well, that sounds like a fantastic experience I see that you spoke four languages, you know romantic languages and then this one called Chiluba

00:16:39.210 –> 00:16:56.250, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Chiluba, yeah I was in a gas station in Raleigh once and the guy behind the counter was speaking to Buddha and I started speaking to him is like a so yeah it’s a that’s The great thing about peace corps is they, they teach you the local dialect.

00:16:56.700 –> 00:16:57.390 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

00:16:58.110 –> 00:17:04.440, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah so it was really great I think it’d be hard for me to carry on a conversation, and most of those languages.

00:17:05.820 –> 00:17:16.530 Laura Lauffer she/her: I grew up spending a lot of time in Montreal and got a minor in Spanish, and then spoke French and spoke Chiluba are so it’s a mix match in there.

00:17:16.770 –> 00:17:19.290 Joseph McElroy: wow how long did you stay inside here?

00:17:19.920 –> 00:17:20.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: Three years.

00:17:22.410 –> 00:17:23.520 Joseph McElroy: becomes almost all right.

00:17:24.150 –> 00:17:44.370, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah it was we stayed on we extended a little at the end and worked in the itinerary rain forest with john interests heart and they were doing research with the band booty tribe, which is also known as the pygmies way deep in the rain forest and.

00:17:45.660 –> 00:17:53.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was an amazing experience, but we were ready to go and we hitchhiked across the continent it’s something you can’t do really anymore.

00:17:54.780 –> 00:17:58.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was a true vagabond experience for some young people.

00:17:59.460 –> 00:18:01.770 Joseph McElroy: And then you came back to the United States after that.

00:18:02.370 –> 00:18:14.280, Laura Lauffer, she/her: We did we thought we would travel a lot more, but the Gulf War was going on in our family, you know, is ready for us to come back, but we toured around Europe for a little bit and then came back.

00:18:14.640 –> 00:18:15.810 Joseph McElroy: And we’re to settle settle.

00:18:17.400 –> 00:18:29.850, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Actually, we stayed in wake county for a while, and then we moved out into the country and the head started our first little farm in garner and Johnston county.

00:18:30.090 –> 00:18:30.510 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

00:18:30.810 –> 00:18:45.000, Laura Lauffer, she/her: And, and I worked in Durham I’ve worked for Africa, new service until I went to Grad school and became a peace corps recruiter in Grad school at NC state, and that was really wonderful experience.

00:18:45.300 –> 00:18:53.280 Joseph McElroy: And that’s where you got even further into understanding at the Grad school you got into the agriculture-related studies.

00:18:53.940 –> 00:19:04.410 Laura Lauffer she/her: no, mostly sustainability so I’m not an ag-technician food systems person and Community development and economic development.

00:19:05.340 –> 00:19:18.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: So I’m not the I do have you know a little bit of knowledge, you know enough to get by on animal husbandry and crop production, but my area of emphasis is food systems and economic development.

00:19:18.690 –> 00:19:27.870 Joseph McElroy: wow you know what are the, what are the only three pine-rated logic facility, the Western Asheville by the state of North Carolina in terms of sustainable yeah.

00:19:28.110 –> 00:19:42.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: Fantastic yeah I taught sustainability for a while I started a program at Central Carolina Community College, where the few sustainability degrees in the state, and that was a wonderful experience.

00:19:43.020 –> 00:19:48.180 Joseph McElroy: And then you worked as a program coordinator of local farms of food within see at antique

00:19:48.960 –> 00:19:57.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did that’s when I got I left teaching because I really was kind of tired of talking about sustainability so much in the classroom every day and I was.

00:19:58.560 –> 00:20:14.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: missing the application in the field, and so I took a leap of faith and left teaching and was brought on for this regional food systems work at NCAA empty and their extension Program.

00:20:14.760 –> 00:20:21.840 Joseph McElroy: cool and what is the regional food system work, what is it you do there?

00:20:21.930 –> 00:20:28.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, so one of the things that we like to focus on is helping farmers with their supply chain.

00:20:29.910 –> 00:20:38.550, Laura Lauffer, she/her: If they want to diversify their source of funding, do they want to diversify markets this happened a lot during covid where.

00:20:38.940 –> 00:20:56.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know the one-on-one marketing say at farmer’s markets when a way, so we help folks establish their web presence, maybe, establish a pickup and so, for that they needed coolers, and so we had a program our funder came to us during cove it and said.

00:20:58.050 –> 00:21:13.680 Laura Lauffer she/her: What, what do you need to do you know, because everything this of course it was not our plan to have a pandemic in this project, and so I went to the farmers, and I was like what what do y’all need most and it was cold storage so because they were like.

00:21:14.190 –> 00:21:15.810 Laura Lauffer she/her: had to hold on to things a little bit.

00:21:15.810 –> 00:21:30.960 Laura Lauffer she/her: Longer and have a different distribution method so um so supply chain is very important, you know, maintaining that quality and diversifying income so that’s kind of a snapshot that’s one of the things we do.

00:21:31.710 –> 00:21:42.030 Joseph McElroy: So the new so you ended up then coming to Western North Carolina and leading leading be coming the project director of this up God awful lot.

00:21:45.360 –> 00:21:48.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: it’s empowering that with IT systems that says it all.

00:21:50.040 –> 00:21:55.860 Joseph McElroy: Of that is an applicant Appalachian Regional Commission our project Center for environmental party system.

00:21:56.430 –> 00:22:01.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah you always have to mention your funders you know they like that and it’s important.

00:22:01.530 –> 00:22:01.920 Laura Lauffer she/her: So yeah.

00:22:02.520 –> 00:22:09.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: We are funded by the appalachian regional Commission it’s a over a million dollar grant over four years.

00:22:09.810 –> 00:22:28.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: To do this work, and we also very importantly, got funding from the cherokee preservation foundation to work with cherokee farmers and cherokee food systems and my office is actually in the Qualla boundary of the eastern band of Cherokee so we’ve had the great pleasure to work with.

00:22:29.760 –> 00:22:38.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: tribal government and and are our allies there to help Cherokee farmers and cherokee businesses grow.

00:22:38.790 –> 00:22:43.980 Joseph McElroy: So you work do you do you work with pharmacy work with other businesses like restaurants groceries.

00:22:45.120 –> 00:22:45.450 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:22:46.650 –> 00:22:48.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: um so like during covid

00:22:49.830 –> 00:22:58.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: Some restaurants transition to be the grocery stores, so I hope folks know about Guadalupe CAFE and downtown Silva

00:22:58.770 –> 00:22:59.820 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s a great CAFE.

00:22:59.820 –> 00:23:00.300 yeah.

00:23:01.440 –> 00:23:04.590 Joseph McElroy: I look at like the multiple salsa salsa.

00:23:04.830 –> 00:23:08.460 Joseph McElroy: yeah good you can bring a great day yeah.

00:23:08.730 –> 00:23:16.110 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah yeah yeah Jen is wonderful and she’s always been super committed to local food systems and so.

00:23:17.100 –> 00:23:21.570 Laura Lauffer she/her: And she was only doing take out but folks will come get their takeout they can get coffee.

00:23:22.080 –> 00:23:41.520 Laura Lauffer she/her: butter cheese bacon and so, for that she needs more cold storage, and so we help with that, and then we also help with Yonder, which is a fabulous market up in Franklin, and so they during covid they transition from a from a restaurant to a.

00:23:43.020 –> 00:23:48.870 Laura Lauffer she/her: Community supported agriculture, where they were selling bags of food and and a little grocery store.

00:23:49.320 –> 00:24:06.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: So yeah absolutely so it’s you know it’s all along we’d like to work all along the supply chain were even work with Western Carolina university, we had an event there a few weeks ago, talking to their catering directors about buying local for events there.

00:24:06.390 –> 00:24:10.500 Joseph McElroy: Well, so a little, so our little planet, the building a.

00:24:12.090 –> 00:24:22.680 Joseph McElroy: Small essentially a small farm to help support our plans to make this restaurant would be something we could actually work a little bit with you on.

00:24:23.190 –> 00:24:31.170, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Absolutely, I mean you’re in Haywood county this project is only goes from Haywood to Cherokee county.

00:24:32.310 –> 00:24:39.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: there’s often not a lot of attention out here in this little piece of heaven, you know there, there is a lot of mountains west of Asheville.

00:24:39.870 –> 00:24:40.200 Right.

00:24:41.280 –> 00:24:45.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: And yeah yeah we love, we have some great partners in Haywood county.

00:24:45.960 –> 00:24:46.710 Joseph McElroy: cool yeah.

00:24:47.880 –> 00:24:49.890 Joseph McElroy: Totally yeah totally.

00:24:51.660 –> 00:24:56.430 Joseph McElroy: Totally enamored by you know the concept of agritourism.

00:24:57.750 –> 00:25:00.930 Joseph McElroy: And you how do you guys promote agritourism

00:25:02.040 –> 00:25:17.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well agritourism what’s really essential is that agritourism is tourism that is added on to an existing farming operation so it’s not this case where.

00:25:18.480 –> 00:25:35.520 Laura Lauffer she/her: Laura goes and buys a piece of land and puts up a beautiful barn and it’s a wedding venue that is not agritourism so agritourism, is a working farm or you know farm production business where they’re adding agritourism.

00:25:36.330 –> 00:25:46.740, Laura Lauffer, she/her: To increase knowledge and, hopefully, of course, in increase revenue, and you know people are very interested to learn, you know where their food comes from.

00:25:47.400 –> 00:26:08.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: And, and you know children love to go walk along or shear a sheep Jehovah raw farm and Haywood county has a fantastic agritourism operation, where you can stay in their cabin and she and use the wool from a shared sheep and make your own rug oh.

00:26:09.480 –> 00:26:10.410 Laura Lauffer she/her: that’s cool yeah.

00:26:10.470 –> 00:26:12.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: So look up Jehovah raw form they are.

00:26:13.440 –> 00:26:15.060 Joseph McElroy: All yeah you know.

00:26:16.410 –> 00:26:17.670 Joseph McElroy: I was i’m a beekeeper.

00:26:17.790 –> 00:26:27.300 Joseph McElroy: Without fantastic I actually learned it I did beekeeping a little bit when I was a kid here in the mountains back she learned to do be pretty good at it in the south bronx in New York City.

00:26:27.570 –> 00:26:37.800 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my goodness, I would put bee hives and in Community arts and we were near the at the botanical gardens.

00:26:38.190 –> 00:26:38.790 Joseph McElroy: I know.

00:26:38.880 –> 00:26:43.530 Joseph McElroy: I got I got all sorts of interesting flavors, but do you work with beekeepers is that.

00:26:43.980 –> 00:26:58.200, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah absolutely one of our first grants, we made was to Ferguson farms in haywood county and they are 100 year farm, there is a historical farm and Haywood county and.

00:26:59.100 –> 00:27:11.880 Laura Lauffer she/her: They started beekeeping, excuse me in 2019, I believe, when we first started and their operation, they are now getting ready to add blanton to their farm.

00:27:11.910 –> 00:27:25.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah so you can go in and have a beautiful tent on the river and you know hang out in your tub and then go and get on a four-wheeler and go visit the horses and learn about beekeeping.

00:27:26.640 –> 00:27:28.680 Laura Lauffer she/her: learn about you know beef production.

00:27:29.100 –> 00:27:40.020 Joseph McElroy: I did a lot of education about beekeeping to kids in the bronx in the Community garden so i’m looking to start doing that, here too, because I enjoyed it.

00:27:40.410 –> 00:27:48.060 Joseph McElroy: And I have you know I have, I have four year old twins now how am I have a 30-year-old son that four-year-old twins and.

00:27:48.600 –> 00:27:54.390 Joseph McElroy: I think I look forward to being able to show them about these things so but I think, making it a part of a program I might even.

00:27:54.960 –> 00:28:07.260 Joseph McElroy: You know, I think that I can do, because I figured out how to do it, the Community garden how to have a number of beehives here at the Meadowlark, because you can create beef like you know you create barriers that regulate wearing the bees fly.

00:28:07.620 –> 00:28:09.840 Joseph McElroy: Right at the height and everything else, so you can get.

00:28:09.840 –> 00:28:12.210 Joseph McElroy: them to fly above people for the most part.

00:28:13.440 –> 00:28:20.340 Joseph McElroy: And so that you can have been very densely populated areas, and a lot of you know, and so people didn’t know that but I got we got to take another break.

00:28:20.400 –> 00:28:23.940 Joseph McElroy: Okay, and then we’ll come back and talk more about what you’re doing okay.

00:28:24.330 –> 00:28:25.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay, thanks.

00:30:30.750 –> 00:30:39.090 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts that my guest Laura Lauffer so Laura you know I.

00:30:40.140 –> 00:30:56.880 Joseph McElroy: assume I’m a neophyte business person, and you know and it’s trying to get into agritourism, and some of the agriculture, how does, how does, how does somebody approached your organization and find out about assistance and special programs and things like that.

00:30:58.110 –> 00:31:01.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, just Google empowering mountain food systems and.

00:31:03.150 –> 00:31:12.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: You will come up in our homepage will come up and on the right, there’s a little purple button that says apply here, and that will take you.

00:31:12.510 –> 00:31:30.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: straight into our portal and then you have an appointment with me and I talked to folks about what they’re up to and I hook them up with the different resources that they have we have a really cool program right now it’s called Advanced business services that are helping.

00:31:31.800 –> 00:31:36.660, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Local businesses who are kind of advanced, so we just helped.

00:31:37.830 –> 00:31:44.940 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh valley view farms she’s a verbal culture operation, do you know what permaculture is.

00:31:44.970 –> 00:31:46.140 Joseph McElroy: No, I have no idea.

00:31:46.350 –> 00:31:48.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: permaculture is worm farming.

00:31:48.600 –> 00:31:51.270 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow for me, but yeah.

00:31:51.480 –> 00:32:04.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah and she has an amazing worm farming operation, and so we assisted her with her new logo and her sign she has classes at her farm she’s actually teaching a class Mary Ann Smith.

00:32:06.240 –> 00:32:09.480 Laura Lauffer she/her: August 2 and clay county.

00:32:10.200 –> 00:32:11.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: So she’s at the haywood.

00:32:12.000 –> 00:32:21.300 Laura Lauffer she/her: county historic farmers market every Saturday selling worm castings which is worm poop and it’s just some of the most rich.

00:32:23.010 –> 00:32:38.100 Laura Lauffer she/her: fertilizer you can use you really need to only use a very little so anyhow so that’s a an example of a client we just helped and we’re helping bear waters brewing there and Maggie.

00:32:39.060 –> 00:32:48.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: They want to expand purchasing local products and so will be helping them with some refrigeration so that they can refrigerate more local products.

00:32:48.840 –> 00:32:54.630 Joseph McElroy: Oh fabulous now do you offer do you offer education classes things training things like that.

00:32:55.290 –> 00:33:03.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: that’s mostly left to extension and one of our key partners in this project is the small business centers.

00:33:04.230 –> 00:33:18.450 Laura Lauffer she/her: Every Community college in the state hosts a small business Center offering free business counseling and so, because this is an economic development project we really focus on that business side of of agriculture.

00:33:19.290 –> 00:33:30.360 Laura Lauffer she/her: And we partner with with each small business Center so there and haywood county we partner with haywood Community college and Ashley swagger to have classes there.

00:33:31.380 –> 00:33:37.470 Laura Lauffer she/her: But extension, and you know you’re so fortunate here we’ve got mills river Research Station.

00:33:38.220 –> 00:33:54.990 Laura Lauffer she/her: nearby and the mountain horticulture Research Station is on raccoon road there and haywood county and just they you know, keep keep in touch with them and their calendar and your local extension office so that’s that they do that technical training piece.

00:33:55.470 –> 00:34:00.720 Joseph McElroy: yeah that’s that’s cutting this nice i’ve been i’ve been noticing that there are some things out here we go cuz.

00:34:01.980 –> 00:34:11.910 Joseph McElroy: I know pretty much what to do with beekeeping, but in terms of actually you know what the neck how to evolve a farm is now is not something i’ve ever done before.

00:34:13.260 –> 00:34:13.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

00:34:13.710 –> 00:34:24.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, you gotta you gotta come up with a marketing plan, like any good business, you know, come up with your dear cost benefit analysis and figure out if you’re making money or losing money and.

00:34:26.250 –> 00:34:28.260 Laura Lauffer she/her: And kind of go from there.

00:34:28.530 –> 00:34:35.970 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think my my challenge is, I mean i’ve been doing a lot of marketing, so my challenge, though, is actually, how do you grow the best stuff.

00:34:37.290 –> 00:34:38.190 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah.

00:34:38.280 –> 00:34:39.840 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, you start with good soil.

00:34:39.930 –> 00:34:42.600 Joseph McElroy: Good soil and the worm sounds like a good addition.

00:34:42.630 –> 00:34:44.070 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah yeah.

00:34:44.280 –> 00:34:50.130 Joseph McElroy: yeah i’ve been using I think mushroom based stuff or or beef of based stuff right.

00:34:50.520 –> 00:34:57.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: Nice nice yeah we’re we’re blessed with fantastic wild mushroom foraging in this region.

00:34:58.320 –> 00:35:04.650 Joseph McElroy: So you’ve mentioned a few agriculture agritourism business examples around the area.

00:35:05.760 –> 00:35:10.710 Joseph McElroy: I think there’s also another one, you probably know about darnell farms over swaying county.

00:35:10.800 –> 00:35:21.090 Laura Lauffer she/her: Right yeah yeah the Dardanelles are fantastic partners in our in our work and I always highlight them when I do teach a marketing class because.

00:35:21.480 –> 00:35:33.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know I encourage anybody to go to the darnell farm is Facebook page because they do live video all the time and and one of the best ones I saw was on.

00:35:34.440 –> 00:35:42.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: They went out in the field picked a tomato sliced it put it between two pieces of wonder bread with semantics and.

00:35:42.330 –> 00:35:44.640 Joseph McElroy: Probably good old southern Mayo and.

00:35:45.150 –> 00:35:47.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was just running down his.

00:35:47.700 –> 00:35:48.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: hand and he.

00:35:49.350 –> 00:35:50.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: And he was loving it.

00:35:51.060 –> 00:35:54.960 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know just folks just lined up for miles to count on your sandwich.

00:35:55.230 –> 00:35:59.280 Joseph McElroy: I eat a tomato sandwich about every every other week I love it to me.

00:36:01.080 –> 00:36:09.210 Joseph McElroy: So I put mine on yeah wheat bread, I put spinach on the right, you know i’m a little bit more elaborate still but the basis of it is still tomato mail on.

00:36:10.350 –> 00:36:10.620 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:36:11.700 –> 00:36:24.840 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah they’re fantastic Community members, they support a lot of food pantries they’re great place to work, and it really is a fun event venue with live music or river.

00:36:25.950 –> 00:36:31.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: Picking pumpkins and strawberries and hayride so that that is a lot of fun and.

00:36:33.420 –> 00:36:36.810 Joseph McElroy: So uh so any other places that you think.

00:36:37.140 –> 00:36:38.790 Laura Lauffer she/her: highlight that are really great yes.

00:36:38.910 –> 00:36:40.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: Yes, there’s a new one.

00:36:41.040 –> 00:37:00.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: And I just found out today i’m a with from appalachian sustainable LIFE project, which is a sister organization they’re having a farm tour this year that will have a few stops and haywood county and they’re going to go to smoky mountain manga least talk about a mouthful.

00:37:01.740 –> 00:37:09.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: So the manga least a pig is the cutest pig it’s a pig with with tight tight curly hair.

00:37:09.540 –> 00:37:09.780 Joseph McElroy: But it.

00:37:09.840 –> 00:37:15.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: Has like the highest fat content, the large chefs love it.

00:37:15.120 –> 00:37:27.930 Laura Lauffer she/her: love it love it so but during cove it, you know things changed for them and they lived on a beautiful piece of land with the river and people wanted to Camp so like well let’s try camping.

00:37:28.410 –> 00:37:29.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: And so they.

00:37:29.850 –> 00:37:38.820 Laura Lauffer she/her: I believe their platform is hip camp hai PC emp is kind of like an airbnb for farmers who have land.

00:37:39.090 –> 00:37:39.450 Laura Lauffer she/her: So you.

00:37:39.510 –> 00:37:51.900 Laura Lauffer she/her: roll up in your camper you roll up with your tent and you have this beautiful experience on a farm So yes, smoky mountain manga Lisa and you can buy some amazing pork chops while you’re there.

00:37:52.320 –> 00:38:10.380 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s that’s pretty cool yeah i’m looking at putting some yeah some cabins are clapping out and I earned us now, because now, I have the whole facility to do all the management and all that so yeah It makes sense, where do you see the future of tourism in the next few years.

00:38:11.670 –> 00:38:22.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: I think i’m ECO tourism for sure i’m talking about sustainability and one of the really exciting things that’s happening.

00:38:22.680 –> 00:38:28.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: In agriculture is carbon sequestration is you know, recognizing farmers.

00:38:28.860 –> 00:38:40.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: As a solution to climate change, and not a problem for climate change, and so you know going and seeing you know what are these sustainability measures, you can take with your cattle.

00:38:41.490 –> 00:38:47.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: and your pastures, how can we, you know, can you know use practices that.

00:38:48.390 –> 00:39:00.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: create a better habitat for birds and pollinators things like that so i’m hopeful that consumers will will want to do that and take your children to see you know you and.

00:39:00.780 –> 00:39:10.080 Laura Lauffer she/her: I took some nutrition students to interview some farmers and they had no idea that I think that potatoes grew into ground.

00:39:10.350 –> 00:39:19.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: Or that you know I know the first time I saw how Brussels sprouts sprouts grew I was like oh wow that’s kind of cool that they grow on a stock.

00:39:19.770 –> 00:39:32.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah um yeah it’s fun and you know we have these beautiful rivers and all of this, recreation, so what I would like to see is folks combine you know come out.

00:39:33.360 –> 00:39:44.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: enjoy the River enjoy the mountains and leave maybe leave some of your resources behind leave some of your money behind with a local farm that conserves that beauty that you love to see.

00:39:45.210 –> 00:40:01.110 Joseph McElroy: Right, I think it’s a great idea for children, you know that used to be the children were a big mainstay of tourism here and haywood county but because he had the ghost town in the sky, but you know now research shows that hey the predominance demographic now comes out as over 45 right.

00:40:01.410 –> 00:40:02.820 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah the motorcycle people.

00:40:03.000 –> 00:40:12.510 Joseph McElroy: The motorcycle people and you got the pet friendly crowd you’ve got the hikers and you got but, in general, there there there it’s an older demographic now so but.

00:40:13.230 –> 00:40:23.430 Joseph McElroy: Since coven we’re starting to see families come out and I think having things like agritourism, where they learn a lot of stuff go going from penny.

00:40:23.850 –> 00:40:37.890 Joseph McElroy: petting sheep to you know, seeing how things grow to you know camping I think those are all great visions for do for really vital revitalizing tourism across the board.

00:40:38.490 –> 00:40:40.110 Joseph McElroy: I also I also saw that you.

00:40:40.320 –> 00:40:48.450 Joseph McElroy: You encourage diversity i’ve been doing a lot of work involving women in pursuing the field So how do you do that, and what do you do for them.

00:40:49.410 –> 00:40:59.250 Laura Lauffer she/her: I really don’t have to do anything for them, they are leaders in the field, and they are dynamic savvy business people.

00:41:00.990 –> 00:41:16.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: So they don’t really require any extra attention any extra programming I just you know I work to serve them the way I serve anybody else I did write an article for smoky mountain news a couple years ago about.

00:41:17.310 –> 00:41:29.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know the dynamism of women in agriculture in the region and katie from katie’s orchard Patricia Taylor told a story about being with a few women that went to the apple meetings.

00:41:30.030 –> 00:41:38.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, years ago, and that the male apple farmers are kind of like looking at her about speaking up and she’s like i’m here to learn.

00:41:39.270 –> 00:41:50.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: And and she’s an amazing amazing farmer, I absolutely recommend you go by katie’s orchard in canton and you can pick apples and pears and blackberries and blueberries and.

00:41:51.180 –> 00:42:08.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: Get jam and honey and so that’s another another great asset at katie and so she she’s a leader, she counsels other farmers and yeah women, women are natural leaders, and so they don’t need me for much.

00:42:09.120 –> 00:42:19.350 Joseph McElroy: But sometimes they have unique challenges I mean maybe not as much as they used to, but like my grandmother when she moved here back in the 40s 50s he became like the first one is broker.

00:42:20.130 –> 00:42:29.880 Joseph McElroy: State of North Carolina but they would let her open her own bank account to her husband came in and open it yeah is there any unique challenges that women face down the an agritourism.

00:42:30.570 –> 00:42:40.650 Joseph McElroy: No oh good all right cool all right, well, we have to take another break and then we’ll come back we’ll finish up with you know some some things you want to make people aware of.

00:42:41.070 –> 00:42:42.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay excellent Thank you.

00:44:43.980 –> 00:44:54.780 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with a gateway to the smokies podcast my guest is Laura Laufer so Laura, you know my business that’s funded my.

00:44:55.560 –> 00:45:07.050 Joseph McElroy: This move them into the back end of my childhood home and this motel and things originated in marketing and you know, a big part of what we do is content storytelling.

00:45:07.590 –> 00:45:14.010 Joseph McElroy: And and and we’ve built the Meadowlark you know we tripled revenue tripled things through storytelling essentially through.

00:45:14.430 –> 00:45:27.420 Joseph McElroy: The mountain heritage is the common theme throughout what we do so, I noticed that you emphasize storytelling in your agritourism businesses as a way to build it what, what do you, what do you tell them.

00:45:28.470 –> 00:45:40.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: Absolutely, I mean that’s what you know you clinch folks with you know this goat is named Beatrice after my grandma because my grandma was hard-headed and this goat.

00:45:40.740 –> 00:45:52.950 Laura Lauffer she/her: is hard-headed and that’s why we call her Beatrice well how is she hard-headed well she’s hard headed to because she figured out how to get out of the fence, and you know, and you just go on and tell that story about.

00:45:53.850 –> 00:46:04.350 Laura Lauffer she/her: About unique things about your farm and, like you, you know you’re talking about your grandmother, you know, especially if it’s a heritage farm let folks know you know how long.

00:46:04.710 –> 00:46:14.460 Laura Lauffer she/her: Has this been here, this is why we’re here, this is why we do that, and you know it can be as simple as the story of where your food comes from you know, like.

00:46:14.880 –> 00:46:32.970 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh, you enjoy bread, do you know that bread comes from wheat, and this is where we grow wheat in western North Carolina and wheat can also be used for this, and so so contextualizing agriculture so folks understand what it means to their everyday life.

00:46:33.990 –> 00:46:39.120 Joseph McElroy: that’s cool that’s cool they know I that’s yeah that’s what we tell people.

00:46:40.320 –> 00:46:47.970 Joseph McElroy: When they’re wanting to do things in social media like tick tock and stuff like that and Instagram it’s all about telling a narrative right.

00:46:48.750 –> 00:46:58.680 Joseph McElroy: about telling the story yeah and so that’s you know that’s the way to help people a lot I think in terms of get their story out there.

00:46:59.790 –> 00:47:09.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: We say on when folks do social media on Facebook, that it should be the content should be 80% storytelling and 20% selling.

00:47:09.900 –> 00:47:13.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, you know it’s like oh here’s pictures of.

00:47:14.340 –> 00:47:30.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, we want the best picture of your child eating a strawberry from our strawberry patch you get thousands of pictures of kids with strawberry all over their face and people love it and then you say Oh, by the way, you know still pick in until dark until August it.

00:47:30.480 –> 00:47:38.130 Joseph McElroy: You know cool so um, how do you define the ideal farm to table Program.

00:47:38.700 –> 00:47:41.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh that’s a good one um.

00:47:42.450 –> 00:47:52.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: When the chef works with the farmer, before anything goes into the ground, and so you know say chef is reading.

00:47:53.790 –> 00:48:04.470 Laura Lauffer she/her: So fancy culinary you know fine dining magazine, and he sees this beautiful ready CIO and he’s like I want that you know, on my plate, it looks beautiful.

00:48:04.800 –> 00:48:16.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: So he and his the farmer that he works with they sit down with maybe the Johnny seed catalog and and they’re talking about it and they’re like okay well i’ll try it i’ll plant simply, you will see how that goes.

00:48:17.190 –> 00:48:27.060 Laura Lauffer she/her: And it is a relationship like that it’s it’s truly creativity on both ends and you know the chef has to have some.

00:48:28.050 –> 00:48:41.850 Laura Lauffer she/her: expectations and understanding of the challenges of disease water, you know things that happen that some things can go wrong, but it’s truly truly a relationship, you know the chef is visiting the farm.

00:48:43.080 –> 00:49:02.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: The farmers going in to have a great meal at the restaurant, so that is absolutely the ideal where the the chef’s menu like here in Silva El de is a fantastic example they changed their menu every couple of weeks to what’s what’s what’s fresh and what’s coming in the door.

00:49:03.570 –> 00:49:11.160 Joseph McElroy: that’s I mean yeah the when you’re doing the farming you’d have to you have to you have to deal with the dynamics of what’s available.

00:49:11.700 –> 00:49:15.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah well everybody’s got yellow squash in my.

00:49:16.740 –> 00:49:24.270 Laura Lauffer she/her: Maybe plant, you know, a different kind of beat instead so you have to be smart like that.

00:49:24.690 –> 00:49:28.230 Joseph McElroy: Right or come up with unique recipes for yellow squash.

00:49:29.070 –> 00:49:30.510 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah.

00:49:30.720 –> 00:49:32.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: I think they’re out there somewhere.

00:49:32.640 –> 00:49:37.110 Joseph McElroy: Well i’m i’m loving yellow squash soup cream soup.

00:49:38.880 –> 00:49:39.390 Joseph McElroy: it’s good.

00:49:41.010 –> 00:49:42.000 Joseph McElroy: So, but.

00:49:47.160 –> 00:49:47.460 Joseph McElroy: You.

00:49:48.720 –> 00:49:49.050 Joseph McElroy: You.

00:49:50.970 –> 00:49:55.710 Joseph McElroy: You sorry I lost my place in my my questions here so.

00:49:57.240 –> 00:50:02.760 Joseph McElroy: So you have a website right what’s the website again you just say Google is easiest way.

00:50:03.120 –> 00:50:06.570 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah empowering mountain I believe.

00:50:06.840 –> 00:50:16.620 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay i’m done and there’s two other websites I wanted folks to be aware of that, I hope we can put on the Facebook page one is the visit nc farms APP.

00:50:17.190 –> 00:50:26.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: So this is an APP sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and in haywood county it’s sponsored by cooperative extension.

00:50:27.090 –> 00:50:37.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: And bunkum county it’s sponsored by soil and water and in Jackson county it’s funded by the tourism development authority and so.

00:50:37.620 –> 00:50:47.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: You download this APP and wherever you’re driving in North Carolina you can you know type in you know alpaca farm or strawberries, and it will come up.

00:50:48.090 –> 00:51:02.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: With the map hours what’s available, so the visit nc farms APP and then the other one i’m super excited about, especially for your out of town folks is vacation or supported agriculture and.

00:51:04.260 –> 00:51:08.880 Laura Lauffer she/her: I put that link in the chat so I don’t quite remember that I hope i’m not messing this up.

00:51:09.390 –> 00:51:20.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: So P one provisions visit and see smokies and so hopefully we can put that in the in the stream and what’s so exciting about this is before you get to town.

00:51:20.910 –> 00:51:32.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: and say you’re staying in a cabin and you would like a bag of fresh freshly picked produce from a farm right down the road and.

00:51:33.450 –> 00:51:45.780 Laura Lauffer she/her: And haywood county it’s mark mcdonough at mighty know mark and Danielle at mighty known and Christine Christine braswell of outlaw acres so these two farmers are supplying.

00:51:46.890 –> 00:51:58.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: Visitors with a beautiful bag of produce eggs and flowers and it’s there for them to pick up at bear waters brewery in bosu wine shop in waynesville when they get to town.

00:51:58.740 –> 00:52:01.980 Joseph McElroy: So those are the waters with the cannon or the one advantage.

00:52:02.280 –> 00:52:03.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: The one in Maggie.

00:52:03.480 –> 00:52:04.530 Joseph McElroy: Really yeah.

00:52:04.860 –> 00:52:13.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah so yeah we met with Kevin he’s really excited to support us he’s a big supporter of of local farmers.

00:52:14.010 –> 00:52:17.520 Joseph McElroy: piggy backs have to have that list so they’d have this produce while they’re here.

00:52:17.760 –> 00:52:19.080 Joseph McElroy: yeah what to say.

00:52:20.160 –> 00:52:20.430 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

00:52:21.000 –> 00:52:24.630 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know we have Kevin tier two middle of we should talk to bear waters and.

00:52:24.840 –> 00:52:37.770 Laura Lauffer she/her: Absolutely yeah you will send you the link and when some for all your folks who are coming in August, you can go ahead and send them the link and say hey do you want to pick up a bag of produce here you go.

00:52:38.340 –> 00:52:39.420 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s a great yeah.

00:52:39.510 –> 00:52:46.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: It is it’s a it’s happening it’s been happening at nc state sponsored program it’s been happening on the coast, for five years.

00:52:47.250 –> 00:52:48.300 Joseph McElroy: and pay for it right.

00:52:48.720 –> 00:52:49.230 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

00:52:49.500 –> 00:52:52.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh yeah I believe it’s $45 a bag.

00:52:53.310 –> 00:53:10.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: And you get your own you know kick insulated pooler carrier and haywood county and Jackson county are pioneers in western North Carolina it’s been happening on the coast, for five years, so we were really appreciative.

00:53:10.560 –> 00:53:16.740 Joseph McElroy: Well it’s great I mean anybody out there, doing airbnb should seriously seriously think about this, you can wait.

00:53:17.490 –> 00:53:18.810 Joseph McElroy: For your clients right.

00:53:18.840 –> 00:53:21.000 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah I can I can hook them up.

00:53:21.300 –> 00:53:21.690 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:53:22.020 –> 00:53:29.040 Laura Lauffer she/her: We just met with some airbnb owners last week and they’re very, very excited about this.

00:53:29.310 –> 00:53:34.380 Joseph McElroy: Well, oh yeah I mean I like the idea I like the idea is, we could put in our cabin.

00:53:34.710 –> 00:53:38.340 Joseph McElroy: yeah we actually go pick it up for them and have it there when they arrived.

00:53:38.400 –> 00:53:40.290 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah that’d be great right down the road.

00:53:40.500 –> 00:53:46.530 Joseph McElroy: You know, right down the road from us so cool so everybody out there Miller moto soon gonna have produce available in the rooms, where you go.

00:53:49.290 –> 00:53:52.980 Joseph McElroy: cool any other any other thing you want to shout out before I close up.

00:53:53.910 –> 00:54:06.270 Laura Lauffer she/her: Just you know go to your local farmers market check them out um when you go and eat out at a restaurant ask them do you have any local products on your menu.

00:54:07.170 –> 00:54:25.920 Laura Lauffer she/her: This really is up to, we as consumers to drive the markets to these farms, I mean we we drive around the smokies we see these beautiful venues, and some of them are venues that are beautiful because farmers are being conservation minded and keeping land and production.

00:54:26.250 –> 00:54:28.560 Laura Lauffer she/her: So, so I say eat your view.

00:54:29.160 –> 00:54:32.190 Joseph McElroy: yeah cool well Thank you so much for being on my show.

00:54:32.250 –> 00:54:37.560 Joseph McElroy: it’s planning, I want to talk further I will go to your website do the application to come talk to you.

00:54:37.830 –> 00:54:42.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah we have a little bit of funding left we’re really excited about it.

00:54:42.330 –> 00:54:43.080 Joseph McElroy: So oh.

00:54:43.950 –> 00:54:55.140 Joseph McElroy: yeah Thank you so this is the gateway the smoke these podcasts were streamed live on slash gateway to the smoke these podcasts every Friday every.

00:54:55.920 –> 00:55:04.350 Joseph McElroy: Every Tuesday at six to seven it’s also in the talk radio dot nyc network, which is a network of live podcasts every day.

00:55:04.920 –> 00:55:17.670 Joseph McElroy: ranging from help for small business to sell help to pet help to any number of subjects and it’s very dynamic, because every podcast is live, so I recommend you take a look at what are the offerings they have and it’s.

00:55:18.300 –> 00:55:22.020 Joseph McElroy: it’s it’s a good network, you can also find all the old.

00:55:22.740 –> 00:55:32.370 Joseph McElroy: episodes for this organized long transcripts on the smokies adventure COM site you go there and there’s a link at the top, for the gateway to the smoke these podcasts and.

00:55:32.910 –> 00:55:44.820 Joseph McElroy: I look forward to you coming and listening to us again next week I think we’re about to take a month off so it’d be rerun for a month and a half until September but I’ll be back in September with new shows and new.

00:55:45.300 –> 00:55:50.850 Joseph McElroy: New people to talk to as well, some old friends and old subjects to go over again.

00:55:51.870 –> 00:55:54.630 Joseph McElroy: So until next time, thank you for listening.

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