Mt. Mitchell Produce
Grant Award: $6,000—Portable Cooling Unit
Traci is improving delivery capabilities of Mt. Mitchell Produce to expand sales to Ingles Markets, the farm’s primary customer. With the purchase of a 16-foot long cargo transporter utility trailer and portable generator, a lettuce head can be picked at 6:30 a.m. and still be fresh when delivered to the store at 2:00 p.m. The trailer is equipped with an air conditioner and fluorescent lights. A generator will power the unit.
Traci expects the improved transportation will double the farm’s production in two to three years, in turn doubling farm revenue, which is her family’s sole income. If 60 percent of driving is eliminated, her family can concentrate on work at the farm.
Mt. Mitchell Produce is the only farm in Yancey County that grows lettuce in the field on plastic. It received Good Agricultural Practices certification, for which a thorough farm plan was required. The farm has grass strips between fields, deer fences, and thorough sanitation procedures.