Saturday, May 22, 2004

FYI: MADISON COUNTY, North Carolina 

This is the time of year that folks from down south of us head for the mountains and the fresh COOL air! For those of you who have discovered the lands I love, (and where I am a "green" REALTOR, )here is some information that may be of interest to you about the area around MARS HILL and MARSHALL and HOT SPRINGS, North Carolina~ MADISON COUNTY, North Carolina.

Madison County, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, is a rural county. It is only about half an hour or so from Asheville, but with approximately 3,500 small family farms, agriculture is the largest industry in the County. In fact, agriculture accounts for half of the gross income in the County. Here in Madiosn County, where streams and pastures and hollers and coves abound, you may look out your window as you drive the scenic (excellently maintained) country roads and notice tobacco crops. That's because Madison County is the largest burley tobacco producing county in North Carolina!

There are approximately 2,350 farms with burley tobacco quotas. A decade ago, burley tobacco accounted for $10 to $12 million for agriculture income annually. But recently, the demand for tobacco has been on the decline, and so our local crops are changing. Fsrmers are diversifying! If you are a nonsmoker or a smoker, you still will be able to enjoy the new crops, because with the recent decline in burley tobacco, farmers have been cultivating the most amazing ORGANIC crops. Vegetable, organic and nursery crops have increased dramatically since 1998. Stop by the family-run vegetable, fruit and flower market just as you come in to Mars Hill, and you will see whatI mean.

OH! and if you should decide to let me find you the perfect acreage to steward over the years...and keep as beautiful as it is now for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren....and if you decide to spend the winter (it is mild) here...Christmas trees are easy to find ...in fact, they account for more than $2.5 million annually.

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