WHERE: The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave.
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. $15/$12 in advance. Info: avl.mx/02l or agrowingculture.org
WHY: Cultures from across the world will come together for one night at The Grey Eagle for a celebration of A Growing Culture's return to Asheville. The nonprofit began in 2010 as a project by two Warren Wilson College graduates and aims to connect farmers across continental boundaries to collaborate on innovative, natural farming techniques.
While the music will be global, the food will be local, providing guests with tacos filled with locally raised pork. AGC supports and connects individuals interested in natural farming, an ideal for which Asheville is notoriously passionate, in an effort to help farmers across the world learn from one another and develop the skills needed to provide plentiful — and safe — food for their regions.
"When I was 18 and living and working in Belize, I witnessed the death of a farmer's son who accidentally drank pesticides that were in the water," said Loren Cardeli, co-founder of AGC. "Seeing the community mourn the death of that boy, I thought, 'Holy sh*t, why are we pressured to use harmful chemicals that killed this innocent boy?'"
Since its beginnings in the Blue Ridge Mountains, AGC has helped to connect farmers from all corners of the world. Farmers in India share ideas with farmers in China, farmers in Bangladesh trade techniques with Kenyans — all working to build a global network of knowledge that Cardeli said he is proud to base in Asheville.
"I love Asheville," said Cardeli, who has spent the last three and a half years traveling across the world for his organization. "It's a great, great, great city, and I feel so connected to it."
All proceeds from the event will go to fund a new project to allow farmers to conduct a foreign-exchange-student-style trade of individuals within their communities, creating a cross-cultural program.
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