Finding something lost: A sense of serenity and a connection to others are two of the things often lost in addiction, notes Craig White of First Step Farm. But those are also the very two things this farm-based recovery program seeks to grow.

Harvesting serenity: First Step Farms uses agricultur­e to overcome addiction

First Step Farms WNC is two farmsteads, both located on historic farmland in Candler. One site grows vegetable starts for small farms; the other grows flowers for weddings and school graduations. But the farms’ primary purpose goes beyond agriculture — the two sites are home to a substance abuse recovery program that uses farming to restore self-confidence in recovering addicts.

Renewable energy freeze passes through senate finance committee

A North Carolina bill that would freeze the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard advanced through the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, May 20, though the measure was not without controversy. Though members of the committee requested a show of hands votes instead of a voice vote, Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, declined the request. Rucho declared the bill had passed committee though […]


Asheville and New Belgium win national award for greenway collaboration

Excited about the new greenway coming to the River Arts District? So is American Trails. The national nonprofit recognized the city of Asheville and New Belgium Brewing with a Partnership Award for the French Broad Greenway. The greenway is expect to be completed this winter. Last year’s American Trails Partnership Award went to Bay Area […]

The answer to suburbia: Robert Eidus says the raised bed containing ginseng and goldenseal that sits off his back deck is a sustainable solution for resupplying your herbal medicine chest in the face of a diminishing supply of these highly sought plants.

Overharves­ting of forest plants calls for mindful consumers

With interest in wild edibles and native medicinals growing, the demand on these plants is quickly exceeding the supply — leading to over-harvesting, poaching and a risk of extinction. When browsing the stands at the farmers market or the shelves in an herbal shop, how can you know if the plants and products you’re purchasing are supporting sustainable, local growers or contributing to a growing problem?

The "Goats of the Gorge." Photo courtesy of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy

‘Goats of the Gorge’ protect native plants, prevent erosion at Chimney Rock Park

Sure, goats are the cutest. But they’re also hard workers — and eager eaters. The “Goats of the Gorge,” a crew of 15 Bovidaes provided by KD Ecological Services in Mills Spring, will be chomping down on invasive non-native plants in Chimney Rock State Park this spring.

Asheville City Schools Foundation Logo

ACSF to host legislative update with Van Duyn and Fisher, May 22

Event announcement: On Friday, May 22, the Asheville City Schools Foundation will be hosting a legislative update with Senator Terry Van Duyn and Representative Susan Fisher. The Teachers, Students and Schools: Who’s Got Their Backs? update will give community members and stakeholders the opportunity to learn about current education related legislation coming out of Raleigh.