“We're trying to integrate both cultural and traditional knowledge, as well as build a sense of ownership for the kids over growing their own food and their own health,” says Katie Rainwater of Cherokee Central School and FoodCorps. “The best way to do that is to get dirty.”

Empowermen­t from the Earth: Reclaiming Cherokee health and heritage

Cherokee is a community in flux. Decadeslong high poverty and unemployment rates are beginning to decline, but access to healthy food remains limited and cultural values seem to be changing. “It’s Western civilization versus our traditional Cherokee ways,” say community leaders. But community efforts are using gardens to reconnect the Cherokee people to local food, health and a collective heritage defined by knowledge of the earth.

A convenient illusion: On average, the city of Asheville produces 22,400 tons of trash a year. What's the cost of all that waste? Some say the things we throw away are affecting now just our environment but our culture as well.

The consequenc­e of waste: Buncombe’s discarded problem is piling up

From the Get It! Guide: A close look at the trash collected in Asheville was shocking — 26 percent of our waste is compostable matter, 18 percent is recyclable and 56 percent is true waste, fit only for the landfill. With the city alone producing over 22,000 tons of trash a year, what is the cost of all that waste. And what is it going to take for us to reduce it?

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Wise Women notebook, part 2: ‘Unwinding Stress’ with Jessica Godino

The root cause of many chronic health issues, says local acupunturist and herbalist Jessica Godino, boils down to stress (and far too much of it at that). At the beginning of her class, Unwinding Stress, held on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference, Godino asked participants to consider their health in relation to stressful […]

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Visioning a positive future with Transition Asheville

Can you imagine Asheville’s sustainable future? Forty years from now, walking down the streets, what do you see? What are you wearing? What are you eating? What do you hear? What do you smell? What might Asheville’s most positive potential feel like? Can you imagine it? Transition Asheville members asked these questions at their fifth-anniversary potluck and community visioning, […]

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Wise Women Notebook, part 1: ‘Seven Magical Herbs’ with Ceara Foley

At the 10th annual Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference, held from Oct. 10th through Oct. 12 on the beautiful grounds of Lake Eden in Black Mountain, 1,100 women gathered to study and celebrate. The conference is a three-day fall immersion, where women from across the country come together to study herbal medicine. Over 45 teachers offered classes in a […]

FEAST TEAM: Kelly Shea, Jeremy Seifert, Jamie Ager, Dan Rattigan and Kevin Fletcher. Photo by Grant G. Edwards, partner, creative director of Socialoriate

Preserving our place on the planet: A food-community discussion on GMO and organics

At the farm-to-table Feast hosted on Monday, Sept. 29th, a hundred guests, including local farmers, bakers, chefs, restaurant and market owners, food activists and stakeholders in the local food economy, gathered at The Hub in West Asheville. Feast, inspired and organized by Rebecca Friedman, owner of Farmer’s Daughter Catering, was an invite-only occasion designed to […]

Life as art: Frida Kahlo "met death twice before she was 20," says Coco Palmer-Dolce, who narrates ACDT's Looking for Frida. The production commemorates the local dance company's 35th anniversary. Photo by Toby Maurer

Viva La Vida: Asheville Contempora­ry Dance Theatre presents Looking for Frida

Commemorating 35 years of modern dance, ACDT recreates its signature ballet, “Looking for Frida.” First choreographed in 1998, and staged in Asheville; Montpellier and Toulouse, both France; and Merida, Mexico, the production embodies the company’s mission to produce to daring and often haunting performances inspired by the work of great artists and writers.

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Uniting for seed sovereignt­y

Groundswell, an international nonprofit with a coordination office based in Asheville, is dedicated to “strengthening rural communities by building healthy farming and food systems from the ground up,” says Cristina Hall, the organization’s communications outreach coordinator.

Groundswell’s Asheville and U.S. Program, thus far, focuses on advocacy, education and awareness about the importance of sovereign seed systems. Locally, Groundswell has partnered with Sow True Seed, a supplier of open-pollenated, non-hybrid and non-GMO seed, to encourage heirloom seed cultivation.