Keeping swimming: Aquaponics is creating quite the stir — literally! The systems keep water flowing between symbiotic environments of plant and fish habitats, creating a year-round farm. Photo by Hayley Benton.

Technology and nature blend in soil-less farming

It’s a cycle known as aquaponics, which uses dual-tanked plant-and-fish habitats to create a symbiotic environment and a sustainable system that mimics the natural world. One tank holds the fish; the other, the plants. A pump flows water between the two, aerating the water in the process. Along with hydroponics — a similar idea that focuses solely on raising vegetation — it’s a creating an alternative to traditional in-soil farming.

Data prepared by the Labor & Economic Analysis Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

NC adjusted unemployment rate increases slightly from April to May, decreases since 2013

From the North Carolina Department of Commerce – Labor and Economic Analysis Division: RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted May unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, increasing 0.2 of a percentage point from April’s revised rate of 6.2 percent. The national rate remained unchanged at 6.3 percent. North Carolina’s May 2014 unemployment rate was 1.9 percentage […]

Julie Osburne gathered her inspiration for ExchangeTree from her time spent traveling and busking around the U.S. and Canada. Photo courtesy of Julie Osburne.

Branching out: ExchangeTree links people, needs in WNC

All over the country, collaborative economies are sprouting like dandelions. In the last few months, something uniquely Asheville has blossomed. And though ExchangeTree is still in its “training wheels” phase, the site (which, at this point, is operating only in Asheville and Boston) is fully operational. Rather than couch-to-couch traveling or currency-based exchanges, however, it works via barter.

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Debated: The race for District Attorney

The results of the May 6 Democratic primary will send either incumbent District Attorney Ron Moore or challenger Todd Williams to the fall election unopposed. Both men are North Carolina natives; both attended UNC Chapel Hill. Moore has been DA since 1991. In the past several years, however, he’s come under scrutiny in connection with […]

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Passing Judgment: A word with the 28th District Court candidates

In the May 6 primary, two of the three candidates for district court judge will move on to the fall election. 28th District Court Judge Ed Clontz faces two seasoned opponents: J. Matthew Martin, a former associate judge in the Tribal Court in Cherokee, and Thomas Amburgey, a Buncombe County assistant district attorney.

Challenging opponent Todd Williams (left) and incumbent District Attorney Ron Moore (right) debated in front of a packed courtroom on April 11. (Mountain Xpress/Hayley Benton)

Buncombe County District Attorney debate: Challenging questions before May 6 primary election

In front of a crowded, chandeliered courtroom on the fifth floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse, incumbent District Attorney Ron Moore fought for the continuation of his elected position in a debate with challenger Todd Williams on Friday, April 11. Three debates were held during the evening: a debate between Moore and Williams for District […]

Environmental Quality Institute seeks volunteers to sample local waterways-attachment0

Environmental Quality Institute seeks volunteers to sample local waterways

The Environmental Quality Institute’s Stream Monitoring Information Exchange program is currently seeking volunteers to attend a volunteer training on Saturday, March 29th, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at UNC Asheville. Once trained, volunteers work in small groups to sample a couple sites, two times per year (about 10 hours of annual service). Volunteer opportunities are open to anyone (11th grade and up) with any level of experience or identification skills.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge announces move to new location-attachment0

French Broad Chocolate Lounge announces move to new location

“For six years, residents and visitors of our fair city have come for chocolate and fellowship to French Broad Chocolate Lounge at 10 South Lexington Avenue. This, our original location, has served us very well, despite the building’s age and unique quirks. The summer of this year, 2014, will be our last in this spot! We have signed a 10 year lease to relocate French Broad Chocolate Lounge around the corner on Pack Square! This spring, we are renovating the first floor of the historic Legal Building, formally SunTrust Bank, to be our permanent home.”

SLOW AND EASY: Sara Freeman, right, a nutrition educator with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, shows her class how to prepare simple, healthy meals with a slow cooker. Attendees, including from left, Shirley Stiles, Delores Ownby, Delona Sewell, Liz Galloway, Georgia Henkhaus and Pauline Nicholson, received a new Crock-Pot slow cooker. Photo by Bill Harrah

Not so fast

The smell of healthy, home-cooked food wafts through Sharing House in Brevard. As meat simmers in the pot, the students taking Sharing House’s newest cooking class slowly add fresh produce, taking care not to boil away the nutrients. “I was just trying to think of ways to help people eat better — eat more nutritiously,” […]