The Dirt: Local horticulturist stands up for predatory plants

Hollywood has degraded the fascinating Venus flytrap, turning it into a silly monster. Consider the bloodsucking Audrey II in the macabre 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors. Or Cleopatra, the prey-strangling pet of Addams Family matriarch Morticia. Sticking around: This sundew lies in wait for its insect prey. Upon landing, the hapless bugs find themselves […]

Summer camps

Kids used to return home from summer camp with little more than mosquito bites and bad folk songs bouncing through their heads. But the experience has grown considerably more sophisticated. Many local camps emphasize themes: writing, herbalism, stagecraft, robotics. Kids who attend the vastly eclectic array of Asheville-area programs will be chasing after insects (see […]

Spring Break is just around the corner—here’s a sample of camp offerings

• Asheville Arts Center grabs the limelight this year with two spring-break performance camps. “Once Upon a Time …” is an exploration of fairy tales old and new for young ones age 2-6, and “Lights, Camera, Action!”, for kids 6-15, teaches movie-making from script to screen. Both programs will be held April 13-17. For rates […]

The Dirt: Getting your goat

Powerful, potentially harmful herbicides like clorpyralid are not only creepy, they’re downright déclassé. An infinitely kinder and hipper form of kudzu control is Marvin, a veteran weed eater from Wells Farm in Horse Shoe. Kudzu? What kudzu? In two weeks, Ron Searcy’s weed-eating goats munched through most of the overgrowth plaguing this Madison County hillside. […]

Gallery to go

In a city blessed with more artists than spaces to show their work, repurposing restaurants to double as galleries makes sense. Stephen Lange has fashioned a career displaying his figurative watercolor paintings and collage wall hangings inside local businesses, including Ananda Hair Studio and a slew of local eateries. Would you like some art with […]

The Dirt: Sweet deal

Sorghum syrup once flowed like creek water in the Southern Appalachians, and there are signs that this ultimate “slow food” may be flowing again. With help from the state, several local farmers have revved up production of the rich, old-fashioned syrup (sometimes called sorghum molasses). An old-fashioned juicer: This well-worn, horse-powered mill comes with directions […]

Rise ‘n Shine Café

Flavor: Breakfast favorites from local sources Ambiance: Diner in organic clothing Price: $1.25-$7.75 Where: 640 Merrimon Ave. (Merrimon Square) Contact: 254-4122 or www.risenshinecafe.com Hours: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon-Sat; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun Know where your food comes from. Such is the rallying cry that unites locavores and the restaurants that hope to serve them. Photo […]

Food with a view

Outdoor patios may be a fair-weather rage in Asheville, with culinary ratings that go sky-high, but their proximity to sometimes stupid-busy traffic tends to keep them off lists devoted to scenic mountain-area dining. Such a list follows here, although it is by no means exhaustive: Pre-emptive apologies go out to all the regional restaurants that […]