PICKLE PAIR: Brandi Morrow and Beau Martin are getting ready to take their pickle-making business to the next level. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Brine and brews: Green River Picklers plans to expand in Weaverville

“Nobody would be alive without pickles and beer,” says Beau Martin, co-owner of Green River Picklers. Alcoholic beverages saved people from water-borne illnesses, and pickled and fermented foods got people through the winter long before water filters and grocery stores provided year-round produce, he explains. Bringing brine and beer together in the form of pickle-and-beer tastings is one of the first things Martin and co-owner Brandi Morrow want to do after their planned expansion to a new space in Weaverville.

CHOP CHOP: Chef Jason Roy of Biscuit Head hurries to finish a round of competition at the second annual Whacked! cooking contest. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Whacked!

The store room of downtown’s FRS storefront turned into a hot, crowded kitchen on May 13. With the common phrases “Behind!” “Sharp knife!” “Hot pan!” being thrown out every few minutes, the competition’s participants hurried from the stove to the cutting board to the oven, then back to the cutting board. The dozens of spectators crowding around the work stations saw a blur of checkered pants, chef coats and wisps of hair under chef caps as the competitors hurried to complete their dish in the time allotted.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Roots and Fruits Market recently opened in the former Black Mountain Farmers Market building. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Returning to the roots

Kyle Nuccilli spent a lot of time at the former Black Mountain Farmers Market, a small store that sold local, organic produce and other items. “I’ve worked at a lot of health food stores, and it was like nostalgia for me,” he says. “There’s so much character in this place.”

BRIDGE BUILDERS: MANNA FoodBank Executive Director Cindy Threlkeld, left, and Volunteer Coordinator Max Gruber, right, are working to alleviate food insecurity in WNC. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

The widening gap

Newly released data pulled from Feeding America’s 2012 Map the Meal Gap study shows a 2 percent increase in food insecurity in Western North Carolina. In that year, the study found, 15.3 percent of the region’s people lacked consistent access to enough food to meet their nutritional needs, up from 14.9 percent in 2011.

TRUST ISSUES: Lyle Mitchell, left, balances on a slackline as Ryan Earls and Lillian Jacobs strike an AcroYoga pose in front of 7 Juice Bar on Wall St. Photo by Micah Wilkins

All fun and games

Ryan Earls lies on the ground with his legs up in the air to support his partner, Lillian Jacobs. As she attempts to distribute the weight of her body on his feet, she gasps, lets out a few screams, a few laughs, and eventually becomes still. It takes a lot of trust to allow someone else to hold you several feet off the ground. But that’s the goal of Urban Ashram Studio: to build trust and a stronger sense of community.

JUICE FEAST: During a five-day juice cleanse, the body gets all the nutrients it needs and can get rid of what it doesn't need, according to Brian Lumb of Nourish & Flourish. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Spring cleaning

Spring is a time of upward movement as wild edibles begin to push up from the ground: violets, chickweed, ramps, dandelions and other greens. Spring is rising, and the changing of the season, from cold to warm to hot, is the appropriate time for cleansing and renewal of the body, says Uma Sawicki, an Ayurvedic practitioner at Living Alchemy in Weaverville.

SPEAKING OUT: A Hall Fletcher student named Lydia aired her concerns at the March 18 meeting of the Nutrition Committee. "I don’t think all that sugar is good for all my friends and all the other kids in this school," she said. Photo by Micah Wilkins

And good nutrition for all

It all started with a letter from an 8-year-old to his school principal. “I wish the cafeteria were healthier,” wrote Liam Miller to Gordon Grant, Hall Fletcher Elementary’s principal. As a third-grader, Liam struggles with reading and writing, and his mother, Misty Miller, who knew that “every sentence of that letter was a struggle for […]

GROUP EFFORT: With funding from the Rotary Club’s Rotarians Against Hunger project, volunteers at a recent event at the Reuter Family YMCA were able to package 215,000 meals for local people in need. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Helping hands

Every few minutes, a mallet struck a gong in the gymnasium, followed by cheers and applause. Each sounding of the gong, on loan from the Asheville Symphony, indicated that 5,000 meals had been assembled and packaged for hungry families in Western North Carolina. The sound rang down the halls of the Reuter Family YMCA in […]

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Rebuilding Dreams

Roxann Colwell knows the challenges of raising a child with special needs firsthand. Colwell, who has a 30-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, created the Family Support Network of Western North Carolina 15 years ago as a parent-to-parent support and mentoring program for caregivers of children with special needs. The organization offers a community resource guide, hosts support groups for families and establishes support networks for parents whose children have received similar diagnoses. From July 2012 to July 2013 the Family Support Network served 901 families.

A GIFT FOR COOKING: Aaron Hodges, left, gave the gift of cooking to Catherine Loftis, right, this past Christmas. The couple cooked Italian lasagna together during a recent workshop at DOUGH. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Kitchen class

DOUGH’s classroom kitchen was designed to look and feel like a typical home kitchen, says the chef and owner Brian Ross. And it’s probably true that many of us would be familiar with the wooden countertops and spice racks, gas stoves and cast iron skillets at the North Asheville bakery and classroom. It won’t take […]

Dr. Leah Swann, on a hike with her 7-month-old child, takes a break to breast-feed. courtesy of Leah Swann

The right to pump

About two or three times a day, many women take a break from their jobs to fulfill another duty — not as workers, but as mothers. But working moms who choose to breast-feed their children after returning to work are often challenged with finding time and space to pump in the workplace. Physician Leah Swann […]

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Sign of the times

It was one of her first assignments, and Rebecca Poulter was nervous. “When you’re first starting out, it’s like, ‘How can I do this and make this clear?’” she remembers. Poulter was asked to attend a Boy Scout meeting and interpret for a young boy who was deaf. She remembers feeling surprised when one of the Scout leaders made a joke. Everyone was laughing — including the boy — thanks to Poulter’s interpreting. “He got it and laughed along with everybody else,” she says. “He wasn’t left behind.” 

TEA FOR ALL: Sumitra D’Aragon  pouring tea to local patrons pictured (r-L) April Becka, Jude Lalcy,Nuit Moore,Elezabeth Carleton Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Time to steep

In a culture that has become increasingly focused on the “me,” tea enthusiast Sumitra D’Aragon hopes to bring the focus back to the “we.” In November, D’Aragon opened the small Panther Moon Tea Bar in the back of the West Village Market in West Asheville. In a culture of bustling, fast-paced lifestyles, Panther Moon is […]

IN THE HOUSE: From left, Korean House team members Ryan Park, chef; Kristina Im, owner and chef; Armando Zelaya, chef; and Jayson Im, general manager. Photo by Jayson Im

Korean House

After hiccups with inspections, installations and electrical wiring, Korean House on College Street is finally open after a six-month delay. After “miscommunication” in the inspection process, co-owner Jayson Im says the opening of the restaurant “kept on getting delayed.” But finally, on Jan. 4, co-owners Jayson and his sister Kristina Im hosted a soft opening […]