A COVETED HERB: In 2012, the U.S. exported 45,000 pounds of wild ginseng and 342,000 pounds of the cultivated woodland crop, pictured above. The dried root sells for $500 to $2,000 per pound. Photo by Heather Wood Buzzard

Sustainabl­e ginseng: legendary herb’s best-kept secret

BY HEATHER WOOD BUZZARD November marks the tail end of “’sang” season, but relics of the harvest time remain: hand-scrawled signs declaring “Will Buy Ginseng – No License Needed” and reports of recent poaching on both private and public lands. Ginseng hunters and buyers have been everywhere this autumn, but where’s the ginseng? People reach […]

LOOK HOMEWARD, ASHEVILLE! Asheville's current boom in tourism and development mirrors the state of the city during Thomas Wolfe's life in several respects. The author, who wrote extensively about the changes he saw around him, may offer clues as to how the city can address current concerns and questions facing its residents. Left photo by MAx Hunt. Right photo courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, NC.

Of time and the city: Issues facing Asheville in Wolfe’s youth mirror today’s concerns

Asheville and environs have seen considerable change in the 77 years since Wolfe’s death, yet many of the aspects he wrote (and sometimes fumed) about seem uncannily familiar. And as current residents ponder the challenges the city faces today, a look at several of the celebrated author’s key themes might prove instructive.

Personal trainer Teah Boswell is known for hauling clients to unorthodox locations for workouts, including the occasional trip to The Wedge, pictured. Now, the fitness enthusiast hopes to set up her own permanent indoor space for cycling training.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. An indoor studio […]

Members of the Development Customer Advisory Group discuss ways to improve the efficiency of the city Development Services Department. Photo by Clarke Morrison

City working to improve its Developmen­t Services Department

The head of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce says she’s hopeful that efforts underway to improve efficiency in the city Development Services Department will make it easier for developers to get their projects built. Kit Cramer serves on the Development Customer Advisory Group, which was created to provide input for improving the department. The […]

SERVING THE COMMUNITY: Since it's grassroots origins as a small, owner-led grocer in 1975, the French Broad Food Co-op has grown into one of the most popular businesses in downtown Asheville. The FBFC now plans to expand its facilities and offerings and is proposing ideas for addressing community issues of affordability and housing. Photo via the French Broad Food Co-op.

It takes a village: French Broad Food Co-op announces expansion proposals

The iconic community-owned food market and grocer has announced initial plans to expand its current space on the 60-100 block of Biltmore Avenue and is reaching out to community organizations and the city of Asheville to begin discussions on the possibility of a massive multiuse facility.

“My Kickstarter campaign Pirate Mama is about changing the stereotypes of single moms and rewriting my own narrative focused on possibility rather than challenges,” says writer Ky Delaney. To that end, Delaney and her son will soon sail around the Virgin Islands for a month, acting as environmental stewards along the way.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a single mother’s sailing journey toward empowerment, a new hammock that holds 800 pounds worth of loungers and the third episode of Southern Songs and Stories, featuring Tellico.

SLOW & STEADY: Local business alliance group Asheville Grown is ramping up for its 2016 Go Local campaign with a new card design and set of discounts from locally-owned businesses across the city. Image courtesy of Asheville Grown.

Bringin’ it all back home: Asheville Grown ramps up for 2016 Go Local campaign

As new hotels and construction sites pop up across across the city seemingly every week and nationally-branded chains vie for retail space downtown, the local small business alliance known as Asheville Grown is reminding the Asheville community of the importance of keeping small, locally-owned businesses at the center of the city’s economic development plans.