COAT OF MANY COLORS: Jacob sheep have finer coats than many primitive sheep breeds, making them an ideal choice for farmers looking for a hardy, easy-to-keep fiber animal. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Strub of Hobbyknob Farm

Woolly bully: Local farmers preserve heritage breeds

Heritage livestock breeds have a lot to offer WNC’s small farmers. Fiber animals that evolved on small farmsteads are hardier and easier to manage than breeds developed for high yields and consistent characteristics. WNC farmers are exploring the advantages these heritage breeds offer, protecting them from possible extinction along the way.

READY FOR ACTION: A group of friends participate in a resilient-living workshop at Ashevillage Institute. Photo courtesy of Ashevillage Institute

Ashevillage’s Community Resilience Challenge tests residents’ skills, resources

“Be prepared” goes the Scouting movement’s mantra. And being able to face any challenge is often a goal of institutions. But the question is always: How? How can we be best prepared for whatever may come? The Boy Scout carries his pocketknife. Emergency services train for possible scenarios. Young people study to pass the big […]

THE LONG VIEW: “It’s a real treasure — for Buncombe County, for the city of Asheville, for the state of North Carolina," says Sandy Mush Farm owner Dave Everett of his historic, conserved property in northwest Buncombe County. "If we’re successful in ruining these vistas, it will be a truly sad turn of events.”

Buncombe County’s Farm Heritage Trail supports an agricultur­al legacy

Out-of-towners who flock to Asheville for mountain views, world-class dining and a taste of Appalachian culture probably don’t often make a point of including a drive to northwest Buncombe County on their travel itineraries. Sparsely populated rural communities like Sandy Mush, Leicester, Newfound and Alexander tend to be pretty far off the radar for tourists — and even for […]

PLENTIFUL PLANTS: With over 65 vendors at this years Asheville Herb Festival, there is no shortage of medicinal and culinary herbs, native herbs, flowers and heirloom vegetables. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Farm & Garden: Spring herb festival brings together people, plants and products

With our growing season just getting underway in the mountains, we lucky enough to have the largest herb festival in the country about to take place right in our backyard. The 27th annual Asheville Herb Festival has been billed as the biggest herb focused event of its kind in the Southeast for the past 15 […]

Tailgate shopping strengthens relationships: When you ask people why they shop at a tailgate market, everyone has a slightly different answer, says Molly Nicholie of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. "Everyone has their own reason for shopping at their particular market. I think a lot of it is really based in relationships — and wanting a direct connection with who is growing your food." Photo courtesy of ASAP

Fresh food connection­s at your local tailgate market

(Go to the bottom of this article for a listing of local tailgate markets) With springtime and warmer weather finally underway here in the mountains comes the opportunity to head outdoors to our local tailgate markets. While some of them won’t set up their tents until mid-May, most tailgate markets have already begun their season. […]