PRESIDENTIAL PALATE: Chef William Dissen's trip to Washington, D.C. includes an invitation to meet President Obama's chef Sam Kass.  “Who knows? Maybe the first lady will step out to speak with us!” says Dissen in anticipation. Photo courtesy of The Market Place

Asheville chef demands GMO labeling at Capitol Hill, White House

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, is one of about two dozen chefs invited to gather at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in support of labeling food containing genetically modified organisms. Dissen and other renowned chefs, including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmerman […]

VEGGIE BASED: Amy Lanou will be talking about plant-based nutritional strategies for bone health and how to practically translate plant-based research into action at the first Plant-Based Prevention of Disease Conference, to be held at UNC Asheville on Friday-Sunday, Nov 14-16.

Plant-based Prevention of Disease Conference brings nutrition experts to Asheville

Nutrition experts from across the country are gathering in Asheville Friday-Sunday, Nov. 14-16, for the inaugural Plant-based Prevention of Disease Conference.  One of the reasons the conference is being held in Asheville is that our local restaurants are already modeling “how alternative dietary patterns and eating styles can be made accessible to a broad population,” says Amy Lanou, chair of […]

(Photo by Jane Izard)

Mutual benefit: WNC farm animals, owners share deep bond

North Carolina is home to over 50,000 farm operations and in one way or another, the livelihood of many Western North Carolina families is tied to domesticated animals. But whether the objective is food, fun, health or therapy, these farmers often seem to have what amounts to a symbiotic relationship with their livestock.

Panelist at the NCCGP Growing Garden Connections conference. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Annual gardening conference focuses on community building

Gardeners from across the state assembled for the third annual N.C. Community Garden Partners annual conference on Oct. 25, in the Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville. This year’s conference focused on “Growing Garden Connections” with panels centered on creating opportunities for collaboration and partnerships between gardens as well as community organizations.

LOCAL HARVEST: From left, restaurateur Hector Diaz, his wife, Aimee Diaz, and Mike Fortune load produce into Hector's truck for an early-morning delivery. The Diaz' farm, Salsa's 44, supplies produce to their four Asheville restaurants. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Back to the hills: Asheville’s fight for a sustainable farm-to-table system

Mike Fortune started Green Hill Urban Farm nine years ago. From the road, all you see is a large, densely planted yard behind three West Asheville homes; gnarly trees with big bushes underneath. But in fact, the farm raises rabbits, ducks, geese, mushrooms and artichokes; figs, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, blueberries. It’s hard to believe […]

Image courtesy of Paula Nelson

SeptemberFest celebrates the community harvest

The growing season is winding down, which means it’s time for gardeners to celebrate their harvests. In that spirit, Waynesville’s Frog Level will host the inaugural SeptemberFest on Saturday, Sept. 13. The event aims to celebrate and share the bounty of community gardens, while raising awareness of sustainability, preservation and community-building.

Photo courtesy of World Coffee Cafe.

Why I grow: Downtown rooftop gardening

More and more of Asheville’s downtown dwellers are finding creative ways to use their urban spaces for growing food. Russell Thomas, owner of the Flatiron Building, tells Xpress how he and his staff are converting the rooftop of the historic building into a hydroponic and raised-bed garden that is a source of both veggies and renewable energy for the building and its businesses.