“The design concept was just to stack them like they would be in a container yard," architect and designer Douglas Hecker says of the Smoky Park Supper Club. “We wanted that association between the containers and the industrial past of the River Arts District.”

City building blocks: Shipping container structures are stacking up in Asheville

Shipping containers seem to be the new architectural craze, and with the construction of the Smoky Park Supper Club — Asheville’s first commercial structure built from containers (19 of them, to be exact) — city residents and visitors will soon get to explore one of these buildings up close. But what is it about the look of these large steel boxes that has so captured our imagination?

FOOD CORNER: Asheville Food Park, slated to open in June across from Carrier Park, will feature parking for three food trucks, local art, food carts, a bonfire area and a full bar.

Asheville Food Park to offer year-round food destinatio­n, social space

The floods of 2004 brought 8 feet of water into the building — previously a bar built in 1948 — sealing its fate after already being shuttered for five years. Slowly, the space hobbled back into the world of commerce as a small produce stand, but it’s now being primed to return to its former glory as a social hub, family gathering place and food spot.

Don't chicken out: Recent relaxing of city restrictions mean Asheville is “chickening” like never before. But many would be chicken-keeepers don’t realize the birds stop producing eggs early in their life, yet still require care and attention to survive. As the interest in backyard chicken keeping raises so do the number of abandoned and neglected animals.

Backyard chicken keeping not as easy as it’s cracked up to be

Recent relaxing of city restrictions mean Asheville is “chickening” like never before. But many would be chicken-keeepers don’t realize the birds stop producing eggs early in their life, yet still require care and attention to survive. As the interest in backyard chicken keeping raises so do the number of abandoned and neglected animals.

COOKING FOR CHANGE: Tera Broughton, left, and Sylvia Loveridge, right, get ready for the meal at a recent Dining for Women event hosted by Sheila Dunn.

Dining for Women potlucks fight gender inequality

For seven years, Kamala was an indentured servant, “rented” out by her parents for $50 a year. Today, she’s the Himalayan nation’s first female motorcycle mechanic, earning $50 a day. Kamala owes her freedom and improved prospects to Dining for Women, a global, nonprofit “giving circle.” The organization will be celebrated at A Sunset Soiree, a dinner fundraiser on Saturday, April 25.

THE ORIGINAL MOTHERS: (left-to-right) Franklin Sides, Susan Sides, Bob Kornegay, Richard Colgan, Ned Ryan Doyle, Terry Krautwurst, Lorna Loveless (front), Jean Malmgrem (partially obscured in middle), Pat Stone (obscured in back), Kathleen Seebe (front), Beach Barrett (back), Richard Freudenberger, Marsha Drake (front), unidentified woman (obscured in back), Joanne Dufilho, Caroline Sizemore. Photo by Hannah Kincaid

Mother Earth News pioneers gather at Asheville fair

Some of Mother Earth News’ earliest “Mothers” — whose roots go back to the 1970s and 1980s — got together this past Sunday at the Mother Earth News Fair, which was held at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Nearly two dozen former employees and families met for brunch and to share their recollections from the decades past. I was one of them.

Room to grow: Thanks to a grant from TD Bank and the National Arbor Day Foundation, Asheville GreenWorks has installed a production orchard and community green space in a vacant lot in Hillcrest Apartments.

A community orchard brings a new green space to Hillcrest

Over the years, Hillcrest Apartments has lost several trees leaving the neighborhood to feel a bit barren. Hillcrest residents knew that the environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks had planted fruit trees in other public housing developments, and hoped to see a similar project come to their neighborhood. Turns out, planting an orchard in Hillcrest was on GreenWorks’ to do list as well.

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