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 […]

ON ITS WAY: MSD Operations Manager Roger Edwards pours out the end product of MSD's efforts—water deemed clean enough to go into the French Broad River. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Cleaning up toxic mercury from dental offices

Dental appointments make plenty of people nervous, but water pollution isn’t usually what they’re worrying about. According to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, however, dental offices are responsible for 50 percent of the mercury entering the nation’s wastewater. Dental amalgam is 49 percent mercury by weight, and dental offices discharge about 4.4 tons of it annually. […]

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. […]

HIGH MOBILITY:  Erika Bogan, left, and Shannon Chisholm, right, check out the MV-1 by Mobility Ventures and the Horizon Electric Adventure Vehicle (EAV) by Outrider USA. Photo courtesy of John Ryan Photography

Two Asheville women find their ‘new normal’ after spinal-cord injuries

After a traumatic injury, there is a physical, emotional, and spiritual process associated with recovery, and that is the process of finding your “new normal.” This is more than just re-learning and acclimating to the daily routine of life, it is about becoming comfortable and confident with who you are post injury, says Erika Bogan. “That is the biggest challenge. Finding your ‘new normal,’ accepting it, and becoming comfortable in your own skin.”

MOUNTAIN MAJESTY: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beloved and most visited sites in the National Park System, attracting millions of visitors and tourist dollars to the region each year. Its creation was the result of over a decade of legislative wrangling, relentless promotion and fundraising, and the tireless efforts of WNC residents such as George Masa, a Japanese immigrant who helped introduce the Smokies to the American people through his photography. Photo via North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville

George Masa and the birth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“These efforts really are about protecting places for all Americans and for future generations,” notes Brent Martin of The Wilderness Society. The leaders of the national parks movement, he maintains, “all saw a much bigger picture, not only for all human beings, but for all living things.”