It started with a dare in the blizzard of ’93. Robert Ploeger’s father was having a hard time growing asparagus, and Robert said, “I’ll bet you I can grow it.” That winter, he and wife, Glenda Ploeger, co-owners of Cane Creek Asparagus & Co., started what would become their first three rows of asparagus in the greenhouse attached to their Fairview home.
What we often cull, throw away or compost can be the building blocks for new recipes, offering an infusion of flavor to many meals to come. And something deeper happens when we repurpose our scraps: a change of perspective.
Transitioning from the mission-driven military to ordinary civilian life is often when vets slip into unemployment, depression or homelessness. But two farming programs in WNC are working to give veterans a connection to the land, to their community and to a sense of purpose that so many seek.
The Spring Herb Festival returns to the Western North Carolina Farmers Market this weekend. The festival brings together over 60 growers and vendors offering locally grown herbs or herbal products including soaps, oils, extracts, tinctures and more.
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.
This season, UNC Asheville is doing its part to protect honey bees and other important pollinators by planting several new native pollinator meadows throughout the campus. The meadows have been funded by the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and grants from Bee City USA.
With spring in full swing, growers, DIY enthusiasts and the homestead-curious will find the perfect venue to prepare for the season as the French Broad Food Co-op holds its third annual Urban Homestead Fair on Saturday, April 25.
With the popularity of locally made artisan cheese steadily growing in the Asheville area, local cheesemakers have planned a new festival to spotlight the craft — the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest.
Far from the lawn nuisance it’s often considered in our culture, the dandelion has actually been celebrated since ancient times as one of the world’s top health-promoting herbs. Chris Smith of Sow True Seed offers several tasty and nutritious ways to prepare this easily identifiable and abundant wild edible.
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.
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.
Mother Earth News Fair offered no shortage of activities, workshops and vendors to educate and entertain attendees over the weekend of April 11 and 12 during the magazine’s second annual event at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center.
Crowds of locals and visitors converged on the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center Saturday and Sunday, April 11-12, to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of the 2015 Mother Earth News Fair. Click through for a slideshow of photos by Tori Pace.
Asheville GreenWorks partnered up April 11 with volunteers to transform an empty green lot at Hillcrest Apartments into an orchard. GreenWorks received a grant to plant its sixth community orchard at Hillcrest, with 24 ball-and-burlap apple trees and 36 blueberries. The goal is to promote better access to food, greenspace, shade, community pride and jobs.
Author Philip Ackerman-Leist is among the presenters recruited from around the country to conduct workshops at the Mother Earth News Fair coming to Western North Carolina Agricultural Center on April 11 and 12, 2015. Ackerman-Leist is the Program Director for Green Mountain College’s Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems.
Asheville-based author Nan K. Chase is one of many area gardeners, homesteaders, and sustainability experts who will be presenting at the Mother Earth News Fair coming to Western North Carolina Agricultural Center on April 11 and 12, 2015.
Mother Earth News Fair returns to the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center on Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, marking the fair’s second consecutive appearance in Asheville. The fair is an opportunity for fans of the bi-monthly environmental magazine to get hands-on experience with the topics covered in the publication from sustainable agriculture to green home building.
During his decadeslong career, journalist, editor and author David E. Gumpert has written about everything from food rights to entrepreneurship to family history. But in recent years, he’s focused on raw milk.
Raw milk comes straight from the cow — it hasn’t been pasteurized (heated to high temperatures for specific lengths of time to kill potentially harmful pathogens). Though both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn against unpasteurized dairy products in no uncertain terms, the product remains in high demand.
Greasy beans are a southern Appalachian specialty, little or unknown outside this area. According to Sow True Seed founder and owner Carol Koury, greasy beans have been grown in these mountains probably for as long as there have been whites in Appalachia.
From the Get It! Guide: According to MANNA FoodBank’s 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, food insecurity affects 15.3 percent of Western North Carolina. But several local efforts are looking to stop hunger in WNC, bringing the battle to the fields, the pantries, the neighborhoods and even city hall.