From the Ani Katuah to white settlers and tobacco farmers, barns and buildings have played a central role in defining the culture of the Southern Appalachians. Shelter on the Mountain: Barns and Building Traditions of the Southern Highlands traces the evolution of local building practices.
Economically and ecologically valuable, oak trees dominate the forests of our region. But forest experts say that when the mature oak and hickory forests are cut, they are increasingly being replaced by fast-growing and aggressive yellow poplar. Researchers have been seeking solutions to the problem for decades, with little success. A new study in Bent Creek hopes to change that.
Since she was a child, Susan Sides has had her fingers in the dirt, helping her mother with the family garden. That early experience had a profound impact, fostering a passion that continues to this day: Since its inception in 2009, Sides has worked as executive director and garden manager at the Lord’s Acre in […]
As Dogwood Alliance celebrates its 20th anniversary, the local organization reflects on its accomplishments influencing the wood sourcing practices of some of America’s largest corporations. Now the group is poised to take on an even larger challenge: fighting European environmental regulations that Dogwood Alliance says are paradoxically endangering Southern forests.
Nonprofits Root Cause and EcoForesters celebrated local and regional efforts to promote sustainable forest stewardship and the use of local forest products on Nov. 12. The organizations presented four awards recognizing local groups and individuals who advocate for sound forest management practices.
With Veterans Day fast approaching, the customary forms of American celebration will be prominently on display: parades through city streets, moments of silence briefly interrupting broadcast media, solemn ceremonies at landmarks across the country, special discounts at restaurants and shops. Beyond those symbolic gestures, however, stands a large and growing need to support the many […]
Learn considerations and best practices for building and using a composting toilet at a Living Web Farms workshop on Saturday, Oct. 29.
While growing food and other crops beneath the forest canopy isn’t new — it’s been practiced by indigenous and traditional cultures around the world for centuries — a new focus on forest farming is highlighting the possibilities of forest-based production of non-timber crops in Western North Carolina.
Learn to build a mobile or stationary walk-in cooler for a variety of purposes at a two-part workshop offered by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy on Oct. 9 and 23.
Andrew Scotchie is a steady force in the local music scene. Frontman of Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats, Scotchie is one of the most active touring musicians in town and the founder and coordinator of Asheville Barnaroo Music Festival, a three-day event held at Franny’s Farm in Leicester. “First and foremost, it’s a big […]
Now in its third year, Garlic Fest will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 on Asheville’s South Slope. The event will offer opportunities to sample garlic delicacies, learn about growing and cooking with garlic, purchase seed garlic to plant at home and more. The event area will be centered around the intersection of Church Street and Banks Avenue.
Through information sessions, a helpline and a day-long symposium on Oct. 12, the Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County continue their mission of educating the public on good gardening practices using research-based information provided by the North Carolina State University Extension Service throughout the fall.
Rolling out on Sept. 18, the inaugural Pedal to Plate event will offer tours of six Madison County farms along a 33-mile bike route, followed by a locally sourced farm dinner at Root Bottom Farm.
The eighth annual West Asheville Garden Stroll offers the chance to peek into 15 of the neighborhood’s most charming gardens on Sept. 10.
On Sept. 4, hunt ginseng in the wild with medicinal plant authority Robert Eidus on his farm in Marshall. On Sept. 10, gather with farmers, gardeners and homesteaders for the third annual Harvest Conference, presented by the Organic Growers School on the campus of A-B Tech in Asheville.
Now a beloved local happening, the Southeastern Permaculture Gathering has taken place every year since 1994. Permaculture enthusiasts of many ages and experience levels gathered on the grounds of the Arthur Morgan School in Celo Aug. 5-7 to forge connections, gain insights and learn new skills.
Stream erosion is a growing problem in Western North Carolina. When a stream bank on your property erodes, more sediment enters the waterway and the area and appearance of your land is diminished. Government publications and agencies offer guidance for property owners hoping to stabilize their banks and promote healthy stream ecology.
While tractors and mechanized farm equipment have now largely replaced draft animals, a small but passionate contingent of farmers in Western North Carolina continues to rely on them to help with the daily work around their farms and as a source of extra income at times.
The Nutty Buddy Collective is pioneering new models of sustainable, perennial agriculture by establishing long-term leasehold agreements with conservation-minded landowners. Once the use of the land has been secured, the collective plants fruit and nut crops that take several years to reach maturity.
Farming dreams can start big and end in disappointment. With its Farm Beginnings program, the Organic Growers School gives new farmers the business and practical tools to maximize their chances of success. And for those who already have a farm, whether as a business or a hobby, the Mountain State Fair offers myriad opportunities to show off the products of their labors.
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.