Susan Sides. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Julian Award winner Susan Sides: Feeding our hunger for food and community

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 […]

SMALL BUT MIGHTY: Dogwood Alliance is a 14-person nonprofit that has made a big impact over its 20-year history. The group has convinced some of America’s largest corporations to adopt forest-friendly sourcing practices. Now it’s fighting the wood pellet industry, which the organization says is logging Southern forests and turning them into fuel for generating electricity in Europe. Photo courtesy of Dogwood Alliance

Dogwood Alliance marks two decades of defending Southern forests

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.

SERVING OUR SERVICEMEN & WOMEN: Photos taken while at ABCCM'a Veterans Restoration Quarters in Asheville NC, where they have a comprehensive restoration program that addressees the needs of homeless veterans.

Brothers in arms: Local nonprofits give back to WNC veterans

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 […]

INTO THE WOODS: Volunteers are developing a new demonstration forest farm at the Madison County Public Library to increase awareness and knowledge of forest farming techniques. Photo courtesy of Rachell Skerlec

Forest farming can bring economic, environmen­tal benefits to WNC

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.

Barnaroo 2016

In Photos: Barnaroo Music Festival 2016

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 […]

PLANTING TIME: Fall is the best time to plant garlic, and there will be plenty of seed garlic available at Sow True Seed's third annual WNC Garlic Fest on Oct. 1 on Asheville's South Slope. Photo by Chris Smith, Sow True Seed

Garlic Fest returns to South Slope on Oct. 1

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.

EMBRACING CHANGE: Soil scientist Laura Lengnick will be the keynote speaker at the Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County's gardening symposium on Oct. 12. Photo by Jane Morell

Extension Master Gardeners host fall gardening events

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.

UP A CREEK: Crumbling banks can lead to loss of land, water pollution and habitat degradation for wildlife. A guide from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service provides property owners with advice and strategies for stabilizing stream banks on their property. Photo courtesy of N.C. Cooperative Extension Service

Slip, sliding away: WNC creek banks imperiled by erosion

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.

COAT OF MANY COLORS: Jacob sheep have finer coats than many primitive sheep breeds, making them an ideal choice for farmers looking for a hardy, easy-to-keep fiber animal. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Strub of Hobbyknob Farm

Woolly bully: Local farmers preserve heritage breeds

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.