Grab your camera and pack up your car with your best crew — it’s time to get out in the fields for Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s annual farm tour. The self-guided tour will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, and Sunday, Sept. 21, and takes place at 37 Appalachian Grown certified farms across nine counties in Western North Carolina.
The Eastern Band of the Cherokee are working to overcome problems plaguing their community with a literal grassroots solution — a community garden kit program designed to encourage physical activity, increase access to healthy foods and promote family and agricultural traditions.
The growing season is winding down, which means it’s time for gardeners to celebrate their harvests. In that spirit, Waynesville’s Frog Level will host the inaugural SeptemberFest on Saturday, Sept. 13. The event aims to celebrate and share the bounty of community gardens, while raising awareness of sustainability, preservation and community-building.
The first annual Organic Growers School Harvest Conference took place Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6, at Warren Wilson College and A-B Tech. The workshops guided participants from the active growing season, when produce and food are abundant, toward the more barren winter months when fresh garden products dwindle.
Nan Chase and DeNeice Guest, authors of Drink the Harvest, recently joined Xpress in the test kitchen at Selina Naturally for a demonstration on how to make wine from fresh blackberries.
More and more of Asheville’s downtown dwellers are finding creative ways to use their urban spaces for growing food. Russell Thomas, owner of the Flatiron Building, tells Xpress how he and his staff are converting the rooftop of the historic building into a hydroponic and raised-bed garden that is a source of both veggies and renewable energy for the building and its businesses.
Organic Growers School will hold its first annual Harvest Conference at A-B Tech on Saturday, Sept. 6. The event strives to give urban farmers, homesteaders and backyard growers successful tips for fall and winter growing through workshops.
She may refer to herself as a “Georgia cracker,” but Janisse Ray is sowing the seeds of a food revolution. A writer, naturalist, environmentalist, professor and farmer, Ray will be in Asheville to deliver the keynote address on Saturday, Sept. 6, during the Organic Growers School’s first annual Harvest Conference at A-B Tech.
With summer winding down and the start of fall less than a month away, now is the time to bask in warm evenings and enjoy summer’s plentiful bounty. Sunny Point Cafe will host a beer-and-bites party in their potager garden tomorrow evening, Thursday, Aug. 28. Proceeds from the event support local nonprofit Start From Seed.
Incorporating garden-based education with an emphasis on healthy eating into the regular curriculum is the goal of two in-school programs run by FEAST, an extension of Slow Foods Asheville. Funds gathered by FEAST and school PTOs will support faculty positions in two elementary schools this academic year where a FEAST Garden and Cooking Coordinator will work to bring the schools’ gardens into the classroom.
Many gardens in Asheville rest on public property that was once overgrown and unused. These spaces have been transformed but the methods that brought the transformation sometimes differ. Some gardeners in Asheville have taken their spots through guerrilla gardening. In some ways it’s comparable to being a graffiti artist or even a squatter, but some say it’s preferable to jumping through the hoops of bureaucracy.
The premise of a seed library is relatively simple — patrons of the library “check out” their selections to grow the season’s crops and then return usable seeds from their harvest at the end of the season. The goal is to provide a free source of locally adapted crops and contribute to the biodiversity of local agriculture. Ideally, as the seed library continues to operate, the number of seeds and varieties available will continue to increase.
The Asheville Design Center, through its Asheville DesignBuild Studio, is helping the YWCA to construct an outdoor classroom, covered pick-up spot and memorial garden honoring community activist, entrepreneur and former YWCA board president Laurey Masterton.
Environmental Conservation Organization will hold their annual Green Homes and Edible Gardens tour on Saturday, Aug 9. The event allows the public to meet and interact with home owners and gardeners who have experience with solar installations, permaculture and small-house design, among other topics.
It’s a cycle known as aquaponics, which uses dual-tanked plant-and-fish habitats to create a symbiotic environment and a sustainable system that mimics the natural world. One tank holds the fish; the other, the plants. A pump flows water between the two, aerating the water in the process. Along with hydroponics — a similar idea that focuses solely on raising vegetation — it’s a creating an alternative to traditional in-soil farming.
The Shiloh community celebrated their annual community garden potluck and summer celebration on Saturday, July 27. This year’s gathering was of particular significance to the community, as it marked the dedication of the garden’s new amphitheatre and outdoor kitchen.
In 1790, 90 percent of Americans were farmers. Today that figure boils down to less than 1 percent. The change is particularly noticeable in the South, which up until the 1950s, was a largely agrarian society. Now, some are calling for a rebuilding and supporting of a locally-focused food system — which used to be prevalent in Appalachia.
40 years after it was founded, The Farm Community, a commune in rural Tennessee, continues to thrive. In a recent visit to Malaprops Bookstore and Café, author Donald Stevenson, the community’s resident historian, told the story of how a group of visionaries continue to make it work.
A mosaic of city roof top gardens? Vacant lots that create jobs? A backyard garden for folks without backyards? It’s all part of the small-scale urban farm model many in Asheville are striving for — where every tiny space is being utilized.
All Souls Pizza celebrated their first year of business while welcoming the former Montford Farmer’s Market to the River Arts District.
Brace yourselves — the plant enthusiasts are coming. From Tuesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 19, Western North Carolina will once again play host to the Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, an annual event with workshops and field trips exploring many aspects of native plants. Get a feel for the conference with a video tour of the plants of Black Balsam Ridge.