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.
Since 1999, Wamboldtopia has been the ever-growing home and garden of artists Damaris and Ricki Pierce. It began as a steep, shady hillside covered in grass, but after 15 years of transformation, Wamboldtopia is a West Asheville institution — a fairyland covered in stone. But for Damaris and Ricki, this is the last season in the garden before they place the home on the market and prepare to move on to new and separate lives.
For many, edible plants are grown in rows in the vegetable garden — often kept out of sight in the back or side yard. But for Sheila Dunn, a retired microbiologist and Master Gardener, edibles are a beautiful necessity to be woven into the landscape. Dunn converted her steep, rocky Weaverville property into an edible landscape that now provides more than half of everything she eats.
In anticipation of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s annual farm tour on June 28 and 29, interns from BRWIA will guide us through independent farms in the High Country. Here, Laura Johnson visits Apple Hill Farm in Banner Creek.
What is the draw of the garden, the chicken coop, the pasture? For many it’s a connection that can offer unseen spiritual, mental and emotional yields. Be it through garden therapy, animal therapy or simply a quiet place to meditate, area green spaces offer the chance to heal and rejuvenate.