One of a kind: Venture Local Fair celebrates Asheville’­s unique character

There’s a crossroads between Buxton and Banks avenues, even though they don’t intersect. These blocklong, parallel, South Slope streets are lined with places to buy things, eat, drink and make merry: a chocolate factory, a doughnut shop, three breweries, two bars, a beer-and-wine store and the newest barbecue joint in town, among other businesses. The […]

The Appalachian Trail Game's special edition content has an even tighter focus on stewardship, according to founder and avid hiker Mark Hanf, who was inspired to create the first Thru Hike edition when he found a trashed campsite. He'll donate 5 percent of sales from the board game to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features the second edition of Appalachian Trail-inspired board game Thru Hike plus nonprofit literary press Orison Books’ fundraising efforts for three new spiritually-inclined books.

EARTH FRIENDLY FOUNDATIONS: Using a variety of new technology and state of the art building practicies, green builders around WNC and bringing sustainable construction concepts to the forefront of design. Photo courtesy Alembic Studios.

Green building thriving in WNC despite legislativ­e threats

Amid a hostile legislative climate in Raleigh, innovative, sustainable design and construction are flourishing in Western North Carolina. The WNC Green Building Council was founded in 2001. Since then — and despite an unstable housing market — local interest has grown steadily, says Maggie Leslie.

"I gotta go barefoot when I’m in the garden," says Green Opportunities' new executive director, George Jones Jr. Jones joined the nonprofit in mid-July and is bringing some business-minded changes to GO.

Green Opportunities’ new director gets his feet — and his shoes — wet

As the new executive director of Green Opportunities, the green jobs training program that works with low-income Asheville residents, George C. Jones plans to continue the environmental consciousness that was practiced by previous leadership, but his tenure will be guided by his business background.

PAINTING A NEW DAWN: Aurora Studio members join founder Lori Greenberg (center) in creating a healing community that supports both making art and being well. Photo by Lisa Sarasohn

Aurora Studio artists share healing in community

Aurora Studio founder Lori Greenberg says the artists displaying their work in Aurora’s Sept. 10-20 group show at Asheville Area Arts Council’s Grove Arcade Gallery (1 Page Ave., Suite 144) are some of Asheville’s “hidden treasures.” Such treasures are hidden no more. The show, Aurora: A Healing Light, features artists whose mutual support sustains their psychological well-being, social […]

"I was born to be a moss artist," proclaims Annie Martin. The Brevard landscaper, educator and writer will release her book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening, this month.

A mossier, more magical world: Local ‘mosser’ releases new book on moss gardening

Annie Martin — or Mossin’ Annie — is a Western North Carolina native, educator, landscape designer, farmer and champion — of mosses. She’s designed moss gardens for the North Carolina Arboretum and the Highland Botanical Station and her book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening, is being published by Timber Press and released this month.

FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL: As  the demand for food assistance in WNC continues to grow, local food-security organizations are embracing September, designated national Hunger Action Month, as a chance to raise awareness about the issue.  Here, volunteers and staff at MANNA FoodBank raise orange spoons — the symbol of the Hunger Action Month initiative.

Gather around the table: WNC rallies for Hunger Action Month

With one in six people in Western North Carolina lacking consistent access to food, MANNA FoodBank and its partner agencies are uniting to host hunger-awareness events and initiatives in September for national Hunger Action Month. MANNA also hopes to wrap up its Space to Erase Hunger capital campaign this month, allowing for crucial expansions to the organization’s capacity that will impact hungry families in 16 counties.

NO FEAR: With her book, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, Leanne Brown aims to empower people on tight budgets to feel confident in creating flavorful meals from simple ingredients.

Small budget, big flavor: An interview with cookbook author and food activist Leanne Brown

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s the message of Leanne Brown’s new cookbook, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, which is aimed at empowering people on very tight budgets to cook food they love. Brown visits the Asheville area on Friday as part of MANNA FoodBank’s calendar of Hunger Action Month events.


First annual Monarch Butterfly Day offers help to a declining butterfly population

Nearly one billion monarch butterflies have vanished since 1990 due to habitat destruction, which impacts their primary food source, milkweed, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Efforts to protect monarch butterflies center on educating the public about the plight of the monarchs, as well as encouraging the creation of garden spaces that provide nectar plants […]