A COVETED HERB: In 2012, the U.S. exported 45,000 pounds of wild ginseng and 342,000 pounds of the cultivated woodland crop, pictured above. The dried root sells for $500 to $2,000 per pound. Photo by Heather Wood Buzzard

Sustainabl­e ginseng: legendary herb’s best-kept secret

BY HEATHER WOOD BUZZARD November marks the tail end of “’sang” season, but relics of the harvest time remain: hand-scrawled signs declaring “Will Buy Ginseng – No License Needed” and reports of recent poaching on both private and public lands. Ginseng hunters and buyers have been everywhere this autumn, but where’s the ginseng? People reach […]

MAKING HEALTH HAPPEN: Peggy and Stephen McConnell of Mars Hill attended the Living Healthy workshop. Photo by Robert Moore

Land of Sky’s Living Healthy program offers path to better living

For Western North Carolina residents with chronic health problems, help is nearby. Mars Hill resident Peggy McConnell has several chronic conditions, including atrial fibrillation, which wakes her up in the  night. Although she is receiving regular medical care, last May, McConnell decided to get extra help: She enrolled in Living Healthy, a six-week workshop sponsored by the Land of Sky Regional Council, a multicounty agency […]

LOOK HOMEWARD, ASHEVILLE! Asheville's current boom in tourism and development mirrors the state of the city during Thomas Wolfe's life in several respects. The author, who wrote extensively about the changes he saw around him, may offer clues as to how the city can address current concerns and questions facing its residents. Left photo by MAx Hunt. Right photo courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, NC.

Of time and the city: Issues facing Asheville in Wolfe’s youth mirror today’s concerns

Asheville and environs have seen considerable change in the 77 years since Wolfe’s death, yet many of the aspects he wrote (and sometimes fumed) about seem uncannily familiar. And as current residents ponder the challenges the city faces today, a look at several of the celebrated author’s key themes might prove instructive.

Personal trainer Teah Boswell is known for hauling clients to unorthodox locations for workouts, including the occasional trip to The Wedge, pictured. Now, the fitness enthusiast hopes to set up her own permanent indoor space for cycling training.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. An indoor studio […]

SHARING STORIES: Local nonprofit Green Side Up launches its "Speaker Series" this Sunday, Nov. 15, bringing real-life stories from Mission's Childrens' Cancer Center to the community. Image courtesy of Green Side Up Foundation.

Keep on the sunny side: Green Side Up Foundation brightens children’s cancer center

A diagnosis of cancer is a terrifying prospect for anyone. The long, arduous process of treatment and recovery not only physically drains a patient, but also takes an immense emotional toll. For children who’ve just begun their life’s journey, the experience can be especially difficult. In an effort to show compassion for young people battling […]

Asheville Music School Rock Band closed the event with a rendition of "Sweet Dreams." Photo by Jeff Tallman

Give!Local kickoff: Very auspicious and very Asheville

Give!Local raised nearly $1,000 in its opening day and many of the nonprofits raised additional money at the kickoff event. Thirty nonprofits, their boards, two food vendors, three bands, a dinosaur and a ghost pepper all convened along with about 200 people from the public.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY: Since it's grassroots origins as a small, owner-led grocer in 1975, the French Broad Food Co-op has grown into one of the most popular businesses in downtown Asheville. The FBFC now plans to expand its facilities and offerings and is proposing ideas for addressing community issues of affordability and housing. Photo via the French Broad Food Co-op.

It takes a village: French Broad Food Co-op announces expansion proposals

The iconic community-owned food market and grocer has announced initial plans to expand its current space on the 60-100 block of Biltmore Avenue and is reaching out to community organizations and the city of Asheville to begin discussions on the possibility of a massive multiuse facility.

CHEERS TO THAT: "Ms. Earle coaches cheerleading [for the Asheville Youth Football and Cheerleading League], but she is also really a life coach and mentor for these girls," says Asheville City Schools Foundation executive director Kate Pett. "She tutors many of them, visits their teachers and communicates with their families regularly. She is really a life mentor and cheerleading is just the vehicle that engages these girls who really need someone just like her."

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 a project to equip a youth cheerleading team with uniforms and other supplies; a local film collective’s contribution to a global project; plus one parent’s quest to improve Oakley Elementary School’s playground.