Not only would a brick-and-mortar location allow Smash Box Mobile Kitchen owners Ashley and Nestor Teran to serve more customers and grow their events business, but it would also accommodate an expansion of their Latin-inspired menu to include more complex dishes. Photo from the Terans' crowdfunding page

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 Smash Box’s expansion into a brick-and-mortar location, two locals’ efforts to empower citizens of Nepal to build resilient housing and The Village Potters’ new wood kiln project.

NEW MOON: Modern day distillers in WNC are bringing the region's most-storied spirit into the 21st century. Photo by George Etheredge.

Bottled lightning: Appalachia­n moonshinin­g in the 21st century

Western North Carolina is now home to a growing number of craft distillers making legal moonshine. Blending traditional recipes with new technology and methods, these pioneers are bringing Appalachia’s most fabled and misunderstood product into the 21st century, changing cultural perceptions even as they adapt to shifting economic realities.

Not only will local photographer Ken Abbott's pictures of Hickory Nut Gap Farm make it into his forthcoming book Useful Work, but the artist's visuals will also be on display at the Asheville Art Museum from Friday, July 24, until Sunday, October 11. Photo of longtime farm employee Clarence McAbee by Abbott

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 photo book capturing Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s storied past and present, a “Barnraiser” to help the farm build a kitchen and butchery on-site and a mobile app for mental wellness information hub MindPod Network.

Still from Wings of Life documentary.

Wings of Life documentar­y explores the lives of pollinator­s

In its continuing recognition of Asheville’s Pollination Celebration week, Bee City USA hosted a screening of Disneynature’s Wings of Life at the Fine Art Theatre on Thursday, June 19. The screening, which served as a benefit for Bee City USA, offered attendees a chance to understand the mysteries of pollination as told from the perspective of several types of flowers.

Cigarette butts ready to be shipped for recycling pile up in Rowdy Keelor's garage.

Friends Against Butts aims to capture and recycle cigarette butts

Even though his organization is called Friends Against Butts, make no mistake, Rowdy Keelor wants your butts. Cigarette butts, that is. An Asheville environmentalist and host of Asheville FM’s “Best Day Ever,” Keelor and three others founded the venture earlier this year with the goal of recycling as many cigarette butts as possible