EMBRACING CHANGE: Soil scientist Laura Lengnick will be the keynote speaker at the Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County's gardening symposium on Oct. 12. Photo by Jane Morell

Extension Master Gardeners host fall gardening events

Through information sessions, a helpline and a day-long symposium on Oct. 12, the Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County continue their mission of educating the public on good gardening practices using research-based information provided by the North Carolina State University Extension Service throughout the fall.

Kids took over the downtown streets for fun Sunday. Photo by Adam McMillan

In photos: Open Streets Asheville Festival

The inaugural Open Streets Asheville brought residents and visitors into the streets to enjoy downtown in a new way. With Battery Park Avenue, Wall Street and portions of Haywood Street, Patton Avenue and Church Street closed to automotive traffic, folks did art projects, movement-based activities, listened to buskers and relaxed with yoga and massage.

SHARE THE ROAD: Big changes are on the way for the River Arts District in the coming years, as the city of Asheville and its partners get set to begin a host infrastructure improvements aimed at improving transportation into and around the RAD and upgrading multimodal options for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo by Max Hunt

Road to redevelopm­ent: Big infrastruc­ture upgrades on RAD’s horizon

Asheville’s rustic, arts-and-industry-dominated River Arts District is on the brink of a major transformation. From road realignment, sidewalk construction and expanded bike lanes to an ambitious network of greenways with the RAD as its central hub, substantial changes will be taking place over the next few years that will improve the way residents and visitors to the city access, explore and inhabit the area.

MAKING SPACE: Residents using Lyman Street and Riverside Drive over the next few months will notice work crews clearing trees and realigning utilities in preparation for construction affliated with the RADTIP project next Spring. Photo by Max Hunt

Cutting to the chase: What’s going on with tree removal in the River Arts District?

Residents commuting down Lyman Street and Riverside Drive have most likely noticed some serious changes to the tree line around 12 Bones. Work crews have been busy removing trees from the area, a project that is expected to continue through the fall. “I’ve been out of office almost 15 years, and I’ve gotten several calls […]

FLEA FOR ALL: Flea markets across Western North Carolina draw tens of thousands of residents each weekend in search of bargains, rare finds and a good time, creating micro economies and a strong sense of community among buyers and sellers. Photo by Cindy Kunst.

The people’s market: WNC flea markets offer culture, community and commoditie­s

Whether you’re hunting for a bargain or looking to make some extra cash, gathering with neighbors at a local flea market could be just the ticket. Flea market regulars say the connections that form between buyers and sellers are a unique aspect of the experience, and their value can equal or exceed the monetary rewards.

UP A CREEK: Crumbling banks can lead to loss of land, water pollution and habitat degradation for wildlife. A guide from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service provides property owners with advice and strategies for stabilizing stream banks on their property. Photo courtesy of N.C. Cooperative Extension Service

Slip, sliding away: WNC creek banks imperiled by erosion

Stream erosion is a growing problem in Western North Carolina. When a stream bank on your property erodes, more sediment enters the waterway and the area and appearance of your land is diminished. Government publications and agencies offer guidance for property owners hoping to stabilize their banks and promote healthy stream ecology.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS:  Community healthcare partners joined ABCCM executive director Scott Rogers (center left) and Pharmacist/manager David Taylor (center right) to conduct the offcial ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Asheville Buncombe Community Pharmacy at the c3356 Comprehensive Care Center. Photo by Max Hunt

Asheville Buncombe Community Pharmacy aims to support free clinics with its profits

AB Community Pharmacy celebrated its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug.11. The pharmacy’s business model is unique: using profits from a retail community pharmacy, the operation will support the work of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, which operates free health clinics staffed predominantly by volunteers that serve about half the county’s uninsured residents.

DOWN ON MAIN STREET: With housing options limited within Asheville city limits, current residents and newcomers to the mountains are increasingly looking towards the surrounding small towns and communities as a place to settle down or launch a new business. In response, towns across WNC are managing the opportunities, and challenges, that come with growth. Photo by Max Hunt

Main Street renaissanc­e: WNC’s small towns confront growth, change

Asheville may be a top dream destination for many folks, but for an increasing number of newcomers and old-timers alike, the No. 1 dream destination may be just down the road a ways. With the challenges of urbanization besetting Asheville, newcomers and locals alike are turning to surrounding towns and communities in search of cheaper […]

COAT OF MANY COLORS: Jacob sheep have finer coats than many primitive sheep breeds, making them an ideal choice for farmers looking for a hardy, easy-to-keep fiber animal. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Strub of Hobbyknob Farm

Woolly bully: Local farmers preserve heritage breeds

Heritage livestock breeds have a lot to offer WNC’s small farmers. Fiber animals that evolved on small farmsteads are hardier and easier to manage than breeds developed for high yields and consistent characteristics. WNC farmers are exploring the advantages these heritage breeds offer, protecting them from possible extinction along the way.