“Despite its name, Regional Recycling Solutions (the new solid-waste recycling facility proposed for West Asheville along Hominy Creek) is a big step backward for recycling here in Western North Carolina.”
What we often cull, throw away or compost can be the building blocks for new recipes, offering an infusion of flavor to many meals to come. And something deeper happens when we repurpose our scraps: a change of perspective.
With interest in wild edibles and native medicinals growing, the demand on these plants is quickly exceeding the supply — leading to over-harvesting, poaching and a risk of extinction. When browsing the stands at the farmers market or the shelves in an herbal shop, how can you know if the plants and products you’re purchasing are supporting sustainable, local growers or contributing to a growing problem?
To many Western North Carolina residents, the region’s parks and recreational areas represent a chance to experience our state’s natural beauty and preserve its rich history. But what’s often overlooked is these attractions’ key role in bolstering local economies.
Transitioning from the mission-driven military to ordinary civilian life is often when vets slip into unemployment, depression or homelessness. But two farming programs in WNC are working to give veterans a connection to the land, to their community and to a sense of purpose that so many seek.
The Coggins Conservation Project, a grassroots effort formed to oppose the development of 169 acres of farmland near Riceville Road, has announced plans to assume the current developer’s contract.
A proposal to establish Transylvania County’s first public charging station could expand options for electric vehicle owners across Western North Carolina.
Shipping containers seem to be the new architectural craze, and with the construction of the Smoky Park Supper Club — Asheville’s first commercial structure built from containers (19 of them, to be exact) — city residents and visitors will soon get to explore one of these buildings up close. But what is it about the look of these large steel boxes that has so captured our imagination?
The Spring Herb Festival returns to the Western North Carolina Farmers Market this weekend. The festival brings together over 60 growers and vendors offering locally grown herbs or herbal products including soaps, oils, extracts, tinctures and more.
“Initially, we were skeptical because of the large carbon footprint — poor gas mileage, plus the need for propane when not plugged into the grid. We nearly rejected the idea entirely — until we realized we could modify the RV to better match our priorities.”
Recent relaxing of city restrictions mean Asheville is “chickening” like never before. But many would be chicken-keeepers don’t realize the birds stop producing eggs early in their life, yet still require care and attention to survive. As the interest in backyard chicken keeping raises so do the number of abandoned and neglected animals.
This season, UNC Asheville is doing its part to protect honey bees and other important pollinators by planting several new native pollinator meadows throughout the campus. The meadows have been funded by the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and grants from Bee City USA.
As we celebrate Earth Day 2015, we take a look at the status of the sustainability movement in WNC. How far have we come, and how far do we have to go? We asked local nonprofits and regulatory agencies to take us to school by examining our environmental efforts — from our air to our water, from our successes to our failures — and giving us an honest assessment of how we’re doing.
With spring in full swing, growers, DIY enthusiasts and the homestead-curious will find the perfect venue to prepare for the season as the French Broad Food Co-op holds its third annual Urban Homestead Fair on Saturday, April 25.
“We are in a position once again to get our air cleaned up. We have a local, regional air quality board that is in process of writing a new permit for the Asheville Coal Plant. Our task is to show up at the public hearing.”
Earth Day falls on Wednesday, April 22, this year, but with the bees buzzing, the flowers blooming and the sun shining all around us, why spend just one day celebrating the beautiful environment in Western North Carolina? Here’s a roundup of some of the environmentally focused events happening throughout WNC this week.
Far from the lawn nuisance it’s often considered in our culture, the dandelion has actually been celebrated since ancient times as one of the world’s top health-promoting herbs. Chris Smith of Sow True Seed offers several tasty and nutritious ways to prepare this easily identifiable and abundant wild edible.
Some of Mother Earth News’ earliest “Mothers” — whose roots go back to the 1970s and 1980s — got together this past Sunday at the Mother Earth News Fair, which was held at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Nearly two dozen former employees and families met for brunch and to share their recollections from the decades past. I was one of them.
In an ongoing effort to connect those dispersed communities, the Appalachian Studies Association held its 38th annual conference last month in Johnson City, Tenn. The one-of-a-kind event unites scholars and musicians, activists and academics, to celebrate the often misunderstood region’s distinctive heritage, culture and physical landscape.
Local sustainable builders and the Western North Carolina Green Building Council reached an important milestone last month with the certification of the 1,000th Green Built North Carolina home in the greater Asheville area.
Over the years, Hillcrest Apartments has lost several trees leaving the neighborhood to feel a bit barren. Hillcrest residents knew that the environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks had planted fruit trees in other public housing developments, and hoped to see a similar project come to their neighborhood. Turns out, planting an orchard in Hillcrest was on GreenWorks’ to do list as well.