Photo by Jessica Merchant, courtesy of FEAST.

FEAST supplements the curriculum with garden-based education

Incorporating garden-based education with an emphasis on healthy eating into the regular curriculum is the goal of two in-school programs run by FEAST, an extension of Slow Foods Asheville. Funds gathered by FEAST and school PTOs will support faculty positions in two elementary schools this academic year where a FEAST Garden and Cooking Coordinator will work to bring the schools’ gardens into the classroom.

Greening up the neighborhood: Gardeners like Joel Beacola are transforming unmaintained city spaces into public gardens. But navigating the bureaucracy of gardening in public spaces can be a hurdle. Photo by Carrie Eidson.

Greening tactics: Different paths lead to gardens in abandoned spaces

Many gardens in Asheville rest on public property that was once overgrown and unused. These spaces have been transformed but the methods that brought the transformation sometimes differ. Some gardeners in Asheville have taken their spots through guerrilla gardening. In some ways it’s comparable to being a graffiti artist or even a squatter, but some say it’s preferable to jumping through the hoops of bureaucracy.

BRIDGE BUILDERS: MANNA FoodBank Executive Director Cindy Threlkeld, left, and Volunteer Coordinator Max Gruber, right, are working to alleviate food insecurity in WNC. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

The widening gap

Newly released data pulled from Feeding America’s 2012 Map the Meal Gap study shows a 2 percent increase in food insecurity in Western North Carolina. In that year, the study found, 15.3 percent of the region’s people lacked consistent access to enough food to meet their nutritional needs, up from 14.9 percent in 2011.

Love in a Parking Lot: How Oakley grew a farmers market-attachment0

Love in a Parking Lot: How Oakley grew a farmers market

A celebration of locally grown food and neighborhood relationships, the Oakley Farmers Market and the adjacent Oakley Community Garden are giving a much-needed boost to a predominantly low-wealth community that the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers a food desert. But what brought them all together was as simple as a sign.

For the children: A group of volunteers fills bag with food as part of MANNA FoodBank’s Packs for Kids program. Megan Dombroski

Food on the table

As Asheville’s rates of hunger increase, local agencies are trying to keep pace. Standing in MANNA FoodBank’s warehouse holding a small bag of groceries, Beth Stahl, the nonprofit’s youth program coordinator, reflects on the value of food to the many Buncombe County children facing crippling hunger. “It’s kind of scary that this little bag of […]