REVIVING THE HOMESTEAD: North Carolina has long been defined by its agriculture industry. As development pressures and rising land costs threaten to consume viable farmland acorss the state, public officials and private land trusts are working to preserve N.C.'s farming heritage and revitalize existing farms. Photo courtesy of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Eyes on the future: Saving WNC’s farms

Robin Reeves is the sixth generation to grow up on her family’s Madison County farm — a lineage that dates back to before the Civil War. Reeves spent much of her youth helping her parents raise cattle, burley tobacco and tomatoes as well as her extended family in Sandy Mush. As an adolescent, she sold […]

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.

Breathe it in: Conservation groups like Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy have protected more than 100,000 acres of WNC land from development.

Conservati­on in WNC — where we’re going, where we’ve been

From the Get It! Guide: Long before the age of Internet lists and online travel magazines, people came to Asheville and Western North Carolina for the intrinsic natural beauty. In fact, the beauty of our environment is what many say makes this place so special. But are we protecting what we have? What initiatives are underway to help ensure that the region remains a respite and a haven for generations to come?

No trespassin­g

Walking on private land is alluring, a little naughty—and liable to get you in trouble. With thousands of miles of public trails here, I’ve never felt the need to push the envelope. But a lot of our public lands are bordered by private property, and local land conservancies are scrambling to protect some of those […]

A love supreme

I only recently started using the “L-word” when referring to land. When I worked in the land-conservation field, my co-workers were scientists—biologists and ecologists—who rarely mentioned love. Instead, they worked to substantiate the conservation values on the land they were evaluating for easements. But as Boston attorney Stephen Small, a national leader in today’s land-trust […]

Happy valley

Twenty minutes northwest of Asheville, Highway 63 winds up a series of switchbacks, surmounts a ridge and dips down the other side. Views open up as the Walnut and Newfound mountains loom blue in the distance. In season, the fields lining the roadside are thick with tomatoes, rank stands of burley tobacco, feed corn and […]