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 […]

Small town competition levels

Small-scale democracy: Small town elections offer intriguing possibilit­ies, but few options

“The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.” — Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness The affluent little town of Chevy Chase, Maryland, population 2,918, was rocked earlier this year when a surprise write-in candidate garnered 168 votes to displace an unopposed incumbent. The town attorney and Ethics Commission were […]

LEO MONAHAN

Smart bets: Weavervill­e Art Safari

Founded in 2001 by artist Lelia Canter, the Weaverville Art Safari is a free, self-guided art studio tour that “provides the exclusive opportunity to delve into the thriving artist enclave located in Weaverville and Barnardsville.” Some 47 local artists will participate in the biannual crawl this fall, showcasing handmade artwork from a multitude of craft […]

SPECIAL FINDS: Unique arts and crafts, like these pieces by Tiffany Ownbeyare part of Weaverville's annual Art in Autumn festival. Photo courtesy of the artist

Art in Autumn: Crafts, commerce and community in Weavervill­e

The first brainstorming session for Weaverville’s Art in Autumn festival took place in December, 2006. “We were desperately seeking ways to bring more foot traffic to the downtown area of Main Street,” remembers Sherrye Perry, a Weaverville Business Association member. With Beth Mangum, Perry organized what would become a successful annual event. “It seemed a […]

A garden for a foodie: Sheila Dunn transformed her steep Weaverville lawn into an edible landscape where fruits, vegetables and other delights take the place of grass. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Why I grow: Edible landscapin­g with Sheila Dunn

For many, edible plants are grown in rows in the vegetable garden — often kept out of sight in the back or side yard. But for Sheila Dunn, a retired microbiologist and Master Gardener, edibles are a beautiful necessity to be woven into the landscape. Dunn converted her steep, rocky Weaverville property into an edible landscape that now provides more than half of everything she eats.

The Stoney Knob in Woodfin offers pan-European food in an eclectically decorated setting

Getaway (without going away)

Sometimes Asheville can feel too crowded. When tourist season’s in full swing and the streets are choked with cars, trucks and buses, a place like Hot Springs can be just the ticket. Conversely, sometimes Asheville feels too small — especially when you’re trying to buy something embarrassing at the grocery store. When you want to […]

Making it happen

“I’m concerned with … ,” “I am troubled by … ,” “I’m confused about … .” We hear these sentiments a lot these days. But what’s often sorely missing is a good old “Here’s what we’re going to do about it.” I am founder and president of the N.C Mountain Area Youth Soccer Association, based […]