Eating local

Whether driven by health consciousness, energy awareness, parochialism, fear of tainted Chinese imports or all of the above, Western North Carolina residents are showing increased interest in locally produced food. That, at least, is the conclusion of a five-year assessment conducted by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. No middlewoman: Local growers forge a direct connection […]

Lex make a deal

A handful of families control most of the property on downtown Asheville’s North Lexington Avenue, but the Lantzius name is pre-eminent. Vancouver resident John Lantzius and his kin own the lion’s share of properties on both sides of the road between College Street and the Interstate 240 overpass, along with several properties on the adjacent […]

Hands across the water

Since 1993, the Building Bridges program has challenged participants to reach across racial barriers throughout Western North Carolina. To date, more than 1,200 attendees have completed the nine-week series at venues including churches, schools and community centers. Speaking for the cause: Oralene Graves Simmons, founder of Asheville’s MLK Prayer Breakfast and former director of the […]

An apple for your I

Stories that depend on magic can all too easily become fairy tales—childish and cute, often far-fetched and always divorced from the real world of grownup love and tragedy. They frequently come off as self-referential and self-centered as a spoiled 7-year-old. Asheville-based novelist Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells (Bantam, 2007) is a wonderful world away from […]

Up on the roof

The tallest vegetation in downtown Asheville is almost certainly to be found in the roof garden at the Battery Park Apartments. Residents of the downtown landmark tend herbs, flowers and vegetables as part of a project intiated by the Council On Aging and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. Basil, catnip, chives, chocolate mint, dill, lemon […]

Garden Journal

Take a hike: Asheville Parks and Recreation will offer a wide range of outdoor adventures this fall. The department’s first Senior Trek of the season will be held Friday, Sept. 14, on the UNCA Perimeter Trail—a 2.4-mile loop—followed by a visit to the Botanical Gardens. The low-impact trekking club offers leisurely paced hikes designed with […]

No change

It’s been a year since professor David Owens of the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill formally presented the Asheville City Council with the results of his detailed review of three controversial development projects (see “Asheville City Council,” Aug. 30, 2006 Xpress). Council members had asked Owens to assess the situation after the Coalition of […]

Garden Journal

Queen (or king) bee needed: The Asheville City Market, in connection with Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, is looking for a manager for its new producer-only destination farmers’ market in downtown Asheville. The half-time position will start this fall. Organizers say they want a diplomatic communicator who is organized, detail-oriented and an innovative thinker, with experience […]

A whiter shade of pale

Greg Merritt of Cree Inc. was the featured speaker when Progress Energy hosted a “Lunch and Learn” session on Aug. 15. Cree, a North Carolina-based high-tech manufacturer, is an industry leader in development of LED lighting and a co-creator of the LED City program. The company only sells to other manufacturers who produce lighting products, […]

Garden Journal

In the pink (or blue): The Blue Ridge Hydrangea Society will offer a class titled Companion Plants for Hydrangeas at the N.C. Arboretum on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. Master Gardener Linda Cobb will lead the discussion of how to blend other plants with hydrangeas and address trends in cottage gardening. She […]