“The average family spends well over $1,000 a year on toys,” Dobroski points out. “A Toybrary lets you check out three toys at a time for a couple of weeks — it saves money and keeps toys out of the landfill.”
“Culture is the closest to my heart,” says Fleming, who plays steel guitar, of activities at the second biennial Get Off the Grid Fest . “The best way to build the culture of a community is through music and dance, and we have an incredibly strong line-up. It’s an empowering and joyful event.”
Clere calls the effort a “natural outgrowth” from the last of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
“In designing food systems, the foods that need to be freshest when we eat them, the quick-turnaround crops, should be placed close to where we live,” Patel says. “I didn’t really think the farm would be as broad and idealistic as it turned out to be, but I’m pretty idealistic, so it has naturally turned into that.”
“After they leave the farm, they can be part of a bee club, a medicinal herb meetup or [play with] other musicians,” says Mahshie about his multifaceted nonprofit. “They are healthy, healing ways for vets to connect with community.”
Since 2010, when Hewitt made the first loan to a friend who needed help expanding her small Greek restaurant, Slow Money NC has catalyzed over 300 loans totaling about $4 million to 125 small farmers and local food businesses.
Before Long cofounded Growing Wild in 2016, she taught in a conventional preschool. “I thought the kids were miserable, and it showed in their performance and behavior,” she recalls. “I started taking them outside for longer and longer periods of time, doing lessons with natural materials, and everyone did better.”
Started in 2011, the Green River Spring Cleaning has grown every year, with ever more participants paddling in to cover the Lower Green and the Upper Green. “Our goal is to work the entire Green River, from Lake Summit to Lake Adger, about 30 miles,” Benedict says. “That’s a lot, but I believe we can do it.”
“This is increasingly a wellness corridor,” says chef Reza Setayesh of West Asheville, the location of his newest restaurant BimBeriBon. Local entrepreneurs, he notes, “have invested in businesses that promote a lifestyle and environment that includes the whole being, whether it’s acupuncture, massage, food, yoga. This is a neighborhood that helps people move, make healthy choices and thrive.”
One shop is slated to open in West Asheville in April and another downtown this summer with more on the horizon.
North Carolina allows two types of immunization exemptions. Medical exemptions, which must be documented by a physician licensed in the state, are rare. Most of those granted in Buncombe County last year were based on religious beliefs.