The Dirt: Local horticultu­rist stands up for predatory plants

Hollywood has degraded the fascinating Venus flytrap, turning it into a silly monster. Consider the bloodsucking Audrey II in the macabre 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors. Or Cleopatra, the prey-strangling pet of Addams Family matriarch Morticia. Sticking around: This sundew lies in wait for its insect prey. Upon landing, the hapless bugs find themselves […]

Hearing is believing

It took two years for Ed Subkis to snag StoryCorps for a local residency—a long time, considering how ripe Asheville is for such an endeavor. The Airstream cometh: At long last, NPR’s popular StoryCorps program rolls into Asheville. The mobile storytelling booth will be parked in front of WCQS for six weeks. “Our number finally […]

Summer camps

Kids used to return home from summer camp with little more than mosquito bites and bad folk songs bouncing through their heads. But the experience has grown considerably more sophisticated. Many local camps emphasize themes: writing, herbalism, stagecraft, robotics. Kids who attend the vastly eclectic array of Asheville-area programs will be chasing after insects (see […]

The Dirt: Getting your goat

Powerful, potentially harmful herbicides like clorpyralid are not only creepy, they’re downright déclassé. An infinitely kinder and hipper form of kudzu control is Marvin, a veteran weed eater from Wells Farm in Horse Shoe. Kudzu? What kudzu? In two weeks, Ron Searcy’s weed-eating goats munched through most of the overgrowth plaguing this Madison County hillside. […]

Gallery to go

In a city blessed with more artists than spaces to show their work, repurposing restaurants to double as galleries makes sense. Stephen Lange has fashioned a career displaying his figurative watercolor paintings and collage wall hangings inside local businesses, including Ananda Hair Studio and a slew of local eateries. Would you like some art with […]

The Dirt: Sweet deal

Sorghum syrup once flowed like creek water in the Southern Appalachians, and there are signs that this ultimate “slow food” may be flowing again. With help from the state, several local farmers have revved up production of the rich, old-fashioned syrup (sometimes called sorghum molasses). An old-fashioned juicer: This well-worn, horse-powered mill comes with directions […]

Rise ‘n Shine Café

Flavor: Breakfast favorites from local sources Ambiance: Diner in organic clothing Price: $1.25-$7.75 Where: 640 Merrimon Ave. (Merrimon Square) Contact: 254-4122 or Hours: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon-Sat; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun Know where your food comes from. Such is the rallying cry that unites locavores and the restaurants that hope to serve them. Photo […]

Food with a view

Outdoor patios may be a fair-weather rage in Asheville, with culinary ratings that go sky-high, but their proximity to sometimes stupid-busy traffic tends to keep them off lists devoted to scenic mountain-area dining. Such a list follows here, although it is by no means exhaustive: Pre-emptive apologies go out to all the regional restaurants that […]

Don’t look back

Australians don’t go in much for pat sentiment. With sandy wit, Waifs singer Vikki Thorn tells Xpress just how profoundly the experience of having two children in two years influenced her art. Americana from Down Under: Originally from Australia, The Waifs are Bob Dylan-approved folk rockers. Photo by Jason Ierace “My creative processes came to […]