UNC Asheville’s Greenfest gets underway Saturday

April Hausle (right) and Jasmine Person (left) participate in a UNC Asheville Greenfest gardening event. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

From UNC Asheville:

UNC Asheville Greenfest March 26-April 1 to Feature Gardening Workshops, Camp Out and More

UNC Asheville’s Greenfest, March 26-April 1, will present a varied menu of hands-on workshops on gardening, composting and more, and special events probing the issues surrounding genetically modified trees, animal agriculture and environmental politics.

UNC Asheville students will perform environmental service activities on and off campus, celebrate Greenfest with a camp out on the Quad, and the winners of the campus Green Olympics will receive their award for energy and waste reduction.

The following Greenfest activities are open to the public. All are free.

Saturday, March 26

Movie: Synthetic Forests, 7 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union Grotto

This documentary features researchers, activists and others concerned about how genetically modified trees will impact ecosystems, forest-dependent communities and the climate. Co-sponsored by the student group ASHE (Active Students for a Healthy Environment) and the community organization, Dogwood Alliance.

Monday, March 28

Skill Share Fair, noon-3 p.m., UNC Asheville Quad

Learn bike repair, and get tips on composting and on repurposing waste materials as artistic treasures. Local firm No Evil Foods will demonstrate cooking with plant-based meats. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

Compost Workshop, 4-6 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Sol Garden near Brown Hall

Learn techniques of turning kitchen scraps, leaves and dead plant materials into rich black soil and compost tea full of fungi and bacteria that can act as a pest manager. All supplies will be provided. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

Tuesday, March 29

Gourd Birdhouse Workshop, 1-3 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Sol Garden near Brown Hall

Learn the basics on gourd growing as well as how to make your own birdhouse from already cured gourds. Participants will take home a birdhouse and a packet of birdhouse gourd seeds. All materials will be provided free of charge. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

Animal Agriculture World Café Discussion, 6-8 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union, rooms 221-222

A world café-style discussion with the purpose of bringing forward an array views on animal agriculture production practices and consumption. Confirmed guests include Tracy Monday, proprietor of Mother Earth Meats of Maryville, Tenn.; Meredith Leigh, author of the Ethical Meat Handbook (New Society Publishers, 2015); Sadrah Schadel, proprietor of No Evil Foods of Asheville; Rowdy Keelor, coordinator of Brother Wolf of Asheville’s Vegan Outreach Program; and Sunil Patel, founder of Patchwork Urban Farms. Co-sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center and the university’s Office of Sustainability.

Statistics and the Environment, 4:30-6 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, room 102A

This presentation by Steve Patch, UNC Asheville professor of mathematics, is designed for the general public and is part of the university’s Math Literacy Week. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Department of Mathematics.

Wednesday, March 30

Intro to Permaculture, 5-6:30 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Castanea Forest Garden near Sam Millar Facilities Complex
Learn about permaculture in a student-created garden with more than 20 species of fruit, nut, berry and other useful plant species. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

How to Vote Green, 7-9 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum

This panel discussion with local elected leaders and environmental advocates will serve as an educational workshop to inform voters on issues and 2016 candidates through an environmental lens. Guests will include Asheville City Council Member Julie Mayfield, Buncombe County Commissioner Brownie Newman, and NC Sierra Club Political Chair, Ken Brame. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

Thursday, March 31

Greenfest Live at Lunch, noon-1 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union Grotto
Asheville-based musicians will treat diners to a live performance over the lunch hour. Brown bags are welcome and food also is available for purchase. Co-sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Office of Sustainability and Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership.

Greenfest Career Panel, noon-1 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union, room 223

Gain first-hand insight into careers in various fields of environmental sustainability from a panel of accomplished UNC Asheville alumni. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Career Center.

Garden Planning 101, 1:30-3 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Sol Garden near Brown Hall

In this session you will plan a garden, create a plant list and planting date calendar, and design a garden layout on paper using techniques such as square foot gardening, bio-intensive gardening, companion planting, and successional planting. All supplies will be provided free of charge. Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center.

Mindful Eating with Kai Ehnes, 5-7 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall, room 038

Learn about mindfulness practices and how they relate to living a green life. Following Ehnes’ talk, the Mindfulness Club student group will lead a “Mindful Eating” meditation. Refreshments will be provided. Co-sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Mindfulness Club and the Student Environmental Center.

Friday, April 1

Growing Plants from Seed, 1:30-3 p.m., UNC Asheville’s ROOTS Garden, just off W.T. Weaver Blvd.

In this workshop, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get spring plants started from seed. Free seeds will be provided to all participants. The ROOTS Garden is on the UNC Asheville Rhoades property with entry near the intersection of W.T. Weaver Blvd. and Merrimon Ave. Co-sponsored by the ROOTS Garden & Sow True Seed.

Ecofeminism Panel, 4-5:30 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Hyannis House, 24 Hyannis Dr.

This event on the intersection of feminism and environmentalism will combine an educational panel discussion by UNC Asheville faculty and Asheville community members with an open forum for discussion by those who attend. Sponsored by Hyannis House and the Student Environmental Center.

For more information, visit sustainability.unca.edu or contact Sonia Marcus, UNC Asheville director of sustainability, at 251-6627.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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