Small bites: Harvest Festival 2018

FUN UNDER THE SUN: On Sept. 22, Burton Street Community Peace Gardens launches its inaugural Harvest Festival. Many folks from the neighborhood helped organize the event, including, from left, Lisa Wagoner, Hilary Chiz, DeWayne Barton, Safi Martin and Mindy Wilson. Photo by Thomas Calder

Safi Martin, co-founder of the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens, sees the organization’s inaugural Harvest Festival as a celebration of the neighborhood’s past and present. In the early 1910s, she notes, West Asheville businessman and community builder E.W. Pearson launched a similar event, the Buncombe County Colored Agriculture Fair, which he led until his death in 1946. “And so we wanted to figure out a way, through the gardens, to celebrate the neighborhood’s agricultural history,” Martin explains.

A parade will kick off the festival at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, followed by activities including kickball, a plant walk and garden classes. Featured food trucks will include Jamaican Flavors and The Hop West Ice Cream. The celebration will continue into the evening with fire-spinning and fire-hooping performances.

The event will also feature a food competition, with judges Davaion Bristol and Stu Helm of Asheville Food Tours selecting winners in three categories: savory dish, sweet dish and preserved foods. All items must be prepared before the event and submitted that day by 4:30 p.m. Participation is limited to 10 entries per category. To sign up, visit Prizes include tickets for Asheville Food Tours and Hood Huggers International and gift certificate for Fifth Season Gardening Co.

“What I’m hoping most is that folks will get a deeper sense of community and connection,” says Martin. “And a deeper understanding of our own food system — figuring out how and when to grow produce and what to do with it.”

Harvest Festival 2018 runs 2 p.m.-dark, Saturday, Sept. 22, at Burton Street Community Peace Gardens, 47 Bryant St. The family-friendly event is free to attend. Pets are not allowed. For more information, visit

Deconstructed Pizza Party

White Labs Asheville will host its latest fermented pairings class, Deconstructed Pizza Party, on Thursday, Sept. 20. The event will highlight techniques for using liquid yeast in baking and will feature four pizza dishes paired with White Labs beer.

Deconstructed Pizza Party runs 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at White Labs Kitchen & Tap, 172 S. Charlotte St. Tickets are $25 per person. Seating is limited. For more, visit

Cooking with Tea

Asheville Tea Co., Vine Ripe Nutrition and Ivory Road Café & Kitchen are teaming up for an evening class, Cooking with Tea. Along with its tutorial, the event will feature a main course, desserts, a glass of wine and tea.

Cooking with Tea runs 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen, 1854 Brevard Road, Arden. Tickets are $65. To purchase, visit

Fitzgerald, gin and oysters

Folks interested in attending the Fitzgerald Gin Tasting and Oyster Roast at The Omni Grove Park Inn are encouraged to come in their best 1920s garb. The event will feature six paired oyster stations with spirits and botanicals presented by Diageo. “Each year we honor [F. Scott] Fitzgerald, one of our most notable guests, near the anniversary of his birth,” says Tracey Johnston-Crum, director of public relations & community outreach. “What better way to celebrate the great American author, and the Jazz Age he helped define, than with a copious array of gin and oysters, a swinging live band and dancing under the stars on Sunset Mountain.”

Fitzgerald Gin Tasting and Oyster Roast runs 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at The Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave. Tickets are $75 per person, not including tax and gratuities. Ages 21 and up only. For tickets, call 800-438-5800.

Fall Festival and Pie Pairing

Twin Leaf Brewing and Whisk AVL will collaborate for a small-batch beer and handmade pie pairing on Saturday, Sept. 22. Pairings include: Beorn’s Delight Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown ale with a bourbon sweet potato pie topped with stout-soaked golden raisins; Luminosity Belgian Tripel with a bacon apple pie topped with candied pecan and bacon streusel; and Oh Happy Day Berliner Weisse with a local blueberry ginger pie topped with candied ginger and mojito mint. The pairing is part of Twin Leaf Brewing’s Fall Fest. The event will also feature live music, local craft vendors, a charity dunking booth and a mechanical bull.

Fall Festival and Pie Pairing runs 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Twin Leaf Brewery, 144 Coxe Ave. The family-friendly event is free to attend. For more, visit

Third annual Fiesta Hendersonville

Over 20 Latin American countries will be represented at the third annual Fiesta Hendersonville celebration on Sunday, Sept. 23. In addition to music, dancing and art, the festival will feature Latin American foods, such as pupusas, empanadas and chicharrones. In a press release, Adriana Chavela, executive director of Hola Community Arts, says all are welcome. “We want to educate our neighbors about Latino culture, and we want them to enjoy taking part in the food, music and community,” she says.

Fiesta Hendersonville runs noon-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Empty Bowls returns for 17th year

MANNA FoodBank will hold its 17th annual Empty Bowls at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore on Monday, Sept. 24. The lunch and dinner events will offer soups, along with bread and desserts, served in ceramic bowls made by local artisans. According to the event’s Facebook page, “Each ticket sold will provide food for 140 meals for people across WNC experiencing hunger.”

Empty Bowls serves lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and dinner 5-7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, 115 Hendersonville Road. Tickets are $40 for adults (bowl included) and $10 for children ages 12 and younger (no bowl included). To purchase, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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