Small bites: Vegging out for a cause

VEGGIES FOR ALL: Bounty & Soul founder Ali Casparian, third from right, and several volunteers are pictured in front of a Bounty & Soul Produce to the People delivery truck. Bounty & Soul’s annual fundraising party happens Saturday, June 10, at Pisgah Brewing Co. Photo courtesy of Bounty & Soul

On an average week, Bounty & Soul delivers around 10,000 pounds of fresh, free food to over 600 families and individuals in the Black Mountain and Swannanoa areas. The grassroots, volunteer-run nonprofit also provides health and wellness education, offering recipes and cooking demonstrations to those who attend one of the five weekly markets it participates in.

For the second consecutive year, the organization is hosting its VegOut fundraiser at Pisgah Brewing Co. in Black Mountain. “This is our sole fundraising effort,” says director of operations Karla Gardner. She notes that last year’s inaugural event raised $30,000. “Hopefully we’re well on our way to doing that again this year,” she adds.

VegOut will have a number of kid-friendly activities, including a bounce house, face painting, hair decorating from Mountain Fairy Hair and the LEAF Community Arts Easel Rider (a mobile art lab).

The fundraiser will also feature live performances by local acts Chalwa, the Paper Crowns and Little Pisgah. Throughout the day, Yoga Service Movement will offer free classes as well. Meanwhile, Farm to Fender food truck will be onsite, providing locally sourced foods with a portion of the proceeds going to Bounty & Soul.

“Our biggest goal with this is to celebrate our community partners who make our work possible,” says Gardner. She notes that without the generous donations offered by such organizations as MANNA FoodBank and local growers like Dr. John Wilson Community Garden and Barefoot Farms, Bounty & Soul would be unable to serve the number of individuals it currently reaches.

The nonprofit’s core belief, says Gardner, is that everyone should have access to nurturing foods. “That’s really what we’re looking to share with the community.”

Bounty & Soul’s VegOut festival runs 1-6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at Pisgah Brewing Co., 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. Tickets are $10. All proceeds benefit Bounty & Soul. Kids ages 12 and younger are free. Pisgah Brewing will donate a dollar to Bounty & Soul for every beer sold that day. For details, visit

Zipping for Autism benefit night at Native Kitchen and Social Pub

On Wednesday, May 31, Native Kitchen and Social Pub will donate 20 percent of its daily food sales to the Autism Society of North Carolina, an organization that provides support and promotes opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals within the autism spectrum. Native’s contributions are in support of the Autism Society’s upcoming Zipping for Autism event, which takes place on Sunday, June 4, at The Adventure Center of Asheville. Native will offer $3 off pitchers of beer and $1 off sake cocktails, as well as half-priced appetizers from 5-6 p.m.

Native Kitchen and Social Pub is at 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. Its hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. To learn more about Zipping for Autism, visit

Backyard BBQ Competition

The Brevard Blues n’ BBQ Festival is still accepting applicants for this year’s Backyard BBQ Competition. According to the event page, all are welcome to enter the contest, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a “backyard grill wizard.” The cooking space opens Friday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Grillers must use either wood or charcoal; propane is prohibited. The competition will focus on shoulders, picnics and/or butts. All cooking must be done on site. No precooked items are permitted. Sauces and garnishes are optional. Meats must be completed by Saturday, June 4, at 4 p.m. Judging will be blind. Cash prizes and trophies will be presented to winners.

The Backyard BBQ Competition runs Friday and Saturday, June 2-3 at the Brevard Music Center, Pisgah National Forest, 349 Andante Lane, Brevard. Entry fee for competitors is $50. Final day to register is Thursday, June 1. For a complete list of rules and entry forms, visit

Farmers Market and Artists Bazaar

The Farmers Market and Artists Bazaar is a new weekly gathering hosted by Doc Brown’s BBQ, Whispersholler Farms and the Living Arts Foundation, a community center focused on arts and sustainable ecology. Area farmers will sell fresh food and a variety of artists will offer their work for sale. Community members are encouraged to participate as vendors as well as attend as shoppers.

The Farmers Market and Artist Bazaar will take place every Thursdays 2-6 p.m. at Living Arts Foundation, 51 Old Candler Town Road, Candler. For details, visit

Fourth annual Skillet Six Ways

At its fourth annual Skillet Six Ways event, Burial Beer Co. will release six variations on its Skillet Donut Stout paired with six offerings from Vortex Doughnuts (the latter is available only while supplies last). “We are all huge fans of Burial at Vortex and its an honor to be included again in such a creative and fun beer/food pairing,” says Eli Masem, Vortex general manager. Pairings will include bourbon-barrel, blueberry-cardamom, baklava, gingersnap, sour and Fernet variations of Skillet Donut paired with chocolate-raspberry, banana-cinnamon, orange-ginger, honey-vanilla cookie, apple-lavender and raspberry-strawberry doughnuts, respectively.

Skillet Six Ways runs 4-10 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at Burial Beer Co., 40 Collier Ave. For details, 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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