What’s new in food: Cultivating care on Franny’s Farm

FARM FUNDRAISER: Franny's Farm will host a fundraiser benefiting the construction of Elderflower Care Community, a modern assisted living facility for WNC. Photo courtesy Elderflower Care Community

Rooted in Compassion, a fundraising event benefiting the future Elderflower Care Community, takes place at Franny’s Farm on Saturday, Sept. 23, 6-10 p.m.

The event will establish Elderflower Care Community, which is a nonprofit under the fiscal sponsorship of the Center for Conscious Living & Dying, as a modern assisted living facility providing an enriched aging experience.

Founder and Executive Director Annie Spindler hopes the event will pave the way for Elderflower to become a thriving multigenerational community. “We’re thrilled for people to learn more about the impact our work will have on our community.” She says the goal is to raise $20,000 toward leasing land on Franny’s Farm, as well as for design, construction and staffing. 

Several local vendors have partnered with Elderflower to provide healthy food at the event. Mike Ptaszek of Pasta & Prana will provide traditional artisan-made, small-batch pasta with high-protein nutrition; David Rich from Sweet Potato Tooth will treat guests to salads sourced from local ingredients; Sam’s Pop Shop will offer coconut chai popsicles and debut a new elderflower flavor created specifically for the event.

“We designed our event to reflect the community we will build — a place where people feel welcome, joyful and supported,” says Spindler. “Our mountain communities have always been innovative and collaborative, and we hope this event will be a catalyst for Elderflower Care Community to build a strong alliance with our partners.”

Beer from Whistle Hop Brewing Co. and wine from Sips with a Somm will also be provided, and the Alex Travers Trio will provide gypsy jazz accompaniment for dancing. An auction will feature a variety of local offerings, including artwork, gift certificates and luxury experiences.

Spindler says Elderflower has received enormous positive feedback from people seeking a home for their own futures or for their elderly parents, as well as from those interested in working with the elderly.  “People envision living out their last days in our community with hope and joy instead of doom and dread. Elderflower Care Community is here to offer this hope and vibrancy to event attendees and to our future residents and elder friends.”

Franny’s Farm is at 22 Frannys Farm Road, Leicester. Tickets are available on a “pay what you can” scale from $70-$100 per person. Visit avl.mx/d07 for additional information.

Swamp shindig

DSSOLVR hosts its second annual Shrektoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 23, 3-11 p.m.

“Much like the film Shrek 2, we are making this event more fun and more badass than the original,” says Will Craddock, DSSOLVR’s event coordinator and “vibe lord.” “Last year we weren’t sure if this was going to be a well-attended event or not, and we didn’t really care, but Asheville came through, and it was a hysterical and magical day.”

DSSOLVR has planned a full-day celebration of all things Shrek and Oktoberfest, including several traditional Oktoberfest games melded with the Shrek theme, such as musical chairs, an onion toss, steinholding, “Do the Roar” Shrek roar competitions, a costume contest and a Puss in Boots-themed medallion hunt. DJ Ogrelord provides the tunes for a themed dance party.

“Shrektoberfest began as a way to do an Oktoberfest in the traditional DSSOLVR fashion of overcomplicating things,” says Craddock. “I remember ‘TonyHawktoberfest’ and ‘Rocktoberfest’ were pitched, but when Shrektoberfest was brought up, we knew we could really make that sing.”

Games will feature prizes that increase in value as the event goes on, including gift cards, DSSOLVR merchandise, cash prizes and Shrektoberfest-specific rewards. Green Jell-o shots and slushies will complement a specially brewed Hey Hey Yay Yay seasonal festbier, and Apex Culinary Team chef Chris Bugher (executive chef instructor at A-B Tech) will curate a menu that both honors and plays with the themes of Shrek and Oktoberfest.

“We hope people leave this event with hilarious memories, a sense of community and a newfound appreciation for the weird events we host at DSSOLVR,” says Craddock.

DSSOLVR is at 63 N. Lexington Ave. Visit avl.mx/d06 for additional information.

Hobbit time!

If you frequently treat yourself to “second breakfast” or daydream about living in the Shire, Sweeten Creek Brewing has just the adventure for you. A hobbit-themed party on Saturday, Sept. 23, 3-8 p.m., celebrates both the new fall season and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Inspired by Renaissance fairs, the event will include multiple vendors of handcrafted goods, live music all day from local bands Holler and Crow and The Grass Owls as well as beer and food specials. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite hobbit or Lord of the Rings character, and a flower crown station will be set up for those looking to add flair to their get-up.

“We are releasing a new Belgian quad for the event, called One Quad to Rule Them All,” says events manager Kelly Mock. “This beer rules supreme in flavor and complexity; it’s a journey through malt and hops, a brew fit for epic adventures.” In addition to its regular menu of barbecue plates and sides, Bear’s Smokehouse will feature a special ‘hobbit’s plate’ with roast chicken and vegetables.

“It’s so nice to know there are so many fantasy lovers in our area. We hope to make this event bigger and better every time,” says Mock.

Sweeten Creek Brewing is at 1127 Sweeten Creek Road. Visit avl.mx/ar0 for additional information.

Museum pours glass of history

Swannanoa Valley Museum, in partnership with the N.C. Craft Beverage Museum, will host “A Glass of History,” a presentation (with tastings) on North Carolina’s craft history. The event will take place at Foothills Grange on Saturday, Sept. 23, 3-6 p.m.

Educator Kimberly Puryear will speak on North Carolina beers’ unique history as it relates to larger cultural, social and economic narratives. Then brewer Jeffrey “Puff” Irvin will introduce attendees to various beers and spirits from Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain Brewing and Oak & Grist Distilling Co.

“We hope that attendees leave the event with a deeper understanding of the history of craft beverages in North Carolina, including how and when different beverages like craft beer, wine and spirits emerged in the region,” says Jess Wash, the museum’s assistant director. “By combining historical context with a popular regional pastime, it is our ambition to foster an appreciation from a broader audience for our state’s unique heritage.”

Tickets cost $30 per person for SVM members, $35 for general admission. Foothills Grange is at 120 Broadway Ave., Black Mountain. Visit avl.mx/d05 for tickets.

Greek festival returns

The 2023 Asheville Greek Festival, now running for over 30 years, continues its tradition on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

This will be the first festival to feature a pre-pandemic model since COVID-19 emerged. The past several festivals featured social distancing and a drive-thru format that provided traditional Greek dishes to attendees. Now, once again, guests are encouraged to congregate in Asheville’s historic Montford district to celebrate Greek heritage and culture.

“We thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to offering you the same great food as we have been known for,” says Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in the event announcement. “We have organized a team that is excited to bring back the full festival everyone remembers.”

Classic foods such as gyros, souvlaki, lamb shank and pastichio, as well as desserts like baklava, loukoumades and kourabiedes will be handmade by volunteers and event organizers. Live music, dance, iconography and cooking demonstrations will be performed throughout the event. Several arts and crafts vendors will be selling traditional, handcrafted Greek goods.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is at 277 Cumberland Ave. Visit avl.mx/d08 for tickets ($3 per person pre-sale, $5 at the door, children under 12 get in free) and schedule of events.

Local breweries team up

Appalachian Mountain Brewery has entered a new distribution partnership with Green Man Brewing Co.

Beginning this month, Boone-based AMB beer will be brewed and packaged in Asheville at Green Man’s production facilities. This news comes on the heels of AMB buying back its independence from Anheuser-Busch earlier this year.

“As soon as we signed the papers, we started making phone calls, knowing that we wanted to act fast and bring our production back to North Carolina,” say AMB co-owners Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber in a news release.

AMB remains independent and will oversee the production of its beer at the Green Man production facilities. A limited-release Breakfast Porter brewed to celebrate the partnership will be released Thursday, Oct. 19, and served exclusively at Green Man and AMB taprooms. The commemorative release will incorporate coffee from Boone-based coffee roasters and doughnuts from Asheville’s Vortex Donuts, in addition to vanilla, cacao nibs and oats.

“Two major Western N.C. brands coming together to produce some of the best beers is truly a gift,” says Green Man Managing Director Joe Sommers in the same release. “We are so happy to welcome AMB into the Green Man production facility.”

Green Man Brewery is at 23 and 27 Buxton Ave. AMB’s recently opened Mills River taproom is at 46 N. Mills River Road.


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