Last summer, Smith took his love for okra to new heights through his work with the Utopian Seed Project, a organization that aims to create diverse and integrated food systems. He catalogued more than 75 varieties of the vegetable, which he hopes will promote resilience against pests, disease and climate change while providing greater food security.
Eric Bradford, director of operations at local environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks, calls China’s restriction of its recyclables market a wake-up call for domestic recyclers. “We were basically paying China to be our landfill for these ‘recyclables,’ and we felt good about it,” he says.
Clere calls the effort a “natural outgrowth” from the last of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Free programs from the Buncombe County Master Gardeners offer guidance in sustainable growing practices.
A few summers ago, Laszlo told his parents, Thomas Stern and Laura Gazzano, that he wanted to set up a stand to sell cucumbers in their driveway. Now 8 years old, Lazlo and his two younger sisters, Mina and Csilla, play a central role in the family business, an online seed store that launched on Thanksgiving 2017.
“The youngest generation … they are particularly focused on climate change,” says Ashley McDermott, one of the founding members of Sunrise’s Asheville chapter. “They’re the ones who have this emotional connection to it the most. They’re seeing and experiencing it now.”
Beekeepers in the United States experienced an estimated 40 percent loss in their colonies between April 2017 and April 2018, and last year, North Carolina’s honeybee population experienced a 50 percent loss, no doubt impacting the state’s $84 billion agriculture industry.
“With charged biochar, you’re building a better biome for the plant, permanently changing soil’s ability to hold nutrients, water and beneficial biology,” Nilsson says. “You can buy a carbon-sequestering tomato that was organically grown and also contributed to building the biome — it’s a path out of climate change.”
Willey says people started gravitating to the project as soon as he started to work. “I’d turn around as I was painting, and there’d be a grandfather and a young girl with face piercings that didn’t know each other until they started talking about bees,” he says. “There was this connection that was happening.”
Before Long cofounded Growing Wild in 2016, she taught in a conventional preschool. “I thought the kids were miserable, and it showed in their performance and behavior,” she recalls. “I started taking them outside for longer and longer periods of time, doing lessons with natural materials, and everyone did better.”
“We need to have as much say as possible over the decisions that affect our lives, the money that informs our projects, the food that we eat and every system we touch,” writes Lee Warren, executive director of the Organic Growers School. “Relocalizing means taking back our power in every possible way.”
Mihalas received the Distinguished Service Award for Youth Education from Trout Unlimited last year for her work in creating a new generation of conservation-minded youth. She challenges young people to share photos of fishing or having outdoors fun with friends on Instagram to bridge the gap between nature and social media.
Started in 2011, the Green River Spring Cleaning has grown every year, with ever more participants paddling in to cover the Lower Green and the Upper Green. “Our goal is to work the entire Green River, from Lake Summit to Lake Adger, about 30 miles,” Benedict says. “That’s a lot, but I believe we can do it.”
Last year saw Duffer lead Asheville High School against 765 other teams from across the globe in the Drawdown EcoChallenge. The students achieved victory over the Taiwan Sugar Corporation in a leapfrogging race to make the most impact, earning most of their points through their time spent studying solutions to reverse climate change.
During a March 14 listening session at The Collider in downtown Asheville about the DEQ’s Clean Energy Plan, a key provision of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 on clean energy and climate change, many of the roughly 70 Western North Carolina residents in attendance expressed frustration that the state wasn’t doing enough.
Chef and author Susi Gott Séguret invites a poet, a painter, an instrument builder and a chef to consider the meaning of appetite and offers guidance on preparing a spring risotto.
The N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation donated $1 million to The North Carolina Arboretum with the intent to expand Project ecoEXPLORE from 23 WNC counties to all 100 counties across the state. The grant will also fund the arboretum’s Project EXPLORE teacher education program and Project OWL, a teacher certification program.
“Oversight in this kind of system — where the board is appointed by a body with no regulatory authority, in a process closed to school employees, families and the community as a whole — is more than a little messed up. It is completely unaccountable, open to all kinds of corruption and anti-democratic, not to mention a lousy use of resources.”
Hundreds of native tree varieties, including pawpaws, maples, oaks, river birches, sourwoods and more, will be up for grabs at the March 30 event.
In conjunction with Buncombe County voters and members of Raleigh-based lobbying group Common Cause North Carolina, the mayor will discuss how gerrymandering splits Asheville voters and advocate for nonpartisan districting reform. The press conference takes place at Pack Square Park on Tuesday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m.
Moving to Conservers is partnering with local farms, breweries and organizations to connect food waste producers with businesses and individuals who can put scraps to good use.