Western North Carolina farmers markets are springing up! At early spring markets, find fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm products like preserves, and a wide selection of plant starts and, of course, flowers.

Springtime tailgate markets popping up: Where to shop this season

(Go to the bottom of this article for a listing of local tailgate markets) When the springtime flowers start popping up in the mountains, the tailgate markets are never far behind. Though the full harvest is still around the corner, many markets have already begun selling fresh, local foods in outdoor locations around the region […]

Susan Sides. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Julian Award winner Susan Sides: Feeding our hunger for food and community

Since she was a child, Susan Sides has had her fingers in the dirt, helping her mother with the family garden. That early experience had a profound impact, fostering a passion that continues to this day: Since its inception in 2009, Sides has worked as executive director and garden manager at the Lord’s Acre in […]

COFFEE TALK: Friends Mary Scarborough, left, and Alex Perry, right, visited and ranked 30 Asheville coffee shops last summer. Here, the two share a laugh outside of Odds Café in West Asheville.

Asheville Coffee Crawl project showcases local brews

Summer vacation can create more free time than some college students know what to do with. But last summer, Alex Perry and Mary Scarborough, 19-year-old sophomores at Berry College in Georgia, turned their downtime into an opportunity. The pair decided to visit and rank 30 coffee shops in the Asheville area and created a website with their results — ashevillecoffeecrawl.com. “I […]

FLEA FOR ALL: Flea markets across Western North Carolina draw tens of thousands of residents each weekend in search of bargains, rare finds and a good time, creating micro economies and a strong sense of community among buyers and sellers. Photo by Cindy Kunst.

The people’s market: WNC flea markets offer culture, community and commoditie­s

Whether you’re hunting for a bargain or looking to make some extra cash, gathering with neighbors at a local flea market could be just the ticket. Flea market regulars say the connections that form between buyers and sellers are a unique aspect of the experience, and their value can equal or exceed the monetary rewards.

GET YOUR ESPRESSO STEAMERS READY: On Thursday, baristas from across the southeast will compete at Vortex Doughnuts Thursday Night Throwdown. Complimentary doughnuts will be available, as will music by DJ Zach Cooper.

Small bites: Thursday Night Throwdown

In 2008, Atlanta’s Octane Coffee introduced the Thursday Night Throwdown (often referred to as TNT). The latte art competition pits barista against barista in a series of elimination rounds where judges evaluate the clarity, milk texture, level of difficulty and contrast of each beverage made until a champion is crowned. On Thursday, July 28, Vortex Doughtnuts will […]

THE LONG VIEW: “It’s a real treasure — for Buncombe County, for the city of Asheville, for the state of North Carolina," says Sandy Mush Farm owner Dave Everett of his historic, conserved property in northwest Buncombe County. "If we’re successful in ruining these vistas, it will be a truly sad turn of events.”

Buncombe County’s Farm Heritage Trail supports an agricultur­al legacy

Out-of-towners who flock to Asheville for mountain views, world-class dining and a taste of Appalachian culture probably don’t often make a point of including a drive to northwest Buncombe County on their travel itineraries. Sparsely populated rural communities like Sandy Mush, Leicester, Newfound and Alexander tend to be pretty far off the radar for tourists — and even for […]

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