Market organizers have gotten creative, quickly setting up new systems and online platforms.
Myriad nonprofit and community groups are springing into action to help locals persevere through the crisis. As existing organizations adjust their work to focus on COVID-19 needs and new efforts begin to knit neighbors together, community resilience is blooming throughout WNC.
The ninth annual Asheville Wing War returns on Sunday, March 8. Also: PennyCup Coffee Co. hosts Coffee Farmer Caravan; Asheville CSA Fair returns; and plenty more in this week’s Small Bites.
Local culinary and beverage specialists are teaming up to donate food, funds and holiday gifts to local families in need. Also: Asheville Tea Co. hosts a holiday tea and pastry pairing; Four Sisters Bakery teams up with Black Mountain Recreation and Parks; Mamacita’s Taco Temple holds a tequila dinner; and plenty more in this week’s Small bites.
In her upcoming class Meredith Leigh teaches ways to eliminate food waste. Also: Blue Cheese Festival launches; Ciao Asheville hosts pasta making class; Thanksgiving pre-orders arrive; and plenty more in this week’s Small Bites.
“Healthy soil and the biodiversity that generates and maintains it is key in simultaneously improving food security, watershed health, preventive medicine and climate mitigation,” says farmer, ethnobotanist and educator Mark Cohen.
PubCorps, a new local nonprofit, launches with a volunteer event at the Asheville Masonic Temple. Also: Metro Wine hosts a Spanish tapas dinner; The Bountiful Bonanza of Bitters comes to Villagers; Looking Glass Creamery leads a cheese pairing event; and plenty more in this week’s Small Bites.
Chow Chow: An Asheville Culinary Event, runs Sept. 12-15. Also: Girls Gone Wine; Mr. Sushi comes to Merrimon; Monk’s Flask debuts new menu; and more in this week’s Small bites.
More than 30 bands on three stages plus classes covering everything from aquaponics to regenerative agriculture practices are on the schedule for the three-day festival.
WNC’s family farms are broadening their horizons to explore new avenues for income.
The 12th annual Golden Garden Party returns, raising funds for international food efforts. Also: Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready hosts latest showcase dinner; YMCA offers family cooking classes; serviceberries are in bloom; and more.
“We are continually amazed by the philanthropic nature of our culinary and hospitality community here and how generous they are to the local community,” says Mary Nesbitt, chief development officer of Asheville-based hunger relief nonprofit MANNA FoodBank.
According to Feeding America, 20 percent of the more than 46 million people who access the organization’s national network of food banks each year are part of households that include someone who’s served or is serving in the U.S. military.
Brews and Bears returns to the WNC Nature Center with the launch of its monthly summer event series on Friday, May 10. Also: Rhubarb hosts a honey-tasting event; Food For Your Fingers opens; Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues closes; and more.
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.
“After they leave the farm, they can be part of a bee club, a medicinal herb meetup or [play with] other musicians,” says Mahshie about his multifaceted nonprofit. “They are healthy, healing ways for vets to connect with community.”
Since 2010, when Hewitt made the first loan to a friend who needed help expanding her small Greek restaurant, Slow Money NC has catalyzed over 300 loans totaling about $4 million to 125 small farmers and local food businesses.
“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.”
“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.”
A host of factors, including poverty, job loss, lack of transportation, unaffordable housing and chronic health issues, contribute to creating barriers to food access. But the vague mental images painted by these scenarios do not necessarily put an accurate face on WNC’s sprawling and complicated food insecurity problem.
Food Waste Reduction and Recovery WNC will host its quarterly meeting in Madison County. Also: The Blind Pig presents Black Sheep; Southside Rising hosts Community Spotlight Night; 12 Bones opens its new South location; and more.