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.
The McDowell County project will offer cold storage facilities, a wash station and a commercial kitchen for area growers.
Ciao Asheville: An Italian Cultural Forum launches on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Metro Wines. Also: A Taste of Italy; Harvesting for the Community; Modernist Cuisine and more in this week’s Small Bites.
Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.
Gabriel Whitlock is raising funds and awareness for The Lord’s Acre, one mile at a time. Also: Green tea class and tasting; Asheville Wine Focus Group; and Monk’s Flask.
From hemp to herd shares, 2018 was a year of growth and change for WNC farmers and gardeners.
Bounty of Bethlehem continues its quest to provide a Christmas meal for residents in need. Also: O’Hole-y Night returns to Hole Doughnuts, Lookout Brewing Co. hosts Christmas Eve by Candlelight, The Cut Cocktail Lounge celebrates the holidays with a pair of special dinners and plenty more.
Grigg Sheffield, owner of L.O.T.U.S Urban Farm and Garden Supply, opened his shop 6 years ago and says that the biggest trend he sees is that the consumer base is more educated, curious and knowledgeable. “There’s a big move towards understanding what’s in your food and how it’s grown,” he says.
A quarter-cent sales tax on all purchases in Buncombe County would be earmarked for transit improvements, as required by state law, while a 1 percent tax on prepared foods and beverages bought in the city could be used as general funds. Both taxes would require approval by voter referendum, projected to take place in 2020.
MG Road kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas cocktail pop-up. Plus, a new food entrepreneurship center is planned for the WNC Farmers Market, Villagers announces its impending closure and more local food news.