HOMECOMING: The staff of Mountain Housing Opportunities celebrated the grand opening of The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments along with their partners on the project and local and state representatives on Thursday, Dec. 3 with a tour of the facility and housingwarming fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Mountain Housing Opportunities.

Home, sweet home: Mountain Housing Opportunit­ies celebrates The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments

In its latest efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing, the nonprofit organization Mountain Housing Opportunities hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gift registry drive Thursday evening at its brand new apartment complex, The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments, just off New Leicester Highway. MHO staff, partner organizations, sponsors, local and state government officials were […]

REVIVING THE HOMESTEAD: North Carolina has long been defined by its agriculture industry. As development pressures and rising land costs threaten to consume viable farmland acorss the state, public officials and private land trusts are working to preserve N.C.'s farming heritage and revitalize existing farms. Photo courtesy of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Eyes on the future: Saving WNC’s farms

Robin Reeves is the sixth generation to grow up on her family’s Madison County farm — a lineage that dates back to before the Civil War. Reeves spent much of her youth helping her parents raise cattle, burley tobacco and tomatoes as well as her extended family in Sandy Mush. As an adolescent, she sold […]

SERVING THE COMMUNITY: Since it's grassroots origins as a small, owner-led grocer in 1975, the French Broad Food Co-op has grown into one of the most popular businesses in downtown Asheville. The FBFC now plans to expand its facilities and offerings and is proposing ideas for addressing community issues of affordability and housing. Photo via the French Broad Food Co-op.

It takes a village: French Broad Food Co-op announces expansion proposals

The iconic community-owned food market and grocer has announced initial plans to expand its current space on the 60-100 block of Biltmore Avenue and is reaching out to community organizations and the city of Asheville to begin discussions on the possibility of a massive multiuse facility.

USING EVERYTHING: "If you're going to eat meat, I think it's really important to take responsibility for the suffering that goes into it [while] embracing the fact that we're omnivores and understanding the depth of that," says Natalie Bogwalker.

Sacred sacrifice: Upcoming workshop embraces conscious butchering practices

“If we are disconnected from our food and where our sustenance comes from, it’s a very dangerous thing for humanity,” says Natalie Bogwalker, founder of Wild Abundance. In November, Bogwalker teaches a two-day workshop that focuses on humane, reverent and conscious slaughtering and butchery practices.

“If you don’t want to own a small business, don’t try and make a living as a farmer,” says William Lyons. He and Marie Williamson own Bluebird Farm in Morganton. Photo by Amelia Fletcher Photogaphy. Courtesy of Organic Growers School

Survey findings may help stem the loss of farms in WNC

Making a living as a farmer is tough anywhere, but it’s particularly true in the North Carolina mountains. Western North Carolina lost 18 percent of its farms — more than 2,800 — in the 15 years between 1997 and 2012. And the majority of existing WNC farmers today are nearing retirement age — many of them without heirs who plan to keep the farm going.

VentureLocal

One of a kind: Venture Local Fair celebrates Asheville’­s unique character

There’s a crossroads between Buxton and Banks avenues, even though they don’t intersect. These blocklong, parallel, South Slope streets are lined with places to buy things, eat, drink and make merry: a chocolate factory, a doughnut shop, three breweries, two bars, a beer-and-wine store and the newest barbecue joint in town, among other businesses. The […]

BREWPUBS TO BIG BUSINESS: Over the past decade, craft breweries have taken the state of North Carolina by storm, pulling in nearly 800 million dollars in 2014 alone. However, with bigger profit margins comes more scrutiny from state alcohol regulators and a stricter adherence to N.C. statutes. Photo by Gina Smith.

Growing pains: Craft brewing comes of age

North Carolina has always had a complicated relationship with alcohol. However, alcohol has consistently been an economic driver in North Carolina, as it still is, with 130 craft breweries as of 2014 – the most of any Southern state. As the craft brewing industry in the region grows into a multimillion-dollar business, the desire to review the statutes and improve communication with state officials has come to the forefront.

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