Market managers and vendors at the markets participating in the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Double SNAP initiative, which matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits dollar-for-dollar on edible items, saw SNAP transactions nearly triple from 2019 to 2020, and 80% of responding vendors said they’d experienced sales growth due to the program.
The Asheville-based nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s work included both valuable wildlife habitats, such as the Wiles Creek and Little Rock Creek preserves, and prime farmland at risk of development. Sandy Hollar Farms in Buncombe County and Bowditch Bottoms in Yancey County were among the agricultural projects completed in 2020.
Burnsville resident Katherine Savage feels a unique kinship with a small patch of ground on the campus of Warren Wilson College. The 5-foot by 60-foot plot was home this year to a crop of flax, a traditional Southern Appalachian fiber plant, which she is helping process into linen that she will someday wear as her burial shroud.
Local farmers markets get set for a seasonal break or shift to winter hours.
Confused by the variety and number of CBD products available at local specialty shops? “Start low and go slow. You can always do a little more,” advises Franny Tacy, founder and owner of Franny’s Farmacy. Tacy and other local purveyors explain how to choose and where to shop.
The beautiful thing with Asheville is that businesses are so willing to build each other up instead of competing, so I’m thankful I’ve been able to quickly find a community that supports me and my business. And I’m glad I got to cut back my hours at my day job. In my personal life, I’m […]
Jodie Williams, a teacher at Bell’s School for People Under Six in Fletcher, recently received a Henderson County award for supporting student health and wellness through gardening. But with many students learning online due to COVID-19, Williams and other local educators are digging deep to keep their school gardens viable.
Throughout this year’s agricultural season, migrant farmworkers have struggled to find child care for young kids who would usually spend their days in classrooms.
Three years out from the closure of the state’s only USDA-inspected plant for independent farmers, more than 200 North Carolina farms are processing their own poultry. But due to the extra labor and time requirements, many producers statewide are still putting less pastured poultry on the market now than they were in 2017.
Xpress photographer Cindy Kunst spent a night on the prowl for the spookiest Halloween decoration displays in West Asheville and Canton neighborhoods. Be warned: Cobwebs and disembodied, blood-covered limbs lie ahead!
Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. said new marketing collaborations would help him develop more interest in camping among the Black community. And later this month, Asheville-based artist Matthew Willey will begin work on a giant mural of honey bees at Hendersonville’s Hands On! Children’s Museum.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Oct. 6 to award $15,000 toward the construction of an agricultural education facility at Enka High School. But as Chair Brownie Newman noted, recommendations to support such projects are normally made by Buncombe’s School Capital Fund Commission or Board of Education and funded through the regular budget cycle.
The revision comes thirteen years after the county Board of Commissioners first adopted the plan and reflects myriad changes to Buncombe’s agricultural sector, from the vibrant expansion of its direct-to-consumer markets to the gradual evaporation of its commodity dairies.
Roughly 10 small processors are available for all of North Carolina’s local livestock farmers. With higher overall demand due to COVID-19 and commodity beef producers leaning on the local supply chain in their transition to direct-market sales, some farmers can’t get meat processed until the spring of 2021.
A late June report from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association found that 77% of growers reliant on agritourism had seen reduced income since the start of COVID-19. But as the pandemic continues, Western North Carolina’s farms are finding safe, creative ways to share the agricultural experience with visitors.
Mary Wells Letson has been giving away free flower bouquets from a stand on Kimberly Avenue since June 1. The arrangements also include a flyer that highlights the work of social justice organizations the teen supports.
Six years ago, Roy Harris helped launch the Southside Community Garden. The initiative has taken on greater meaning in the wake of COVID-19, he says. Food insecurity is a particular problem in the predominantly low-income Southside neighborhood. Gardening, he continues, is one way to combat the issue.
With farmers losing access to customers and many people facing food insecurity during pandemic, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project offers a solution.
As “congregate living settings,” migrant farmworker camps have been listed as high-risk locations for virus transmission — not just by counties throughout Western North Carolina, but by state health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mike Diethelm, president and founder of Asheville-based SolFarm Solar Co., says a $10 million construction bond requirement for would-be bidders on the solar projects “knocks out so many local medium and small solar businesses, which we have a lot of in this town, and only opens it up to the big guys.”
Asheville Pollination Celebration! returns for its eighth year in June. For the first time, the event includes a photography contest.