OPEN SEASON: Tailgate market season is getting into full swing in Western North Carolina, with new markets opening and others celebrating milestones.

Tailgate market season is here: Where to get the goods

(Go to the bottom of this article for a listing of local tailgate markets) Winter has finally loosened its grip on Western North Carolina, and that means tailgate market season is underway. While there is still some time before the full abundance of the growing season hits the markets, many farmers are already selling their […]

LITTLE STINKERS: The brown marmorated stink bug is one of an increasing number of non-native insects that have invaded Western North Carolina. Lacking natural predators, the slow-moving, malodorous bugs present problems for homeowners and farmers. In Living Web Farms’ March 31 workshop, organic farmers will learn how to deploy purchased beneficial insects and biological agents to address infestations that aren’t readily controlled by other strategies.

Beneficial insects fight recalcitra­nt garden pests

The fight to protect food crops against destructive insect pests has become more challenging in recent years, Mills River farming expert Patryk Battle reports. Battle and Boone-based insect scientist Richard McDonald will present a March 31 workshop on when and how organic growers should take drastic measures to deal with damaging insect and disease infestations.

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Power to the people: Best of WNC 2018 voting begins

With a far out feeling, voting has begun for the beloved annual Best of WNC awards. Only you can decide who’ll be feelin’ it in the new summer of love, when winners are announced this August. You have until 11:59 p.m. on the night of Saturday, April 28 to complete your ballot and make sure your voice is heard. […]

MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK: Delays introduced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration meant growers had to scramble to get last year's industrial hemp crop in the ground in time. This year, local farmers say they're looking forward to planting on a more optimal schedule, which may improve yields. Photo courtesy of Frances Tacy

WNC’s industrial hemp growers reflect on experiment­al first season

Last year, a handful of area farmers planted the first hemp crops to be grown legally in Western North Carolina in over 70 years. That first crop was plagued by delays introduced by regulators at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who held up shipments of seeds and seedlings, leading to a late start. Growers expect a smoother process for the 2018 growing season.