About 35 acres of the nearly 450-acre tract — purchased by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in 2020 and recently transferred to the town of Canton — are now open, including the Berm Park mountain bike skills course and a mixed-use hiking/biking trail.
In this month’s gardening feature, local expert Chloe Lieberman explores the qualities and uses of leaf mulch versus mushroom compost, how to separate and plant dahlia tubers and some tips for caring for dahlias once they’re in ground.
The late freeze in spring 2021 caused millions of dollars in damages throughout the region, as well as price hikes and supply chain issues for many local farmers and distributors. How worried should they be about WNC’s tumultuous weather?
Joe Hollis’ whole life is Mountain Gardens, a botanical garden in Western North Carolina that he has cultivated over 50 years. Hollis focuses on growing useful plants, especially medicinal herbs and perennial vegetables, and passing along his plant wisdom to students and apprentices. Workshops, seeds and bare root plant sales support Hollis and his garden. […]
A study conducted by MountainTrue found an average of 19 microplastic particles — pieces smaller than 5 millimeters, formed by the breakdown of larger plastics — per liter of water in local river systems. Exposure to microplastics has been tied to allergic reactions and other health impacts in humans, as well as negative effects on fish.
Through September, Chloe Lieberman will be answering readers’ gardening questions. You can email all inquiries to email@example.com.
The scenic roadway saw 15.9 million recreation visits in 2021, up from about 14 million in 2020; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which also includes land in Western North Carolina, was in second place with over 14.1 million visits.
At many grocery stores in the area, consumers can find at least some local produce, meat or dairy products. Plenty of restaurants tout local ingredients on their menus and farmers markets are ubiquitous here. But it wasn’t always that way. “It’s hard to remember what it was like 20 years ago, but there was not […]
With the notable exception of the IDA-certified dark sky park at the PARI in Transylvania County — one of only two such facilities in the state — no sky in Western North Carolina is untouched by light pollution. Central Asheville can reach as high as a 6 on the Bortle Scale, in which 1 is complete darkness and 9 is the Las Vegas Strip.
Six years in the making, a 300 kilowatt-hour solar array at Asheville’s Isaac Dickson Elementary School was officially dedicated Sept. 24. The $428,000 project is expected to save the school over $1.3 million in utilities costs over its 30-year operational lifespan.
The large, yellowish-green fruit, although native to the Eastern United States, is hard to come across due to its short shelf life and very limited cultivation. Nevertheless, some Asheville-area makers are crafting pawpaw products to give more people a taste of this indigenous American delight.
Craig LeHoullier is consumed by tomatoes. He has written two books about growing them: Epic Tomatoes and Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales: Easy Planting, Less Weeding, Early Harvests. He lectures about tomatoes at gardening conferences. He has been the Seed Savers Exchange tomato adviser for 30 years. He and his wife, Sue Angus-LeHoullier, founded Tomatopalooza, a tasting event […]
On Aug. 12, a subsidiary of nonprofit Conserving Carolina completed the $7.8 million purchase of the currently unused Ecusta rail line, stretching 19 miles between Hendersonville and Brevard, from the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council passed an ordinance on Aug. 5 allowing production and use of the crop, which the body had previously voted to decriminalize on May 6.
According to the N.C. Climate Science Report prepared by N.C. State University’s Asheville-based N.C. Institute for Climate Studies and other experts, the area will likely experience more landslides in the coming years due to climate change.
Since he was a teenager in Charlotte, Mac Franklin knew what his life’s work would be. He began landscaping during high school and continued the career while studying art, industrial art and design at Appalachian State University. After college, Franklin moved west to work for a landscape architect in San Francisco and a nursery in […]
The Solarize rate of $2.45 per watt of electricity generation is roughly 9% cheaper than the statewide average of $2.67 per watt listed by EnergySage, an industry website. The program, spearheaded by the nonprofit Blue Horizons Project, is able to offer the discount through bulk purchasing of solar equipment for Buncombe County residents.
The Asheville-based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture project has found that the number of Western North Carolina tobacco farms declined by 97% between 1997 and 2012, largely due to the federal tobacco buyout. But Matthew Vann, extension specialist and assistant professor at N.C. State University, believes a different variety could make the crop more economically viable for local growers.
“What is emerging is the idea that we’re now able to quantify what’s happening,” says Jennifer Harrison, agriculture and land resource director for Buncombe County, about the ability of farmers to combat climate change through practices like cover cropping and rotational grazing.
Smith Mill Works is a sprawling, formerly abandoned greenhouse complex in West Asheville. The property’s revitalization began with in 2014 with the involvement of Michael Klatt. Now home to a diverse array of resilient businesses, the facility provides insight and inspiration toward a sustainable future for Asheville and the region.
As the world returns some sense of normalcy, the desire for the reliability and convenience of a CSA is holding fairly steady, and Western North Carolina growers have refined systems and made adjustments accordingly.