Garden Journal

Saving the farm: Hickory Nut Gap Farms won’t become fodder for mountainside development. With help from state legislators and the Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy, the historic farm will be protected through the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

Run by the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, the trust fund provided $703,500 to SAHC, complementing a contribution from Buncombe County and a donation of land by the owners (the children of the late Jamie and Elspie Clarke). Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s history dates back to the first settlers crossing the Blue Ridge after the Revolutionary War. It’s been in the Clarke family since 1916, and its 55 acres are presently home to two agricultural endeavors: Flying Cloud Farm and Hickory Nut Gap Meats.

Women go herbal: If tinctures tickle your fancy, but the many uses for skullcap make you scratch your head, head to the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, which will be held Oct. 3 to 5 at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain. The conference features workshops on topics as varied as aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, planning an herb garden and identifying sexual abuse.

One intensive course, “Gaiacology: Gyne-Ecology, Herbs & Women,” offers “practical and holistic ways” to deal with hormone balance and PMS, irregular cycles, vaginal infections, endometriosis and menopausal self-healing. Another workshop, “Herb Walk,” aims to help participants differentiate between common wild plants and garden weeds that are food and medicine.

Find out more about these and other event topics at the Web site,

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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