ECO hosts Green Homes and Edible Gardens tour Saturday, Aug. 9

A rental plot at one of the community gardens on ECO's Green Homes and Edible Gardens tour. Photo courtesy of ECO.

The Environmental Conservation Organization will hold its annual Green Homes and Edible Gardens tour on Saturday, Aug 9. The event allows the public to meet and interact with home owners and gardeners who have experience with solar installations, permaculture and small-house design, among other topics.

The tour will visit seven locations in Henderson County, including Veterans Healing Farm, a communal garden and therapeutic farm in Hendersonville, which was founded by Air Force veteran John Mahshie and his wife Nichole.

Organic hops are grown on vertical supports at the Veterans Healing Farm. Photo courtesy of Veterans Healing Farm.
Organic hops are grown on vertical supports at the Veterans Healing Farm. Photo courtesy of Veterans Healing Farm.

“My husband always wanted an opportunity to create community,” says Nichole. “It’s really easy in our society to create isolation, especially if we don’t make an effort to hang out with people who are different than us or have different experiences than us. We founded Veterans Healing Farm to do something that would bring people together.”

The farm encourages civilians and veterans to form bonds while growing food in a model Nicole describes as “similar to a CSA.” Currently 17 families are involved with the farm. For the ECO tour, the Mahshies and others will be on hand to discuss the farm’s hop garden and Hugelkultur, a permaculture technique used to grow blueberries.

The Green Homes and Edible Gardens tour will also include a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat, a movable “tiny office” and demonstrations on backyard chicken keeping, verimculture composting, beekeeping and mushroom-growing logs.

Tickets for the tour are $12 and include directions to each location. The tickets may be purchased online at or at ECO’s offices in both the Hendersonville and Asheville visitors’ centers.

For more information, visit or call 692-0385.

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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