Jewish Farmer Network cultivates ancient agricultur­al wisdom

Despite WNC’s history of agricultural knowledge and abundance, the legacy of Jewish farming — and its deep wisdom surrounding food security, land ownership and community building — has remained shrouded in relative obscurity. The Fairview-based Yesod Farm + Kitchen is working to change that narrative.

Volunteers at the St. Eugene garden

Lay leaders tie faith and environmen­tal action

For the first time, the Creation Care Alliance’s annual retreat, taking place at the Montreat Conference Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8, will include both clergy and lay leaders. While the first day remains focused on ordained ministers , its second day will offer “learning, grieving, inspiration and training” for all who connect their faith with creation care.

Wise Women gather at Kanuga

“The focus of the conference is woman to woman, kind of kitchen to kitchen,” explains Byron Ballard, who will present a workshop on traditional Appalachian healing methods at this year’s Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference at the Kanuga conference and retreat center near Hendersonville. “It’s about women being together in a women’s space and being free to talk, to do, to teach and to learn from each other.

Confederat­es at Calvary

Last month marked the 400th anniversary of the introduction of slavery to North America, triggering a new round of national soul-searching about human bondage and its complex legacy. And closer to home, Lost Cause-era monuments to Confederate figures at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher also raise significant questions about the country’s troubled history and this region’s place in it.

Concerns over appropriat­ion of wellness rituals spark conversati­on among local practition­ers

Rituals that draw on the traditions of indigenous, non-Western cultures are part of a growing industry at the intersection of health, wellness and spirituality. Some in Western North Carolina have raised concerns about whether it’s appropriate for non-native practitioners to offer and profit from traditional practices and techniques.

Lynne Forrest brings The Reality Formula to Asheville

Author Lynne Forrest will present a three-hour workshop Sunday, March 10, at Jubilee! Community in downtown Asheville. The goal, she explains, will be to help participants “get in touch with the limited story they are believing about themselves in the world, and then I will give them tools to see it in a different light.” The event is a fundraiser for Woman to Woman WNC, which promotes women’s self-empowerment.

2018 in review: 10 WNC health and wellness topics that mattered

Health and wellness are always important topics in the life of our community, and this year was certainly no exception to that rule. Though developments in the proposed acquisition of Mission Health by for-profit HCA Healthcare of Nashville garnered a share of attention equivalent to the potential sale’s importance to the region, plenty of other wellness stories also made news.

Scott Hardin-Nieri and Steve Norris

Activists, faith leaders hold 10-day fast and prayer for climate change

“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”