The Dirt Scoop: Garden & farm news and events

West Asheville Garden Stroll: Catch the urban-gardening bus (aka LaZoom), or simply walk and appreciate the unique creativity and ingenuity of West Asheville’s private, community and school gardens on Saturday, Sept. 12. It’s the first-ever West Asheville Garden Stroll, featuring demos, music, food and beverage, and the chance to learn how to add diversity and artistry to your garden using stonework, metal work, original objects, crafts, trees, shrubs, paths, vermiculture, raised beds — or how to deal with pests. Co-sponsored by the West Asheville Business Association and Asheville GreenWorks, the daylong, rain-or-shine stroll starts with a kickoff at 10:30 a.m. at the West Asheville Public Library. For more info, visit the Web site,

Click the image above to view a slideshow by Margaret Williams.

Local schools win USDA grants: They’ll be seeing more green at Emma, Johnston and Pisgah elementary schools this year, thanks to a $1.8 million grant North Carolina schools received from the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The three local schools snagged $83,389 total (Emma, $38,733; Johnston, $28,328 and Pisgah, $16,328) for purchasing and serving a variety of FREE fruits and vegetables as daily snacks for ALL students. Participating schools may provide fruit baskets inside classrooms, kiosks in the hallways, and other innovative approaches to give students the opportunity, and the encouragement, to grab a fresh fruit or vegetable snack during the school day.

September is Food Safety Month:The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, is leading an initiative to educate fruit and vegetable growers and consumers about measures that can minimize food-safety risks. With more than $250,000 in grants, the statewide effort includes training Extension agents who, in turn, will train producers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), such as verifying the safety of irrigation water, regular hand washing, packing-facility and transportation-vehicle cleanliness, maintenance of “cold chain” temperature and traceability. For more info, visit, which has been developed as a resource for growers, consumers and Extension agents.

— Margaret Williams

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

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.