Despite the gray skies and blustery mountain winds that cloaked the day on Saturday, Sept. 26, the city’s first Venture Local Fair put the vibrant colors of Asheville’s local business community on display.
The street fair — for locals, by locals and in support of independently owned businesses — coincided with Sow True Seed‘s annual WNC’s Garlic Fest. From Church Street to Buxton and Banks avenues, Asheville’s South Slope became a gathering place for neighbors to celebrate and stand for a powerful message: Our local economy depends on us. With every dollar we spend, we cast our vote. For regional farmers and local businesses to thrive, we must be conscious consumers who actively empower our purchasing habits.
How strong could our community be without locally grown food? Sow True Seed’s spicy scavenger hunt hoped to encourage people to plant their own plot of garlic this fall. For inspiration, Sow True created a garlic trail, a flavorful path to garlic-laced food samples and garlic-themes prizes presented by Venture Local vendors — Root Bottom Farm offered garlic butter, Gypsy Queen Cuisine whipped up a batch of vegan garlic aioli, Lightning Bolt Ink offered custom-made garlic stickers and The Hop gave out garlic ice cream, to name but a few treasures on the trail.
The reward after a successful hunt? A free packet of seeds from Sow True and a breath mint. The garlic fest also offered free hour-long workshops throughout the day on cultivating your own garlic patch.
Here is a visual tour of the fair. Don’t forget to plant your own garlic!