In 2020, the Organic Growers School transitioned to a lateral executive team. The move, says Cameron Farlow, the nonprofit’s executive director, has led to a more dynamic approach to leadership.
The funding represents the final amount needed for the $30 million project, which has been under development since 2011. The money will go toward constructing 5 miles of greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek, as well as park facilities and a wave feature for whitewater enthusiasts.
The path, running along an inactive railway, would stretch about 31 miles northwest from Inman, S.C., through Tryon and Saluda before terminating in Zirconia, about 7 miles southeast of Hendersonville. Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina; Greenville, S.C.-based Upstate Forever; and Spartanburg, S.C.-based PAL are leading the effort.
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.
“By expanding the blitz to four counties and making a game of it, we hope to be able to engage more people and find more species,” said MountainTrue Public Lands Biologist Josh Kelly. “We might even find some that have never been recorded in our region.”
About 35 acres of the nearly 450-acre tract — purchased by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in 2020 and recently transferred to the town of Canton — are now open, including the Berm Park mountain bike skills course and a mixed-use hiking/biking trail.
Vegans and vegetarians craving a lox bagel now have options thanks to Faux Lox Foods. Also: television personality Samantha Brown visits Asheville; Metro Wines hosts its latest tasting; and more!
Smith Mill Works is a sprawling, formerly abandoned greenhouse complex in West Asheville. The property’s revitalization began with in 2014 with the involvement of Michael Klatt. Now home to a diverse array of resilient businesses, the facility provides insight and inspiration toward a sustainable future for Asheville and the region.
“Caught in the middle, our small farmers struggle to balance wages with prices the market will bear, while treating workers fairly.”
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
The Asheville-based nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s work included both valuable wildlife habitats, such as the Wiles Creek and Little Rock Creek preserves, and prime farmland at risk of development. Sandy Hollar Farms in Buncombe County and Bowditch Bottoms in Yancey County were among the agricultural projects completed in 2020.
Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. said new marketing collaborations would help him develop more interest in camping among the Black community. And later this month, Asheville-based artist Matthew Willey will begin work on a giant mural of honey bees at Hendersonville’s Hands On! Children’s Museum.
At an April 21 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners lent their unanimous support to designating 16,000 acres of the Pisgah National Forest in the county’s northeast as the Craggy Mountain Wilderness and National Scenic Area. And on April 28, Duke Energy unveiled the most detailed public explanation to date of how company leaders are thinking about the longer-term future.
“When we purchase more like 10% of what we collectively eat [in the place] where we live, we will be on our way to building a more sustainable, regenerative and resilient system, which will be a viable alternative to global and industrial practices.”
“Sourcing more of our food locally would simultaneously boost the region’s economic stability, food security and health.”
Recognizing the importance of crop diversity in a changing climate, local farmers are working to develop new crops for Western North Carolina.
The Organic Growers School Spring Conference brings its roster of workshops, seed exchange, children’s programming and more to a new venue.
Despite the unique set of challenges it presents, WNC women are increasingly looking to agriculture as a business option.
“As the Dogwood Health Trust forms its board, I urge its founding members to address the underlying determinants of our failing health by investing in a local food system with soil-building at its core.”
The Fine Arts Theatre and Women AdvaNCe team for an advance screening of “RBG,” James Rosario launches a film noir series at the Fairview Library and more.
The 2014 James Beard Leadership Award-winner Karen Washington will lead a workshop in anticipation of the Organic Growers School spring conference. Also, Food Connection hosts Chefs in Action; Curragh Chase pop-up dinner at Summit Coffee; White Labs Kitchen & Tap debuts fermentation series; Hickory Nut Gap Farm hosts whole hog butchery class; and James Beard Award semifinalists are announced.