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.
For its 25th anniversary Spring Conference, Organic Growers School looks to bring in the wisdom of people of color to talk about race-related issues in farming and the food system.
Many cultures around the world cultivate native, shade-loving plants beneath the forest canopy. Recently, more farmers in the United States have been getting excited about the potential of forest farming to diversify their crops while preserving natural environments. A forest farming workshop on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, is geared to farmers of all levels who are interested in growing in the shade.
“A unique individual for his time and place, Chuck Marsh was committed broadly to environmental education, bigger-picture thinking and a deep love for people and the future of the world.”
The Organic Growers School’s Harvest Conference, held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9, supports growers in processing the bounty of the autumn harvest and extending the growing season through the winter and early spring.
The application period for the Farm Beginnings program of the Organic Growers School is open through Sept. 1. New farmers participating in the program receive more than 200 hours of training time. For the first time this year, the training will include at least 15 hours of one-on-one mentorship from an experienced farmer.
“I’d like to share some local resources that make up a large part of the nonprofit contribution to our local food system in Western North Carolina.”
Regenerative farming methods that use cover crops and other techniques to build soil fertility and boost the resilience of crops to stresses like drought are taking root in North Carolina. Gabe Brown and Russell Hedrick are among the pioneers in these techniques who will be speaking in WNC in connection with the Organic Growers School’s spring conference and related events.
The Organic Growers School’s Spring Conference is hardly a new event: The annual gathering of farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and assorted sustainability seekers turns 24 this month. But organizers say those attending this year’s edition, whether they’re newbies or longtime conference regulars, will surely dig up some novel information.
Organic Growers School is hosting a Farm-to-Table Dinner fundraiser with chef John Fleer. Also, Meredith Leigh hosts a charcuterie workshop, Ole Shakey’s mixes bingo and brunch buffets, Knife & Fork join forces with Cucina 24 to explore the island of Sardinia and more.
Whether you’re in Asheville, Hendersonville, Marshall or Saluda, Western North Carolina is planning a host of tasty New Year’s Eve options.