PARTNERS IN EDUCATION: Warren Wilson College has teamed up with the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to bring WWC undergrads and incarcerated students together under the innovative Inside-Out program model. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Warren Wilson undergrads­, inmates come together in the classroom

Warren Wilson College has partnered with the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to bring the innovative Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to the correctional center. For inmate and undergrad alike, Inside-Out provides the chance to gain self-knowledge, grapple with the systemic issues of the penal system and learn from one another.

TAKING OUT THE TRASH: In 2011, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy acquired an 88-acre tract adjoining the  2,767-acre Sandy Mush Game Lands. During one workday in 2016, volunteers removed 180 tires and 12 contractor-sized bags of garbage. Photo courtesy of SAHC

Protection just the first step for conservati­on nonprofits

As local land trusts bring thousands of acres under protection, the challenges of maintaining the health of those lands grow. And raising money for ongoing efforts to control invasive plant species, deter pests and protect water quality can be a much tougher sell than the initial push to save a beloved tract from the threat of development.

Goldenseal, a popular forest farming crop, is grown for medicinal use. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition

Workshop shares knowledge for raising crops on the forest floor

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.

SEW SUSTAINABLE: Asheville's sewing scene is growing, both for businesses and hobbyists. Photo by Kari Barrows

Local businesses aim to make clothing more sustainabl­e

Industry studies show consumers are growing tired of fast, disposable fashion. In addition to a greater awareness of where clothes come from and the impact of their production, a new interest in extending the life of clothing or reusing materials to create new garments is fueling a resurgence of sewing skills in this region and around the country.

BOWLED OVER: Cúrate and Nightbell chef and co-owner Katie Button says that being able to customize her dinnerware was a major factor in choosing to work with Alex Matisse and his Marshall-based East Fork Pottery.  "We can talk about the type of food we have and the types of colors and textures and things we're looking for in the restaurant, and he makes it happen," says Button.

Home plates: Asheville restaurant­s set the table with locally crafted ceramics

Restaurateurs have long supported neighborhood artisans by enlisting them to create their signage and décor. But the ceramic vessels that hold Asheville’s locally sourced works of culinary art have largely remained standard-issue, industrially produced dinnerware. While many chefs would undoubtedly prefer to present their fare on unique, handcrafted dishes, there are plenty of reasons — […]