Friday, May 27, 2016

National Parks Honor Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, honor the brave men and women who died for our country by learning about or even visiting some of our most iconic parks that bear memorials to their valorous sacrifices.
Experience the history of battles fought to protect our nation, contemplate the sacrifices of our armed forces, and discover the stories that make up our great nation.

The national parks are a part of our national memories. This Memorial Day, reflect on our history and remember those who fought and died for our freedom.
If you visit a national memorial, be sure to share your reflections, photos, and experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr by using #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque and tagging us (@GoParks).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fire Mountain Celebrates 20th Anniversary

To Celebrate their 20th Anniversary Fire Mountain Inn, Cabins and Treehouses is excited to announce the next evolution.

Introducing FIRE + WATER. To provide guests the ultimate getaway experience, Fire Mountain is now a "Full Service Boutique Resort". 

Fire + Water Restaurant - an intimate 40 seat restaurant in a contemporary setting featuring art and sculpture from the Fire Mountain Art Collection which opens directly to 50 outdoor deck seats - all seats inside and out have our spectacular Fire Mountain views.

The Sky Bar and Lounge - The circular Carrara marble bar has 13 view seats inside and outside. Adjacent inside is an 8 seat upholstered banquet with small cocktail tables that focus toward a contemporary fireplace. The use of authentic primitive Cherokee art and sculpture from the collection along with Italian white glass lighting fixtures and sconces creates a striking 21 seat contemporary bar and lounge interior.

photos courtesy Fire Mountain
Air Spa - Massage therapy has been a big part of the experience at Fire Mountain since its inception 20 years ago and now are thrilled to have the new spa.  The spa program will provide massage therapy, yoga and guided hikes from the property acreage and back through National Forest. Simple - green and healthy.

The Kitchen - a cafe with long range views through large glass garage doors that open to the outside during the High Season months. The cafe is located adjacent to Fire Mountain's open commercial kitchen. Spectacular industrial interior of stainless steel, polished chrome, white plastered walls and concrete floors with bistro tables and chairs.

Come be one of the first to experience Fire Mountain's new Full Service Resort.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring Horse Show this Week at the Tryon International Equestrian Center

May 18 - 20, 2016      Tryon Equestrian Spring Horse Show (V)   Hunter/Jumper competition. Saturday evening will feature "Saturday Night Lights" event with competition, food and entertainment - something for the whole family to enjoy. Festivities for Saturday Night Lights run 6 - 9 PM and admission is FREE. 

Celebrate the tradition and history of equestrian sport during the Friday night $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby under the lights in the George Morris Arena.  The hunter discipline brings characteristics of the classic fox hunt to the show ring, with courses designed out of natural obstacles similar to those that would’ve been seen on the open countryside.

photo courtesy of the Tryon International Equestrian Center

This week's Saturday Night Lights: $25,000 Odom Engineering, PLLC Grand Prix from 6 PM to 10 PM. The evening features an exciting demo by the Tryon Hounds, an interactive exhibit by the NC Cattleman’s Association, as well as a showing of the Preakness.  Get to TIEC early to enjoy the activities before the show jumping begins.

As always, SNL will also offer unlimited free rides on the Venetian carousel, free pony rides, face painting, live music, magicians, performers and more. 

The on-site restaurants including Legends Grille, Roger’s Diner, Blue Ginger Sushi, Triple Crown Subs, Clear Rounds Pub, Siesta Cantina, and Mane St. Coffee will all be open and ready to serve you a delicious dinner before the grand prix. Stop in the new General Store for local treats. Entertainment will lead up to the kick off of the 8 PM show jumping event.  

These events are held at The Tryon International Equestrian Center, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd. in Mill Spring NC.  The Center is a world-class lifestyle destination for equestrian enthusiasts. Located in the rolling foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountain Range

photo courtesy of the Tryon International Equestrian Center

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Call for Donations to Carolina Public Press

submitted by Carolina Public Press

 YOU can give the region more independent, in-depth and investigative journalism in the
public interest by becoming a member of
Carolina Public Press.

Your gift of $10 a month will mean we can put more reporters in the field, keep reporting on the NC General Assembly, produce more journalism in the public interest, and give you facts and context when you need it most.

ABOUT US: Carolina Public Press is a 501(c)3 nonprofit online news service providing Western North Carolina with unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting in the public interest as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others.

FEAST Asheville News

photo courtesy of FEAST
May 23, 2016 from 6 PM - 9 PM: Farmhouse FEAST at All Souls Pizza in Asheville NC. Riverbend Malt House and All Souls Pizza are teaming up for a charity beer dinner featuring locally-raised pork from Austin Farms in Old Fort along with several local beers. Participants will dine on the outdoor patio to enjoy the spring weather.

Breweries confirmed: Twin Leaf Brewery, New Grass Brewery, Hi Wire Brewing. The cost is $50/pp + applicable service charges - BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE. All Souls Pizza is located at 175 Clingman Ave, Asheville NC.

The Menu: 
 (vegetarian option available)
  • Antipasta – cured meats, pickled vegetables, farm and sparrow bread and ferments 
  • Crispy confit pork belly with second spring greens and scuppernong vinaigrette 
  • Corned ham with asparagus and parsley sauce 
  • Bloody Butcher corn tart with whipped creme fraiche and strawberries 

The Back Story: Riverbend Malt House has been working with Austin Farms, in Old Fort, to recycle their waste material from the malting process. The waste is a mix of rootlets and thin kernels that are removed from the malted barley. This “waste” is rich in protein and other nutrients, making it an ideal food for livestock. This partnership allows Riverbend to recycle over 80% of the total waste from their operation every year! A large portion of the ticket sales will go back to support FEAST.

The mission of FEAST Asheville is to empower youth and families to grow, prepare and enjoy fruits and vegetables through hands on cooking and garden education.With the 2015-16 school year nearly over FEAST reports many highlights of their efforts:
  • FEAST started at Hall Fletcher Elementary and received great support as Rachel transitioned into the role of the FEAST Educator
  • FEAST and The ROOTS Foundation created a great partnership and have been working tirelessly together at Vance Elementary to turn this site into an edible schoolyard
  • The FEAST Team is just finishing up a 3 year strategic plan and are excited about the future
  • 2 FEAST teachers will be sent to the National Edible Schoolyard Conference in California 
  • FEAST successfully completed a pilot project at Isaac Dickson Elementary School with the 4th and 5th grade and looking forward to what happens next
 Please visit the site to make contributions, volunteer or get more information.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Public Comment Sough By NC Wildlife Commissiont for Periodic Review of 10F and 10H Rules

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public comment on classifications of its existing rules for the periodic review process, as required by the General Assembly (150B-21.3A).
On April 21, 2016, the Commission approved initial determinations classifying each of its Motorboats and Water Safety rules (15A NCAC 10F) and Regulated Activities rules (15A NCAC 10H) into one of three classifications: (1) unnecessary; (2) necessary with substantive public interest; or (3) necessary without substantive public interest. The initial determination reports for 10F and 10H rules are posted on the agency’s Periodic Rules Review page.  
Public comments on these classifications may be submitted from May 16, 2016-August 1, 2016.  Public comments may be submitted online or in writing via the US Postal Service to the following address:

Erica Garner
NCWRC Periodic Review
1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1701  
For more information on the periodic review process for the Wildlife Commission or to comment on a rule, visit the agency’s Periodic Rules Review page.
A “public comment” is defined by G.S. 150B-21.3A(a)(5) as a written objection to all or part of a rule. Additionally, pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A(c)(2), in order for the Rules Review Commission to determine whether the public comment has merit, the public comment must address the specific content of the rule. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Saluda NC Tailgate Market Now Open for the Season

The Saluda Tailgate Market is open every Friday from 4:30 to 6:30, May through October, in Saluda’s public parking lot on West Main Street in Historic Downtown Saluda NC.

all images courtesy of Saluda Tailgate Market
The Market includes 18+ vendors offering early spring veggies, lots of greens and onions, beef, pork, eggs, honey, jams, sauces, baked goods, herb infused oils for cooking and soothing, and plants, plants, plants. Come this week and fill your baskets. Enjoy the best of locally grown and handmade from: 

  • Bee Log Honey, Carl McGraw bringing sweet Saluda honey
  • Bradley Farms, Aaron and Nicole Bradley have Saluda grown beef, pork and eggs
  • Buttercup Cottage and Dan's Garden: jams, jellies, marinara, kraut, early veggies
  • Charlene's garden, Charlene Searcy, beautiful early onions and other spring veggies, pork sausage
  • Deepwoods Mushrooms, Greg Carter. Shiitakes and other early mushrooms
  • Flatlanders Peak Flower Farm, Luann Rossow, A colorful assortment of irises for your garden
  • Frank Ward, Saluda grown native plants for your garden
  • Good Things Grow Here, Richard Kouyoumijian, early veggies, peas, lettuce, greens, onions
  • Happy Hens, Laura Price, eggs eggs eggs
  • High Valley Farm, Richard Wesley, robust healthy starter plants for your garden
  • Little Sisters Lemonade, on the porch with a sweet and beautiful display and lemonade to welcome you
  • Living Herbs, Al Balson, every kind of herb you might want to plant for your kitchen garden
  • Piece O' Cake, Kerry Austin, with the Market from its beginning in 2010, Kerry has cultivated regular fans for her yummy pieces of cake
  • Posey Hollow Farm, Jeff has early spring veggies
  • Rose Cottage, Mimi Mehlmauer, brings all kinds of beautiful flowering plants for your home and garden 
  • Sacred Mountain Herbals, herbal soaps, lotions and potions for you and your pets
  • Walk in the Park, Kristen Hackos, new this year, herb infused cooking oils and pastes to enhance your culinary endeavors
  • Wildflour Bakery, Saluda's very own wonderful organic wholegrain bakery. Breads, sweet treats, and savory pockets for a quick dinner.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Black Mountain Hosts Annual Spring Lake Eden Art Festival - L.E.A.F.

May 12 - 15, 2016   LEAF - Lake Eden Art Festival    LEAF is one of the treasured traditions for families and friends across the southeast. 

Held annually in May and October at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain NC, a weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural music, arts, dance, and outdoor adventures journey to "recharges your batteries". 

A few aspects that make LEAF popular is the family friendly atmosphere, the diverse sampling of arts and music, the beautiful setting, and the intimate size. Get schedules and details online.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend Offers a Variety of Events for Nature Lovers

May 13 - 15, 2016    Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend   Enjoy three days filled with guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain.  The entrance to Grandfather Mountain is located on U.S. 221 in between Blowing Rock and Linville NC

A fascinating collection of programs and guided walks are offered to help guests discover more about the diversity of life at Grandfather Mountain. All programs and guided walks offered as part of the Naturalist’s Weekend are included in the price of admission. Those who plan to attend multiple days should keep to their receipt on Saturday and present that for discount admission on Sunday.  

This is one of the best opportunities of the year to learn more about this remarkable 300 million year old wonder.

2016 Naturalist Weekend events and programs include: 

Friday May 13
All Day Audubon Spring Bird Count – Hosted by High Country Audubon, participants will be birding at various locations around Grandfather Mountain to complete a tally of the Grandfather’s bird life. Reservations required. To register, contact Jesse Pope at (828) 733-2013 or or Mickey Shortt at (828) 733-4326 or
10 a.m. Sensory Hike on the Profile Trail – Experience the Profile Trail with a ranger-guided walk that focuses on more than what meets the eye Participants are encouraged to bring along a notepad or nature journal and something to write with, as we stop along the hike and make rubbings of textures, smear soil on pages or other opportunities to fully take in the array of senses we have. 2 miles round trip. Meet at the Profile Trailhead on N.C. 105.
2 p.m. Beacon Heights Guided Walk – Take a short ranger-guided hike up to Beacon Heights, which overlooks the Blue Ridge Parkway to the east and Grandfather Mountain to the west. 1 mile round trip. Meet at Beacon Heights overlook parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway (just south of the intersection with U.S. 221 near Linville).
6:30 p.m. Evening Wildflower Walk – Take an evening stroll on Grandfather Mountain’s Woods Walk trail to enjoy and observe the wildflowers on the ridge of Grandfather Mountain. Reservations required. To register, contact the Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326. Limited to 12 participants.
Saturday May 14
8 a.m. Spring Songs – Go birding by ear and binoculars in search of spring migrants on Grandfather’s Woods Walk trail. Some binoculars will be provided. Reservations required. To register, contact the Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326. Limited to 12 participants.
9:30 a.m. Stories in the Stone – Join an Appalachian State University geologist on a walk to explore the geologic past of Grandfather Mountain and the Southern Appalachians. 1 hour. Meet at the Black Rock Parking Area on Grandfather Mountain.
10 AM- 3:30 PM. Naturalist Table – Stop by the Naturalist Table in the Nature Museum to learn more about the park and the activities of the day.
11 a.m. Sixteen Natural Communities – Grandfather Mountain is recognized for its collection of 16 distinct natural communities. Join director of education Mickey Shortt for a look at a few of these and the life they host. Meet at the Black Rock Parking Area for this guided walk. 1.5 hours.
11:30 a.m. Junior Ranger ProgramKids are invited to learn about Grandfather Mountain’s native animals through hands-on activities and learn how to become a Grandfather Mountain Junior Ranger. Meet at the Butterfly Garden.
1 p.m. An Introduction to The Naturalist’s Journal – Hike with Grandfather Mountain naturalist Amy Renfranz, an award-winning interpreter and writer, and learn ways to become a better naturalist by recording what you observe while in nature. Bring a pencil and the nature journal of your choosing, or one will be provided for you. The program is family-friendly and will last approximately two hours. Meet at the Woods Walk.
3:15 p.m. Live Owl Program – Meet two owls that are native to Grandfather Mountain in a program centered on the mountain’s nightlife. Meet in the Nature Museum Auditorium.
8 p.m. Sunset and Stargazing – We’ll travel to the top of the mountain for a special opportunity to enjoy sunset, twilight and the night sky on Grandfather. Reservations required. To register, contact the Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326. Limited to 24 participants. Weather permitting. 1.5 to 2 hours.
Sunday March 15
4 p.m. Profile Trail Wildflowers – Take an opportunity to discover the wildflowers of Grandfather’s western slope on a ranger-guided walk along the Profile Trail. 2 miles round-trip. Meet at the Profile Trailhead in Grandfather Mountain State Park on N.C. 105.


Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 Heritage Food Project Highlights the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean

This article submitted by Slow Food Asheville

You in the Slow Food community voted, and the winning bean variety for the field and garden trials this year is the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean:

photo courtesy of Slow Food Asheville
This Cherokee bean has been prized in the Southern Appalachian mountains for its flavor and growing qualities, and this year Slow Food will be highlighting the bean in its community variety trials. Grow with us! 

Home gardeners, farmers, and slow food enthusiasts alike are all welcome to participate in growing the bean, sharing photos and observations, drying and saving seed, and/or sharing a meal at the end of the season to celebrate the bean and learn from each other. 

Our chapter will also be exploring the historical context of the beans and the stories carried within them. Clearly there is a tragic story associated with the Trail of Tears beans, evident in its name. Tragic stories are often some of the most important ones to be told. We seek through this project to honor the hardship of the Cherokee, embrace the legacy of the bean, and carry forward our collective learnings and seeds for the future.  

Slow Food Asheville is located at 1679 Barnardsville Hwy in Barnardsville, North Carolina (a bit northeast of Asheville)