Community Garden Network January 2019 Newsletter

January 2019

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful 2019 so far!!  We already have so much going on.

The City is now accepting applications for their Asheville Edibles program. As of 2018, Bountiful Cities has contracted with the City to manage this program. The program allows citizens to start edible gardens on parcels of City land located in various areas of town. There is no cost to lease the land. All you need are helping hands. More info/Applications available here.

Elder & Sage Community Gardens is the first garden group in the Asheville Edibles Program. They opened their gates on June 1, 2017 and have successfully utilized the space at 33-35 Page Avenue for the growing of food, pollinators and community.

The other sites available to apply for at this time are:

Carrier Park – 220 Amboy Road, Asheville NC 28806

Murray Hill – Bartlett Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Weaver Park – 200 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804

Please contact Isa Whitaker by email: [email protected] for more information on how to participate.

Community Garden Network Events & Announcements

Community Garden Network Celebration & Pollinator Workshop

WHEN? Thursday, January 31st from 5-7pm

WHERE? Haw Creek Commons Community Garden (315 Old Haw Creek Rd, Asheville, NC)

We’ll be hosting our first event of the year on Thursday, January 31st at the Haw Creek Commons Community Garden. This will be a free potluck event, end of year celebration/new year kick off and will include a 50 min workshop on Pollinators in the Garden taught by Ricky Manning. Join us for a raffle, food, drinks, desserts and more. Please contact Isa Whitaker by email: [email protected] to let us know if you’ll need childcare or interpretation. Hope to see you there!!

Facebook Event Page:

Elder & Sage

On January 22nd, The City Council will be discussing funding design for city lots on Haywood St. & Page Ave., which includes the Elder & Sage Community Garden. Please let them hear from you if you want a Community Garden to be an integral part of any design.

The Lord’s Acre

Gabriel Whitlock, a 2018 TLA intern, began his bike tour for hunger awareness on Jan. 8th traveling from Fairview, NC to Little Rock, AR. He will be attending the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (on January 25th-27th) while hosting conversations around hunger, sustainability, community gardens, and solutions to hunger along the way. Here is a link to his PledgeIt campaign where people can pledge $1/mile up to as much as they’d like.

Shiloh Community Garden

The Shiloh Community Garden is looking forward to a productive 2019. With support from Bountiful Cities and Green Opportunities they’ll be resolving some watering issues and bringing their plumbing closer to the outdoor kitchen. They’ve also added a large refrigerator to their resources, donated through MANNA Food Bank. They continue to struggle, however, with a less-than-ideal adult/youth ratio and hope to rectify that by spring. With plans to increase garden production and produce some value-added products for young people to sell, they could use all the help they can get. If you or anyone you know would like to spend some time with them as youth facilitators or working with them on a special project, please let them know by contacting Jillian Wolf [email protected] or Lydia George [email protected]. The Shiloh Garden is located just south of Biltmore Village.


The Seed Library & Tool Library

The Seed Library and Tool Library are free resources for our community and garden members to utilize, and also will accept reciprocity if you find yourself in the position of having extras. The seed library is located at the Burton St. Recreation Center at the end of the hallway to the left near the exit sign. The tool library is located at the Patchwork Urban Farms Pearson location (located at 408 Pearson Dr.) For those interested in borrowing items from the Tool Library contact Isa Whitaker directly prior to getting the item/s out of the library. You can reach Isa by email: [email protected]

Grass to Greens

Hire us for your edible & native Landscaping needs!  We mean it when we call ourselves “Grass to Greens”



Services Offered:

Orchards • Pollinators • Natural Building • Water Management • Bioremediation • Agroforestry • Ecological Design • Installation • Edibles • Maintenance • Community Resilience

Email [email protected] for more info or call (828) 775-0614.

Other Community Events

Organic Growers School Farm Dreams Workshops

When: Below listed dates; all workshops take place from 10AM – 4PM

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

Elma C. Lomax Research and Education Farm

3445 Atando Road Concord, NC 28025

Google Map

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center

133 Livingston St. Asheville, NC 28801

Google Map

Dreaming of starting your own farm? Farm Dreams is an entry-level, day-long workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common-sense information on sustainable farming and how to move forward. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of starting a farm. In this one-day, exploratory workshop participants will…

  • Learn about sustainable farming careers in Western North Carolina.

  • Discover and assess your resources, skills and farming intentions.

  • Begin to develop an educational plan toward farming.

  • Connect with regional training opportunities and support networks.

  • Prioritize your next steps toward your farming goals.

  • Hear from experienced farmers running successful farms in WNC.

Register here/links to tickets:

Facebook events: and

Register/Volunteer for the Organic Growers School Spring Conference

Date: March 8-10, 2019

NEW Location: Mars Hill University, 100 Athletic St, Mars Hill, NC 28754

Cost: $59 for Saturday, $49 for Sunday: Early Bird Registration by January 31st. Registration is an additional $15 after January 31st and at the door. We also have a robust volunteer program that can get you into the weekend for free!

The Organic Growers School’s Spring Conference offers practical, regionally-appropriate workshops on organic growing, permaculture, homesteading, urban farming, and rural living plus a trade show, seed exchange, raffle, special guests, and pre-conference, on-farm events. More than 150 workshops over the three days including Community Food, Cooking, Earth Skills, Beginning Farmers, Advanced Farmers, Gardening, Herbs, Homesteading, Livestock, Mushrooms, Permaculture, Pollinators, Poultry, Soil, Sustainable Forestry, and Sustainable Living.




Holistic Financial Planning

When: Monday & Tuesday, January 21st & 22nd, 2019, 9-5pm

Where: Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Community Farm, 180 Mag Sluder Rd. Alexander, NC 28701

Cost: $75 per person, or $120 for two farm business partners ($60 each). We strongly encourage farm business partners to attend together. Lunch is included on both days.

Holistic Financial Planning comes out of the theories and methods behind Holistic Management, a whole farm planning and decision-making framework that helps farmers take into account their triple bottom line – their economic, environmental, and social viability. It is a fantastic workshop that has not been offered in our region before and could be a game-changer for how you think about your farm finances. Space is limited. There is a short application process to ensure attendees are prepared for the class.

Register here:

Navigating Farm Labor

Date: Tuesday, February 12th 2019

Time: 4:00PM-8:30PM

Location: The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Incubator Farm at 180 Mag Sluder Road, Alexander, NC

Cost: $40 per person (dinner included). $30 for Apprentice Link Farms, Farm Beginnings® Graduates, and WNC CRAFT members.

Farming on a small farm requires labor, not just from the farmer but from others as well. This 6-hour workshop will showcase how to structure labor on a small farm through the eyes of established regional farmers. This is a great workshop to attend if you have been farming and are looking to take your farm to the next level by bringing on additional labor support. Legal and financial considerations will be highlighted and discussed to better understand which labor structure best fits your farming model. The $40 registration fee includes dinner.

Meet the instructors:

Register here:

January Featured Recipe

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew – serves 6

Excerpted from The Southern Harvest Cookbook by Cathy Cleary

Arcadia Publishing 2018

In Ghana cooks don’t use cutting boards very often. I have about 6 cutting boards that I use regularly in my kitchen. So it was very humbling to see cooks expertly peel and slice huge root vegetables with a small paring knife right out of the palm of the hand. I was lost trying to cook in Ghana without my cutting boards. We made stews like this one almost every day and our kitchen had one cutting board the size of a greeting card. Susie, my Ghanaian cooking teacher, kindly let me use the board because she was scared I would slice off a finger otherwise. Use as many tools and utensils as you want to make this stew, and when you taste it, know that you are part of a very long line of cooks cutting up vegetables by any means possible and adding them to the pot.

1 ½ cups diced onion (1 medium)

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

8 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (2 ½ pounds)

8 cups water

2 cups diced celery (about 4 stalks)

2 cups sliced carrots

2 Tablespoons peeled and finely diced ginger

2-3 Tablespoons diced jalapeño peppers (2 medium)

4 cloves garlic – crushed

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cloves

¾ cup peanut butter

3-4 cups cooked white rice for serving

Cilantro Ginger Sauce

2-3 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems

2 Tablespoons peeled and coarsely chopped ginger

½ cup cooked white rice

¼ cup water

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

In a large heavy bottomed pot, sauté onions in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add sweet potatoes and water, bring to a boil and cook covered for about 15 minutes. Sweet potatoes should be tender.

Blend mixture with a stick blender or mash thoroughly with a masher.

Add in remaining ingredients EXCEPT peanut butter (nut butter will thicken stew and increase chances of burning on the bottom).

Simmer for about 10 minutes until carrots are tender.

Add peanut butter and stir until well combined.

In a food processor or blender combine cilantro sauce ingredients and blend for several minutes until very smooth and creamy.

Serve stew over rice with cilantro sauce on top.