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Archive for January, 2013

ASAP’s Get Local 2013 Featured Foods Announced

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – It’s a new year. For ASAP, that means it’s time for a new Get Local schedule, which highlights local foods when at the height of their harvest, as well as shares what locally grown and produced foods are available during the winter months.

ASAP’s 2013 campaign kicks off with potatoes in January, which are great storage crops. That means that although farmers have already harvested potatoes, including sweet potatoes, they can still sell them now directly or through distributors to area Appalachian Grown partner restaurants and grocers. Local potatoes can also be found at winter farmers markets. Find a list of 2013 featured food(s) below.

New this year, ASAP’s Get Local wall calendar highlights other seasonal foods available during the month alongside the campaign’s featured product(s). The calendar also includes a handy seasonality chart for the refrigerator and QR codes with each month that offer suggested local food itineraries and guidance for eating locally and seasonally. The free calendars are available at many winter tailgate markets and ASAP’s office at 306 West Haywood Street in Asheville.

2013 Get Local Featured Foods

January: Potatoes

February: Meats

March: Greens

April: Ramps

May: Cheese

June: Honey 

July: Beans

August: Tomatoes

September: Mushrooms

October: Apples

November: Root vegetables

December: Winter squash

Stay tuned to ASAP’s websites asapconnections.org and fromhere.org for details on special Get Local events throughout the year. At the sites, also find a list of WNC winter farmers markets.


ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Folk Musician and Storyteller John McCutcheon at Diana Wortham Theatre

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre presents John McCutcheon, one of the nation’s most loved and respected folksingers, Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. Described by The Washington Post as folk music’s “Rustic Renaissance Man,” McCutcheon performs music and storytelling both traditional and original that bears a profound mark of place, family, and strength. His accessible and conversational storytelling style—compared to that of Garrison Keillor—has made him a favorite with audiences of all ages.

From childhood musical beginnings with a mail-order guitar and a used book of chords, John McCutcheon is now a master of a dozen traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammered dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe, and his thirty recordings have garnered numerous honors including seven Grammy nominations. McCutcheon’s latest album This Land: Woody Guthrie’s America is a comprehensive tribute to an American icon featuring renditions of Guthrie songs, both classic and unknown. Joined by a cadre of the finest Americana musicians including Willie Nelson, Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, and Tommy Emmanuel, McCutcheon demonstrates his understanding of the legacy he is not only celebrating but also continuing.

McCutcheon has produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality, and his commitment to grassroots political organizations has put him on the front lines of many of the issues important to communities and workers. In the past few years alone he has headlined over a dozen different festivals in North America (including repeated performances at the National Storytelling Festival), recorded an original composition for Virginia Public Television involving over 500 musicians, toured Australia for the sixth time, toured Chile in support of a women’s health initiative, and appeared in a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in New York City—and that is only part of the list. Whether in print, on record, or on stage, few people communicate with the versatility, charm, wit and talent of John McCutcheon.

John McCutcheon’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz, and by Mainstage Music Series Sponsors BMW of Asheville and Henry LaBrun, with additional support from Media Sponsors WNC magazine and WNCW 88.7FM.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Flamenco at Diana Wortham Theatre February 21-22

Monday, January 7th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – In a fierce and eclectic evening of Spanish dance and music, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana provides passion and drama in its inspiring program La Pasión Flamenca at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place on Thursday and Friday, February 21 and 22, 2013 at

8:00 p.m. Known for the purity of its work and the unique and creative way in which it has enriched the art of flamenco, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana conveys emotions that speak to everyone and transcend cultural boundaries. “Carlota Santana’s company keeps its options open and, with joy in the giving, offers a little something for everybody,” remarks The Village Voice. The company is internationally renowned, having performed in venues including Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theatre, Summerdance in Santa Barbara, Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga in Colombia, South America, and Palacio de Congresos in Granada, Spain.

During the February performances at the Diana Wortham Theatre, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana will perform La Pasión Flamenca, a journey back to the cultural crossroads of Andalusia, the southern region of Spain and the birthplace of flamenco. Dance Magazine calls the show “A theatrically savvy flamenco drama…its drama admirably relayed via the stage presence and acting skills of the…dancers and musicians.” Through the dynamic expression of dance, influences can be seen and heard from Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.

Artistic director Carlota Santana co-founded the company with Roberto Lorca in 1983 with a vision to actively encourage the creativity and innovation of young artists from both Spain and the U.S. while keeping the company faithful to the powerful traditions of flamenco. Her commitment to creating new works and developing young artists and choreographers to carry on the traditions of flamenco has earned her the title “The Keeper of Flamenco” from Dance Magazine. Under Ms. Santana’s direction the company has expanded its repertory by presenting new music, dramatic works, and a mixture of dance vocabularies, and by integrating Hispanic-American influences. She created the company’s innovative arts-in-education program, integrating Spanish dance and culture with school curricula. She is on the faculty of Duke University, is a recipient of a Choreographer fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council and a member of the North Carolina Dance Alliance.

Intersections Pre-show Discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the performances, ticket holders can attend free pre-performance discussions led by Carlota Santana, company founder and artistic director, in The Forum at Pack Place at 7:00 p.m. before both performances.

Intersections Master Class: Dance students of all skill levels are encouraged to attend a Master Class with a Flamenco Vivo dancer on Wednesday, February 20 at 5:30pm on the Diana Wortham Theatre stage. This hands-on workshop includes instruction in rhythmic handclaps (palmas), arm movements (braceo), body posturing, and footwork (taconeo). Cost is $30 and includes a reception at Cúrate in downtown Asheville after the Master Class. For more information or to register, call the DWT Box Office at 828-257-4530.

In addition to its evening performances, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana presents La Pasión Flamenca as part of the 2012/2013 Matinee Series for Students and Families at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 22, 2013. Performances in the Matinee Series are open to school groups, homeschoolers, community groups and families. Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s performance is currently sold out. For more information about the Matinee Series for Students and Families, contact Associate Director Rae Geoffrey at (828) 210-9837, or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s Asheville performances are presented in partnership with The Art Fryar Charitable Trust Fund, and are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. The performances are made possible by Performance Sponsors Kimberly Beavers & Ken Drexel and Michael Witaszek; and by Mainstage Dance Series Sponsors Wells Fargo, Hedy Fischer & Randy Shull, Tina & John McGuire, and Ronna & Rob Resnick; with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville and WCQS 88.1 FM.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

To obtain more information on Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s February 21 and 22 performances at Diana Wortham Theatre or to purchase tickets (Regular $35; Student $30; Child $15), call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com. Student Rush tickets ($10 for students with valid I.D.) are sold the day of the show, based on availability.

 

13 Tips to Improve Your 2013

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Go Ahead and Stare

Looking at something awe-inspiring such as the Grand Canyon for a few seconds is enough to help you feel happier and even enhance your quality of life, says a recent study from Stanford University. Students who watched a 60-second commercial featuring images including space exploration, waterfalls, and whales felt they had more time to get things done afterward. Researchers believe that these types of images make us feel more present, expanding our sense of time, which can lead to greater feelings of contentment and happiness.

Feel the Pressure

Stimulating your “third eye” (the spot directly between your eyebrows) promotes relaxation, says Laurie Binder, an OB/GYN nurse and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. “Applying pressure to this point may calm and quiet the mind, allay anxiety, and resolve a frontal headache.” Press, massage, or gently tap the area with your index finger for about a minute once or twice a day while sitting in a quiet place.

Make Your Bed

Sorry to remind you of your nagging mom, but this chore is actually – gasp – good for you. Dust mites and small bugs love getting under your covers as much as you do, so covering up the place where you sleep with a comforter can help keep allergy-inducing critters and particles out. Plus, it’s a morning ritual that can also double as an active meditation if you keep your mind clear and empty as you tuck in sheets and arrange pillows.

Give a Little (Puppy) Love

Studies show that the simple, brief act of petting your dog can help lower your heart rate, decrease your body’s cortisol levels, and increase your feel-good oxytocin levels. And you can double the health benefits of playing with your pup by adding exercise. Try any of these moves for a quick partner workout with your pooch.

Massage Your (Other) Dogs

“With all the acupressure points in the feet, rubbing them can reduce stress and enhance health,” says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. Spend a few minutes massaging them with your hands, or use a foam roller to gently stretch your soles.

Record Your Blessings

“Gratitude is one of the most health-promoting emotions we can have,” says Aditi Nerurkar, M.D., M.P.H., an integrative medicine physician at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Studies show that having an “attitude of gratitude” can do everything from improve your quality of sleep to help you stick with your workouts. Dr. Nerurkar recommends jotting down five things you’re thankful for each day or night.

Chill, Literally

You can save a few bucks this winter and raise your metabolism at the same time. “Turning down the thermostat just a couple of degrees helps you lose weight,” says weight-loss specialist and endocrinologist Scott Isaacs, M.D., author of Hormonal Balance: How to Lose Weight by Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism. “When you expose your body to cooler temperatures, it responds by generating more body heat, which raises metabolism.” Even a tiny dip can help you burn an extra 100 calories a day, and while it may not sound like much, it could translate into a 10-pound weight loss in the course of a year.

Unknot Your Neck

Take a time-out and stretch your neck, Lombardo suggests. “We carry a lot of tension in those muscles, especially the upper traps and levator scapulae. By stretching these, you release physical and psychological stress,” she says. Try this wrap-around stretch to help release tension almost instantly.

Drop Acid

Wash down your daily multivitamin with water infused with a little fresh lemon juice, Binder recommends. “Acidic liquids help to break down minerals, and in traditional Chinese medicine, lemon cleanses the liver, which is essential to the metabolism and absorption of nutrients,” she says. Squeeze half a lemon into a large glass of warm water for the best digestive benefits.

Show Some Teeth

“Not only does smiling enhance your attractiveness, it may also boost your mood in the short term and has positive effects on your environment,” Dr. Nerurkar says. And, according to one study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas, it may also be especially healthy to beam if you are under stress. When subjects smiled during anxiety-inducing activities such as submerging their hands in ice water, their heart rates dropped faster afterward compared to participants who were instructed not to smile. “Grin and bear it” may be a helpful coping mechanism for stressful situations, study authors say.

Cultivate a Green Thumb

Studies have shown that indoor potted plants can help with everything from reducing eye irritation and stress levels to improving concentration, productivity, and motivation at work. Next time you are at the store, pick up a plant (ferns, bamboo palms, and spider plants are best for improving air quality), bring it to the office, and put it on your desk to help improve your mood and output. Better yet, get two plants and put the other in your home gym.

Don’t Be Such a Slouch

More props to Mom: “Sitting or standing up straight can give you the appearance of being taller and thinner, help you breathe easier, and may help prevent back problems,” Dr. Nerurkar says. Post a “posture reminder” note somewhere you’ll see it often during your day or set up notices in your email’s daily calendar at work to reap the benefits of a straighter spine.

Step Up Your Game

When you’re only heading up a few floors, bypass the elevator and climb the stairs, Dr. Nerurkar says. “It will give you a chance to clear your head and increase blood flow to your legs, and building in short bursts of moderate physical activity throughout your day can help you reach the recommended 150 minutes per week.”

Bonus Tips:

Lather Up

While this may seem like a no-brainer, most of us could wash our hands more often, especially during cold and flu season! This super simple act is probably one of the most effective ways to improve your health since germs thrive on surfaces that we constantly touch and then introduce to our mouth, nose, or eyes throughout the day, says Ellen Barnett, M.D., Ph.D., board president of the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation. She recommends scrubbing regularly (and do we really need to remind you before meals and after using the bathroom?) for the length of time it takes to sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And be sure to use triclosan-free soap.

Get on Your Feet

The average person spends up to 70 percent of their day sitting at work, on the computer, or watching television, Dr. Issacs says. And numerous studies have shown that prolonged sitting is a risk factor for poor health, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and death, even if you exercise. Since being on your rear for long periods of time decreases your metabolism and shifts your body into energy storage mode, Dr. Issacs recommends standing up – or, even better, walking around – for at least two minutes every hour.

Deadline to Pay Property Taxes January 7

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Don’t forget, January 7, 2013 is the LAST day to pay your Buncombe County property taxes before the 2% interest is added on January 8, 2013.

On January 8, interest of 2% will be added to any unpaid balance on a tax bill and ¾% will be added each month thereafter.

Property Tax Bill Payments postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before January 7 will be accepted on time.

Payment options include:

  • Mail (Postmarked on or before January 7)
  • Drive-up payment box located at:
    35 Woodfin Street, where the Tax Department is now located.
    The payment box is located on the driver’s side of the driveway as you exit 35 Woodfin Street. Payments placed in our drop box on January 7 or the night of the 7th will be considered on time.
  • Credit/Debit Card – on web. (There is a convenience fee for using a credit/debit card – please see the back of your bill.)
  • Credit Card – by phone. (See instructions and the phone number on the back of your bill.)

If taxes are not paid on time and the taxpayer has not set up a payment plan with the Tax Office, forced tax collection measures may take place at anytime once the bill is past due. These measures can include attachment of the taxpayer’s bank account or wage garnishment. Additional fees are included for each of these measures. In addition, banks also charge additional fees for processing bank attachments.

The Tax Office encourages taxpayers to contact the Tax Office if their taxes are delinquent:

  • By phone at (828) 250-4910
  • In person in the Tax Office located at 35 Woodfin Street. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There are several programs that can help citizens with tax payment including:

  • Preauthorized debit program – payments deducted from a checking or savings account each month
  • Prepay taxes – some taxpayers begin making monthly payments as early as January each year and prepay their taxes before they receive a bill in August.

For automated information about tax bills and payments or other tax issues, citizens can access the Automated Information Line by calling 250-4910 and pressing the number “1.” Information on this line includes:

  • office hours
  • holiday schedule
  • last day to pay before interest begins
  • credit card information
  • drive-up payment box directions
  • print bills and receipts online at buncombecounty.org/tax.

The tax website offers many options for taxpayers. You can print bills, print receipts, and look up property information.

Asheville City Market Moves Indoors This Winter

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Last winter, Asheville City Market experimented with hosting an indoor winter market at its south location. The result? Fanfare. Shoppers loved being able to support local farmers and artisan food producers even during the coldest of months. In fact, it was so well received that Asheville City Market South will operate an indoor winter market again this year, and Asheville City Market downtown will move indoors for the first time as well.

“We are thrilled that shoppers want both Asheville City Markets to continue during the winter,” says Market Manager Mike McCreary. “We’re in awe of and thankful to our farmer, artisan food producer and craft vendors who continue to grow and create in the winter and don’t want to skip a beat. We’re also thankful to hosts Biltmore Park Town Square and Haywood Park Hotel.”

McCreary expects around 17 vendors at Asheville City Market South—which moves indoors to 28 Schenck Parkway at Biltmore Park Town Square (the lobby of Western Carolina University’s satellite campus)—and about 35 vendors at Asheville City Market in downtown—which moves indoors to the atrium of Haywood Park Hotel at 1 Battery Park Avenue. Asheville City Market South begins January 9 and runs Wednesdays through March, 11 am-3 pm; Asheville City Market in downtown begins January 12 and runs Saturdays through March, 10 am-1 pm. Vendors will offer cold-weather and greenhouse grown produce, baked goods, home goods and more.

But Asheville City Market isn’t alone in staying open during what was once the “off season.” In fact, more winter markets will operate in Western North Carolina this year than ever before.

“Area farmers are extremely innovative when it comes to season extension,” says Bridget Kennedy, Local Food Campaign director for ASAP. “What’s more, there is increasing demand for local food and a desire to not only enjoy it year-round but continue the direct involvement with producers that farmers tailgate markets allow. The winter market trend looks like it will continue, in our region and beyond.”

In the Asheville-area, the Neighborhood Y at Woodfin Reynolds Mountain Winter Tailgate Market—entering its second year—kicks off the winter market season on January 5 from 10 am to 12:30 pm. Find a list of more winter markets, including tailgates in Haywood, Jackson, Madison and Mitchell counties, below.

For weekly winter market reports, visit ASAP’s community website fromhere.org. Find a complete list of area tailgate markets with ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

2013 Winter Farmers Markets*

  • Asheville City Market: January 12-March 30, Saturdays 10 am-1 pm at the Haywood Park Hotel atrium.
  • Asheville City Market South: January 9-March 27, Wednesdays 11 am-3 pm at 28 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square (lobby of WCU’s satellite campus).
  • Bakersville Farmers Market: December-May, 2nd Saturdays 10 am-2 pm at the Historic Courthouse.
  • Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market: January-March, Saturdays 9 am-noon at the HART Theater parking lot in Waynesville. Note: This is not a full market. The market’s regular seafood vendor will stay to provide seafood during the winter when available and may be joined by value-added producers. Stay tuned to the market’s Facebook page for updates.
  • Jackson County Farmers Market: January 5-spring, Saturdays 10 am-1 pm at the Community Table on Central Street.
  • Madison County Indoor Winter Market: January-March, 2nd and 4th Saturdays 10 am-2 pm at Madison County Cooperative Extension.
  • Neighborhood Y at Woodfin Reynolds Mountain Winter Tailgate: January 5-spring, Saturdays 10 am-12:30 pm at the LOFTS at Reynolds Village, Building 51.
  • Spruce Pine Farmers Market: January-April, 3rd Saturdays 2-6 pm at Mountainside Wine.

*Note: This information is compiled by ASAP; details subject to change. Check with individual markets for specifics.


ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.