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Outdoor Pools Open Weekends

Friday, May 29th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Pools open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend and will only be open on weekends until schools are out for summer break. Summer season runs from June 6 through August 2. Cost to swim is $3.00 per person per day.

Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend.The following pools will open on weekends beginning May 23:

  • Cane Creek – Fletcher (828) 628-4494
  • Erwin – Asheville (828) 251-4992
  • Hominy Valley – Candler (828) 667-9937
  • North Buncombe – Weaverville (828) 645-1080
  • Owen – Swannanoa (828) 686-1629

 

RECALL on Certain Peaches, Nectarines, Plums and Plouts

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Wawona Packing Company of Cutler, California, recently issued a recall of certain lots of whole peaches (white and yellow), nectarines (white and yellow), plums and pluots packed between June 1, 2014 through July 12,2014 due to the potential of the products being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes based on internal company testing.  These type fruits are also referred to as “stone fruits” because they have large pits.

DISTRIBUTION

We do not have specific information regarding distribution of the recalled products in North Carolina at the moment, but based on the recall announcement, national distribution is expected.  Stores where the recall has been posted include Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods Market, and Kroger.

LISTERIOSIS

A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has “invasive” infection, in which the bacteria spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.  Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacterium without appearing ill and can contaminate foods of animal origin, such as meats and dairy products.  Unlike most bacteria, Listeria can grow and multiply in some foods in the refrigerator.  The risk of invasive listeriosis after exposure to Listeria monocytogenes is very low; although exposure is common, disease is rare.

The recall announcement along with a specific list of recalled products, dates, lots, block IDs, and pictures can be found here.

Pools Now Open Daily

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Pools are now open daily for the season. The pools will remain open daily until Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend.school begins in August.

Pool hours:

  • Monday – Friday (Noon – 5:45 p.m.)
  • Saturday (11 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.)
  • Sunday (1 – 6:45 p.m.)

The cost to swim is $3 per person. Discount passes are available at all pools.

  • 10 visits for $25
  • 25 visits for $50

Pool Contact Information:

Cane Creek – Fletcher (828) 628-4494
Erwin – Asheville (828) 251-4992
Hominy Valley – Candler (828) 667-9937
North Buncombe – Weaverville (828) 645-1080
Owen – Swannanoa (828) 686-1629

Registration Available for WCU’s Dulcimer U Summer Week

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Registration is ongoing for Western Carolina University’s 15th annual Dulcimer U Summer Week, a gathering that brings mountain dulcimer virtuosos and students to the WCU campus in Cullowhee for six days of classes and concerts.

The year’s conference, set for Sunday, July 13, through Friday, July 18, will feature an instructional staff of nationally recognized musicians and performers, including hosts Larry and Elaine Conger.

A variety of classes will be held during the week, and participants will get to choose the group that is best for them based on their ability level and the skills they wish to improve. Special classes will include “Dulcimer Building” with Bob Magowan, “Caregiving and Comfort Using the Mountain Dulcimer” with Lorinda Jones, “From Player to Teacher” with Joe Collins, and “Mountain Dulcimer Ensemble” with the Congers.

The schedule for Thursday, July 17, includes a mountain dulcimer concert featuring the instructional staff playing “in the round.” The show, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets, priced at $10 for the public and $5 for WCU faculty, staff and students, are available by calling the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or by going online to bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.

Registration that includes all confirmed classes, materials, staff concerts and other events is $335 per person. On-campus accommodations and meals packages are available for an additional $339 for single-occupancy rooms and $289 for double-occupancy rooms.

For more information or to register, visit dulcimeru.wcu.edu or call WCU’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education at 828-227-7397.

Master Gardener Rhythm of Watering Presentation June 24

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Get tips on watering your plants more efficiently.ASHEVILLE NC – Join Master Gardener Jill Prior on Tuesday, June 24 @ 6:30 p.m. at the Swannanoa Library as she teaches us the “Rhythm of Watering.”

Watering your plants and grass seem to be basic practices, but you can be more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly with a few simple changes. Understanding the why, how, where, when, and what of watering will make all the difference in either enjoying your beautiful garden, or wearing yourself out just trying to keep your plants alive.

This free program is brought to you by the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension and the Friends of Swannanoa Library. For more information, contact the library at 250-6486 or email [email protected]

Biltmore Summer Vacations are a Thing of the Past, Literally

Monday, April 28th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – More than 100 years ago, young George Vanderbilt was an adventurous man who embarked on building a home for his family and friends far away from the hustle and bustle of city life in New York.  All these years later, visitors to Vanderbilt’s creation in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains may vacate their own everyday lives with a summer trip to that exact same place:  Biltmore.

Summer at Biltmore officially begins on May 24 and runs through Sept. 1, 2014. The season’s slower pace sets the tone for adventures along the estate’s 8,000 acres, a space that has been preserved and perfected over time. The castle-like, 250-room Biltmore House is open for exploration by all ages, enhanced this year by a NEW kid’s audio tour for ages 7 to 13. Specialty tours go all the way up to the home’s rooftop for breathtaking birds-eye views; and down into the basement where a swimming pool and bowling alley reside.

Summer 2014 vacation deals at Biltmore

• Kids 16 and younger receive FREE admission Memorial Day Weekend (starting May 23) through Labor Day, Sept. 1.
• Dads receive FREE admission on Father’s Day, June 15, with purchase of an adult or youth ticket.
• Seniors receive $15 off admission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
• Save $15 off ticket price by purchasing tickets at least 7 days in advance of visit; save $10 by booking online 1 to 6 days in advance of visit (www.biltmore.com).

Biltmore’s great outdoors

Meander through the colorful and ever-changing manicured gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, or explore the miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through wooded areas and open fields. Take in mountain and Biltmore House views from a bike, on the back of a horse, while floating down a lazy river, on a Segway, or on a carriage ride. Try your hand at fly-fishing, sporting clays or get behind the wheel of a Land Rover.

Fun in Antler Hill Village and Farm

Admission to Biltmore includes access to Antler Hill Village Farm and Barnyard, both of which harken back to the 1890s when families lived on the estate raising crops and livestock, and tending to milk and ice cream production at Biltmore Dairy. The Barnyard area is home to blacksmiths, woodworkers and other craft demonstrations. Kids can also explore Pisgah Playground, a Children’s Maze and the Land Rover Course for Kids. The Winery hosts a Kids Grape Stomp in the village from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Winery

Admission offers entry to Biltmore Winery, with complimentary tastings and a production tour.  Specialty tours like the Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour and the Red Wine and Chocolate seminar are available at an additional cost. An exhibition, “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” is just a few steps away from the Winery and sheds light on the time the Vanderbilt family made Biltmore House their home, and their world travels.

Music under the stars

Dance under the stars on select summer nights during Biltmore’s Concert Series, staged on the South Terrace next to Biltmore House.  The 2014 line-up will be announced on May 1, 2014, on www.biltmore.com, with series kick-off scheduled for July. Past performers have included Sheryl Crow, Heart, The Beach Boys, Bruce Hornsby, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss and more!

Evening weekends will feature Live After Five in Antler Hill Village with musical performances by area musicians on the bandstand at the Village Green. A variety of culinary options will be available, and Cedric’s Tavern, the Bistro, the Creamery will all be open.

Make Biltmore your home away from home at Inn on Biltmore Estate

Extend your visit with an overnight stay at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate or with our local accommodations partners and take advantage of packages on select dates this summer.

Information on Biltmore’s summer offerings is available by calling 866.336.1245, or by visiting Biltmore.com. View suggested itineraries for more family travel ideas.

EBT/SNAP Shoppers Get $5 for $5 at Asheville City Market

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – ASAP and Asheville City Market Downtown’s annual $5 for $5 EBT/SNAP promotion returns this summer. Usually held for four weeks in August, the program expands in 2013 to nine Saturdays beginning July 6 and running through August 31. During the promotion, the first 50 SNAP customers at each Saturday Asheville City Market who make a minimum purchase of $5 in SNAP tokens will receive a free $5 bonus token. EBT cards are swiped in exchange for tokens to spend with market vendors; credit and debit card purchases are also made this way.

“Our customers with SNAP benefits are looking forward to an extension of the $5 for $5 bonus program,” says Asheville City Market Manager Mike McCreary. “We’re looking forward to being able to offer the program once again and to extending it so that shoppers can purchase even more farm-fresh food when at the height of its harvest this summer.”

The promotion is made possible with funding from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC). Funding from CFWNC also goes to running Growing Minds @ Market at Asheville City Market, a summer children’s activity series coordinated/hosted by ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program in partnership with community organizations. Growing Minds @ Market also runs through the end of August; more information can be found at growing-minds.org.

Asheville City Market began accepting EBT/SNAP payments in 2008 and has routinely led the Southeast in EBT sales at farmers markets. The Downtown market is located at 161 South Charlotte Street and is open 8 am-1 pm every Saturday through November, with special holiday markets beginning in December and an indoor winter market that starts in January. Asheville City Market also operates a South Asheville location, at 2 Town Square Boulevard in Biltmore Park Town Square, that runs Wednesdays 1-5 pm; the South location, however, is not offering the bonus $5.

Select other area tailgates also accept EBT/SNAP. Customers can learn if a farmers market near them accepts EBT/SNAP by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. A “Payment Methods” section was added to each tailgate’s display listing earlier this year.

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. One way ASAP works to achieve this mission is by operating Asheville City Market and Asheville City Market South. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving 18 counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $8 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found at cfwnc.org.

Playing Healthy Outdoors

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The return of warmer temperatures offers the opportunity for relaxation and exploration outdoors. Whether you’re relaxing in the backyard, turning up your garden, enjoying the pool or taking part in another outdoor activity, you’ll want to be sure and keep your distance from disease-causing pests. Here are some ways you and your family can remain healthy while outdoors this spring and suMosquitommer.

Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

Warmer temperatures aren’t just attractive to people, but to mosquitoes and ticks as well. Small as they are, these tiny creatures can cause severe illness, and in some cases, even death. There are several simple and effective ways to avoid their bite without missing out on your favorite outdoor activities.

Mosquitoes

One of the most recommended ways to avoid mosquitoes is to avoid going outdoors when they are most likely to bite – from dusk to dawn. Unfortunately, in Western North Carolina, we have some mosquitoes, such as the tree-hole mosquito, that tend to be out and bite all day.

To enjoy your outdoor activities at any time, repel mosquitoes by regularly using a mosquito and tick repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

  • In addition to using mosquito repellant on exposed skin, wear long pants tucked into your socks and long sleeves to protect yourself from bites.
  • Treat clothing with permethrin (which protects through several washings) or buy clothes that are pre-treated with permethrin.
  • Always follow the directions on repellent packages carefully and use caution when treating small children.

Ticks

Ticks are out all the time. Young ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see, but both young and adult ticks look to animals and sometimes people to bite.

Keep ticks at a distance by avoiding tick-infested areas, especially places with leaf-litter, brush, and high grasses.

  • Use a mosquito and tick repellent containing 20% DEET.
  • Shower as soon as possible after coming indoors and check your body for ticks. Make sure that your children also bathe or shower and check them for ticks as well.
  • Wash and tumble dry your clothes.
  • Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks.
  • If you find an attached tick:
    • Carefully remove it with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
    • Call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms of a tick-borne illness 1 – 3 weeks following a bite. Symptoms may include rash, fever, body aches, fatigue, headache, stiff neck or disorientation.

Keep Mosquitoes and Ticks out of Your Yard

Look around your yard and neighborhood and remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, toys and flowerpots.

  • Mosquitoes can breed in small amounts of water in just a few days.
  • Replace or repair torn window screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
  • You can reduce the likelihood that ticks will live around your home by removing leaf litter, brush and woodpiles around your house and at the edge of your yard.

Beware of Bats

Bats are fun to watch as they flutter around at dusk. In many camp areas, the sighting of bats is common and normal; however, bats can be infected with rabies and may pose a risk for exposure to humans.

What To Do If You Find a Bat

  • Get everyone out of the room, cabin, or tent and close the bat inside.
  • Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a lab for rabies testing. Follow instructions for capturing bats.
  • Knowing if a bat has rabies helps those who may have been exposed decide if they should get rabies post-exposure vaccines. This is especially important if someone was sleeping in the room where the bat was found because the bite of a bat can be very small and go unnoticed. Once symptoms of rabies begin, it is almost always fatal.
  • If you are bitten by a bat, wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical advice right away. In Buncombe County go to the Emergency Department at Mission Hospital.
  • Remind children to never touch a bat.

If you find a bat in your residence, do not release it. Leave the room, closing the bat inside if possible, and call animal control or law enforcement for your area.

Don’t forget to protect your pets!

While you’re outside enjoying the weather, remember to protect your pets too. Keeping healthy pets will help keep you and your family healthy.

Dogs, cats and ferrets need to be kept up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. In Buncombe County you can get low-cost rabies vaccines for your furry friends at clinics sponsored by Buncombe County and the Asheville Humane Society. Click here to learn more.

Protect family pets from ticks and fleas by keeping them on a flea and tick control program. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate anti-bug products to use on your pet.

You don’t have to let the threat of illness from mosquitoes, ticks or bats dampen your outdoor fun in warm weather. Take these simple precautions, get on outside and enjoy! Have a safe and healthy spring and summer!

For More Information

If you have questions or concerns about diseases that may be transmitted through bites, contact your healthcare provider or the Buncombe County Communicable Disease Program at 250-5109.

For questions about eliminating ticks or mosquitoes from your yard, you may call Buncombe County Environmental Health at 250-5016.

Other resources:

  • Fight the Bite!
    Use repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks.
  • West Nile Virus
    Find where recent outbreaks of this mosquito-borne disease have occurred and how to protect yourself.
  • Lyme Disease
    Includes prevention, transmission, and symptoms
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    Includes prevention, transmission, and symptoms
  • Ticks
    Includes prevention tips, information on ticks found in the US, the diseases they spread and symptoms
  • Healthy Pets, Healthy People
    Enjoy your pets while protecting yourself against diseases they carry.

Make the Most of Your Biltmore Visit

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Vacations are front and center as summer is officially in the air and heralding the busy travel season. First-time visitors to Biltmore, and even those who visit regularly, may be surprised to learn of all the different things to do during a summer trip to the estate. Biltmore offers these insider tips to enhance your experience while visiting America’s Largest Home this summer.

•    See the estate from an awe-inspiring location: the top of Biltmore House! The guided Architect’s Tour takes you up to the roof for a close look at details… and long views of Mount Pisgah.

•    Explore a mile-long sunflower patch where the sunflowers grow up to 6 feet tall. Enjoy three blooming times this year – early June, early July and early September.

•    Dance the night away at a new event in Antler Hill Village and Winery — “Fridays After Five” every Friday evening through the end of July. Live music, Biltmore crafted wine and beer, and fun for kids with our popular Grape Stomp make for lively evenings for the whole family. Bring a picnic and take in the sunset or choose from dinner menus at elegant estate restaurants.

•    Visit the Antler Hill Farm barnyard animals and their babies for a chance to pet chicks, roosters, goats and lambs.

•    Enjoy a Winky Bar Sundae from the Creamery in Antler Hill Village. This treat is made from the original vanilla ice cream recipe from the historic Biltmore Dairy.

•    Attend summer concerts by award-winning artists. Concerts are held on Biltmore House’s South Terrace and at Diana at Biltmore, an intimate setting on the vista overlooking Biltmore House. Stunning views of Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains from each site offer a perfect place to see a show under the stars. Go to Biltmore.com for performers and dates.

•    Pack a picnic and enjoy it at the lagoon where the reflection of Biltmore House shimmers on the water.

•    Stop by the Historic Rose Garden, planted exactly as it was when George Vanderbilt lived at Biltmore. It’s filled with roses in more than 50 varieties.

•    Feel like you’re in France’s Versailles with a stroll through the Italian Garden. Statuary and lilypad-filled reflecting pools conjure a European atmosphere.

•    Get some exercise with your dog in Biltmore’s 8,000-acre backyard.

Special pricing is available on select dates through the summer season:

•    Kids ages 16 and younger get in FREE with a paying adult this summer (valid through Sept. 3).

•    Admission is $15 off the regular gate admission price if tickets are purchased at least seven days in advance (valid through Sept. 3).

•    Guests ages 65 and older save $10 on admission every Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets may be purchased at Biltmore’s Reservation and Ticket Center with photo ID. Not valid with any other offer.

•    The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering three nights for the price of two on select dates this summer.

•    Enjoy a second, consecutive day for only $10. Upgrade on your day of visit at any of the Guest Service locations on the estate. Includes access to Biltmore House, Gardens, Antler Hill Village & Winery, and all shops and restaurants.

Tomato, Tomahto, Call the Whole Thing Get Local

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Tomato lovers have, without exaggeration, nearly 1,000 varieties from which to choose a favorite – there are thought to be 600+ heirloom varieties alone. While every single one isn’t available locally, tomato month in ASAP’s Get Local initiative presents the opportunity to buy and taste an impressive number.

Tomatoes will abound at tailgate markets throughout August; shoppers can stock up for summer and to store for winter. And, Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants will serve delicious dishes.

The Market Place will feature local tomatoes heavily on their menu this month. William Dissen, executive chef/owner, is currently purchasing ‘maters from at least five area farms. Look for dishes like tomato bruschetta and a colorful heirloom tomato salad.

Dissen even plans to serve local tomato cocktails at the upcoming Homegrown Tomato Contest and Party on Saturday, August 11, 2-5 pm, hosted in honor of Get Local and in partnership with ASAP. Home gardeners are invited to bring their two best tomatoes to be judged by a panel including a representative from local seed company Sow True Seed and Ingles’ dietitian, Leah McGrath. They can also bring tomatoes gone slightly awry for an Ugly Tomato Contest. Prizes include a $100 gift certificate to the Market Place, $25 Market Bucks to Asheville City Market, a pass to ASAP’s Farm Tour, and a Sow True Seed fall/winter seed collection and gift certificate. Everyone is invited to attend to enjoy the special cocktails and local tomato hors d’oeuvres, mingle with fellow gardeners and local food enthusiasts, and get great gardening advice and resources.

Tickets for the public are $20, $10 for contest entrants; contact the Market Place at (828) 252-4162 or [email protected]. A portion of proceeds will support ASAP. More places to get a local tomato fix are listed in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.


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.