Community – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com Brevard, NC - Live Where You Play! Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:49:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 SIX EASY WAYS TO PREPARE FOR HOLIDAY GUEST S S http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/six-easy-ways-prepare-christmas-guests/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/six-easy-ways-prepare-christmas-guests/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:48:41 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6293 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “It’ll be here before you know it:  holiday season….probably time you started getting prepared…it will probably be easier than expected to get it into good shape.  Here are a few things you can do this weekend to get started. MAKE OVER YOUR GUEST ROOM.  In…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“It’ll be here before you know it:  holiday season….probably time you started getting prepared…it will probably be easier than expected to get it into good shape.  Here are a few things you can do this weekend to get started.

MAKE OVER YOUR GUEST ROOM.  In many guest rooms, whatever furniture exists is often leftovers from other spaces, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look great.  If you’re not looking to add to or replace anything, get out that paint can.  How does the bed look?  Tired or drab?  You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great set of sheets, and top it with a graphic patterned comforter and a few pillows – voila!  On the night stand, a favorite book and a scented candle will make your guests feel welcome.  (A stack of pretty, fresh towels at the bottom of the bed makes a nice presentation.)

POLISH YOUR SILVER.  Several simple tricks (http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/how-to-clean-silver) will have it look better in no time.  Our favorite:  ketchup!

MAKE IT  INVITING.  Discount home decor stores can be a goldmine for little, inexpensive items that can make your guests feel like they’re staying at a fancy hotel.  Stock up on guest soaps, hand towels, lotions, and (!) perhaps set out a new robe and slippers.

THINK ABOUT FUNCTION. While you’re making things look pretty, make sure you consider function.  Guests will need a place to put their things, so this is a perfect time to put away summer clothes or pack up a few boxes of giveaway stuff to create space in a closet.  Now…hit your coat closet.  Go through your closet or hooks by your door, and store away any extra jackets you may have hanging there.

CONSIDER THE LIGHTING.  While you are out shopping, hit the lighting aisle.  Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t.  Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door.  Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage at night.

DO A SMELL CHECK.  Everyday scents, especially if you have pets, can get past us in our own home.  There is actually a science behind this…we adapt to smells very quickly.  Within the space of just a few breaths, we can lose our ability to detect new odors, It’s called olfactory adaption, and it’s the same reason you can’t smell your own breath, body odor or even perfume after a few minutes.

Outside of the typical tactics of cleaning and deodorizing, there are a few tricks that can help freshen up your home.  Fill two to four shallow bowls with fresh coffee grounds, depending on the size of the room.  Shut the windows and the door to the room, then leave the bowls overnight to let the coffee grounds absorb the odor.  Throw the grounds away the next day.  Repeat one more night with fresh coffee grounds for particularly stubborn odors.  Another quick fix:  Put about a cup of white vinegar in a sauce pan on your stove top and bring it to a simmer…it will release more odor-fighting power into the air, and if you let it go for awhile, it will deodorize your whole house.  It might smell a little vinegary at first, but after a while it won’t smell like anything at all….”

(Our own tip, which is especially easy over the holidays….bake cookies, breads etc. each day to keep the lovely aromas of holiday baking in your home.  And if you are in the process of selling your home, bake a loaf of bread every morning.  It’ll create a pleasant “greeting” when prospective buyers first enter your home!)

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri/realtytimes.com   IMAGE:  huffingtonpost.com

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AS LEAVES DROP, BIRD WATCHING IMPROVES http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/leaves-drop-bird-watching-improves/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/leaves-drop-bird-watching-improves/#respond Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:26:41 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6289 Excerpted from an article by George Ellison for the Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network “From now until the first ice storm in mid-January is a period that’s invigorating without being bitterly cold or slushy.  It’s always been a good time to get outdoors for some birding – or just watch them through the kitchen windows as…

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Excerpted from an article by George Ellison for the Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network

“From now until the first ice storm in mid-January is a period that’s invigorating without being bitterly cold or slushy.  It’s always been a good time to get outdoors for some birding – or just watch them through the kitchen windows as they come and go at regular intervals.

Mid-fall is when we are on the lookout for those species that nest in the northern hardwood and spruce-fir regions of the Southern Appalachians – where they reach the southernmost limits of their breeding ranges – but come down to the lowlands in the fall to winter:  golden-crowned kinglets, winter wrens, black-capped chickadees, brown creepers, red-breasted nuthatches and juncos.  Of these, one of our favorites is the winter wren, a species found throughout temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and the only wren species found outside of the Americas….

According to the online “Birds of North America” site (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) this species is unique among North American wrens in its association with old-growth forests.  It uses snags, downed logs, and large trees for nesting, foraging and roosting.  Some European populations inhabit highly human-modified habitats year-round and are known as garden birds.

The winter wren is noted for its song – a sparkling series of high-pitched bubbling warbles and trills – that may last for up to seven seconds and contain more than 100 notes.  Most singing occurs during breeding season, but it has been noted in every month of the year.  “On rare occasions the listener may be favored by antiphonal singing, when the refrain is carried on by two or more musicians – as soon as one utters his last note, another begins, round after round, so charmingly synchronized that the performance becomes a never-to-be-forgotten experience.” (Arthur Stupka/Great Smokies National Park)

In late fall and winter, the little bird’s presence is usually announced by abrasive “chirrs” or harsh “tik-tik-tik”cockced over its back, this species is unmistakable.  At high elevations, the tiny brown sprite creeps mouse-like through the forest at ground level, darting in and  out of hollow logs and tangles of vegetation.  In the lower elevations, it  is attracted to home sites, where it flits in and  out of the openings in stacks of firewood and ventures underneath structures seeking insects.

Winter wrens are without doubt our most inquisitive bird.  And for whatever reason, they are seemingly fascinated with human beings.  I have had them follow me along trails for several hundred yards, bobbing up at intervals to make sure I am aware of their presence.  They enter our house and inspect the premises when an open door or window allows access.  They are irresistible.”

SOURCE:  George Ellison is a naturalist and writer.  His wife, Elizabeth Ellison, is a painter and papermaker who owns a gallery in Bryson City, NC.

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WINTER WEATHER IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-weather-western-north-carolina/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-weather-western-north-carolina/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:09:15 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6277 Excerpted from a study initiated by the State Climate Office of North Carolina When people drop in at our office here in Cedar Mountain, outside of Brevard, NC, they often ask….”what is the winter weather like in this area?”  Anecdotal information aside (that we generally have mild winters these days), there is always someone who…

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Excerpted from a study initiated by the State Climate Office of North Carolina

When people drop in at our office here in Cedar Mountain, outside of Brevard, NC, they often ask….”what is the winter weather like in this area?”  Anecdotal information aside (that we generally have mild winters these days), there is always someone who has lived here most of their life, and reels off stories about what terrible winters they used to experience – especially in the Asheville area.

Here’s a more scientific look at the winter weather in our area.  Caveat:  this study was done in the early 2000’s.

“Winter weather (snow, sleet, freezing rain) occurs with the greatest frequency in the norther latitudes (e.g., New England and the Midwest) and higher altitudes (the Appalachians).  However, such weather regularly affects the southeastern US as far south as Georgia during each cold season.  In fact, the impacts of winter weather in the Southeast have been recorded as early as the first week of October and as late as  mid-April. ”  (This year, particularly mild fall weather and plenty of rain kept the leaves on the trees, many still green, way past the usual color peak here which usually occurs around the middle of October.   And the fall, once it got going, lasted longer.  The mild weather turned cool/cold rather abruptly in the beginning of November, and a big wind & rain storm took down most of our leaves in one day!)

“…Each type of winter precipitation brings with it unique hazards.  Each precipitation type occurs with some regularity throughout the Southeast, and is due mainly to the topography of the region as well as its geography.  Continental polar air masses from Canada typically supply the cold air necessary for snow, while cold, dry air form New England entering the region can become entrained against the east slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, forming a dome or wedge of near-surface cold air.  The moisture necessary for precipitation is brought in from the nearby Gulf Of Mexico, where the thermal contrast between the cold land surface and the relatively warmer gulf waters provides a favorable environment for storm development and intensification.  If a cold dome is already in place east of the mountains, the warm frontal boundary and moisture associated with the developing storm may migrate northward over the cold dome, setting the stage for mixed precipitation….”  (There  is often a temperature differential of anywhere between five and ten degrees Farenheit between Brevard and the Cedar Mountain/Connestee Falls area.  This  is caused by altitude differential.  In easier terms to understand, this means that often we get snow, sleet and frozen rain in Connestee Falls, while Brevard – about 1,000 feet lower in altitude, gets cold rain.)

Natives will tell you that winters are much milder, with less freezing precipitation, than the winters of their childhood.  Still,  there is often concern about how quickly roads are cleared and safe for travel after a snow storm.   The State Department of Transportation is right on top of snow removal on US 276, which runs past Connestee’s Main and East Fork Gates.  And Connestee Falls has its own snow removal equipment, including snowplows and snow blowers – and can stay on top of the snow removal situation on our private roads.

SOURCE:  State Climate Office of North Carolina

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TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, NC – ABOUT OUR COUNTY http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/transylvania-county-nc-county/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/transylvania-county-nc-county/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:41:20 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6273 SOURCE:  Transylvania County, NC website & Land of Waterfalls website “Transylvania County is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina, about half way between Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC.  The county seat is Brevard, NC.  The Transylvania County Courthouse, located in the heart of Brevard, is on the National Register of…

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SOURCE:  Transylvania County, NC website & Land of Waterfalls website

“Transylvania County is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina, about half way between Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC.  The county seat is Brevard, NC.  The Transylvania County Courthouse, located in the heart of Brevard, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Transylvania County is called the “Land of Waterfalls” due to the 250 waterfalls located throughout the county.  Whitewater Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern US.  Framed by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, access to Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park and DuPont State Forest (the most visited state forest in NC) provides locals and visitors with opportunities for a range of outdoor activities – hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, tubing, picnicing and fishing.

There is also a rich cultural scene in the country.  World-renowned Brevard Music Center, Brevard Philharmonic, Brevard Little Theatre, Brevard Community Band, Paul Porter Center for Performing Arts at Brevard College, Transylvania Choral Society, Transylvania Community Arts Council – and more…”

“…Don’t be deceived by the easy pace and iconic Small Town America ambiance of Brevard – our charming, historic county seat.  There is probably something awesome going on right now in downtown Brevard.  It might be as simple as a new exhibit at on of the many small art galleries, a beer tasting at a local pub, or a truly spectacular, day-capping combo of a toy shop visit and a chocolate  milkshake.  Or it could be live music (which occurs with near-daily frequency in the warmer months), a bike or running race, or one of Brevard’s many beloved, family-friendly street festivals.

…wander through the one-of-a-kind local boutiques, grab a delicious meal at a wide variety of local eateries (both casual and upscale), stop by for a little bluegrass on the front porch of the Silvermont Mansion – or in winter, enjoy one of Brevard’s many cool weather and holiday attractions.

Downtown Brevard offers fine, relaxed accompaniment to wilderness exploration and a whole new sort of adventure for any and all inclined to follow their sense through one of American’s Coolest Small Towns…”

SOURCE:  Transylvania County/Land of Waterfalls websites.  Just Google Transylvania County, NC or Brevard, NC – or Land of Waterfalls for a variety of information…

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WINTER-BLOOMING PLANTS HELP BEES SURVIVE THE SEASON http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-blooming-plants-help-bees-survive-season/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-blooming-plants-help-bees-survive-season/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:44:04 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6247 Excerpted and adapted from an article by Dean Fosdick for Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times “Winter and early spring are lean times for honeybees as they emerge from their hives, where food supplies are dwindling, to forage.  Adding clusters of winter-blooming plants around the yard will give them much needed  nourishment. Bees take in carbohydrates from floral…

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Excerpted and adapted from an article by Dean Fosdick for Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times

“Winter and early spring are lean times for honeybees as they emerge from their hives, where food supplies are dwindling, to forage.  Adding clusters of winter-blooming plants around the yard will give them much needed  nourishment.

Bees take in carbohydrates from floral nectar and protein from floral pollen.  Being aware of bloom times and providing flowers that over lap seasons are important for beekeepers who want to overwinter their colonies.  Some bees, including many wild varieties, begin searching for food as early as January, when sunny days can push temps up to 55 F or more. In the early spring, bees are going to need food to get their engines started again…solitary wild bees, honeybees and hummingbirds are just clinging to life.

So the preparation you do now is very important.  Early spring is a vulnerable time for pollinators.  Pollinator plants like crocus, primrose and snowdrops will bloom even when show is on the ground.  Threes and shrubs also are effective choices for feeding early emerging honeybees.

In early spring, it’s the trees that are most important.  Willows, maples, filberts and hazelnuts are some of the earliest sources of pollen you’ll find.  They’re easy to establish and grow.  Establish early-blooming plants in clusters to make it easier for foraging honeybees to spot and access them.  Bees are efficient pollinators – they really appreciate patches of flowers.  They can get from flower to flower easily, saving on their own low energy supplies.

Many winter-flowering plants grow in the wild, but pollinators generally don’t live near them…so that makes cultivating winter bloomers important when planning your garden.  Property owners should also leave suitable places for native bees to hibernate undisturbed.  Let turf grass grow long over the winter.  Avoid pesticides.  Reduce lawn size and turn instead to protective shrubs.  Even a small amount of habitat will be enough to sustain bees….they are tiny creatures, and a well-thought-out landscape can provide all the food they need in winter.  As a gardener, you can really help with that.

Some additional bee-friendly plants:

  • Oregon grape, an evergreen shrub that produces yellow flowers blooming for weeks.
  • Heath and heather, in shades of purple to copper to gold; these low-growing plants make a mat of color throughout the year, including winter.
  • Male willow plants, maples, apple, crabapple, native cherry.

Native trees, shrubs and other plants selected to feed bees are definitely part of the solution to declining bee populations.”

NOTE:  In WNC, the best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall, giving them time to establish their root systems over the winter.

SOURCE:  DEAN FOSDICK/ASSOCIATED PRESS/ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES

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HELPING AGING PARENTS/RELATIVES TO DE-CLUTTER… http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/helping-aging-parentsrelatives-de-clutter/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/helping-aging-parentsrelatives-de-clutter/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:50:50 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6211 SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Patricia Lee/Houzz/realtytimes.com “When the child is the one charged with helping parents downsize, these guidelines can smooth the process.  Many seniors eventually need to downsize to a smaller space, whether to a retirement community, a nursing facility or a room in a family member’s home. If you’re the person faced…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Patricia Lee/Houzz/realtytimes.com

“When the child is the one charged with helping parents downsize, these guidelines can smooth the process.  Many seniors eventually need to downsize to a smaller space, whether to a retirement community, a nursing facility or a room in a family member’s home.

If you’re the person faced with going through an aging parent’s belongings, it may be tempting to rent a storage unit and just pack it all away.  However, that can be an expensive way to merely delay the inevitable…instead, you could start the process as soon as possible, and here are some tips to help you through it:

1. Acknowledge the true magnitude of the task.  Moving from a home filled with years of memories can be very emotional process.  Not only do they have to downsize the physical memories of as long as a lifetime, but moving may also summon unwanted reminders of their mortality.  For both parent and child, de-cluttering takes patience – and for the child especially it can be difficult to stay motivated, since you won’t directly reap the rewards of a tidier space.  Further, your decluttering standards may be different than those of your parents.  What you consider trash may be your parents’ treasures, and this can lead to friction.  It’s important to involve your parents in the decision making process rather than taking over completely.  Soliciting their input and accommodating their desires is a way to show them you value their decisions and respect their belongings.  So mentally prepare yourself for what is to come…

2. Schedule bite-sized work sessions.  De-cluttering is time consuming, and it can be tiring for aging relatives.  If time permits, space out your sessions so you can maintain the energy to complete the entire home….no more than three or four hours at a time, perhaps just two to three times per week.

3. Understand your parents’ lifestyle.  Getting a snapshot of how you’re parents plan to live in their new home will help you narrow down what they keep – with the goal of retaining only what they actually love or need.  Sit down and sketch out a few details that can serve as guidance as you sort.

Below are some questions you could use as a starting point for your discussion with your parents.  You could even use their answers to guide a first pass at eliminating irrelevant items on your own – leaving fewer decisions for your parents to make.

What type of clothing do you need (Daily comfort wear?  Weekly church outfits?  Occasional dress-up?)

What is your current range of clothing sizes?  Can other sizes be donated?

To what extent will you be cooking and baking?

Which suitcases and bags are no longer practical for travel?

Which books do you still read and which music do you still listen to?

4.  Start with the least sentimental items.  Practice makes perfect.  The decision to keep, toss, sell or donate becomes easier the more you practice.  Starting the de-cluttering with the least sentimental items such as linens and clothing, and working toward the most sentimental, such as photos and letters, can be a helpful way to ease into harder decision-making territory.

5.  De-clutter by category rather than room.  This will be helpful in terms of keeping your parents – and yourself – motivated and focused.  It’s easier to make decisions when items are grouped, as this helps you see all at once how many belongings you’re dealing with.  Also, you get a sense of accomplishment with the completion of each category.

6.  Keep only sentimental items that will displayed.  The truth is, some of these items have been buried in their houses for decades, so encourage them to keep only the items they’ll have out on display.  Memorabilia can’t be enjoyed while hidden away, and disposing of the items doesn’t diminish the memories associated with them.

7.  Take charge of your childhood items.  If your parents have saved all of your childhood memorabilia, they may be willing to turn those items over to you for sorting through.  This can be quite helpful for parents who are overwhelmed with culling their own possessions.  Now is also the time to remove any of your adult possessions that have been stored in their house.

8.  Remove unwanted items from the property.  Consider ordering a dumpster for trash, scheduling a charitable organization to pick up donations, and selling items at a consignment store or online.  It’s important to keep unwanted possessions moving as you continue the de-cluttering process, as storing them in the house may hinder progress.

9.  Treasure this quality time with your parents.  De-cluttering is undoubtedly hard work, and tensions often arise amid differing viewpoints.  So try to adjust your perspective when these moments inevitably come.  Instead of viewing the task as a chore, consider it a special time spent with your parents.  You may even hear some priceless stories about their youth and your childhood – especially if you maintain a patient attitude, and if you take the time to ask.

SOURCE:  Patricia Lee/Houzz Contributor/realtytimes.com  IMAGE: movelady.com

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ORGANIZERS OFFER TIPS FOR OLD PHOTOS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/organizers-offer-tips-old-photos/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/organizers-offer-tips-old-photos/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:28:41 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6190 Excerpted from Associated Press/Asheville Citizen Times “Take a survey of your home, and consider all the spots where you have old photos….baby pictures in albums in the living room, vacation snaps in tattered envelopes tucked into a bookshelf, milestone moments in old frames, and older relatives’ fading photos in dusty boxes in the basement or…

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Excerpted from Associated Press/Asheville Citizen Times

“Take a survey of your home, and consider all the spots where you have old photos….baby pictures in albums in the living room, vacation snaps in tattered envelopes tucked into a bookshelf, milestone moments in old frames, and older relatives’ fading photos in dusty boxes in the basement or attic.

They do take up a lot of space, and keep growing in numbers over the years.  When you want to organize them, you are doing yourself a favor, as well as the people who will inherit them from you.  (Stephanie Sisco, home editor for Real Simple magazine).

You can organize your photos and preserve your personal history either digitally, in photo-safe boxes, or both ways.  If you discard the originals after going digital, you’ll free up storage space around the house, which is always a good thing.

But…getting organized can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re staring down hundreds of thousands of loose, unorganized photos.  And reliving memories through photos can take a heavy toll, especially if you’re working on the project during an already emotional time like moving, helping a parent downsize, or dealing with an estate (or divorce).

“It’s one of the most challenging projects that people undertake in their organizational lives, because unless you’re starting from a really organized place, it’s difficult to even know where to begin,” Sisco says.

Prints are the most common photo item that people have – and have many of – in their homes.  You can spend an hour a day going through them, organizing the prints by decade, then narrowing them down further by year, or by person, or special event – like a wedding.  One of the hardest parts is throwing photos away, but do toss photos that are blurry, unflattering or duplicates.  And remember that over time, sunlight and humidity can cause photos to deteriorate.  In basements, photos can be damaged by flooding, humidity, mold and mildew.  In attics, heat and humidity can cause problems.  For these reasons, a digital archive is the best way to safely store photos and slides.  Having all images on a disc or thumb drive also makes it convenient to find and share images in person and online.

You can take photos on a thumb drive rather than carrying eight boxes filled with photo albums, and there’ less risk of damage to a small thumb drive than there is to photo albums or boxes of photos in your basement or attic.  Get a duplicate of the drive or disk and keep it somewhere secure, like in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe.

If you digitize photos, you can scan them into the computer yourself, pay for the service at a camera shop, or go through an online company like ScanMyPhotos.com.  If you keep the original photo prints, Sisco recommends storing them in clearly marked, archival storage boxes.  Place the acid-0free boxes inside a Rubbermaid container to keep out moisture and store them somewhere dry, dark and cool, like a closet…”

SOURCE:  Associated Press    IMAGE:  thefamilycurator.com

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WNC FARMERS OFFER CRUNCHY, JUICY, TASTY, FRESH SNACKS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/wnc-farmers-offer-crunchy-juicy-tasty-fresh-snacks/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/wnc-farmers-offer-crunchy-juicy-tasty-fresh-snacks/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:07:15 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6187 Excerpted from ASAP article in The Asheville Citizen-Times “Vegetables at market aren’t just good for making meals; they’re also great for snacking.  Stop by farm vendors of area farmers’ tailgate markets to discover your new favorite mid-afternoon bites. Beans are a great snack food that packs protein.  Haricot verts (“fancy”green beans), and similar varieties, make…

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Excerpted from ASAP article in The Asheville Citizen-Times

“Vegetables at market aren’t just good for making meals; they’re also great for snacking.  Stop by farm vendors of area farmers’ tailgate markets to discover your new favorite mid-afternoon bites.

Beans are a great snack food that packs protein.  Haricot verts (“fancy”green beans), and similar varieties, make for a crisp snack eaten raw.  Other beans, such as greasy beans, edamame and others are a great snack once they’re cooked, which need not take long.  Boil them in salt water for 5-10 minutes, depending on the texture you want).  Drain them, and then add a little butter, a pinch of salt, and you have a perfect quick snack.

Beans are good cold, too.  You can cook them the night before and eat them on the go the next day.  Stop by Dreamy Bean Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market) to learn more and pick up the beans of your dreams.

Mexican sour gherkins (tiny cucumbers) are a great snack ready-to-go…they’re bite-sized and wonderful for crunching down on between meals. Sleight Family Farm (at West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market) has these gems now.

Watermelons and other melon varieties have made their debut.  A quintessential summer treat,  melons can be a great thirst-quenching snack in the middle of a hot  afternoon.  Orchard fruits are always a classic snack to fall back on, and right now Asian pears as well as plums, doughnut peaches, white and yellow peaches, blackberries and early apples are making their appearance.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region.  As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.”

SOURCE:  ASAP/Asheville Citizen Times  IMAGE:  thefitfork.com

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PROGRAM TO FOCUS ON COUNTY GEOLOGY http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/program-focus-county-geology/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/program-focus-county-geology/#respond Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:47:04 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6184 Excerpted from an article in The Transylvania Times –  July 27, 2017 “The August “Discover Natural Transylvania” program at the Transylvania County Library will explore the billion-year-old geologic  history of Transylvania County.  Geologist Rick Wooten’s presentation, “The Geology of Transylvania County and Vicinity:  Mountains, Faults, Waterfalls, Landslides and More.” will highlight mountain geology within the…

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Excerpted from an article in The Transylvania Times –  July 27, 2017

“The August “Discover Natural Transylvania” program at the Transylvania County Library will explore the billion-year-old geologic  history of Transylvania County.  Geologist Rick Wooten’s presentation, “The Geology of Transylvania County and Vicinity:  Mountains, Faults, Waterfalls, Landslides and More.” will highlight mountain geology within the framework of plate tectonics on Thursday, August 3, at 6:30 pm. in the Rogow Room.

Wooten will discuss nearby scenic geologic features that help people understand geologic process past and present.  He will also cover the connectivity between landscape, ecosystems, weather, local history and geology.

Wooten has both a B.S. and M.S. in geology from the University of Georgia.  He served as an aircraft maintenance officer in the US Air Force between obtaining the degrees.  He worked as an engineering geologist on the Gifford Pinchot National F in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State from 1980-1990.  Since 1990 he has worked for the NC Geological Survey as the senior geologist for Geohazards and Engineering Geology.  Duties with the NCGS include geologic mapping and landslide research.

The program is approximately one hour and light refreshments are provided.  Discover Natural Transylvania programs are supported by the Friends of the Library.

For additional information, contact Marcy at 828-884-1820 or marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org.”

SOURCE:  The Transylvania Times

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OVERWHELMED BY SUMMER’S PRODUCE CHOICES? HERE’S A PLAN… http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/overwhelmed-summers-produce-choices-heres-plan/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/overwhelmed-summers-produce-choices-heres-plan/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:48:30 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6180 Excerpted from an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times – ASAP “The height of summer at farmers’ markets can be dizzying for a shopper.  So may colors, shapes, sizes, varieties, choices! The list literally ranges from A to Z – apples, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, flowers, garlic, kale,  kohlrabi, okra,…

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Excerpted from an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times – ASAP

“The height of summer at farmers’ markets can be dizzying for a shopper.  So may colors, shapes, sizes, varieties, choices!

The list literally ranges from A to Z – apples, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, flowers, garlic, kale,  kohlrabi, okra, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and zucchini, zucchini, zucchini.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what and how much to buy, consider these tips from veteran tailgate shoppers – who have developed methods to navigate the abundance…

  • Walk around the entire market first to get an overview of what’s available.
  • Look up recipes you like before going to market and purchase veggies based on the ingredients needed.
  • Consider how much longer something is going to be available.  For example, if deciding between cabbage and cauliflower this week, choose cauliflower because there’s only a week or so more that it’s likely to be available.
  • Make a meal plan for the week prior to going to market, and write it down – and take it with you!  You can leave flexibility within the plan if you don’t know what is going to be at market.  For example:  pasta with two veggies – and figure out what veggies to use once you are at market.
  • If you’re looking to put up seasonal items at peak season, ask farmers if they have items in bulk volumes for canning, pickling or freezing.  This is also great when you are feeding a crowd.
  • Read the market report and check market and farm social media pages before arriving at the market, so that you can anticipate what will be there.  Each week, farmers have a wide array of fruits and vegetables in addition to produce – plus – you can also almost always find an array of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, fresh flowers and other treats!

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region.  You can find information about farms, tailgate markets and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

(Here are a few WNC tailgate markets to check out: 

  • TRANSYLVANIA FARMERS’ MARKET – downtown Brevard, behind Comporium building. 8am – noon Saturdays.  Treat yourself to a wide variety of locally-grown produce, fruit, jams,  honey, cheeses.  It seems that everyone in Brevard converges on the Farmers Market on Summer Saturday Mornings.
  • WNC FARMERS MARKET – Brevard Road (191) outside Asheville at the intersection of 191 and US 40.  Open daily.)  Hanging baskets, landscaping plants, herbs and bedding plants still available.  Fresh produce includes local squash, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes and more.  Retail shops also have honey, jams, pickles, cheese, wine, fudge, eggs, handcrafted gifts, glazed pots and other items.  Also sandwiches and home-churned ice cream at the deli, and everything you need for spring and summer gardening at Jesse Israel and Sons Garden Center – including seeds, plants, yard art, pots and more.  Learn more at wncfarmersmarket.org and on Facebook.

SOURCE:  ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES

 

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