May 2015

Fact: Herbs have been used for thousands of years for healing practices. Fact: The Appalachian Mountain region is one of the most botanically diverse areas in the country. Combine these facts with decades of hands-on practical teaching experience, and you have a perfect recipe for a successful school that teaches the value of herbs.
A stunning visual display on the run Rhododendrons bloom in the spring, but exactly when the best time to find them depends on the weather, temperature, elevation and soil conditions. In other words, the flowers rarely appear at the same time every year. This variability has given birth to the phrase “chasing the bloom,” in which flower enthusiasts and floral tourists track the flower as it first appears in different parts of the mountains.
What differentiates a fiddle from a violin — they’re essentially the same instrument — is the way they’re played. The Italians, in particular Antonio Stradivari, developed modern violin techniques and music. But it’s the Irish who migrated to the rough hills of Appalachia who can count the fiddle as their own incarnation.
With spring comes an opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and take a trip to an area farm for berry picking. Many farms offer more than just a bucketful of berries. With farm animals, markets, tours and more, kids can learn about farms to gain a better understanding about where their food comes from. Here's a round-up of some berry-picking farms throughout Central Appalachia:

The air fills with natural scents. The grounds are overrun with herbalists, home gardeners and curious nature lovers. And the bounty is plentiful. Nature at its best comes alive when you experience the largest assortment of fresh herbs in one place when the Asheville Herb Festival marks its 25th anniversary:

Try a few of these Appalachian suggestions So your herb garden is sprouting and you’re anxious to use those vibrant, healthy herbs in your meal preparation. The first thing to do is replace your store-bought herbs with plants fresh-picked from your garden.
Events and weddings and more, oh my! If you have to pull a big event together, but don’t know where to start, an event planner may be just the savior you need. If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of planning a whole wedding, a wedding planner takes the weight of worry off your shoulders. And on the day of the event, you can relax and enjoy yourself knowing that someone is watching every detail.
Tried and true folk remedies Early Appalachian settlers didn’t have access to health care. The nearest town with a real doctor might be days away, so they had to rely on themselves and whatever nature provided. As a result, they learned to make use of the natural medicines they found around them: roots, leaves, bark, flowers, fruit and seeds made into salves and tinctures. Even today, many Appalachian natives prefer to administer their own remedies rather than trust a doctor’s care.

One of the best things about summer is the freedom to kick back and be lazy once in a while. In the Appalachians, that doesn’t mean sipping sweet tea in your backyard or on your porch. That’s an activity better suited to the rest of the South. In the mountains, people like to get out into nature — even when all they want to do is relax and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside without a lot of effort.

Appalachian Herbal Infused Butters and Oils Appalachian locals have long had a reputation for being thrifty and industrious -- and for good reason. Although the region is home to a wide variety of native plants and wildlife, the rocky soil and unpredictable seasons can make farming and gardening challenging. Determined to stay, people in these mountains learned to make do with what they had. They truly lived off the land, using as many native herbs and plants as they could.