fr drexelThe future of the old furniture factory in Whittier has been through more than its share of twists and turns over the past year, but Jackson County now has an offer on the table from a group of farmers who want to turn it into a packing and agricultural resource facility. 

out frIt’s been 30 years since Raymond Bunn saw his first coyote, and that moment — Clay County, 1986 — is not one he’s likely to forget. 

“I remember well seeing it,” said Bunn, manager at Shed’s Hunting Supply in Sylva. “When I first seen it, I thought it was a German shepherd dog or something like that, but it was a coyote.”

art frRicardo Fernandez is a renowned chef, master gardener and also a former national diving champion, but there’s one thing he can’t do.

“I’ve tried to get my hair to grow back, but it doesn’t work,” he laughed.

mtn voicesHog Holler, Hog Branch, Hog Camp Branch, Hog Cane Branch, Hog-eye Branch, Hogback Gap, Hogback Holler, Hogback Knob, Hogback Ridge, Hogback Township, Hogback Mountain, and Hogback Valley. In addition there are six sites in Western North Carolina named Hogback Mountain. Proof enough, if anyone required it, that hogs are an essential part of the mountain landscape.

fr treeexperiencePeople can buy a real Christmas tree just about anywhere these days — from the big box stores to the side of the road.

fr treepickingSome like them tall and thin. Others like them shorter and thick.

fr treegrowingThe Christmas tree business is not a get-rich-quick kind of industry. Once a seedling is planted, it takes about eight years of growth before the tree can fulfill its Christmas destiny.

coverWith more than 25 million real Christmas trees sold in the United States every year, growing Christmas trees is a thriving industry for farmers in North Carolina.

SEE ALSO:
• A real tree takes real work
• The art of picking the perfect Christmas tree
• Christmas tree farm experience

“I think real trees are holding their own,” said Tom Sawyer, owner of Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm in Cashiers. “There’s been more of a resurgence of people lately who want the real deal.”

jacksonA group of Whittier farmers hoping to turn the vacant Drexel factory into an agricultural resource got a nod of support from Jackson County commissioners this week.

out frA half-hour into the morning, Carol Larson has the gleaning operation smoothly underway at Skipper Russell’s farm in Bethel. A trio of tarps, topped with cardboard boxes neatly arranged in rows, sits on the grassy buffer between field and road. Beyond the tarps stretch rows — long, long rows — of cucumber plants.

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