This Week in the Swannanoa Valley


Organic gardening classes to convene

Craig Siska, a landscape architect and environmental site planner, is conducting 12 consecutive classes in organic biodynamic/French intensive horticulture.

The introductory training course is created for the benefit of home gardeners, small-scale market gardeners, college students, CSA growers and anyone interested in a new approach to spiritual-horticultural science and landscape site design.

The courses - $240 for all or $20 each, with student and early bird payment discounts by Jan. 15 - will be 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturdays (except Easter Saturday) from Jan. 16-April 9 at St. James Episcopal Church, Black Mountain. Cash or checks accepted at the door; to prepay, mail Siska at PO Box 702, Montreat, NC 28757.

Participants are invited to join Siska and Diana McCall in the spring at Wilson Community Garden in Black Mountain for practical horticultural experience. Contact McCall at

Get help with ACA insurance at library

A 45-minute presentation about the Affordable (health) Care Act will be given at the Swannanoa Library at 6 p.m. Jan. 14.

The presentation will address insurance renewal, how to assess plan features, no-cost preventive care, no denial due to preexisting conditions, subsidies, the tax penalty/exemptions for uninsured people. Two websites will be introduced. One shows case by case plan costs and features. The other allows the selection of a place and time to receive free confidential enrollment assistance.

Insurance gotten between Dec. 16, 2015 and Jan. 14 becomes effective Feb. 1. Enrollment can be done online at

Weekly art classes announced in BM, Old Fort

Weekly art classes with Lorelle Bacon are designed to help beginning through advanced students reach their artistic goals in a positive and encouraging atmosphere. Students use their choice of mediums and subjects. Four classes for Arrowhead Artists and Artisans and Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League members are $65; they are $75 for nonmembers.

Classes are Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Arrowhead Gallery in Old Fort and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays at The Red House in Black Mountain. Classes, to be held during the first half of each month, need not be attended consecutively. Call Bacon at 828-595-6007.

Get a start on your 2015 taxes

The Black Mountain Friends of the Library welcome Rob Earley, CPA, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. He will present a guide to income tax preparation in 2016. Everyone is invited.

Beautification committee invites new members

The Black Mountain Beautification Committee wants you. Whether you are a professional gardener, a would-be gardener or just like to play in the dirt, the beautification committee would like you to join it as members have fun enhancing the natural beauty of Black Mountain. The committee meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 19 at Town Hall. If you would like to know more, visit or our Facebook page at Black Mountain Beautification.

Habitat offers home repair program

In addition to building new HealthyBuilt NC homes in partnership with qualified families, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity also offers a home repair program for low-income Buncombe County homeowners. By offering low monthly payments and 0 percent interest financing, Habitat makes home improvement affordable for low-income homeowners. Services include exterior and interior repairs, floor and roof repairs, modifications for accessibility, painting and much more.

Habitat can help people live longer and better in their homes by improving accessibility (ramps, grab bars, accessible shower/tubs), increasing safety and comfort (new windows, doors), and remediating issues that negatively affect health (water damage, inadequate heat). To learn more about the criteria for qualifying and how to apply, visit or call 828-210-9370.

Learn stress reduction techniques at Happy Body Fitness and Wellness

Join Happy Body Fitness and Wellness at 103 Black Mountain Ave., Black Mountain to learn a few basic massage, relaxation, and stretch techniques to do at home or on the road to help ease pain, reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being. The workshop takes place from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. The price is $25. Pre-register at or at 828-581-9424.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry needs food, toiletries and more

The Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry has updated its needs list to provide for clients in the community. It needs ramen noodles (beef or chicken), canned fruit, canned tomatoes (diced or stewed), canned mixed vegetables, canned beans (pinto, red kidney black beans, pork and beans, baked beans), canned corn, canned tuna, all purpose flour, sugar, coffee, tea, toothbrushes and toothpaste, bar soap, toilet paper, large size diapers (sizes 3-6), laundry detergent, towels (bath, hand, washcloth) and bedsheets.

Monetary donations designated to food are also welcome. Drop off items at 101 N. Ridgeway Ave. in Black Mountain.

Mindfulness training begins at Cloud Cottage

January marks the first month of the continuing 14 Mindfulness Trainings classes in the new year. The classes - 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday at Cloud Cottage Community of Mindful Living, 219 Old Toll Circle, Black Mountain - include a meditation and reading of one of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings in the Plum Village tradition of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as study and discussion. Classes, facilitated by Rev. Judith Toy, are ongoing, and students can enroll at any time. By donation.

Team comes together to take bridge win

The Max Woodcock Bridge Club on Jan. 5 had a four table Howell rotation. John Gilbert teamed up with Walt Tolley for the first time in several weeks; together, they worked their way to a first-place finish. Careful play by the teams of David Hirsch-Roger Fenna and Chuck Murdock-Mike Bernatovicz resulted in a tie for second place for those two pairings.

The club plays every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. Contact Walt Tolley at 669-4563 to join in.

Parents Night Out returns to BM Yoga

Parents Night Out at Black Mountain Yoga is Friday, Jan. 15 from 6-8 p.m. Drop the kids off for games, art and yoga. Also this week, advanced Pranayama (breathing) is from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16. And men’s yoga with Jeffrey Shoaf is noon-3 p.m. Sunday Jan. 17. For more, visit or call 669-2939.

Lions Club and students hold food/coat drive

The Black Mountain Lions Club, along with the Owen High School Leo Club, will host a food/coat drive and bake sale from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Carver Center. Drop off canned foods and nonperishables and gently used coats. A bag of canned goods will get you a cookie and hot chocolate and lots of heartfelt thanks. for more, contact Lions Club president Johnnie Whisnant, 828-712-9525.

Documentary shown at Friends Meeting House

A 60 minute historical documentary, “The Doctrine Of Discovery,” will be shown at the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting House on Center Ave. at 6:30 p.m,. Jan. 15. It’s free, and all are welcome.