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gardening

It is probably safe to say Dad had a green thumb although frost, sub-freezing temperatures, insects, rabbits and other vermin would—from time to time—result in his thumb being somewhat off color. more

Mountain Explorer

It’s art. It’s architecture. And it could be apples … or pears, or a variety of other fruit and ornamental trees. more

Mountain Explorer

You can add espalier to your own garden or landscape by planting a tree already trained by professionals, or you can try training one yourself. more

Mountain Explorer

Finding Fresh Crops Under Winter's Snow

Photo courtesy Carol Koury

I recall a neighbor who had carrots and other hardy crops deep into the winter. The question is, how do they do that? more

Mountain Explorer

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Sow True photo

Cover crops grow large amounts of biomass above ground. This protects the soil, suppresses weed growth, and provides a homegrown mulch that can be cut in place to decompose and enrich the soil. more

Mountain Explorer

Seed Saving

Chris Smith photo

There are whole books devoted to the art and practice of seed saving, but this will give you a brief summary for tomato seeds, which happens to be one of the easiest places to start. more

Mountain Explorer

Tomatoes

Sow True Seed photo

What is wrong with my tomatoes? Tomatoes are the beautiful, delicious, iconic garden crop, but with so many things that could be wrong with your tomatoes, it’s a wonderfully, and worryingly, huge question. more

Mountain Explorer

There are many seeds that we start indoors so that we can nurture the seedlings and small plants in controlled conditions. more

Mountain Explorer

Chris Smith, the community coordinator of Sow True Seed, takes a look at what you can grow in the winter. more

Departments

Purple Coneflower

Sow True photo

I hold the firm belief that while a natural green thumb can come in handy, it is the willingness to get dirty hands that is the superior characteristic of a successful gardener. more

Sweet Appalachia

Janette Carter

Photo by Larry Smith

The making of chow-chow involves far more than the blending of vinegar, vegetables, and spices. Canning this mysterious relish, made for generations in the Mountain South, signals change and ingenuity. more

Sweet Appalachia

Kale until Christmas

Sow True photo

Chris Smith, the community coordinator of Sow True Seed—an Asheville-based company that specializes in open-pollinated, heirloom, and organic seeds—answers gardening questions in each issue of Smoky Mountain Living. more

Departments

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Sow True Seed

Last year I spent at least 15 minutes every morning squishing yellow Mexican bean beetles, feeling worried about karmic ramifications, and still losing all the leaves on my bean plants. more

Departments

Sweet pickle relish

Meg Reilley

I am an “all purpose” lady. Which is to say that I most prefer those objects that serve a multitude of purposes. An item whose usefulness can be employed on a daily as opposed to occasional basis gets my vote. more

Departments

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Sow True Seeds photo

Chris Smith, the community coordinator of Sow True Seed—an Asheville-based company that specializes in open-pollinated, heirloom, and organic seeds—answers common spring gardening questions in this new regular column for Smoky Mountain Living. more

Mountain Explorer

Whose lawn is greener? If you ask Annie “Mossin’ Annie” Martin, it’s likely the one covered in moss. more

Departments

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Photo by Johnny Autry. Styled by Charlotte Autry

The nail polish was the last thing to go. For the better part of 14 years, I had moved five glass bottles of silver, emerald, ruby, cobalt, and onyx hues around with me. more

Good Reads

Pumpkin Pie

Meg Reilley photo

Everyone has his or her heart-fluttering produce. Spring enthusiasts get downright giddy at the first sign of strawberries. Summer lovers are prone to spontaneous happy dancing whenever watermelons make their debut. more

Departments

Persimmons

Jim Casada photo

The unusual characteristics of the persimmon, along with its widespread presence in Southern Appalachia, have long made it a prime contender for mountain folklore and folkways. more

Sweet Appalachia

“Why he ain’t a professor; he’s just an old dirt dauber.” Several decades ago that’s how a woman known to locals as the “plant lady” described me to another customer who mentioned that I taught at the local university. more

Good Reads