Hickory Nut Forest

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 – Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community is sponsoring the 5th annual Apple Fest Fundraiser on Saturday, September 8, 2012, from 1:00 – 5:00 PM in its organic apple orchard on Rt. 74A in Gerton/Bat Cave, NC.  It is a family-friendly fun event in support of Hickory Nut Forest’s organic orchard and gardens. 

Last weekend (October 6), I went to Washington DC to join hands with 12,000 concerned people to send President Obama a message that we care about the future of the earth and the future world our children are inheriting. People came together from all across the country and Canada and formed a circle around the White House four people deep. We were asking Obama to deny the permit for the Tar Sands XL Pipeline, over which only he has the final say on whether to approve it or not.

We have just been approached with a great opportunity to purchase and install a Bergey 10kW wind turbine for half the normal price. For a long time, we have had the idea to create an educational program around renewable energy through Mountain Roots, a not-for-profit based at Laughing Waters Retreat Center at Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community.

- The Next Great Paradigm Shift -
In a world with finite resources, unlimited growth is no longer an option. We are exceeding the limits of natural systems all over the globe: high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels, over-fishing of oceans, depletion of aquifers, erosion of soils, contamination of water supplies, loss of old growth forests and many other disruptions. Population growth and industrialization of the third world creates ever increasing demands for food supplies and energy. Around the globe, people are noticing the effects of climate changes on their lives.

There is now a new trail head for the Florence Nature Preserve, a 600-acre preserve off of highway 74A in Gerton. The preserve is owned by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and is a special treasure in the upper Hickory Nut Gorge. The property was donated to CMLC by Dr. Tom and Glenna Florence, but access to the trail system was along a private property right-of-way. To improve this access, Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community is transferring 26 acres to CMLC, so they will have more vehicle parking and a scenic route of entry. Hikers can also use this trailhead to access the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System which extends down through the gorge.

Yesterday was the half way point. The time of year when the sun is at it's zenith, the days are long and the weather is hot. In many traditional cultures, the sun represents the active, dynamic, life-giving forces of the universe, and the summer solstice a time to celebrate, give thanks and mark the transition into the dark half of the year. It is also a time to honor the wild-things that cannot be tamed.

We invite you to come join us for our first Design Charrette for the Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community. A Design Charrette is a fun way for those interested to share their vision, values and ideas for what makes a truly sustainable, livable community. The goal is to bring people together from different disciplines and backgrounds to explore options and ideas to make a community better.

One of the best-kept secrets in Western North Carolina is the quaint mountain village of Gerton, tucked high in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge. The setting takes one back in time, having managed to stay relatively untouched in the midst of Western North Carolina’s rapid growth. Above this hamlet soars Bearwallow Mountain with breath-taking rocky cliffs. Through the main valley cascades the boulder-strewn Hickory Nut Creek with its many tumbling waterfalls.