The secret to good cast iron cooking is use. Making a grilled cheese? Use the cast iron. Frying eggs? Use the cast iron. Biscuits, oven roast, fish fry, roasted veggies? Cast iron. The best way to maintain the skillet is to use it every day for any meal. Mine rarely goes in the cabinet—maybe…

I’m eating my houseplants. Or rather I should say I’m growing plants indoors that I can eat. Herbs, greens and some vegetables can be successfully grown in and around your home if you can address the basic needs of your plants.

Whether you’re planning a casual ceremony or an over-the-top celebration, local wedding planners say the best theme is one rich with personal details.

The hillbetty/billy lifestyle, and homesteading in general, is geared toward self-sufficiency, but for some is born of necessity. You have to learn to fix, work around, or build what you need if purchasing new is not an option.

In the High Country, the Fraser fir Christmas tree season begins just before Thanksgiving, with thousands of locals and visitors traveling to area farms for the tree species known for its intoxicating fragrance, good form, blue-green color, and sustained needle retention.


Melinda Rose, co-owner of Sew Original in Boone, took up the needle and thread at the age of 6, learning from both of her grandmothers. She attended Appalachian State, majoring in fashion merchandising, and later transferred to Winthrop University, graduating with a degree in interior design…

Hunting is a part of the hillbetty lifestyle, but I was looking for more uses and less waste in my harvest. The fur is beautiful and uses for leather galore, I began researching tanning techniques.

I have an aversion to killing animals I can’t eat. I enjoy hunting and fishing, but regular old farm varmints garner a little sympathy from me, and I have an opossum, known in hillbetty speak as “possum,” that knows it.

I enjoy function, even in my hobbies, which makes gardening a natural fit. The bonus is eating my garden-fresh goodies all through the following winter.

BOONE — Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, the Women’s Group at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the women of High Country United Church of Christ in Vilas will work alongside Lowe’s volunteers and all-female construction crews for Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Wee…

For those considering dipping into the hillbetty lifestyle, I strongly recommend starting with a few chickens, or 20. They are relatively easy to care for, make you breakfast, and even tuck themselves in at sunset.

In an age of technology, where I can order my groceries online and frequently use to decipher text messages and Facebook references, I found myself wanting. I became aware of the ingredient labels on my food and warnings on my shampoo bottles. I set out to go intentionall…

Fresh flowers aren’t just for spring and summer. Bring life to your Thanksgiving table with a bright bouquet from your local florist. Donna Breitenstein of Bouquet Florist displays a cornucopia of options for dressing up your family feast.