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Savory Naturalist Series: Holistic Management and Stream Health

April 15 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT


Come join Farm Director Virginia Hamilton and members of Asheville’s own Environmental Quality Institute to learn about the concept of Holistic Management and how these practices can help prioritize healthy waterways!

While we hunt for stream critters, we’ll talk about how planned grazing, creating a context specific to our landbase, and the concept of managing wholes allow us to produce food and nourish an ecologically sound watershed here at Hickory Nut Gap. We will take some time to learn to identify common benthic macroinvertebrates and then get in the stream to practice collecting and ID-ing these fascinating creatures. Benthic macroinvertebrates are important bio-indicators of water quality and the presence or absence of certain species can tell us a lot about the health of the waterway.

Attendees will break for an included biscuit brunch* from butcher Brian’s kitchen, as kick-netting is hungry work. When attending classes, you will receive a 5% discount in the Farm Store & Butchery! Tickets can be purchased at the link provided.

About the Environmental Quality Institute

The Environmental Quality Institute is a nonprofit laboratory that operates chemical and biological stream monitoring programs in western North Carolina. EQI coordinates sampling and data analysis for our 2 programs – VWIN (Volunteer Water Info. Network – chemical monitoring) and SMIE (Stream Monitoring Information Exchange – aquatic insects).  VWIN has operated since 1990 and provides monthly chemical monitoring at more than 160 stream, river, and lake sites. The VWIN program is extremely cost-effective and reliable because trained community volunteers collect the samples, while analyses are performed at our nonprofit, state-certified lab. SMIE has operated since 2005 and is a collaboration of several western NC non-profit, educational institutions, and local, state, and federal agencies. The SMIE volunteer biological monitoring program focuses on aquatic invertebrates to help determine stream health for over 50 streams in WNC. To learn more about the EQI, click here.


April 15
9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
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Hickory Nut Gap Farm
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Virginia Hamilton
Instructor Bio
Virginia is our Farm Director here at the home of the brand in Fairview. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and her MS in Land Resources & Environmental Science from Montana State University. Prior to completing her MS, she was the assistant farm manager at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC for five years. She is interested in the ecology of working lands and any and all opportunities to invite landowners and community members to participate in the scientific process. She believes that working farms and forests are the key to thriving and resilient rural communities that are poised to support the communities around them. Virginia also spearheads our Ecological Outcome Verification efforts with the Savory Institute.


Hickory Nut Gap Farm
57 Sugar Hollow Road
Fairview, NC 28730 United States
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828 628 1027
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