2019 Summer Series

This year our summer programs began with revisiting Sherwood Forest’s early days by hosting a naturalist-in-residence. With a comfortable base at our headquarters, The Cove. Michael Kuo, the “mushroom expert”, led walks and gave a talk on mushroom identification. He spent five days here and will share the results of his research with us later this year. SFF members at the patron and benefactor levels enjoyed an intimate gathering with Michael and Melissa Kuo at the home of Virginia Bedford and Fred Monk that featured wild and cultivated mushroom small bites.Preceding our big fund raising event Patty Stahl and her uncle, Doug Pace, demonstrated how distilled beverages are made followed by a history of moonshine making right here in our hills.

Our first ever “Moonshine Cabaret” was the highlight of our summer programs. What started as a dream raised $2500 for scholarships to our local communities. It also demonstrated that we can produce ambitious events limited only by our imagination. SFF member donations designated for stage lighting enabled us to purchase state-of-the-art, cool, energy-efficient LED lighting for our performers and gave near-professional results. John Peterson began the evening’s festivities with a demonstration of traditional Appalachian musical instruments. Following John, our very own Carol McCullough became “The Marvelous Mrs. McCullough” and had the audience rolling in the aisles with her witty observations on aging. The headline act featured the lively music of Asheville band, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers. They played many songs from their latest CD which tell stories of old Asheville.

The last program we offered was on Appalachian quilts. Peter Koch and Pam Meister brought a collection of fifteen heirloom quilts to Robin Hood Barn and explained how quilts served to preserve the history of early mountain residents as well as keep the bed warm. We thank the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University for sharing their treasures with us.

Thanks to all the volunteers who made the season possible and especially, to our excellent speakers and entertainers!

Mushroom walk with Michael Kuo. LtoR: Gwenne Hastings-Hayes, Ray Ward, Melissa Kuo, Linda Vandervoort, Michael kuo, Carol Dugger, Bebbie MacCary. Front: Margaret Napier, Susan Goldsworthy.  {photo © Greg Allikas}

Robin Hood Barn was transformed into a Prohibition era speakeasy. Queen Bee and the Honeylovers played their own brand of swing. {photo © Chuck O’Rear}>

2018 Summer Series

By all accounts, the 2018 Summer Series of programs was a success. The series of four lectures focused on an environmental theme. Beginning with the original environmentalists of our area, the Cherokee, we traveled through the the environmental movement of the mid-twentieth century and into the the future as Dr. Suresh Muthukrishnan, Ph.D explained how graphic mapping of global data can show us things we might not have noticed. Lianna Elizabeta Costantino sat in front of a campfire and told us Cherokee stories that gave us rich insight into their culture and relationship to mother earth. The following week, Caroline McIntyre brought Rachel Carson to life in dramatic fashion as she explained the social climate of the 60’s and her battle against chemical pollution. A simple but evocative interior set on the stage gave a warm, encompassing feeling to the evening. Jim Stokely, whose mother Wilma Dyckeman, is credited with saving the French Broad River, introduced us to another pioneer in the women’s environmental movement. SFF members at the patron and benefactor levels enjoyed intimate dinners with the speakers before each performance. Thanks to all the volunteers who made the season possible and especially, to our excellent speakers!

I think it was really wonderful. I look forward to next year.


An amazing and memorable performance!


The best ever. I was especially surprised by Suresh who was an excellent teacher and speaker. Each of his graphics spoke 1,000 words.


Loved the staging and the speaker!


Lianna Elizabeta Costantino, One with
the earth: Cherokee and the Environment

photos © Lelia Duncan

Caroline McIntyre.
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

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