Old Fashioned Apple Cider, Craft Beer, Exploring Economic Opportunities and More

Sep 12, 2014

In West Virginia, Executive Director of Main Street Fairmont, Kate Greene, sees a city on the move.

The Clinch River region of Southwestern Virginia is looking for new economic opportunity.

And Tennessee State Park Ranger, Bobby Fulcher, has spent the last three decades traveling the Tennessee hills to record folk-music. These stories and more on this week's Inside Appalachia.

Apple orchard
Credit By Scott Bauer, USDA ARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Making Old Fashioned Apple Cider in Virginia: Across Appalachia, it's apple season, and that means it's also the time of year when communities used to come together to press fresh apple cider. Today, some of those old traditions are being preserved by people who still make cider the old fashioned way—with a wooden cider press. And there are also cideries in many areas where local apples are grown. Reporter Lydia Wilson found one cidery in Albemarle County, Virginia, and brings us these sounds.

This story was produced by With Good Reason, which is supported by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. If you're interested in finding a local cidery near you,  Cider Guide has created a map of cideries across the world. 

Will the West Virginia Legislature Support the Craft Beer Industry in the State?:  The craft beer industry is growing in West Virginia, so brewers are turning to the state legislature for help in expanding further. Members of the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild recently presented some ideas at the state Capitol. Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting has more.

Group for Religious Tolerance in West Virginia: Continued news about conflicts between faith groups around the globe inspired interfaith discussions recently in Morgantown, West Virginia. A forum on religious diversity explored what different faiths teach about social justice, tolerance, and compassion. Glynis Board of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports.

Remembering an Appalachian Banjo Player in North Carolina: The Great Smoky Mountains Association is working to release a compact disc in North Carolina. The CD is entitled “Carroll Best and the White Oak String Band,” and features recordings made in the 1950s by a little-known musician who has been described as one of the most talented and innovative banjo players in America. Wayne Winkler of WETS shared this story.

What's in a Name? Neon, Kentucky... listen to the show and find out the story behind how this lumber town might have gotten its name.

Looking for New Economic Opportunity in Virginia:  These are uncertain economic times in Central Appalachia.  It seems like new coal layoffs are announced somewhere in the region almost every week and many communities are struggling. Along the Clinch River in southwest Virginia, WMMT's Rich Kirby shares how some folks are hoping the river itself with help them find a new economic base.

Christa Blais, owner of All Things Herbal Market, and Viktor Skaggs, a local organic farmer.
Credit Sarah Lowther Hensley

Finding the Right Formula for Community Development in West Virginia: Public agencies, private businesses, foundations and non-profit groups are constantly striving to inject life and energy into local communities. As Sarah Lowther Hensley of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for successful community development, but sometimes having the right person in the right place at the right time can make all the difference. 

Artists Re-imagine Hubcaps into Art: Janice Summers-Young is one of two West Virginian artists who were selected for a new exhibit at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. The exhibit, called Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art, features 287 artists from 36 different countries. Roxy Todd visited Young's studio, to talk about using materials from the forest, river, and even the trash, to make art.

Credit MSV photo by Ron Blunt.

Preserving Folk Music in Tennessee: Today you can find almost any obscure song or historical recording online but there was a time when this music was nearly impossible to track down and the performers who knew the oldest songs were dying off. So in 1976 Congress pass the American Folklife preservation Act. One of the first to take up the challenge of preserving these songs was a young Tennessee park ranger named Bobby Fulcher. Now that he’s nearing retirement Fulcher looks back on the music he captured and the friends he made along the way. Mike Osborne of  WMOT has his story.         

(This story was produced by Mike Osborne of WMOT and aired on Weekend Edition Sunday, September 7 on NPR. )

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