AS IF is fortunate to have access to 100+ acres at an intentional community called High Cove, which provides lifelong learning opportunities for its residents, for the local community, and for its many visitors from around the world.
The site is 15 minutes from Penland School of Crafts, about an hour from Mt. Mitchell State Park, an hour from Roan Mountain State Park, and about an hour northeast of Asheville. We are in the Spruce Pine Mining District, which boasts many rare geological exposures, including an old olivine quarry right down the road. (Olivine is a rock that is produced deep in the earth’s mantle, and it doesn’t make its way up to the surface very often.) Also just down the road is the Bare Dark-Sky Observatory.
In spring you’ll hear the sweet call of peepers and several other species of frogs. In summer, there are half a dozen different species of fireflies sparkling in the fields and trees. We have zillions of salamanders, moths, native bees, dragonflies, migratory songbirds, little rodents, big deer and turkeys, coyotes, bear, wild and cultivated mushrooms, mosses, lichens… New wildflowers pop up each week, and you can pick fresh ramps, brook lettuce, wild and cultivated mushrooms, and cane fruit. In the nearby Toe River, you can fish for trout. The night sky is astonishing, mica sparkles underfoot, hummingbirds and bluebirds flit around in summer, and everywhere you turn are inspiring views of the oldest mountains in the world. It’s a magical place.
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