(BOONE, NC) November 24, 2015 - The Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center's 2nd annual Lighting of the Treeceremony is scheduled for Thursday, December 3 from 6 - 7 pm in Watauga Medical Center's auditorium atrium located at 336 Deerfield Road, Boone, NC.

BOONE, NC (November 23, 2015) – High Country Local First and Lettuce Learn are offering $2,500 in grant funding to support school and preschool gardening initiatives in Ashe and Watuaga Counties.  The Grant Program aims to (a) connect more children, teachers, food service staff, parents, and community members with healthy, local foods; (b) provide resources to support the development of new farm-to-school/preschool (F2S/P) projects, the expansion of existing F2S/P projects, and/or the exploration of innovative practices related to F2S/P in Ashe and Watauga Counties; (c) increase the number of relationships between local farmers and schools and/or Early Childhood Education (ECE) providers (e.g. by selling to schools or hosting a farm field trip). Overall, High Country Local First and Lettuce Learn are interested in supporting teachers, schools, and early childhood education sites to help children learn about the food they eat and how it’s grown.


The grant is funded and managed by a partnership between Boone-based organizations High Country Local First and Lettuce Learn-- a homegrown school garden support program.  For every Local First Rewards Card sold, High Country Local First donates $5 to support local school garden programs in Watauga and Ashe Counties.   Lettuce Learn is helping to manage the 2016 grant program in hopes of assisting schools and teachers with implementation, program sustainability, and professional development.  Awardees will be supported in their efforts by participating in free professional development opportunities and site visits from the Lettuce Learn team.


Farm-to-school grant awards to total $2,500 will be given to local schools and preschools interested in building or expanding their garden-based education programming.  Funds are for direct support of school garden programs, including but not limited to:

  • Purchase of seeds, plants, supplies, or equipment

  • Stipends for Garden Coordinators

  • Professional development opportunities

  • Garden curriculum

  • Supplies and materials for projects that enhance connections between the school garden and the classroom, cafeteria, waste reduction program, or local farms and farmers.


For more information about the High Country Local First Farm-to-School Grant program and to apply for the grant, please visit Funding for the High Country Local First Farm-to-School Grant Program comes from success generated from sales of Local First Rewards Cards. High Country Local First donates $5 of every Rewards Card sold to support farm-to-school initiatives in the High Country. Residents can purchase a card at Follow the conversation and stay up to date on how to support school gardens and your local economy on Facebook and Twitter using #HCLocalFirst.


About High Country Local First and Lettuce Learn

High Country Local First is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen our community and local economy by supporting locally owned, independent businesses and farmers through education, promotion and networking. High Country Local First envisions a community where local businesses are prosperous, where citizens make informed decisions on how and where they purchase goods and services, and a community that as a whole becomes more self-reliant by utilizing the strength of its own assets.  For more information about High Country Local First visit  

Lettuce Learn’s mission is to support teachers, child care professionals, and school leaders to create edible landscapes for learning, by providing help where they need it most:  staff, training, and resources. We help to create holistic, place-based, experiential education opportunities that engage children with their natural world, enable them to make healthy choices, and encourage them to help build sustainable communities. For more information about Lettuce Learn visit  For additional information, please contact us at the information provided above or at Lettuce Learn, Math & Science Education Center, PO Box 32091, Boone, NC 28608.

John Doyle, who has long been considered the most accomplished and important guitarists in Irish and acoustic music worldwide, is coming to the High Country this Saturday, November 28th. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is presenting its Celtic Christmas Concert beginning at 7:30pm, at Saint Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church in Boone. Doyle will help jump start your holiday spirit with his amazing guitar playing, heart-felt renderings of traditional Irish and original songs and his sharing of personal stories of how Christmas was celebrated in his boyhood home in Dublin. Joining Doyle for this special seasonal concert will be Irish fiddle sensation, Duncan Wickel.

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council is currently accepting portfolios from local and regional artists for possible exhibitions in 2017 at either our Caldwell Arts Council gallery (four 2-month long exhibit opportunities) or at the Art-in-Healing Gallery (three 3-month long exhibit opportunities at Caldwell Memorial Hospital.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s TRIO/Educational Talent Search program hosted an induction ceremony Monday, Nov. 16 for new students at the college’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. The program officially welcomed 121 students from middle and high schools across Caldwell County as part of the event.