Asheville Insta-Love Feature: Jen Nathan Orris

Scrolling through Instagram while drinking coffee or tucking ourselves into bed has become a way to visually connect with folks all over the world.  It’s also a fun way to connect locally, glimpsing into the world we share with others.  Our new monthly feature, Asheville Insta-Love, will highlight one Asheville Instagrammer, sharing favorite photos from their feed.  We’re thrilled to have Jen Nathan Orris, writer and homesteader, share her Insta-Love with us!

Who you are?

Hey! I’m a writer, audio producer, and homesteader with a passion for local food.

Jen Nathan Orris
Bagels are my love language. My husband Rich taught himself how to make sourdough bagels and I’d take a fresh bagel over a poem any day.

What you do?

I’m the host of Growing Local, a radio series about local food and farms that airs on public radio station WNCW (also available on iTunes). It’s produced in partnership with ASAP, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. I’m also contributing editor for WNC Magazine and freelance for local, national, and international outlets.

I absolutely love my job reporting on local food and farms for ASAP. I visit tons of farms, step into the kitchen with chefs, visit schools, and talk to people near and far about the importance of agriculture. Tune in Mondays at 8:45am on WNCW, or search for “Growing Local” on iTunes.

I live on a five-acre homestead on the outskirts of Asheville with my husband, chickens, and rescue dogs.

Meet my favorite chicken from our old flock. Old Broad, we miss you!
The best part of radio reporting is making new friends! This majestic pup named Kaiser guards Mountain Harvest Organics farm in Madison County. I loved meeting farmers Julie Mansfield and Carl Evans, and sharing their incredible story with listeners.

How long you’ve been in Asheville?

I’ve lived in Asheville for over 10 years. This sweet little town has grown by leaps and bounds, and I love being part of the community.

Showing off our aprons after Barbara Swell’s annual retro pie contest. Peace, love, and peach pie!
The first thing we did when we bought the homestead was plant apple, peach, and plum trees. We’ve yet to harvest a plum, but the organic apples are abundant each fall. Perfect for making my Grammy’s famous applesauce.
My brother helped us find this gorgeous Biltmore Dairy sign. The land where we live was part of the Biltmore way back when, and the man who built the farmhouse in 1938 worked for Biltmore Dairy. Part of the foundation of the house is built on ice cream tubs filled with cement!

Why you love this city?

The people, food, and friends I’ve found here provide endless inspiration. I love living in these beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and am passionate about farmland preservation. I hope that Asheville can find a balance between growing as a city and protecting the farms and forests that makes it such an incredible place to live.

Buffalo chicken pizza just tastes better from the backyard wood fired oven.

Where can we find you?

Say hi on Instagram! Find me at @jenathan.  Feel free to check out my work at

A typical late summer harvest on the homestead.









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