Jodi Helmer

North Carolina-based journalist Jodi Helmer writes about food, farming, and the environment.


Downtown: Gastonia

This rapidly growing city is attracting new fans, who are weaving together past and present in former mills and old theaters.


Downtown: Statesville

Horse-drawn carriages, carolers on the sidewalks, storefronts aglow with Christmas lights: In December, downtown Statesville is full of comfort and joy. Even after the season ends, the magic lingers.


Downtown: Graham

Bursts of color on city walls, in shop windows, and on restaurant tables are transforming downtown into a vibrant center for the community.


Downtown: Wilkesboro

When a couple from out of state ventured off the highway in search of a peaceful place to stop, they discovered musicians and makers, outdoor adventures, farm-to-table fare, and friendly neighbors.


Around Town: Hillsborough

This small town on the Eno River might fly under the radar in comparison to its bigger neighbors, Durham and Chapel Hill, but its history and charm set it apart.