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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Handmade Manifesto vol. 2

The old school groundhog kiln used to fire famous NC pottery
the broom maker, who explain the difference between corn brooms, and using different kinds of corn and sorghum to make brooms.
the cotton baler.

As most of you realize, my birthday was this past weekend. It worked out that friends gave us tickets to this sort of exclusive primitive village event that just happened to be on my birthday.

The primitive village is the brainchild of a doctor in NC. Over time and happenstance, he has acquired all of these primitive homes on his property and now he has a festival each year celebrating the skills and home crafts of early settlers in NC.

There are old homesteads all over the country side in Western NC. Whenever this doctor heard of a building that owners no longer wanted, he volunteered to come in, take it down, and move it for them. As word spread, these structures were donated to the doctor and now more than 90 buildings have been moved and restored on his property.

You can find all kinds of awesome stuff going on at this one day event. Peanuts boiling in a kettle. Soapmaking. Fire building. Cotton ginning and baling. Lacemaking, Wool carding and spinning, a primitive distillery, cane grinding for molasses and syrup. Chair caning. Shingle riving. And if I go on to think, I could probably name about 50 other skills or more that were taking place!!!

It was really an awesome, awe inspiring thing!

And it got me to thinking AGAIN about skills and about HANDMADE, and the nature of human existence and entrepreneurship and basic subsistence on skills and trades.

Have you seen Great Depression Cooking? It's a video series on YouTube and now she has a cookbook, dvd etc.

I really started thinking again about it yesterday when I was reading a blog post about said Great Depression Cooking videos, which has been in my YouTube favorites forever and in the comments, people were sort of negative!

....How unhealthy the recipes were and how they "couldn't eat that."

It really, really made me sad.

It seriously bummed me out about the state of ingenuity in our age and society. Here, this old woman, this relic and heirloom of an amazing and resourceful time in American history is sharing her wisdom and people were saying they couldn't eat it?

I'm aware they aren't the healthiest of recipes by today's standards but as opposed to starving or being hungry, I'm thinking they are pretty damn tasty....and she's in her 90's now so I'm thinking people might want to take a listen. To remember and be MINDFUL of, how to make something out of nothing.

All over the primitive village, there were samples of primitive cooking and eating. We drank sassafras tea, ate pumpkin soup and bread, boiled peanuts, and fresh apples. It was really nice to sample period foods and see how they were prepared, preserved and cooked. I think we would be wise to cling to the old ways a bit. I don't think that economic times are getting better and the more resourceful we are as a people, the better we will live, thrive, and enjoy our lives.

This is the 2nd part in a continuing series. to be con't....


Hopemore Studio said...

That is an amazing event, such serendipity that you got to go.

It is important to look back and remember how things were done and made. With hands not machines. I wonder if an item can take on a bit of the soul from the person that created it. Perhaps now what we have a world filled with mass produced soul-less items and that is why we constantly crave more.

Barbara Bechtel said...

oooh, Angie. I know you're in NC. Have you been?

I had such a great time. It is amazing the coming together of all the people to preserve old things.

Kristen said...

Oh you are so lucky and that must have been so cool in person! Some of the best recipes come from old ones and something out of nothing is usually a treasure! Thanks for this!