This photo of ice was taken on a quiet morning after an event of lunar celebrations and other indie, crafty-like experiences called “Dreamtide” in Ashville, NC. We met up with travelling puppeteers and acrobats who flew Red1 and Red2 into the air with their feet and taught them how to soar with aerial silks. The girls love making functional items that they can trade with. Red2 walked around I.C.E. (see below) and traded out quite a bit of loot with the other vendors. The vendors prefer actual money, but Mrs. SF Daddy had some really cute “Sneaters” to trade that year.
I love this video showing us, I.C.E. There’s a lot of plaid in it, but don’t hold that against us.
I-C-E, the Indie Craft Experience, based in Atlanta is a lot of things. Our friend Shannon is part of the team that created and curates this experience for us the crafty consumer AND us as the crafty creators. I couldn’t explain it better than they do, so here’s a quote from their own site:
With a vision to provide indie crafters an opportunity to sell and promote their creations in Atlanta, ICE quickly caught on as a favorite event for participants and attendees alike. ICE is a grass-roots effort, organized by two Atlanta crafters – Christy Petterson of a bardis and Shannon Mulkey of Patina. Inspired by indie craft markets in Chicago and Austin, the Indie Craft Experience was founded in order to provide Atlanta with a major indie craft event. In addition to craft markets, ICE also organizes Wedding Day Hooray, Salvage and an annual Pop-Up Shop during the holiday season.
This is a long video, but at the ICE site, there’s a long list of events they do all year round. I have quite a few friends who needed ICE to “pop-up” for them. I hope my crafty-pals finally take the hint and leap in, sign up, and get a table to sell their neat items.
While visiting Florida a few weeks ago, for the Florida Herbal Conference, the ladies met a few people involved in an organization called ECHO, (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) which is,
“a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization located on a demonstration farm in North Fort Myers, FL. ECHO exists for one major reason, to help those working internationally with the poor be more effective, especially in the area of agriculture!”
They help those who help others, in a nutshell.
We’ve helped other organizations over the years like Heifer.org, which provides livestock and education.
This year I’m personally helping a local Atlanta organization called MtotoAfrica.org with their marketing and documentation work to support education efforts in Kenya.
Part of the fun of being able to identify plants as you walk by them in the forest is knowing which ones might poison you and which ones are mighty tasty prepared in a mixed drink over ice or fermented and bottled.
Last year the ladies got really interested in squishing fruit. They combed the neighborhood and delivered letters to our especially fruity neighbors inviting them to some free labor. In exchange for cleaning up around their fruit trees, we’d bring home a few large buckets of apples, pears, persimmons and muscadines. Over the course of several weeks during harvest season we accumulated many “carboys” (large glass containers) full of squeezings. They’re naturally doing their thing and now we have lots of bottles to fill. Pretty tasty pear wine, honey wine, cyser, mead, and more, I’m sure. I’m trying to stay at arm’s length. (Yes, with a glass in hand, though.)
Identifying the plants while you’re walking next to them is pretty impressive, but what really wowed me was driving around, even on the highway, hearing, “Pear! Apple! Persimmon!” Red2 identified a pear tree hiding in front of a grocery store. She’s 9, kiddos.
Their mom and I did share. It wasn’t all booze. We had persimmon cake, apple and pear butter, and pear preserves using as recipe from the tree owner who feels like she’s all done making preserves herself. She was very happy to have some help.
The last thought here is about where this all leads. The natural ingredients that used to be found in things like Maraschino cherries and grenadine. Amy Stewart’s book, The Drunken Botanist, is good read full of stories about what’s really supposed to be in the bottles. Read the labels, folks. Red1 wants a field trip to a liquor store to find real grenadine made with pomegranates, not colored up corn syrups. I think she’ll have to wait a bit for that. Do you think the shop keepers will let us in to read the labels?