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A Little Glimpse

Ashley English from Dark Rye on Vimeo.

A little known fact about me (unless you knew me when I was 16-17), is that I used to film a monthly news bit at the local cable affiliate for my high school in coastal N.C.. I’d drive my run down Chevette (with no fender and no bumper and no heat and no radio, mind you-classy, right?) to the cable offices, look the camera square in the lens, and state “I’m Ashley Adams reporting for West Carteret High School.” Then I’d rattle off information about football games and visiting speakers and theatre performances and such for that month.

I never watched myself on camera later, when it aired after the national news, but it did get me out of a jam once, when I was trying to rush home to make curfew and accidentally went 36 through a 25 mph zone. The officer took one look at me, said “Hey, you’re the girl from the news!” and, with a gentle warning when I explained my plight, sent me on my way.

Though I’ve done a few videos promoting my books, the last time I was truly on camera was several decades ago. Until this past August, that is, when a camera crew from Dark Rye, Whole Foods Market’s experimental online magazine, came out to our place for the weekend. Several months prior, I’d been contacted by Kelly Le Castre, Dark Rye’s director, inquiring about the possibility of profiling me.

I was hosting a pickling party for the new book in early August and thought dovetailing the two events would work great. And it did. Kelly and her crew, including expert camera work from director of photography Laura Merians, did their thing with mics and cameras while me and my buddies did ours with okra and vinegar.

Then, in late September, Kelly invited us up to Brooklyn. Each issue of Dark Rye has a specific theme. The issue I was to be in would be called “Gather”, so a gathering of the individuals profiled seemed fitting, they decided. At Flatbush Farms, I met my fellow profilees, including: Kirk Lombard (San Francisco-based wild & seafood forager and educator), Robyn Wilson & Jarred Masse (Lakeland, Florida beignet makers at Poor Porker), James Victore and his lovely wife Laura (Brooklyn-based hosts of The Dinner Series), several of the gents behind Brooklyn-based ax producers Best Made Co., Allison Walla (of Brooklyn-based shortbread cookie company Butter + Love), Gustave Reyes (Chicago-based wooden ring maker and sculptor), and Chip Tate (Waco, TX-based owner of Balcones Distillery).

It was a night and a meal I’ll never forget. The food was exceptional. The instant camaraderie was infectious. We were at once silly and serious, hilarious and heartfelt. We feasted on farm-fresh eats and sipped Chip’s whiskey. I loved every minute of it.

So, here’s the end result of all of that goodness! Along with the video above, you can read more from my profile in this issue of Dark Rye here (scroll sideways on the arrows to see photos, get recipes, see my party-throwing mini manifesto, make scented floral bath salts, and learn Canning 101). Do check out the entire issue, though. The videos, photos, recipes, essays, and more are so incredibly captivating. There’s a world of extraordinary humans out there, and I’m pleased beyond measure to have been included in their company.


16 Responses to A Little Glimpse

  • Renee says:

    What a beautiful video! They did a great job and hearing you speak on how meaningful handmade gifts can be was inspirational!

  • Amanda Boyette says:

    Are you from Morehead? We live in Cape Carteret! My husband works at Cherry Point as a civilian engineer for the Dept. of Defense. I have enjoyed a peek into your beautiful home in Asheville. We took the youth group to Montreat outside of Black Mountain this summer. It was my six-year old twin boys’ first trip to the mountains and they loved it! So different from our coastal life.

    • Amanda-I’m not “from” Morehead, per se, but I lived there for 2 years, and graduated from West Carteret. My mom still owns land down there, on the Intercoastal Waterway. It’s lovely, especially Beaufort and Shackleford Island! Oh, and Montreat, up here, is just the best. Lived there, too, during my sophomore year of high school (while my freshman was spent in Florida-3 high schools in 4 years!). Lake Susan is so beautiful, the hiking trails up Graybeard are phenomenal, and the park is so much fun to play in!

  • Fantastic video and the best part is hearing your voice after all these years – what a trip! The video thing in high school cracks me up as I have one on “why we all must recycle” that I did for a speech class back in 1990, heh.

  • what an awesome video – i love it! mel x

  • Jill Adams says:


  • Angela says:

    Ashley, the video is beautiful. It’s so lovely to hear your voice and watch you in action! I’m looking forward to creating gatherings of my own with your new book!

  • Melanie J. says:

    Congratulations on this! I can’t wait to give it a thorough read/watch once I’m past my first freelance gig.

  • indio says:

    That was an amazing video. They did a great job profiling you. I had no idea that Whole Foods was doing this. They certainly dont publicize it well enough in the stores.

  • cynthia says:

    I loved the video- you were so warm and want to see more! It’s a beautiful snapshot of your life
    and you look lovely! MORE MORE

  • I love this! I can’t wait to get the book!

  • Diane says:


  • Oh, that was so great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nicole says:

    Ashley, I finally had an opportunity to watch this, and it is AMAZING. What a beautiful testament to you, your love of entertaining, and your generosity of spirit. Bravo!

  • Karen says:

    Ashley – I’m not sure why but I absolutely *loved* that video. And you in it. Beautiful. And I grinned when I noticed all of the men had beards. :) I’m not sure why, but I did. Great job. ~ karen!

  • KC says:

    Love this video! It’s really neat to hear your voice. I think it adds a lovely warmth to your blog knowing what your voice sounds like!