Canning Class & Tiny Houses & Good Friends
Years ago, in its former incarnation, our property used to house an edible organic herb and flower farm (say that 5 times fast!). After Glenn purchased it, and then I came along, we realized there was more land then we’d use ourselves. The idea arose for a land share, wherein we’d let someone else that wished to grow crops, for personal or commercial use, use the space. In exchange (and in lieu of money), they’d help us around our garden and in other areas of the property where we were growing things.
We both knew, though, that it would take just the right person to be fit that position. We live in a pretty secluded space, and, though we entertain a good deal, and even write about entertaining for a living, we really value our privacy (in fact, maybe it’s precisely on account of those reasons that privacy means so much to us!). The idea of the land steward maybe even bringing some kind of r.v. or other living quarters out onto the land with them was tossed around, whenever we’d talk about this ideal situation. They’d gain a place to grow crops, and possibly live, while we’d gain someone to help us out with our own growing and gardening needs.
Well, friends, it’s been years in the making, but that day, and that person, have finally arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited. Natalie Pollard and I connected in the spring of 2011. I can still recall, clear as day, the April afternoon she came out to the house. At the suggestion of our mutual friend R. Brooke Priddy Conrad (who made my wedding dress), Natalie was seeking advice on creating and stocking an urban homesteading supply store in Asheville. Brooke thought, with my history in writing books on such topics, that I might be of assistance to Natalie. A relationship developed that day, that’s gone on to see the opening of Natalie’s gorgeous store, Villagers, and my using it as the setting for my “In Touch With Your Roots” gathering in Handmade Gatherings, as well as a place I’ve both taught and attended classes.
Natalie studied landscape design at U.C. Berkeley. She’s also a trained herbalist and just an all-around very cool, true blue, righteous lady. We dig her. Huxley digs her. Dexter and Fly (our dogs) and Harold and Maude (our cats) and the chickens and the bees dig her (in fact, her two hives are now out in the apiary with our own two!). She’s already planted some seeds for a fall garden in the raised beds and will be putting in some starts there soon. Her little house, created by local company Nanostead, made its way to the cove on Tuesday evening. It’s tiny and adorable and comfortable and we’re delighted to have it here, keeping the yome company down in our lower field. Yay!
Speaking of Villagers, per the flyer above, I’m teaching a class there coming up on Sunday September 7th at 5 p.m.. We’ll be discussing all things related to home canning. I’ll also make some kind of canned good (still deciding on what that’ll be!) and each student will take home a jar of it, along with handouts and a recipe for what we make. Hope you can make it!
Cheers to canning season, tiny houses, and mutually beneficially relationships!!!!