Welcome to our seed-blog! From time to time we will highlight a special seed or plant from our seed bank or provide general updates. Check back now and again to see what's new!
It's been a little bit since I've written an "ethnobotanical" (the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people) song. Recently I was working our Sylva Candyroaster page and I even wrote "I still need to write a song about candyroasters." Then I thought, maybe I should just write one right quick--and I did! A few years ago I submitted an article about this fabled Appalachian Squash to the NC Folklife Food Blog. Their Food Blog is really worth a gander!
A little bit of old news here, but I was very pleased to participate in a great little online program with Mars Hill College and the Appalachian Barn Alliance late last year. There's lot's to learn here about old barns and also the Farmers Federation (which historically had a huge role here in WNC). To see the virtual mountain farm tour *click here* Lots of great photos and information there!
Our first Bean-String Ballad-Sing was a great success! We nearly ran out of virtual zoom "seats," and had over 3,000 views on Facebook. Almost all of the zoom registrants stayed through the entire show! Thanks again to the NC Arts Council for hosting, and Lindsey Terrell and Sarah Ogletree, who helped drop links for us on Facebook and Zoom. Bobby and Susan, thank you again for taking the time to join us and share such rarely heard but beautiful songs.
If you would like to re-watch the event via Facebook, you may follow the link below:
Great News! We are honored to announce that William will receive the Henry Reed Fund Award from the Library of Congress for his Bean String Ballad Sing program. William has been dreaming up the project for quite some time. It combines Appalachian foodways and ballad singing into a participatory and educational event that draws on the old contexts in which this music was once shared. Obviously the previous plans for the event will need to be seriously altered due to the realities of COVID-19, but we believe there is a creative and responsible way forward! William is particularly honored to receive this award, named for influential fiddler Henry Reed. Pictured here is William with Henry Reed's son Dean (bottom), and Alan Jabbour (top) who learned directly from Henry. Alan was the founding director of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and a heck of a good fiddler to boot.