Funny, how these things happen.
You know what I mean--those moments in life that seem like some sort of crazy dare, an endless sweaty race, that never-ending climb up a gargantuan wall...
It's been that way for several weeks, a strange and sobering reality behind a very light-hearted statement: "I'm going on tour."
Sure, that seems like gypsy ribaldry, complete with fun-time images of riding into the sunset: carefree and kicking up of heels. But in the back wings, there is always a different sort of drama that rarely comes to mind when you think of a road trip and teaching classes on the road: the organization of such a thing is a monster of a show, contacting hosts, hoping for news, scheduling, and rescheduling, and hoping to drive neither the host--or yourself-- mad in the process.
And then just like that--*POOF*--all the puzzle pieces sort of neatly click into place. And when the smoke clears and I really observe this specimen, I have to laugh and shake my head. There are four women who are my hosts on the leg of this trip--and in many ways, it's been women all along who have supported all my endeavors.
I don't know what it is, but women figure in so much of my good fortune, it's ridiculous. My last full time job was staffed by all women (literally TWO men worked there in the seven years I did), and my actual calling-- an ethnic dance troupe I ran for five years--was exclusively made up of women.
My LAST tour--doing those same shenanigans I'm doing NOW--was also hosted by women: beautiful, strong, courageous women in Iowa and Illinois, and this whole fine mess was actually started by one beautiful herbal gal in Iowa, and perpetuated by another in Florida.
Yeah, us gals gotta stick together and while I bare no ill-will to the gents, you gotta love the resourcefulness of the "fairer sex."
So this is a schedule update, it is also the story of four women, and the various bright hues that make up this funny little Northeast Tour of Mine....
Kris Casucci is the heart of Walker Homestead. Her place, in lovely Brookfield, Massachusetts is a beacon of old style, colonial charm. Stepping onto the property is like stepping back into the annals of simple beauty and charm. She boasts an amazing antique store and farm with Jacob sheep and a bevvy of chickens. The antiques and prims she sells are top quality, and she hosts so many lovely classes that show insight into bygone times. You will know that she is a busy soul--running shows, sales, tours, and open houses but always carries a kindness about her and a fun laugh that makes you feel welcome, no matter what she is doing. There is something about the whole kit-and-kaboodle with Kris that makes you feel like there is quality and earnestness in everything she--and Walker Homestead is about.
I'll be teaching for two days:
May 1st, as part of a May Day extravagaza: I'll be teaching folk herbalism AND folk beekeeping, but the day starts at 9:30 with the making of May Wine, May Baskets, and the telling of May Day Traditions. It's a big day you won't want to miss.
Then on May 3rd from 9:30-3:30
I will be doing a big honey cooking class (making sweet and spicy carrots in Tupelo honey, Acacia eggplant, and Crepes using Lavender honey!)
Your lunch is included in the days activities (the food we made in class!)
And then I will do a beekeeping 101 class which will include some of the old world, pesticide free keeping that my grandfather used in Europe, old traditions used today, and general basic beekeeping techniques.
From there I will be going to CT to my amazing friend Nicole Goncalves, known in those parts as The New England Girl. You'd be impressed if you knew her--owner of not only her own business, but a business that BUILDS and restores furniture...and she's maybe 25 years old. For such a young lass to take on the responsibility and hard work of such an endeavor is something I think some fellas would be envious of!
*May 6th ~
Make Your Own Cloth Ornament
6pm - 9pm I will show you how to make your own cloth ornament! We will onstruct, and paint amazing cloth ornaments using paints, buttons, and other embellishments. You will learn various sewing and painting skills in this fun and educational experience, and take home your own ornament. $45
*May 10th ~
10AM - 3pm (BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH)
Beekeeping 101This class will show you the many ways to begin beekeeping using natural beekeeping techniques, including basic set up, basic bee society and behavior, pest free beekeeping, what to expect your first year in beekeeping, and so much more.
PUTTING UP YOUR OWN BEEHIVESTHEN, after lunch, our very own builder THE NEW ENGLAND girl will show you how to put together your very own unassembled hive in this useful demonstration while Zan describes the components of the hive.
BOTH OF THESE MAKE FOR A GREAT BEE KEEPING EDUCATION!
11AM-1pm FOLK HERBALISMLearn about plants used in historical times, their properties, and the practical uses they still have today. We will describe how to make tinctures, decoctions, salves, and more and you will receive basic recipes for herbal items you can make at home, with a short demonstration in class.
EMAIL email@example.com to register, or for info!
Folk Herbs for Everyday Use 1pm to 3pmLearn about the old-fashioned use herbs as used in everyday household, beauty, and medicinal ways, and how these herbs still work today. You will be provided with some herb samples during class, and will go home with information on how to make your own herbal concoctions.
Living Outside the Box 7pm to 8:30pmAn outside presentation in front of a gypsy wagon! A fun, informal atmosphere, with an important message! Learn the many tips, tricks, and strategy to living the life YOU want,
Living on little or no money, outside-the-box careers, living the traveling life, unconventional house life, and other tips on attaining your dreams from Zan Asha, who has lived a traveler’s life for three years.
Saturday, May 17th
Cloth Ornament Workshop 10am to 3pmThis workshop will teach you how to make a soft cloth ornament from your own original pattern! Make an enchanted cloth ornament of your imagination! Everything from sewing, painting, accenting, and embellishing your ornament (with buttons, ribbons, etc) will be covered here! We’ll have sewing machines on hand, instructions demonstrated, and more techniques explained. Take home your own ornament! Materials provided!
*Bring a lunch and beverages with you. Light snacks will be available.
Beginner’s Bellydance 5pm - 6pmZan Asha’s roots began with theater and dance, and she spent almost a decade as troupe leader of ChoveXani (www.choveXani.com) creating ethnic dances of North Africa, India, and the Middle East. Tonight, she will be teaching beginning belly dance. This class is a fun and informative intro to beginning belly dance. Bring clothes you can stretch in. We will cover a warm up and basic movements of the arms, hips, and stomach, with a short choreography learned at the end.
Sunday May 18th
Wood burning Workshop 1-3pmLearn the beautiful and challenging art of woodburning to create wonderful works of art. We will go over various techniques to create shade, patterns, and design as it affects your wood piece. You will go home with an original and unique wood-burned work of art.
*Note: Wood will be provided. However, you are requested to bring your own woodburning tool to this class. Reasonably priced wood burning implements can be found at local craft shops.
REGISTRATION: Email Host Holly Doyle directly to register at
Holly@Jersey-Made.com or call
609 914 1536
My last stop is a doozy. Jenna Wogonrich, mistress of Cold Antler Farm, is a farming and writing lass of the highest order. You may have read a few of her books, including Made From Scratch or One Woman Farm. Or you may admire the fact that she rides horses while shooting bows--and she is training a falcon, too. She was kind enough to host me in my beekeeping shenanigans...
10AM - 4PM
Beekeeping 101/ Folk Ways Beekeeping AND a tour of Jenna Wogonrich's working farm!
Organic Ways Beekeeping 101 (Beginning Beekeeping):
Behavior-based beekeeping will be taught as her grandfather did in WWII era Hungary. The practice of watching the very specific behaviors and structures of the bees, and caring for them during the seasons will be discussed, along with the basic principles, equipment, disease prevention, and more will be discussed. You'll leave with a working knowledge of what to expect the first year of beekeeping.
Folk Ways Beekeeping:
Old style beekeeping (from ancient history to WWII), equipment, and techniques will be discussed, with old pictures and books dissected. You will learn how the old masters worked their bees and how you can apply it to your beekeeping. This class is more for the antique scholar or beekeeper who is fascinated by old history and focuses more on that than a hands on beekeeping compendium.
$100 for the day!
Email Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org to register, or for info