Sunday, 2 December 2012

Post drought.....

I don't have a lot of time for lounging around in bed, but one of the things I really look forward to is reading new posts on the greenwood working, spoon making and bushcraft sites I follow on a Sunday morning in bed. I particularly savour it as currently I can lie in and go to church in the afternoons, but as of the new year church will be at 9:30 in the morning - no more time for lie-ins.

Anyway, I've been disappointed recently by the destinct shortage of new posts and on certain of the bloggs I enjoy and have gotten used to expecting weekly updates on there hasn't been anything new form one week to another. It has occred to me, however, that I have been very busy of late and haven't had time to work any wood (plus I'm out of wood again) and so haven't added any posts to my own site. I feel a distinct shame of the pot calling the kettle black.

So.....please excuse me if I digress a little over the next few post and weeks. Since I don't have any new spoons or bowls or boxes - and not even the fan-birds I intended to make for the christmas tree - I will tell you little about some of the things that I find interesting, beginning with a series of books I came across mentioned on Bushcraft UK a number of years ago.

These books go by the name of FOXFIRE and each is a compilation of articles written and photographed by American high school English students who began some time ago recording the skills, traditions and stories of their Appalachian community. It simply is delightful, inspirational stuff and goes a long way to dispelling the red-neck, hillbilly reputation that some of these communities may have attracted and demostrates a simpler, harder, often more fullfiling way of life. Whilst I have read a few of these cover to cover, I have particularly enjoyed those articles that explain and demonstrate old skills.

The first book covers topics such as hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts and foods, snake lore, hunting, faith healing and moonshing. What I particularly like is that the articles are written in the vernacular and you get a real sense of how the people talk and their practical, no-nonsense apporach to life.

The books are available on ebay - not cheap but certainly worth the money. I have the first two and they take pride of place on my 'best' book case which, since I am an English teacher, you will understand is a place of great honour.

The Foxfire Fund Inc is still in opperation and it's worth having a look at their site here:

I'd love to visit their museum.


  1. The Georgia mountains are beautiful and the museum is a grand self tour. The people who work there are very friendly and quite knowledgeable. I hope you get up there some time..

  2. I'm guessing you've been Elaine? You're very lucky. I would really love to visit, but not much chance of that until my kids are all grown up. Until then I have to suffice with listening to the Fleet Foxes and imagining (I know the Fleet Foxes are wrong coast, but their music just seem to invoke the Appalachians for me). Thanks for your comment.