Nominations are officially closed for this year's round of Appalachian Journey Storybank interviews.
Our heartfelt thank you to everyone that took the time to read about our project and nominate someone. We are so excited to meet and interview all of these wonderful folks over the next couple of weeks.
Introducing Evergreen's 2014 Storybank Nominees:
Oso Wallman ♥ Oso Wallman is a chef, a culinary wanderer, a teacher of world cuisine, an activist and a true Asheville character. He is, himself, a collector of food stories and will be sharing with us about his adventures as well as what motivates him to do this work. For more about Oso, read this article from BOLD Life magazine.
William Holcombe ♥ "Wild Bill", as Mr. Holcombe is affectionately called, was born in Candler, in 1937 and raised in Buncombe county on a corn and tobacco farm. One of the gifts his grandfather gave him when he was born was his own small herd of cattle. He grew up here the old timer way, working together with his family to run the farm, feed the family, and barter for the goods his family didn't produce themselves. He offers an amazing heartfelt recollection of how this area looked, felt, smelled and how it has changed over the course of his lifetime.
Mr. Darrell Campbell ♥ Mr. Darrel says that a herd of uncles taught him to cuss as a child. When he made the mistake of saying one of the words they taught him to his grandmother she let him have it , and he never did that again. He was born in a very rural part of KY without any modern utilities whatsoever . They had a wood stove, a well, and a privy. There were small subsistence farms and extended family all around. His mother loved to farm. She grew a goose bean that had been passed down through the family for generations. Mr. Darrell bring a depth of knowledge about food preservation- canning, drying, pickling and curing.
Rachel Brownlee ♥ Rachel is a young person advocating for the preservation of heritage foods, farming and tradition in the Appalachian region. She has been making a living at this advocacy for the past few years. To read Rachel's writing as well as a wealth of recipes and techniques for your kitchen, visit her Girl In An Apron blog.
Bob Bowles ♥ Bob Bowles has always been interested in food. As a youngster, he taught himself to bake bread. Years later, he helped found a local chapter of Slow Food, an organization that educates communities about the benefits of fresh, locally produced food. He eventually serves as Slow Food Asheville's president. Bob is very committed to the community aspects of food in our lives.
Marc Williams ♥ Marc Williams is an Ethnobotanist and preserver of wild edible food foraging traditions. He has studies the edible plants of the Appalachian mountains and knows them intimately. He will be bringing an interesting perspective to our storybank collection, as he has insight into the ways settlers in these mountains learned about and used plants for food and medicine, which will help us gain insight into the resourcefulness and deep connection early Appalachian people had to this landscape.
Barb Swell ♥ Barbara has been on the Slow Food's Appalachian Food Storybank committee for years and is an invaluable resource for her experience and knowledge of Appalachian culture and food history. She writes books and teaches classes out of her cabin kitchen. To read more about Barbara, visit her blog, Log Cabin Cooking.
Jodi Rhoden ♥ Ms. Rhoden is well known in our community as the Short Street Cakes lady. Her cakes are 100% made from scratch and represent classic southern cake making traditions. To see more about her work and her shop, visit Short Street Cakes website.
Van Burnette ♥ Van is the seventh generation of Burnettes to live in the North Fork Valley. He grows medicinal herbs, native plants and apples on his land. He grows hops and blueberries- and is involved with monarch habitat preservation. Van used to produce a local cable TV series called "The Trail Explorer". He also writes outdoor articles for the Black Mountain News, in the tradition of his great uncle, Fred M. Burnette, who was the author of "This Was My Valley," an important resource on local history.
Anthony Cole Anthony and his family are the 5th generation on their family farm. He raises cattle and sheep, and has chickens for eggs. He grows corn as well as most every other vegetable. He has offered to share stories from a life that's grounded in the every day practice of running a farm, from sheep shearing to food preservation, Anthony's knowledge and experience is deep and wide.
Annie Ager ♥ Annie grew up in Fairview, born and raised at the historic Sherrill Inn, and lives there now as steward, farmer, and storyteller. She manages the horses at Hickory Nut Gap farm, grows a huge garden, and continues to preserve the history and rich culture of this special region in our mountains. Visit the Hickory Nut Gap website for more about the Ager farm family.
Joe and Debra Roberts ♥ Joe and Debra are great examples of people who are connected to the land in a very deep and personal way. As a kid, Joe had to share a room with his brother and he got so tired of it he started digging out the partial basement to create a bedroom for himself. When he was 13 he started working on cars and had three 1937 Chevrolets that he worked on to restore one. He was always a great gardener, coached by our grandmother. Joe is currently a stone mason and master gardener producing a tremendous amount of food for his family. Debra is a beekeeper and a teacher about bees.
Now that we have our list of nominees, we are excitedly preparing for the interviews. 8th grade students are spending time in class participating in an Oral History training to learn skills and techniques for conducting successful interviews. They have been assigned the nominee they will be interviewing and have started gathering background information to prepare for their interview and final written piece.
Stay tuned for more updates!