Bowl of Loofah Sponges
If you’re a gardener, you’ve no doubt been studying the seed catalogs and reimagining your garden for 2014. It’s an act of faith and a testament of hope to plant a garden. Most of us have a limited amount of space to plant and a limited amount of time to be a farmer, so this early planning and ordering of seeds is so important for having a manageable plot. But who am I kidding? I always order too many seeds and underestimate the amount of time it takes to weed, harvest, and process the food I grow. Every year I try to learn from past mistakes, but new issues always crop up (no pun intended). This year I vow to plant fewer crops and concentrate more on the ones that I seem to be good at: beans, peppers, greens, garlic, and onions. Of course I’ll add in a few sunflowers, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers…but I’m staying focused! And okra. I love okra.
Last year I bought loofah seeds. From just a few plants I ended up with loofah sponges to give as Christmas gifts and so many seeds that I could start my own loofah farm. But instead, I’m putting the seeds in my merch suitcase. If you come to a gig and request loofah seeds from me, they shall be yours free of charge. If you don’t have a garden but want to grow a vine on a trellis in your backyard or deck, give these a try. They look like big green cucumbers while growing, and then turn dry and brown in the fall. You peel off the hard outer skins and voila! You have a luxury bath item (which will also be full of seeds to shake out and plant next year).
If you have some fun seeds that you’ve saved, feel free to share them with me, which of course will totally undermine my attempts at staying focused.
I love Mondays. Most folks have the weekend off and have to return to work. On Monday’s, I’ve just finished work and usually have the day off. The month of January is like that. After all the Christmas parties, concerts, and gatherings are over, I get to rest. Yes, work resumes, but at a slower pace. Last week I had the luxury of making cheese and homemade pasta. Tonight it’s cold and blustery outside, but I’m typing on my computer in front of the wood stove with a cup of tea.
Roots Revival started back up last Wednesday after two long weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s Day. It was nice to make music and be with friends. And speaking of friends, those of you who’ve known me for a long time will remember my friend and former bandmate, Justin Poindexter. Several years ago, Justin moved to New York City and started a band called The Amigos. On January 15, Roots Revival Stage is hosting The Amigos in concert, along with 4-time Grammy winner David Holt. I was recently interviewed about the show and our Roots Revival Stage series on WFDD. To hear it, follow this link.
I don’t have any big resolutions this year. Life is pretty good and I’d like more of the same, please. A new record would be nice though. More on that soon. Happy New Year, dear friends.
2013 has been a wonderful turning point. Drawing inspiration from our farm, I turned my focus more toward cultivating the local. It was an easy leap of faith because of you. Professionally our band worked more than ever before, and the work was so satisfying. I took on the weekly work of Roots Revival, which is expanding my musical abilities in ways I never anticipated, and booking the Roots Revival Stage, a concert series which features great Americana artists traveling through our area. Pat, Sam, and I took on regular gigs at Lucky 32 and the Spring House. I released a live disc of jazz from the Carolina Summer Music Festival. And I’ve planned a brand new disc of original Americana music which we’ll begin recording in January. I admit that my garden grew a healthy crop of weeds, and I didn’t can as much this summer. My cheese production was down as well. However, because of the wet summer, our mushroom harvest was outstanding, our six bee hives seem quite healthy, and for the first time I’m bathing with homegrown loofahs!
Despite the occasional fatigue, I am so happy and grateful to be making music so much of the time. This is my long-winded way of saying thank you…thank you for coming to our shows, buying discs, sending encouraging emails, and just being with us on this fabulous trip. As a token of our love to you, we offer this holiday video treat created by our awesome photographer friend, Christine Rucker, using the original art of Jordan Grace Owens. Peace, love, and joy to you! And may all your dreams come true.