Volume 1 Issue 2 November 20, 2011
Contents Letter From The Vine
03 Outdoors Stretch Out The Stress Tight on Cash 04-07 Community Spotlight Hippie Hotties Ecoprenuerism Slacklining Couchsurfing 08 Creative Sustainability Underwater Basket Weaving 09-10 Food Roaming Local-vore Make Your Own Kombucha Mashed ‘Potaters’ Recipe
Let me take this chance to offer a heartfelt Thank you, mucho! from the whole Volunteer Vine staff. You’ve had a chance to check out our first release and, from what the magic of Google analytics tells us, some of you out there enjoyed the voices we’ve been collecting. It’s clear we’ve caught your ear (I’m a poet yadayadayada)so we’re sticking around, and that means there are changes on the horizon. We’re working (part of the way) around the clock to figure out whom else we can talk to and where else we can go to offer up our brand of community awareness and natural spirit. At the top of the list is a “classifieds” section for the website that’ll be a place for local artisans to peddle their hard spun crafts whether they be sustainably knitted llama mittens or good ole’ guitar lessons. If you’re interested in advertising your service send an email to email@example.com. We’ll set up a separate email soon. Until then, keep your eyes on the website. Another thing we’re working on is printing. Our print team is working around the clock (for real this time) to secure a printer that will be able to put out a groovy product while adhering to a respectable amount of sustainable practices. That’s it as far as big changes go, but (as always) we’re looking for your input. If you see something we could be doing better or just dig the Vine as it is then let us know at the previously mentioned email address or leave us a comment on the website. You reach out to us and we’ll keep reaching out to you folks and the whole Knoxville community. If we all do that there’ll be one righteous high five.
Contact Us VolunteerVine.com Twitter @volunteervine Facebook.com/volunteervine Info@volunteervine.com 01 Volunteer Vine November 20, 2011
Managing Editor Ava Gunter
Chief Motivational Matriarch
Technical Editor Andy Pigg
Creative Editor Bob Boyd Informal Patriarch
Design Editor Dan Hood Pixel Goddess
Marketing Editor Brandon Swinford Social Synthesis
Contributors Ava Gunter Andy Pigg Bob Boyd Brandon Swinford Rachel Ramaswamy Liz Roberts Mitchel Connell Cover Photo
Good Vibes, Bob Boyd
“In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” Jimi Hendrix
Host a h ea lthy Thanksgiving
on a b u dget
..................................... with help from Three Rivers Market
Don’t forget to grab your Co-op Deals Coupon Book in-store! Plainville Farms Frozen Turkey $2.49/lb. Members: $1.99/lb.
..................................... Grateful Harvest Fresh Turkey $2.99/lb. Members: $1.99/lb.
Available for pre-order at the Customer Service desk .....................................
Quorn Meat-Free Turk’y Roast On Sale Nov 2-15 $5.99
..................................... Reg. 8.89
Grown Right Cranberry Sauce On Sale Nov 16-29 $1.99
Bulk Herbs and Spices
A great way to save! Buy as much or as little as you need.
Various Prices ..................................... Tennessee Valley Cage Free Eggs $2.25 Members: $1.98
..................................... Wholly Wholesome Pie Crust On Sale Nov 16-29 $2.99 Reg. 4.69
Buy Bulk for your baking needs! Enjoy low prices and the flexibility to buy by the pinch or the pound!
Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar $1.99/lb.
Organic Russet Potatoes, 5 lb. bag $4.99
Organic Banana Squash $0.99/lb.
Cascadian Farm Frozen Vegetables Peas & Carrots or Sweet Green Peas
On Sale Nov 16-29 $1.99 $1.00 oﬀ coupon available in-store! Reg. 2.99
Organic All Purpose Flour $0.99/lb.
Raw Pecans On Sale Nov 2-29 $10.99/lb. (about $5.80 for 2 cups) Reg. 14.29/lb.
three rivers market
Happy Thanksgiving From the Volunteer Vine Volunteer Vine November 20, 2011 02
Outdoors Stretch Out the Stress by Brandon Swinford Here at the Volunteer Vine, we are active advocates of yoga. With a yoga mat, enough space, and some relaxing music, you can liberate your mind from stress, feel fantastic, and look awesome while you practice. If yoga has yet to find its way into your life, we hope that the further readings and information that you will find in our yoga articles will bring you freedom from stress and an overall sense of wellbeing. School and Stress The incessant sitting and thinking that pervades most students’ lives causes your body to react in a variety of undesirable ways. Nervousness and anxiety can cause your mind to be seemingly perpetually in overdrive, never leaving you a second to calm down. This can lead to sleeplessness and an inability to chill. Also, the sedentary nature of class and schoolwork causes tension, primarily in the hips, lower back, and shoulders. In this issue of the Vine, we will explore some basic moves to combat these ills, and some modifications for more advanced work in a pose. Lower Back Standing Hands to Feet pose Basic Stance 1. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. Focus on bringing your weight into your heels. Deep Breath. 2. Raise your hands in a sweeping motion above your head, and keep your stomach sucked in (this is important). Fold downwards, from your hips, and grab your big toes with your peace fingers (Index, Middle, and Thumb). Keep your knees locked throughout the pose, as this will help keep your weight backwards into your heels. If you cannot reach you toes, extend as far as possible, and let your weight hang. 3. If toe reaching proves possible, pull yourself towards your feet. Focus on feeling your lower back extend. Breath into your lower back and feel the tension escaping on your exhale. 4. For more advanced work in the pose, wrap your hands around the back of your heels, standing on all four pointing fingers of your hand. Pull your heels, bringing your weight into your toes, feeling an enormous stretch in your lower back.
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Tight on Cash
rest of the can at ½ inch increments. 4. After marking and punching out the by Andy Pigg holes for the first row on the can, measure 1/8th of an inch down from tbe bottom of the first row of punched holes. 5. The second row of holes should be placed in the gaps between the holes of the first row. 6. Mark the holes of the second row at ½ inch increments as well. 7. Now, find some fuel and start cooking! The open jet alcohol burns hot, so the design works best to boil water; however, the alteration of the location of the holes or the addition of a 3rd row of holes can produce a stove that is better suited for simmering. A great advantage of alcohol stoves is a photo from wwwjwbasecamp.com diverse array of fuel types can be used, but not all Tight on cash, low on fuel, and want to fuels perform the same. Fuel types have differing get outside? All you need to fuel your passion is to heat outputs, weights, and soot production. Knowgo grab a can of cat food for your favorite neigh- ing which type of fuel to use can largely depend borhood cat. You may ask yourself, why cat food, on the environment you find yourself in and what type of fuel you have at your disposal. A consistent is this man committed? Well, let me assure you that the can from the cat food may have exciting and favored fuel type of many alcohol stove users is denatured alcohol because the fuel burns hot and implications for your next adventure. Too often do outdoor enthusiasts become overly enthralled clean. If you prefer to buy denatured alcohol, look for brands with a higher percentage of ethanol as with new outdoor technologies and products opposed to methanol because ethanol has a higher that cost an arm or a leg to buy, but are these expensive products always necessary to own? The energy content and is also less toxic. If you find question becomes not whether or not you need a yourself planning a trip in the colder months of stove, but what do you need the stove for? Back- the year, a readily available fuel to use is a product country stoves are generally used to boil water for called Heet. Heet is an automotive fuel additive which grains, soups, teas, dehydrated meals, or coffee. is used as antifreeze. Heet has a lower energy An inexpensive way to accomplish the problem of heating water to a boil is to create an open jet content than denatured alcohol , but it also has a alcohol stove using a cat food can. The tools you lower boiling point, so it can be an effective fuel in colder temperatures. Two types of Heet exist: need to build the stove are a sharpie, measuring yellow heat and red heet. Aim for the yellow heet if tape, and a common hole punch or a drill. possible because it ignites easier and burns cleaner. Steps Other sources of fuel that are suitable to burn in 1. Empty cat food can. Take the hole punch and punch a single hole roughly a ¼ to ½ an alcohol stove are rubbing alcohol, everclear or distilled spirits. Alcohol stoves are a great reof an inch below the rim of the can. sources for low cost backpacking trips and require 2. Next, use the first punctured hole as a relatively small amount of money to create and a reference point to determine where the other holes will be placed on the can. Measure a ½ inch use; however, alcohol stoves can be dangerous so exercise caution when igniting and maintain the from the center of the first hole to determine stove. I recommend using your alcohol stove and where the next hole will be, and mark this hole the fuel types you think you will encounter before with a sharpie. you head out on a trip to know how your stove 3. Continue to mark holes around the will perform. Be adventurous and thank your cat!
Couchsurfing: The Progressive Hotel by Liz Roberts Here at the Volunteer Vine home base, we collectively decided to put our house up on CouchSurfing at the beginning of the semester. In light of the recent departure of the best CouchSurfer we’ve hosted, and after having the most fun I’ve had in awhile skipping class and riding on the back of his motorcycle, I feel the need to fill you guys in on the awesomeness of this website, encourage you to revamp the way you travel and meet new people, and explain the basics of how you can get involved. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CouchSurfing, it is a social networking website with over 3 million users in 245 different countries aimed towards making travel cheaper, more convenient, and more personable allover the world. When you join the site, you have the option to list yourself as traveling, hosting, or available only to meet travelers passing through for coffee or a drink. If you are a traveler, you can search for available hosts on your route and request to stay with them. If you are hosting, you are agreeing to allow travelers to sleep at your house for free, and have the option to either accept or decline individual travelers’ requests. If you can’t host or travel, listing yourself as available for coffee or a drink lets travelers know they can contact you if they’re only passing through during the day and want someone to show them around the town a bit. You can also choose to list yourself as completely unavailable, but there really isn’t any point in being on the site if you’re not going to be involved. Basically, it’s the gypsy dream site. It allows you to travel without having to worry about the expense of hotels, eliminates the negative environmental impact of creating residencies solely for temporary stays, helps you connect and exchange ideas with people from all over the world, and makes the road a friendlier place in general. When I first heard about CouchSurfing a year ago, I excitedly told everyone I knew about it, and assumed they would be just as stoked and eager to sign up and start hosting people as I was. Instead, most people (including my mother) looked at me with expressions of wide-eyed disbelief mingled with horror. You want to let strangers sleep in your house? I was given stern stranger-danger lectures, informing me of how easily my roommates and I could be plundered, raped, mangled, strangled, or stabbed
Community Spotlight in our sleep if we just opened our house up to vagabond strangers. Then, I realized I hadn’t been properly explained the methods CouchSurfing uses to ensure the safety of its users. When you fist sign up on CouchSurfing, you are given the option of becoming a verified member by making a donation of $25 that goes to support the maintenance of the site. By making this donation, CouchSurfing verifies your identity via your credit card transaction. After making the donation and having your identity verified, CouchSurfing sends a postcard to your house, which includes a verification code you simply enter into the website, verifying your residence. After completing the verification process, your profile will include a green check mark, which lets everyone know that uses the site you are in fact who you say you are and actually live in the location you list. The site strongly recommends this verification process, and I personally recommend only accepting or staying with CouchSurfers who are verified for your safety. In addition to this verification process, your address will not be displayed anywhere on the site, making it possible only for users to know what city you live in. Also, all communication on the site is recorded and monitored by the site managers in order to further deter any shady interactions. On the website, you have the option to communicate via personal messages or via posts on community group discussion boards. There is also a section of the site devoted to the host requests you make or receive, depending on whether you are traveling or accepting travelers. None of this involves displaying your personal email, so users have no access to you outside of the site. With all the major safety qualms addressed, the fun part of ensuring your safety comes into play by checking out your prospective host/traveler. Essentially, you get to Facebook stalk them without feeling like a fourteen-yearold. When you sign up with the site, you are encouraged to fill out a profile that includes photographs, interests, places you’ve traveled, personal mission, experiences, etc. More importantly, in addition to displaying whether or not
you are verified and designating your Couchsurfing status (host, traveler, coffee or drink), your profile includes a reference section. This section allows other users to leave you a reference that gauges their experience hosting/staying with you, and helps the community know what to expect from your home or your character. As a traveler, a host’s profile can help you decide whether you want to crash with this particularly scruffy-looking lovely lady or find someone else, and as a host, you can decide whether or not you want the tango dancing biker dude curled up on your futon for a week. While I haven’t convinced everyone, the crew proved their open-minded intellect once again, and we got ourselves on CouchSurfing by the beginning of the semester. So far, we’ve hosted five people, all from different places and walks of life, and all of which have extended an invitation to their homes if any of us happen to be passing through. We’ve gotten to share and help them experience Knoxville in a way that would have been impossible had they stayed in hotel by themselves with no connection to anyone in the area. Personally, some of them have taught me to appreciate things about this city and my roommates I looked over before; some of them have motivated me to see more of the world, and all of them have contributed perspectives I would be without had I not gotten involved. Get yourself on www.couchsurfing.org, see what it’s about, start meeting some beautiful people, and start going to some new places! For the cheap, without that $80-$200 hotel bill, you’d be surprised where you can go in a weekend. For the environmentally friendly, by deciding to forsake hotels, the amount of resources devoted to building and operating a temporary residence could be enormously reduced. All in all, with new people and places comes new thought. I think we can all dig on that.
Volunteer Vine November 20, 2011 04
Community Spotlight Keeping Your Mind on The Tree: An Introduction to Slacklining by Mitchel Connell You’ve probably seen us around. Most likely a few young, scruffy, looking students precariously balancing on a thin piece of line between two trees. No, we’re not practicing for the circus, and no we’re not the Man on Wire, we’re slacklining. It’s a new tradition that became popular with rock climbers in the great Yosemite Valley in the 1970’s and quickly spread across the world. The rules are simple: to walk, with no foreign assistance, between two objects that the slackliners use as anchors for their line. There’s no objective, no prize, and ultimately nothing at the end of that line that wasn’t at the beginning. It’s a pure form of mental and physical exercise that is completely about the process, not the result. Slacklining becomes even more intense when you move the line from a comfortable two to three feet of the ground to thousands. Slackliners across the world are now practicing highlining, slacklining thousands of feet off the ground, which was ﬁrst done in California in 1983, but was popularized by the ﬁlm,The Sharp End, where Dean Potter slacklined with no protection between two points of El Capitan over 4000 feet off the ground. Around Knoxville you probably won’t be seeing any highlines anytime soon, but you’ll probably see Luke Wylie around the amphitheater slacklining on any given day with a little sunshine. I gave Luke a call on that gorgeous Tuesday that gave a little life to the normally dreary Knoxville November, and within an hour or so we were setting up a line between two trees next to the Pedestrian Walkway. With a little help from two random students Luke and I had the line tight and ready to walk. “How’d you get into slacklining, anyway?” I ask Luke as he stands with one foot propped on the line, ready to transfer his weight from the solid ground the slackline. “I don’t know. It just kind of goes hand in hand with climbing. I think me and some buddies were bored one day and went to Blue Ridge and
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bought some webbing and rigged a line.” He transfers his weight to the line and his whole body becomes loose trying to reciprocate the motion of the line. He gains balance and begins to walk, focusing straight ahead on the opposite tree the line is ﬁxed to. “How long have you been slacklining?” I break his focus and he’s tossed from the line but gracefully lands on one knee. “Sometime in the early summer. Coming on half a year I guess.” “How long did it take you to walk the entire line?” I ask as he walks back to the end ofthe line I’m closest to. “I think about two weeks. It was super hard at ﬁrst: my legs shook like crazy.” Luke says with a laugh. “I think the ﬁrst time we set it up no one took more than a step or two.” We continue to walk the line with the occasional question or strange look from passing-by students, but you’d never notice once you’re walking. “What do you focus on when your slacklining?” “Nothing really, except maybe the tree ahead of me. It’s a really pure state of consciousness: you have to keep you head out of it. I think that’s why it’s so hard at ﬁrst. We’re not really used to that.” Luke starts a few feet back and gracefully hops onto the line. He focuses, eyes staring intensely on the tree in front of him, and takes a few steps. Once in the center of the line he raises his hands to the center of his chest and puts his palms together, as if praying. He lifts is right leg and pulls it just above his knee. He stands their, trying to keep his balance with just one foot on the line, and ﬁnally becomes still and closes his eyes. after a few moments he looses his balance and jumps off the line. “I love tree pose,” he laughs.
Hippie Hotties by Ava Gunter
Corpse-Cutting Cutie I was just thinking about where to go to find some fresh hippie hotties when I walked into my hallway and caught this gal, Amy, painting on the walls. Now, It’s not unusual to see people brushing paint onto the walls in my house, nor is it uncommon to casually encounter people who don’t live there. In fact, I’m calling it my house, but I don’t actually pay rent either. Excited by the discovery of a beautiful woman in the hall, I pulled her into “my” room for an interview. Amy is interested in puzzles, the kind that involve rotting body parts. She decided to major in Forensic Anthropology after a visit to UT Medical Center’s basement, where she and Dr. Marks had a chat over a few skeletons about murder cases. So far, she’s sat in on a few autopsies, where the office chat includes that time they took the socks off of a woman and cockroaches from her house had already started chomping on her toes. To you, this might just sound like frivolous fun, but Amy wants to be able to help grieving families know for sure whether or not their loved ones died of natural causes. Next, I asked Amy if there was anything else she was super-interested in. “Mushrooms!” She lit up. “Um, wow, ok.” “No,” she said, leaning closer. “I mean all kinds of mushrooms. Some look like steak, and others can kill you!” Good to know. I don’t think the autopsy room is for me. Banjo Boys I’ve started seeing interesting and attractive people wherever I go now. Maybe it’s the karma of writing this column, or maybe there are a lot of awesome UT students, and all you have to do is open your eyes. Or your ears. I followed the sound of banjo and gittar music to find these two fine fellahs singing and picking away on the pedestrian walkway. Their meeting was destiny in the form of the Appalachian Music class they’re in now, taught by Dr. McCollough. Philip Pardue, pictured right, took Musicology to escape another class with his ex-girlfriend, while David Cohen, left, was from Atlanta and wanted to learn more about our local music. They liked the class so much that they formed a band with about ten other class members and started going to the jam sessions at the Bradburry Community Center. They must have plucked it just right, because they were asked to go back and play Saturday, Nov. 19 at 9pm. The even have a radio gig lined up for December 7 around noon-12:30 on WDVX 102.9. In addition to making twangy music, Philip is a wood-turner and makes awesome fountain pens. Maybe he’ll have them for sale soon in our upcoming classified section. David is an avid hiker and recently went mountain biking in North Carolina. I spied a UTOP sticker on his guitar case. I’d say he’s on his way to becoming a bona fide mountain man.
Keep smiling and you could be the next Hippie Hottie! Volunteer Vine November 20, 2011 06
Community Spotlight Filling the Gap- Ecopreneurism by Ava Gunter
The last few weekends I’ve been conducting research in Asheville, a city that I highly encourage you to spend some time in if you’ve never visited. It is hailed as a destination for music, art, and good vibes; a mountain city where green businesses flourish and consumers read all the labels before they make their purchases. Long ago, Native Americans came to Asheville via the French Broad River to gather medicinal herbs from the mountains. Today, we can learn from the city’s example of community-- how citizens take the initiative to provide others in the area with more fulfilling lives. Seeing a need and filling it has long been a basic business principle, and pairing that with some sort of desire to do good makes it an awesome business principle. I was exploring the River Arts District in Asheville when I met an ecopreneur by the name of Mark Anthony Badal, who had just moved to Asheville from Portland to expand his growler business. For those of you who haven’t yet discovered the beauty of growlers, they’re the large glass jars that you can take to a local brewer for refills. After selling growlers all around Portland, Mark drove down to convert Asheville brewers to the system as well. When I mentioned that I was from Knoxville, he showed me an Internet order on his phone that the
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Bearden Beer Market had placed with him that morning. I love it when I can determine degrees of separation without the help of LinkedIn. Of course, the only appropriate way to continue our interview was over a beer, so we walked down to the basement brewery of an old factory turned artist hub, where I quizzed him on his start-up. “Basically, I just saw all the trash that was associated with drinking beer, and I said, there’s really no need for all of this. The thing is, most people just talk about sustainability. I wanted to get out and do something that I knew would help.” If you have some basic business knowledge and the motivation to work hard, start thinking about what would improve the quality of living in your area. Here are some of the more creative ideas. 1. Renting out goats - The city of Knoxville even agreed to goat grazing two summers ago, when fifty hungry goats were unleashed on the city’s most kudzu-covered areas. Apparently, these goats have even uncovered artifacts hiding under the invasive blankets over the course of their career, which is an added bonus. Props to Keep Knoxville Beautiful for heading this up and to the City of Chattanooga for their expertise. 2. Open-Air markets - Buy some land in a populated area and sell out space to artists, artisans, people who have the gift of turning flour and yeast into bread, or whoever you want peddling on your land! Just make sure that it’s branded right to distinguish it from flea-markets (unless, of course, you want to create a flea-market) and be careful about whom you lease to. 3. Home improvement - I can’t stress how many ways there are to reduce energy used in the home. The list includes geothermal heating by installing pipes under the floors, green roofing, generating your own energy and selling power back to the city…these are all things that people might be interested in if there were more people in their neighborhoods marketing it and ready to help make it happen. People are even building houses out of old tires these days ever since the founder of Touch the Earth Construction engineered an eco-friendly house to retire in.
(If you missed my pun, please reread the last sentence.) Starting a business requires a lot of work, and requires a lot of homework. Grant writing can be very helpful in launching a sustainable business, and it’s a resource that the Volunteer Vine is utilizing as we’re getting started. Also, the goat mowers were brought to us by a grant from UPS as part of a pilot program. Networking is a key aspect of becoming part of the community. Let other related businesses know that you share common values and see how you can work together. Also, never underestimate the value of the customer, whether they are a consumer or a business. Seasoned entrepreneurs will tell you to start small. It’s the small changes that make a difference, and the more diligent you are, the more of an impact you’ll be able to make over time. Just keep your eyes open to new opportunities, your ears open to the needs of others, and your heart open to change. WBIR.com. “Knoxville kudzu-eating goats on borrowed time”. Brittany Bailey. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story. aspx?storyid=132581&catid=2. September 1, 2010. http://www.touchtheearthranch.com/tireconst.htm
photo from www.geeks.co.uk
Basket Weaving of the Underwater Variety by Rachel Ramaswamy Underwater basket weaving. There. I said it. No, this is not a joke. When I hear someone say underwater basket weaving, I invariably think of donning a wetsuit, oxygen tank, and mask and getting my scuba on whilst intertwining long pieces of reed together to form a basket. This may be very different from your first reaction, no? Think about it for a second. What is your immediate thought upon hearing underwater basket weaving? Okay, now that your brain is zoned-in on this non-fictitious past time, let me tell you a bit about it. Though it has recently become synonymous with a worthless course taken in college, UBW (underwater basket weaving for those of you not quick on the uptake) has quite a real and literal meaning to it. Though it does not actually require scuba equipment, it could if you really wanted to get hardcore about it. Most normal people simply submerge only the basket materials in a tub of water rather than including themselves in the submersion. Also, please note: I use the word ‘normal’ loosely as no one normal would undertake this. Never falter, I have done this before and would do it again, so I do not classify myself as normal. I digress, as per usual. If you would like to learn how you too could properly weave your very own basket then keep reading. If not, still continue to read because I fancy myself a witty writer and my self esteem would be affected if I thought people regarded my quips as common trash. Also, who knows when you will be thrown in a battle of wits and/or skill and UBW is one of them. You would look back on this and wish you had read the article. Acquire these items: - Shaped base with precut holes (odd number of holes)
- Bases without holes are available; I’m just making this easier - Round reed- Reed…again - Can be round or flat - Dyed reed is also available - Tub & Water to fill aforementioned tub - Patience - Good basket-making music: Mumford & Sons, Gypsy music, Basia Bulat to name a few - Scuba gear OPTIONAL (But I must add, if you need scuba stuffs, you will most likely be needing a body of water larger than your bathtub. I recommend the Caspian Sea. It has good basket making qualities.) Directions: - Fill the tub with water and submerge your reed OR - Don your scuba gear, hold on to your materials, and take a dip - Submerging the reed will make it pliable and able to be woven easily - While your reed is soaking, you can take the round reed and cut into segments - Your base will determine shape - If you want a basket to be 6 inches high, cut your round reed into 6 in. segments, if you want it 20 feet high, cut your reed into 20-feet segments. You get the point. (Be sure to leave some extra on just in case you screw up) - Cut as many segments as there are holes in the base - Secure the ends of the support reed on the bottom of the base so they will not be pulled out while you are weaving - You do this by starting with a given reed and bending it on the outside of the adjacent one and continue by tucking it in to the next - Continue in the same direction with your second reed and wrap and tuck all the way around. Each one you do will hold the subsequent one in place. - When you feel your reed is pliable and worthy of being woven, remove it from the water, flex your fingers, and concentrate - You can submerge the base into the water and weave underwater if you would rather. It’s a mere preference thing) - Start a piece of your weaving reed at the base of one of the round reeds and begin to intertwine the soaked reed in and out of the round base reeds all around the circumference of the base
- If you want to get really crazy you can alternate colors as you weave, but don’t overdo it on your first try - Do this all the way around until you reach the desired height for your basket - When you are done, you can either cut the remaining ends of the round reed off or you can tuck them back down into the woven reed - This offers extra support and gives the basket some cool loops on top - Stand back and admire your handiwork. Ignore those around you that make fun of it. They just wish they read The Vine and knew how to weave a killer basket. - Allow your basket to dry and then display it in a place of honor, say on your kitchen table or a humble pedestal of sorts You can try this and look smugly at those who have not. And do it more than once. You may complete your first basket and look at it like a parent looks at his or her kindergartner’s fingerpainting: not really sure what it is, but you like it anyway and display it for everyone to see. In time you will be making all sorts of sick basket things. Like basket pillows, basket carpet, basket iPod, and even---pausing for effect--- a basket car! Yeah, so how can you resist trying this when the prospect of having a basket car is looming right in your face? Literally. Basically, the point of these last few sentences is this: don’t be discouraged if your first attempt looks absolutely shoddy. I’m sure Brunelleschi’s parents were not so keen on their son’s work at first either. Funnily enough, it’s still an architectural wonder today. If you don’t know who Brunelleschi is, brush up on your renaissance history, specifically concerning Florence and the Medici family. Again I digress. What is the point? Well, you’re being creative. I have found that creating something is one of the best feelings ever. You’re taking an idea and applying it to practice. You take a journey, small or large, and come out in the end with not only a product, but also a new skill and you learn something about yourself on the way. Seriously, be it basket weaving or moss art, you find your niche and excel at something not everyone is good at. Go find that thing you do better than anyone else and stick to it.
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Food Make Your Own Kombucha by Brandon Swinford Somewhere in Russia there’s a farmer sipping from a huge vat of symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast. If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Wow that sounds awesome! I want to drink from a huge vat of symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast! But I don’t know what that is!” You may be more familiar with the term kombucha, a type of fermented tea brewed from a SCOBY, or a kombucha mother. Kombucha is a tradition dating back as far as 2,000 years, but has recently become more popular in the West, marketed as Synergy and found at health food stores across the country. The lack of kombucha in this country stems from the fact that most of the research done on kombucha is largely in Russian and German, so interest is hard to garner if you don’t know the language you’re reading. Thankfully, you can find Kombucha mothers all over craigslist and get in on the healthy action. Why would you want to make your own kombucha? Check it: Kombucha can help fight cancer since it contains glucaric acid, a known cancerfighting agent It is soaking in anti-oxidants to protect those cells in your body; it is super high in vitamin Bs. Makes you feel supreme, almost like a Supreme Being of Leisure. It regenerates itself. As the mother grows, you develop two SCOBYs so you can make twice the kombucha. Then you can give it (or sell it) to your friends. If you’ve had the
luxury of drinking kombucha before, you know it makes you feel fantastic like a fox, or a Russian. How to make your own! First acquire a SCOBY, or kombucha mother.
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They’re rampant on the Craigslist. Who knew? Something to keep in mind when working with the mother is that it is a living organism, and is prone to infection if proper precautions aren’t taken into account. I recommend doing what some of my friends would do and douse everything in white vinegar before use, including your own hands. Next, gather these materials: -4 quart Stainless Steel pot -4 quart Wide Mouth Glass Mason jar. Easily acquirable via the interwebs. -1 Square of cheese cloth -5 Bags of organic black or green tea. -1 cup of organic raw cane sugar Jars for storage 1. Boil 3 qt. of water in a stainless steel pan. Add 5 tea bags--any combination of black or green tea will do--and allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags. 2. Add 1 cup of sugar while the tea is still hot. Stir until all the sugar dissolves. Allow the tea to cool to a lukewarm temperature and pour it into a large glass jar. Adding extremely hot liquid to glass jars may cause mason jars to shatter, so err on the side of caution. 3. Add the liquid from a previous batch of kombucha tea. It should make up 10 percent of the new batch of tea. Place the live kombucha culture from a previous batch into the tea. ESSENTIAL: The tea must be lukewarm; you don’t want to drop your live culture into boiling hot tea, because this can kill essential bacteria and yeast required for fermentation and a sustainable product. 4. Cover the jar with the cheesecloth or paper towel. Allow the tea to ferment for 8 to 12 days in a warm, odor-free environment. Leaving the jar in a kitchen may cause cooking aromas to absorb into the tea, and cigarette smoke may cause spores to grow on the kombucha culture. For best results, try to keep the liquid between 74 and 85 degrees F. The warmer the temperature, the faster the fermentation process. Try not to let the tea go below 68 degrees F. Know you have a living, sustainable product being produced inside your own home! It’s delicious, nutritious, and leaving the SCOBY out of the jar will sufficiently freak out guests who have no idea what that strange jiggly thing is! For best results, leave mother on kitchen table. Enjoy!
Tasty Tangy Mashed Potaters by Liz Roberts Tired of regular old sweet potato casserole? These suckers will blow the brownsugary marsh-mellowy nonsense right out of Grandma’s oven. What You Need - 6 big sweet potatoes - Splash of whole milk - Handful of chopped cilantro - Chuck of salted butter - Big sprinkle of garlic salt - 3 big globs of sour cream - Handful of crumbled cheshire cheese (preferably the ‘Abbey Road’ sun dried tomato cheshire cheese made by Boone Creek Creamery, available at Three Rivers) *Cook Time: 30 minutes *Feeds: 4 normal people, 2 starving people *For the benefit of your taste-buds, health, and environment, use all organic ingredients* What To Do -Boil your sweet tatters until they get soft all the way through -Drain the water out of the pot -Skin the tatters -Throw ‘em back in the pot, set heat on medium-low -Mash ‘em, adding in milk, butter, cheese, and cream until they get nice and gloopy -Sprinkle in garlic salt and toss in cilantro -Remove from heat, serve, and eat!
Three Rivers: Your Local Food Co-op by Bob Boyd
photo from www.Knoxyankee.com
After a long weekend of searching for the kind of community all-stars and local legends that make the Vine tick I woke up with a hankering for nourishment. Once I found my shoes (on top of our backyard compost heap) I departed from Volunteer Vine HQ and made a beeline for Three Rivers Market. I knew that my hunger wouldn’t be tackled by a bag of cheddar popcorn or some mac & cheese; I needed a full on brunch-tastic feast. At first look, the hot brunch bar at Three Rivers seemed to have one flaw: too many choices. Then I took a deep breath and realized that at about six bucks a pound I’d be able to sample everything and, more importantly, too much local, healthy breakfast food is never a problem. The highlights of this Sunday morning spread consisted of blueberry pancakes, tempeh bacon, and cheesy veggie scramble (for all you omnivores there was some truly tempting sausage veggie scramble, or, on the other hand, if you’re vegan you could enjoy a hefty tofu scramble). After grabbing a delicious kombucha (see Brandon’s article. Yeah, Three Rivers has that, and it is delicious.) to wash it all down, I crawled back to HQ. What followed was the kind of lightening quick eating that would appear to preclude tasting. However, with this quick and easy take-home meal great taste couldn’t be avoided.
The Roaming Local-vore Every vegetable in my scramble (a menagerie of onions and peppers) literally popped with flavor and was paired with a gooey strand of cheese. After polishing off the eggs I went to town on the sweet, fluffy blueberry pancakes. Those lasted exactly how long it took me to write that last sentence. Then I tucked into my eight slices of tempeh bacon (I’m a bit of a fan). These crunchy bits didn’t live up to their bacony name, but instead forged into brand new and delicious territory. Unlike the rest of the meal I can’t say they were homemade, but I love the brand of tempeh that Three Rivers used, it fit wonderfully with the rest of the in-house made menu, and that kind of old standby is exactly what I need to pull me out of bed early on a Sunday morning. After I had pulled my self back out of bed (That meal really packed a punch.) I sauntered over to Three Rivers and sat down with Katy Ries, the Outreach and Marketing Director, to get an inside look at Tennessee’s only local food co-op. In the beginning, Three Rivers was a buying club where people would order organic vegetables together, to increase quantity and, thusly, cost efficacy. Then, on April 1, 2005, Three Rivers Market was born and their mission for community improvement through healthy consumption began (Fun Fact: Three Rivers was incorporated in Minnesota due to Tennessee’s lack of legal set up regarding co-ops). TRM defines itself as “A cooperative center of sustainable commerce, [existing] to benefit its members by creating and nourishing a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community.” and they have a lot of policies and products that back that up. A membership at Three Rivers costs twenty-five bucks, lasts for a year, and comes with a slew of discounts (the highlight of those being the Basics discount which pertains to staple foods from milk and OJ to rice and beans). That share lasts forever and you get another one every year that you renew membership. Considering the end-of-the-year profit sharing option
you get after collecting eight shares, this is a membership that literally pays for itself. Another great consumer benefit that Three Rivers has is the member loan program. Lets say you’re one of those lucky people who are conscious of their community and the environment that also manages to find financial success, Three Rivers allows you to loan them money at better rates than banks on payment plans you work out with the company. That way, you know where your money’s going, what it’s being used for, and you make some cash too. It was on the back of programs like membership loans that TRM accomplished its long-term goal of moving into a larger location. This new spot, complete with hot bar, deli, inhouse sushi, and a larger selection of products, opened on August 26 of this year. At this point you probably understand that Three Rivers Market has a slew of member outreach programs and came a long way to offer them, but, at it’s core is a plethora of delicious, local food. While we were talking Katy mentioned that, “We exist to serve the community.” and, the way I see it, that means caring about members; the benefits they receive as well as the scrumptious and ethical products offered to them. Whether you’re looking for this week’s best produce from a local farm, a quick meal to bring home, a good beer, or even a Thanksgiving Turkey (Check out page two for details on budget friendly ideas for the holiday.) Three Rivers is there for you, all while asking for your input.
Three Rivers Market is located at 110 North Central Street and is open from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. every day. They will be open till noon on Thanksgiving and closed for Christmas and New Years. Sign up for their newsletter or browse this week’s deals at www.threeriversmarket.coop. For more information about their hot bar menu and other important stuff be sure to follow them on twitter: @3RiversMarket
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