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Celebrating all that’s Scottish

If you feel inclined to don a kilt this month or flip a heavy wooden pole (called a caber in Scotland) as far as you can, you’re not the only one — there’s definitely something Gaelic in the air about now.

Last week, it was the 47th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games held in Linville, featuring traditional Scottish dancing, music, athletics and more. Now, the Southern Highland Craft Guild — in conjunction with the “Celebrating Scotland’s Crafts” exhibit on display at the Folk Art Center through Sept. 29 — has chosen to run with this Scottish theme in the Summer Edition of the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, which comes to the Asheville Civic Center from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21.

Besides showcasing superb crafts from the Southern Appalachians, the fair will also illustrate the cultural connections between Scottish and Southern Highland craft traditions.

Highland bagpipe craftsman Hamish Moore of Perthshire, Scotland — who makes historically accurate, bellows-blown small pipes — will be the special guest demonstrator throughout the four-day event. In addition, Scotland-born weaver Marjorie Warren (of Lake Junaluska) will demonstrate the weaving of clan tartans. And on Saturday and Sunday, Scottish-heritage specialist John Dall (of Waynesville) will hold forth on traditional Scottish weaponry and the tinsmithing techniques behind these deadly tools.

Many of the more than 160 participating Guild members will also be demonstrating techniques of their various trades, including contemporary quilter Caroline Manheimer (of Asheville), fiber artist Peggy DeBell (of Waynesville), and woodcarver Helen Gibson (of Brasstown).

The fair will also feature a children’s craft area where kids can complete special craft projects; a raffle featuring beautiful craft prizes (proceeds benefit the Guild’s educational programming); and free entertainment on the Arena stage at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day.

The entertainment lineup includes some authentic Scottish music: Scottish-heritage diva Flora MacDonald Gammon will perform at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and Celtic harpist William Jackson (a native Scot) will be featured at a special 4:30 performance on the same day. Fairgoers can also enjoy the return of such favorites as Split Rail (Sunday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.), the Dowden Sisters (Friday, 1 p.m.) and the Delta Billies (Sunday, 1 p.m.).

Tickets to the fair cost $6 (children under 12 can attend free if accompanied by an adult).

For more information, call the Guild at 298-7928 or visit their Web site (www.southernhighlandguild.org).

It’s a tailgate party!

Tailgate markets are the place to be on Saturday mornings or Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Rows of booths teeming with the freshest produce available as well as cut flowers, plants, jams & jellies, honey, farm eggs, home-baked goods, cider and more, all locally produced.

According to the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, this has been an exceptional tailgate season, with many new people coming out and discovering all that the markets have to offer.

To show appreciation for this customer support and growth, and to encourage still more folks to check them out, all Madison and Buncombe County tailgate markets will have a special Summer Celebration on Saturday, July 20; Wednesday, July 24; and Thursday, July 25.

The celebrations will include live music, special food tastings, cooking demonstrations, live animals and more. There will also be special children’s events, such as face painting, a garden art contest, choosing free seeds to plant, and project ideas for kids to share with their families.

Each of the nine participating markets will have different special events. For more specific information or directions, call the Mountain Tailgate Market Association (293-3262) or visit the ASAP Web site (www.BuyAppalachian.org.)

Home ownership for low-income single parents

“It would be easier for me, as a single mom, to rent an apartment in Asheville if I had a dog rather than my beautiful baby daughter,” says Kelly, who asked that we not disclose her last name.

According to the Our Next Generation, this statement underscores the plight of single parents trying to find a place to live in Asheville, even though landlords cannot legally discriminate against families with children.

In response to this dilemma, the nonprofit has undertaken an innovative solution: offering homes that a group of single parents can co-own. The first of these houses (earmarked for single moms) is scheduled to open next month.

Citing U.S. Census data, Our Next Generation President Gene Rainey says: “Children of single mothers or fathers will tend to live in poverty. Their parents have little money left over after shelling out a large percentage of their income for rent. The affordable-housing problem hits hardest the single parent.”

Thanks to a Justice Department grant arranged by Rep. Charles Taylor, Our Next Generation has been able to rehabilitate a five-bedroom, three-bath house for single mothers using YouthBuild labor. YouthBuild is a program that teaches construction skills to high-school dropouts while helping them prepare to earn a G.E.D.

Says YouthBuild Western Carolina Co-Director Kevin Geiger, “This project serves two segments of our society who need special attention: the dropouts and single parents.” He notes that “some of our YouthBuild participants are single parents, too.”

Five single mothers will have a chance to buy one-fifth of the house apiece. “Most single parents have missed out on the opportunity to acquire equity by owning property that increases in value,” notes Rainey.

The buy-in amount will be between $1,500 and $2,000. Each co-owner will pay about $400 a month, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance and operating costs. Besides building equity, single parents can deduct part of the taxes and interest paid from their income taxes.

This unique multifamily living arrangement, notes Rainey, could also help address the community’s child-care crisis. Our Next Generation, he continues, may also be able to help participants meet other needs, such as finding health insurance and obtaining produce from Manna Food Bank.

Space in this first house is being offered to single moms because, as Rainey points out, “single moms outnumber single dads five to one.”

“However,” he adds, “assuming that our experiment works out, we will entertain applications from single dads for our next single-parent house.”

In addition to the Justice Department grant, Our Next Generation has received funds to purchase furnishings for the house from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Haverty’s Furniture and the Asheville Kiwanis Club.

To find out more about this program or learn how you can help, call Rainey at 258-0922.

Eat it raw

We are what we eat, and according to David Jubb, Ph.D. — an expert in the fields of neurology, nutrition, blood formation and colloidal biology — if we eat what he calls “dead, devitalized, depleted and denatured foods,” we’re asking for trouble. These kinds of foods, says Jubb, “are missing life force.”

“A house is a good metaphor for the body,” he explains. “If you were going to build a house, how long would you want … it to last?”

“It is said that we nearly rebuild the entire body each year. Every cell in the blood, bones, brain and tissue is completely regenerated, and new cells replace the old ones. … A cooked-food diet, depleted of enzymes, is like trying to construct a house out of soggy cardboard.”

According to Jubb, the ideal diet (which he calls “LifeFood nutrition”) consists of “fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables — organic, in-season and ripe; sprouted seeds, nuts and legumes, along with some fermented foods that are properly combined for easy digestion.”

Jubb believes that the root of all disease is toxicity and de-enervation (low amplitude of electrics in the body.) Detoxifying the body and using LifeForce nutrition to bring back the electricity, he says, will alleviate disease symptoms and restore vitality.

Jubb will be in Asheville to give a free talk about LifeForce nutrition and its effect on disease symptoms on Friday, July 21 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Earth Fare.

He’ll also lead a two-day workshop to help people heal from nutritional diseases and disorders on Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. both days) at Network Family Chiropractic (188 Charlotte St.) The cost is $80 per day, $150 for the weekend.

Both events are sponsored by Jubb’s Longevity, Network Family Chiropractic, the Hope Center for Compassionate Consciousness, and the Asheville Life Food Collective.

For more information or to register for the workshop, call 251-0815.

Help maintain the Appalachian Trail

From Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail wanders the ridges and valleys of the Appalachians for more than 2,168 miles.

But even though it’s part of the national park system, the Appalachian Trail’s upkeep has largely been delegated to the Appalachian Trail Conference, a private, volunteer-based nonprofit organization. The ATC Crew Program is recruiting volunteers to work on parts of the trail during the weeks of July 18-22 and July 25-29. There’ll also be volunteer opportunities in August.

Locally, the Trail Crew will tackle two trail relocations. One is along the Firescald Knob in the Pisgah National Forest, near the North Carolina/Tennessee line. This project will involve a lot of heavy-duty rock work. The second local project is near the Elk River in the Cherokee National Forest. This portion of the trail will pass two scenic waterfalls.

Volunteers enjoy great scenery, food, transportation, lodging, tools, equipment, training, and a chance for lots of fun and camaraderie with people of all ages and from all walks of life. No experience is necessary — only a willingness to work hard (largely with hand tools) and get dirty.

The crews work eight-hour days — rain or shine, hot or cold, and despite the ravages of black flies, mosquitoes and other insects. Trail Crew members backpack into a back-country campsite and set up a primitive tent camp near the project site. Besides personal gear, crew members carry all the food, tools and group gear needed for the week.

Participants must be 18 or older and in good physical condition. All backgrounds are welcome. A special all-women crew is being offered the week of July 18-22.

For more info on how to become a volunteer, call the ATC Crew Program at (540) 544-7388, e-mail them at crews@appalachiantrail.org, or visit their Web site (www.atconf.org).

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