“As we abandon long-established notions of the past and truly embrace this young century, the agricultural community will become the planet’s new elite, dominating our essential needs and inspiring years of farmer styles. After all, the farmers of the future will clothe us, house us, feed us, fuel us and hopefully even heal us. Ultimately they will be able to engineer design and grow furniture in a symbiosis of technology and biology, and therefore rural and urban lifestyles will merge and become one; resulting in an inversed social landscape with a greener city and a more contemporary countryside.
We will see vertical farming in the inner cities and the return of smaller luxury farms in the countryside to handle the market for fresh niche products, while arid areas of the globe will be used to power solar plants and farm new kinds of bio fuels. The farm will even become a destination for beauty and learning as well as a cradle for new retail strategies and marketplaces for the future.
This rural revival will sustain far into the future, influencing our habitations and interiors….” Li Edelkoort – an excerpt from View on Color – A World of Folk, page 67
Copies of The World of Folk issue can be purchased by contacting Tel: 212 420 7622 Edelkoort, Inc.- $95.00 + $ 7 shipping
It has been amazing to see all the beautiful work finding a voice on those pages. Thanks to betty_woosh for getting it all started and to all of you who have taken an idea and just keep making it better and better and better….
I am just turning in the texts/projects for our new book Alabama Studio Style – which has taken a lot of my time recently. Also, we recently updated our website and added new sewing supplies, colors and kits to the store.
And now that the new site is up (and working for the most part), Jessica and I will soon be adding a projects section here where we will continually add projects, tips, treats and more. Keep posting your projects along with the tips and treats you are discovering along the way.
And let us know what we can do to help…
Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin
I have been traveling so much that it has been difficult to keep up with all of the inspiring people, places and things that have crossed my path these last months. I am looking forward to slowing down for the holidays to process.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, I had the opportunity to tour the incredible International Quilt Study Center where the most fantastic, pristine, beautiful quilts find a home and are perfectly archived for future generations.
On Saturday afternoon, I had the honor of touring the Edible Schoolyard and having lunch in the new Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Dining Commons. Alice Waters, the Chez Panisse Foundation and a team of others are working towards changing the way we see the school lunch program in America.
The program was inspiring, delicious and beautiful and I am committed to bringing this philosophy into the life of my own daughter.
I believe that the act of preparing, eating and sharing food should be at the center of our lives – not only feeding our bodies but our emotional and spiritual needs as well. One of my favorite things about cooking is sharing this experience with good friends and family. As it gets cooler, a simple and elegant home cooked meal is the perfect excuse to gather together to enjoy the bounty of the Fall harvest. The markets right now are a fantastic source of inspiration with all of the amazing fruits and vegetables available. A great dinner party does not have to be complicated – good, simple ingredients and clear organization are all you need to create a wonderful meal to share with loved ones. I want to show you how dinner parties can be fun for everyone – not just your guests!
I find myself thinking and speaking more and more about business models and today I have seen two outstanding examples.
This morning, we had the opportunity to visit CIDA. This visit was an inspiring look at how one person can become a community and a community, in turn, a nation.
By empowering students, the foundation is providing a method for lifting individuals out of poverty while investing them with the tools to provide for their own communities. This short video says it all:
Our afternoon was filled with the overflowing love of the African Children’s Feeding Scheme. This organization feeds over 21,000 children each day over multiple locations while providing crucial education in health, farming and economic development for parents and caregivers (along with small farming plots.)
One lunch provides each child with 80% of his or her daily requirement for vitamins and protein. When we asked the sister her greatest need, her immediate response was to “feed more children.”
As a reminder, this curtain hanging in a kitchen window reads “No More Hunger.”
After a beautiful lunch, accompanied by Soweto song and dance, we had the opportunity to visit the Shwe Shwe Poppis cooperative.
Shwe-Shwe Poppis are hand-made in Soweto as a fund raising and economic empowerment arm of the Feeding Scheme. Each of the dolls is one child’s drawing come to life. What a beautiful circular chain: child to drawing, drawing to doll, doll to empowerment, empowerment to caregiver, caregiver to child – in complete and unbroken cycle.The paper insert that comes with one small doll reads:“Hello, my name is KHUTHAThis Shwe Shwe is based on my drawing. I live in Soweto, South Africa and buddy is my best game. Chicken is my best lunch. My favorite color is green and I also love lions.”
From New York, I took the long flight with South African Airlines to Johannesburg… landing yesterday to a beautiful thunderstorm, delicious food and a smiling warm faces and friends.
It is impossible to write about all of the beautiful people and places we encountered today from lunch with “Mama” to the gift of a walk through the corners of Soweto.
The highlight of the day was the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum which I would rank as one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture and exhibition design I have seen anywhere in the world. The saga of a horrific story told with humanity, humility and passion stirred me deeply.
I copied this quote from a small glass nook where you can look over the vastness of Soweto and imagine – if for just a moment – what courage it took to change a nation:
A bullet burnt
Into soft dark flesh
A child fell
To stain the earth
He was the first victim
Let grieving the willows
Mark the spot
Let nature raise a monument
Of flowers and trees
Lest we forget the foul and the wicked
From Don Mattera, 1976, Azanian Love Song Posted at 11:37 am