Hops, Dandelion, Lilac Bark and Buttercups: Nelson Update

We’re more than halfway through EartHand’s first Kootenay-based programming, the Nelson Materials Investigation Series! For three sessions now, a group of 7-8 of us, primarily located on the traditional territories of the Sinixt and Ktunaxa peoples in the West Kootenays, have gathered virtually via Zoom for a show-and-tell of backyard fibre materials, to share and compare notes about harvesting, soaking, and processing, and to learn and practice some basic hand technology skills such as rope-making, stem splitting, and multi-strand braiding.

We’ve also been sharing resources and stories to help each other learn about whose land we’re each calling in from, to learn about resources and ethical practices when using invasive plants, and are slowing but surely building a little virtual (for now) community of folks comfortable enough to share our excitement about repurposed pet hair fibre projects!

Collectively, we’re investigating the backyard green-waste fibre potential of a growing list of plants including hops, orange hawkweed, dandelion, lilac bark, raspberry bark, buttercup, scotch broom, hazel bark, smokebush bark, daylily, oxeye daisy, bindweed, grasses, clematis, goatsbeard, bird vetch, lavender, and others!

With momentum and optimism to continue this work, Jaymie is interested in connecting with West Kootenay environmental non-profits, host nation storytellers, weavers, and knowledge holders, SD8 school teachers, and any other folks or organizations interested in pursuing environmental art projects in collaboration with EartHand Nelson in the near future. Please contact her at EarthandNelson(at)gmail.com.