I usually like to have photos to go with all that I want to say. This time I have no photos of the main event and some photos to go with my peripheral commentary. I’ve been working hard to have a full complement of items for my table at the 7th annual Fibershed Wool Symposium, held in Pt. Reyes Station every year.I finished these ten ponchos just in time to take them with me. Driving over early Saturday morning, the brown, smoky skies and red sun are a reminder of the tragic fires still burning in California. (The sun looked red in real life.)Our area is impacted by the Camp fire in northern CA.Once at the venue I got my area set up. We are given one table so I bring some grids to put in back and expand my space. I fit a lot of weaving and yarn into one place.Friends stopped by and took photos.Some vendors are outside or in other rooms and have foot traffic throughout the day. I have always wanted to be in the main room where the speakers are presenting. That means the sales opportunities are clustered into a few breaks and the long lunch time.
In most years I have gone home following the Symposium. Now that we have formed the Northern CA Fibershed Ag Coop and I am a Board member I stayed in the area Saturday night to be at a Board meeting on Sunday. A couple of us “camped” at the Olema Campground. In this case it was really a matter of finding the campground after dark and then crawling into the back of the truck to sleep. About 15 minutes after leaving home Saturday morning I realized that I had left my sheepskin behind–the one I sleep on when we camp. I didn’t have time to go back for it. Instead I slept in my sleeping bag with a 1/4″ thick yoga mat on our plywood platform in the truck. Surprisingly I was almost warm enough most of the night if I didn’t put any body parts out of the sleeping bag or move very much, but I must say that there was something lacking in the comfort department. Photo from the inside of the camper shell shows that it was a lot colder than it’s been at home. Fellow camper and Board member, Carol (sleeping in a van next to my truck), went with me as soon as we emerged from our vehicles to go find warmth at a coffee shop while we waited for time to go to our meeting. We were both still dressed in everything we wore to bed.
Saturday’s Symposium was amazing as always. It is exciting when you go somewhere and you think you already know about the topic and then you find out all the stuff that you didn’t know that you don’t know. This year’s speakers and panels discussed the importance of prescribed fire and grazing in restoring ecological systems. The topic of fire was chosen following last year’s devastating fires that occurred right before the 2017 Symposium. It is ironic that the most destructive fire in California began only last Thursday and is still burning. I wouldn’t do the Symposium justice if I tried to summarize all that the speakers spoke about with great passion and the thought and hard work that Rebecca Burgess put into the composition of the speaker line-up. The Symposium was live-streamed on the Fibershed website and soon (I think) you’ll be able to see the video of all these presentations there.
Sunday’s meeting was for the board of the newly formed Northern CA Fibershed Ag Coop, an entity that is separate from Fibershed (non-profit) but working closely with the non-profit. There is a lot of work ahead for the Coop and lots of exciting opportunities but for now we are focusing on getting more members and bringing more goods to the newly launched Fibershed Marketplace where consumers who want to support locally farmers and artisans can buy our goods.
When I go somewhere away from home I often home a newspaper for Dan. He seems to be happy about that. Today I picked up the Sunday edition of the SF Chronicle.This is one of the articles inside. Although they don’t talk about sourcing our clothes from locally grown fibers, they do address the issue of the incredible waste in the textile industry and consumerism. Seems appropriate to end the weekend.