Natural DyesAlex Foster
Exploring Plants and Color at Mountain Run Jam
Exploring the magical landscape at Mountain Run Farm. Together we will gather leaves, flowers, and weeds, to create colorful prints on cloth. This process is called ecoprinting, it is a fun way to better understand the plants living near you!
Ain’t Never Been Blue: Exploring Indigo + Shibori
Explore the wonders of natural indigo dyeing in combination with shibori resist techniques to create gorgeous blue patterns on cloth. Indigo is nature’s blue, together we will mix up a dye vat and cover the basics for keeping your indigo in reduction and dyeing happy. From there we will dive into the wonderful world of shibori, an ancient Japanese method for resist dyeing, traditionally used with indigo dye. We will learn how to fold, wrap, and tie fabric to create a vast range of patterns. Don’t forget to bring a white cotton t-shirt for dyeing!
Alex Foster (they/she) is an interdisciplinary artist working with natural dyes and printing with plants on fabric. They were born and raised in Roanoke Virginia, nurtured by Blue Ridge Mountain breezes and the winding paths of the Appalachian Trail.
Alex has always been distracted by the restlessness of their hands. As a child, Alex was often found tying knots, making scarves and jewelry from rope, twigs, and cloth. They went on to earn a BFA in Studio Art from James Madison University, concentrating on Fibers and Material Studies. A deep love for fabric has led them to work as a studio assistant at Aya Fiber Studio on the Treasure Coast of Florida, an apprenticeship as a costume stitcher for the American Shakespeare Center, and multiple work-study fellowships at schools of craft.
Foster was awarded the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Artist of the year in 2020. They teach workshops across Virginia and the Appalachian region. Foster’s work investigates the human fallacy of separation, from the natural world and one another, through color and cloth.
Follow @fosterfiber on Instagram to learn more about the natural dye and printing process. Please reach out to learn more about future workshops and collaboration opportunities.
Many home gardeners are 90% of the way to a productive garden, but cave in easily to problems like pests, uneven watering and sub-par fertility. After years of farming on a small scale, Amanda realized that many of the methods she employs on her farm transfer easily and cheaply to the home garden. Join her as she talks about the low-hanging fruit that is nearly in your grasp!
Come discover how to make compost tea using homemade compost and brewing it with easy-to-find materials from around the farm or homestead. Learn how to make your own fertilizers, soil drenches and foliar sprays with an aerated barrel-style compost tea set up, see the nuts-and-bolts of the process and learn how to use compost tea on your farm and to build soil health and nutrient density.
This workshop is an introduction to basic seed saving, and will give participants the tools they need to get started! We’ll also talk about the benefits of saving seed, from increasing resiliency to saving money to improving the adaptation of varieties for your particular conditions.
In this workshop we’ll explore some of the basic concepts and principles for designing, establishing, and maintaining an edible forest garden. Learn how to combine edible and medicinal trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials, ground covers, and tubers into a beautiful edible ecosystem.
Mountain Run Farm History: 30 Years in 30 Minutes. Our experience on this land began 30 years ago. But we are not the first to live here, nor the last. We must learn the history of our land, set goals for the future and work in the present to make steps towards healing our mistakes and maybe even doing a little long-lasting good for this piece of Earth and the community that surrounds it.
Emilie will walk through two types of vegetable fermentation – “krauts” and “pickles”. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t just refer to cabbage and cucumbers, these terms are simply types of ferments. She’ll demonstrate each type, and help you understand when to use each method.
Experience the process of wood firing in its simplest way. We will harvest clay straight from the Earth and add some Water. A magical, flexible medium will come alive giving shape to your imagination and inspiration. While the clay slowly dries with the Air we will gather some wood and will get a Fire going. We will place what we have formed into the living flames while sitting around the fire telling stories, listening to each other just like our ancestors”
Niti Bali is the Founder and CEO of Farm to Fork Meat Riot, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as a catalyst for reestablishing the regenerative small family farm food system. Her strategically designed counter economic CSA program educates eaters to harness the power of life giving force through regenerative foods.
Believe it or not, the Jackson family left a 14 year long career in the military to farm full time. Find out why and how they took the leap, what drew them to regenerative agriculture, and how with the right mindset, passion, and faith anyone can make a full time career out of farming.
Learn how to transform wastes such as food scraps or newspaper into amazingly rich, biologically active compost using the wiggly worm. Caleb will discuss simple techniques for building a worm composting system for any scale — whether you live in an apartment or on a farm — what to feed them, how to harvest and use the castings, as well as the myriad of benefits this special compost has for gardens and plants.