At Gaia, we're lucky to be nestled against the Pisgah National Forest, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our region is known for its biodiversity (making it perfect for our Certified Organic farm), and it's just a short drive to Asheville, which is sometimes called "the Paris of the South." The mild weather and connection to nature has created a regional community of artisans, intellectuals, environmental trailblazers and outdoor enthusiasts.
One fledgling group, Asheville Folk, truly embodies the spirit of our community, and they're setting out to help others collaborate and create connections. From roundtables with small business owners to seasonal crafts workshops like the one we recently attended, Asheville Folk is doing the good work of connecting the dots between like-minded folks.
Their holiday wreath workshop was a holiday dream come true. The scent of fresh pine conjures wonderful memories of trimming a tree and anxiously falling asleep on Christmas Eve. (For some of us, it also brings the desire to build a tree house to soak up that invigorating aroma year-round.) When we heard Asheville Folk would allow us to spend an afternoon learning a new craft while inhaling the invigorating scent of evergreens, we knew we had to join in.
But don't worry-if you weren't able to attend your own wreath-making workshop this year, the kind gals from Asheville Folk have shared the instructions below. (With lovely photos from Formation of Mental Objects, a very talented local photographer.)
Need a little motivation? Here are a few of our favorite reasons to nurture your crafty side by making your own holiday wreath:
- Rethink the Christmas tree. There are over 500,000 acres of holiday trees grown in the US - that's enough oxygen for 9 million people!
- Start a tradition. There is a reason families pass down recipes for generations. The act of making something together, and sharing the process, forges strong connections.
- It's simple and cheap. One man's trash becomes another man's treasure, literally. You can collect scraps from your local tree lot or forage wild holly (sustainably, of course).
- The smell is intoxicating. Warning: You might resist washing your hands afterward.
- Make friends and build community. Hosting a wreath-making party or workshop is an amazing opportunity to discover new connections and strengthen existing ones.
Supplies Needed: 18-inch wire wreath frame Spooled floral wire, cut into 6-inch pieces Variety of evergreen cuttings, holly and anything else you might like to add Shears
Directions: Gather at least three different types of evergreen and decorative natural materials. Christmas Tree lots will often offer scraps and extra clippings for free. We also pruned and snipped evergreen from our own property. You will also want to gather pine cones, holly, berries, and dried thistles as decorative material.
Make 10-12 small bundles of 3 different types of evergreen and wrap wire tightly around the stems.
Arrange your bundles around the frame and begin to attach each bundle to the frame with wire. Make sure to securely wrap each bundle several times by winding the wire around the frame.
Once all of your bundles are attached, adorn your wreath by attaching the natural accents, like pine cones and holly.