Gathering at Sedalia provides chance to learn new skills

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By John Barnhart

    Sedalia Center will host some new events this year. Actually, one is new and one is semi-new.


    The new event is called Gathering.
    According to Doris McCabe, the Center’s director, this is a skills sharing event and one she hopes will bring more young people to the Sedalia Center. The title comes from its goal to gather as much sustainable systems information together in one place as they can.
    Gathering will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6.
    “We’ve tried to keep it as local as possible,” she said.
    Another feature of Gathering’s offerings is that they aren’t theoretical. Everything is something that somebody is actually doing. The event will give people an opportunity to learn from each other.
    McCabe said that the Center got this idea because there is so much farming and gardening in this area.  The event seemed like a natural fit.
    “I think it may interest families with young children,” she said.
    Bedford Area Master Gardeners will be doing a presentation on composting. One form will be worm composting. This uses a species of worm to turn a combination of old newspapers and kitchen garbage into very fertile compost.
    “It’s the kind of composting that people in urban areas can do,” she said.
    Central Virginia Natural Naturalists will be there. They will talk about how to provide protection for wildlife in the backyard. One naturalist will talk about bats and what bats do for people.
    There will be a renewable energy presentation that includes a solar array and a talk on small scale solar applications. James Madison University will be on hand with a model windmill. They will set it up to show how the internal mechanism works.
    There will also be a do-it-yourself presentation by Mark Hanson, from Fincastle, along with energy conservation ideas from Jason Fails of JTF Renewable Design and Build.
    If you’re interested in growing your own mushrooms, you can learn how to inoculate a log with mushroom spores. The presentation will be on shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
    Those who like the outdoors will get a chance to learn primitive skills. There will be tracking demonstrations and campfire safety presentations. You can also learn how to make a bow. There will also be a primitive skills session geared to children.
    Ted Hughes, a Blue Ridge Parkway ranger, will talk about farming and gardening in Virginia from colonial times to just after the War Between the States. Much of the fighting in that war took place in Virginia and his presentation will include stories about how people coped with a war going on around them.
Art and Architecture
    Art and Architecture is semi-new. Sedalia did it for the first time last year. According to McCabe, Marty Leist came up with the idea and Virginia McCabe, Annis McCabe’s daughter, is heading it up.
    This event will include a talk on architectural styles and presentation on landscape design. People will have a chance to meet with landscape designers and architects.    
    This event takes place on Nov. 10 and McCabe said that it will provide a good opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts. She said  there will be a lot of upscale crafts — such as glass, pottery and metalwork — available for purchase.