RISE UP: THE ROOTS COLLABORATIVE
THE ROOTS REVIVAL SPRING 2021
The Spring 2021 Collaborative Box: Rise Up: The Roots Revival.
Curated around the central theme of eco-consciousness, sustainability and women-based small business, each of the products in our Roots Box was carefully chosen because it in some way brings into focus the question of how things that we use are made and where they're from sourced from, to raise awareness of the importance of conscious consumerism and ethical consumption. The concepts highlight our fragile ecosystems (both natural and social), and this retail box formed around the idea of fresh beginnings and putting down new, more healthy roots, which all of us weary humans need right now.
I think all of us have a better and truer understanding of how important the work we do collectively really is, now more than ever. Borderland has always been a model I've admired, ever since Jen Brazill pitched shop in the empty studio space at Redfish that I, coincidentally, now call my own. Jen's drive to promote sustainability as a "this is just the way it should be done and that's that" is a concept that captured me instantly. That's why when the opportunity came to work together to grow last Christmas' little Ruminant Love Box, affectionately known as "The Goat Box," into something larger that could truly be of value, I was hooked. We both grabbed on and rode the wave.
Working this winter to bring this project to fruition for spring was a source of joy and connection, and while I can't speak for Jen, kept me rooted to something hopeful and full of light through what was a very dark and difficult winter season. Forming relationships with the other women involved in this project as we worked to bring everyone together was a truly uplifting experience, and only validated (for me, anyway) how important the messaging behind this project really is.
Composed of products produced exclusively by small, local, female-driven businesses, we chose to launch on Earth Day to help drive home the message that our small choices matter to Mother Earth. Individual acts, when taken up collectively, have an impact that go beyond just the benefit to ourselves.
Each Roots Revival Box includes earth-friendly products such as fresh local lavender plants from Wild Blossom Hollow, organic goats’ milk soap from Alpine Made, local honey, beeswax candles from Hahn’s Honeybee Haven, and a collection of seeds and pollinators from Masterson's Garden. Local artists like myself and Jenny Licata have included fine art that features subjects or processes that highlight the natural world and our consumption of it.
Ten percent of the proceeds from sales of our Roots Revival Box will be donated to Buffalo Niagara Waterkeepers, to help support the work they do to preserve and protect our local water tables, a critical piece of environmental work right here in WNY.
In addition to the obvious purchase, the larger messaging of this project will continue throughout the summer with events involving each participant designed around raising conversations and awareness about the real results that their work accomplishes, and how those who are on the consumer side of this relationship can share, and take positive steps to bring that work into their own communities. These will culminate with a presence at the Borderland 2021 festival at Know Farm State Park in September, which we hope will include artwork and live installations that echo these themes and highlight the use of alternate energy sources. Plans for that are progressing. Those interested in participating can send an inquiry through the contact form.
This is not just a box. It is a movement by a group of very driven and dedicated women.
We have so much work to do, and compassionate, conscious small business models like these are the future. I'm so in love with everything about this project, and the response we've gotten so far from this project has been so validating - seeing that so many care about this work has been revitalizing for us as well. So, Thank you...from the bottom of our wild little hearts, for supporting this, either with a purchase or sharing on platforms that help promote awareness.
Please consider purchasing a box to help support the goals of the project and subscribe to the email list to keep abreast of new developments in the project. You can also follow along on social media.
Purchased Roots Revival Boxes will be ready to be picked up on May 16th, from 1-4 pm at 21 Elm Street, East Aurora, where Let’s Goat Buffalo will be on-site offering patrons a chance to meet and greet the sponsored goats, and Hahn’s Honeybees will have an observational hive made of rescued honeybees. Feel free to pet the goats, and talk with Jen and Tara about the important work they do for our local environment.
For those outside of the Buffalo area, we are happy to ship, and are handling these requests individually. Just purchase the box as normal, with local delivery and include a note that you want an invoice for shipping, and we'll make it happen.
Read on below to learn more about the members of the project and their contributions to the box, and their larger work. A detailed description of each woman's contribution can be found in the shop listing.
Thank you for being a part of this! Rise Up, and Give Green a Chance.
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE ROOTS
KERRY PLANCK - ALPINE MADE
Kerry Planck's Alpine Made Farm is located on 15 acres of organic pasture tucked away by the Buffalo Creek just outside of East Aurora, where she handcrafts soap and skincare products made from goat’s milk from her herd. The first organic certified goat’s milk farm in NYS, she specializes in products with completely all-natural ingredients. All colorings and scents are derived from flowers, vegetables, herbs, spices and essential oils, many of them grown on the farm. Kerry’s interest in making sure we protect our local pollinators and small organic agriculture movements isn’t just an abstract concept for her - it is essential to her way of life.
Kerry is contributing one bar of their Oatmeal Lavender Soap, made with organic goat’s milk and real oatmeal and lavender.
ERIN HOLKO - BEEKEEPER'S GARDEN
Erin Holko of Beekeeper’s Garden is the major creative force behind her family business, Gypsy Meadows Market. Driven by respect for the bees, the plants, the animals and the land, all of the products by Beekeeper's Garden are made with beeswax and honey harvested from her own happy, healthy bees, who thrive in a safe, chemical-free environment. Her handcrafted products made from the hive range from the obvious honey to propolis and beeswax-based handcrafted beauty products.
Erin is contributing 1 8-oz jar of Local Raw Honey with Dipper, gently harvested from family beehives.
TAMI FULLER - BLUBIRD STUDIO
East Aurora Fiber Artist Tami Fuller teaches fiber arts workshops which focus on modernizing the traditional crafts and showing how they can be connected to broader fine art applications, with the goal of revitalizing the fiber arts through education. Working primarily with sheep wool, she is particularly concerned with raising awareness of slow fashion, conscious consumption and ethical wool production. She is a native of Ellicottville, who grew up on a working fiber farm and still holds a strong connection to the land. She is a passionate supporter of women farmers and female-centered business, and Blubird produces a small line of ecologically conscious home goods whose goals are to reduce single-use plastic consumption and toxic chemicals. She uses a transparent supply chain made from ethically and humanely sourced wool to produce her products and uses her platform to raise awareness of the importance of the small agriculture and conscious consumerism.
Tami is contributing a Plant-Dyed Reclaimed Linen Furoshiki Wrap, stamped using hand-made flower ink extracted from local marigolds.
JENNIFER BRAZILL - BORDERLAND
The Borderland Music + Arts Festival celebrates the rich history and renaissance of the region with a two-day music and cultural festival set in one of the most scenic and storied grounds in all of New York State, Knox Farm State Park. As Owner, Co-Founder and Sustainability Consultant, Jen has consistently used Borderland's messaging to promote environmentalism and responsible consumption. Borderland has been zero waste with a mission to reach zero footprint since its founding. She is also a member of the WNY Sustainability Council, and promotes eco-activism efforts in both local and national circles.
Borderland will be contributing one of their stainless steel cups filled with a fresh bouquet of wildflowers, as both a nod to regrowth and blossoming and a homage to the late great Tom Petty, an artist with particular meaning to the founders of the project.
TARA HAHN - HAHN'S HONEYBEE HAVEN
Tara Hahn of Hahn’s Honey bee Haven is a keeper of a small apiary in Newfane NY who specializes in honeybee swarm rescue and compassionate relocation of hives. All revenue from her line of raw honey and beeswax products goes back into sustaining colonies that she’s established on a network of organic farms throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region, populated by hives that would have otherwise been exterminated. All Hahn’s bees are local rescues and recoveries, and she also works closely with the Forestry Department to save feral bee colonies threatened by logging or by human habitat encroachment. She began rescuing bees in the late summer of 2016 and her apiary serves as a haven for rescued, stray, and wayward bees. The bees that produce her honey have been cut out of walls, snagged out of trees, and recovered colonies from busy locations. She literally saves the bees every day and travels throughout the region promoting awareness of non-lethal removal and the importance of local pollinator systems.
Tara will be contributing one set of hand-dipped beeswax tapers, made from reclaimed beeswax from her rescued bee colonies.
Jenny Licata is an artist and art teacher specializing in drawing and painting. While drawing is her specialty, she is accomplished in multiple media and is constantly learning and exploring new methods. Her work ranges from acrylic, watercolor, pencil, collage and traditional film photography. In addition to creating art in her home studio, she has been teaching privately and in school environments for nearly 15 years. She is driven by a passion for spreading her love of the arts of all kinds with students of every age, and currently teaches a variety of adult and children’s classes at MUSEjar in East Aurora in addition to private students. She strongly believes that art is an essential outlet for the soul and her focus is creating a calming, fun, and non-judgmental environment for exploration. She is the mother of two young children, and lives and works in East Aurora, where she fulfills her other creative passions, cooking and gardening. As such, Jenny is a passionate supporter of work to preserve our local landscape and the pollinators and wildlife that share it with us.
Jenny is contributing an original signed line drawing feat. Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, an endangered native, on handmade seed paper.
JENNIFER ZEITLER - LET'S GOAT BUFFALO
Goatscaping, made popular on the West Coast as part of the larger movements surrounding conscious green management in the Pacific Northwest, uses goats to manage green scapes instead of traditional landscaping, with the goal of reducing the use of toxic herbicides and revitalizing land taken over by invasive species, because of the way the goat digestive process effectively sterilizes seeds and reproductive plant matter. Through Let’s Goat Buffalo, Jen Zeitler employs rescued and rehomed dairy goats to provide effective vegetation clearing services, offering them the chance at continuing to live fruitful, healthy lives, while contributing to a better environment for us all. She works closely with the park systems and local businesses, and her goats have reclaimed land at the Olmstead Park System, the Richardson Complex and Montezuma Nature Preserve, in addition to private residences and businesses all over the Buffalo and Rochester Area. In an effort to help stimulate community engagement and defray costs in maintaining the herd during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, she opened the H.E.R.D sponsorship program, which allows local families and businesses to play a role in supporting the progress and connect with the animals that make it possible. Her program and work have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and she was recently selected as a fellow with NPR's "How I Built This" with Guy Raz.
Let’s Goat Buffalo will be contributing one entry Level Herd sponsorship and a Pan Herd Charm braclet.
ERIN HOLKO - MASTERSON'S GARDEN CENTER
Masterson’s Garden Center is a small family-based gardening center, apiary and beekeeping supplier, with a mission to help as many new beekeepers as possible. At their center in East Aurora, they provide all the beekeeping supplies new beekeepers need, from hive components to smokers, suits and even live bees, with education and mentorship programs to support new beekeepers in their goal to get as many bees as possible into the local ecosystem and plants and seeds to create ecosystems to support the bee population.
Erin (Masterson) Holko is contributing a collection of selected seeds for a plant-your-own pollinator’s garden.
CHRISTY MUCK - WILD BLOSSOM HOLLOW
Wild Blossom Hollow is a business built on the love of flowers and the way they can feed your soul. Flowers helped the owner Christy Muck heal her soul after the tragic loss of her brother-in-law Nick back in 2014 and while raising her 3 kiddos. She started by growing a small farm on her property in Cherry Creek, NY until the following year when she decided to move her farm and design company to her hometown of Forestville, NY, where she now has over an acre of flowers, a design studio, and a flower shop, and a small farm made up of rescued farm animals, including goats and sheep and a flock of self-important chickens.
Christy will be contributing a live lavender plant, locally propagated in an easy to transplant composable pot.