Molasses Stir-off - Back to Basics
Molasses were a staple of Appalachian mountain households, providing a needed sweetener for many foods and a means of making medicine more palatable. Stiroffs were not just very hard work, they were also social occasions, bringing a community together to share the work and the molasses. There was almost always an accompanying feast and occasionally recreational liquids to help pass the long hours of the process. Molasses are still prized and sought after for country kitchens.
BLACKSMITHING - WHITE HOT and FIERY !!
Eastern Kentucky is one of the few places with master blacksmiths who can work with 2400 degree steel and do everything from shoeing horses to making fine furniture and art objects. One of the essential elements of blacksmithing is building an effective fire, and this demonstrates how that is best done.
SWAGING - CREATIVE BLACKSMITHING and ORIGINAL ART
A swage block is used for working sheet steel and shaping metal, and making spoons, ladles, shovels, tools, intricate art objects, and creating original pieces from steel and iron.
TIMBER THEFT - Kentucky's most overlooked crime - legislative testimony
MAKIN' BACON - Hog-killing time !!
There's a December chill and the people of the Kentucky hills are getting ready for winter with some of the same preparations they have been using since Thomas Jefferson was president. One of the most important is the preparation of hog meat, as it is shown here.
AMERICAN CHESTNUT BLIGHT - Greatest Forest Loss in History
There were once almost 4 billion American chestnuts and they were among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees in the eastern forest. The wood was long-lasting, straight-grained, and suitable for furniture, fencing, and building. The nuts fed billions of birds and animals. It was almost a perfect tree - that is, until it was killed by a blight a century ago. That blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world's forests in all of history. A tree that had survived all adversaries for 40 million years had disappeared within 40.