June 2015

Of all the unusual crafts, foods and practices that have become a part of the Appalachian way of life, none is truer to the heritage of these mountains than clogging. And because of its unique origins and uplifting artistic ambiance, clogging has drawn thousands around the country to its toe-tapping ways. A form of folk dance practiced by men, women, boys and girls from five to 85, clogging is to tap dance what watercolor is to oil painting.
How to use composting to improve your garden Mountain settlers had to make due with what they had. They couldn’t ride into town every time they needed something for their homes or land. For one thing, they were subsistence farmers with very little money. For another, they lived off the land gratefully; it was the lifestyle of choice. People who gravitate to the mountains to farm the land generally enjoy solitude.
Surprise your dad or help him build it. Early Appalachian settlers were do-it-yourselfers before do-it-yourself became an American movement. Embrace the trend and give a handmade gift to your dad this Father’s Day. If you’ve got the tools, here’s a great project to house them: a toolbox that’s as functional as it is good-looking. The finished product, which is 24½ inches long by 14½ inches tall, holds all the tools your dad needs to make his next project.

Crayfish are among the many species under attack by extensive development and mining in the Southern Appalachians.

Because the Southern Appalachians never glaciated, the region contains some of the most bio-diverse plant, animal and insect life outside of the tropical rainforests. Many species, including humans, have thrived in the mountains’ consistently high-quality environmental conditions.Crayfish species

“A history of American homes is necessarily a history of American life.” — Ernest Pickering

The history of baseball is the history of America.

Welcome to another in a Simply Appalachian series designed to help you plan a complete family trip. Each month, we choose an Appalachian destination ideal for family fun. We’ll feature the things to see, share and savor, as well as the nearby places to shop and stay with your family. We hope our guidance will help you find new, exciting and perhaps out-of-the-way places to try. Happy Trails!

Dollywood and Pigeon Forge

At 8 years old, a young boy had finished his baseball practice when a friend invited him to his clogging dance class. It was at this class that his life was changed greatly. This was where Jeff Atkins, a now well-acclaimed clogger, national competitor, and Folk Heritage committee leader began his love and respect for clogging.