· By Tarleton Walmsley
Maybe it's a book, perhaps it's a tv show or a favorite song. It could be an activity, a special product we carry at the shop, or even a state of mind. Whatever it is, we're digging it in the garden this month:)
Flatout Supply Co. Citronella Grass Incense
If you've hung out with me in the outdoors recently, then you've likely already heard me sing the praises of Flatout's insect repellent. Studies show that its primary ingredient, sweetgrass, is just as effective as DEET in keeping bugs at bay. And while that's super cool, I'm actually here to tell you how much I also love Flatout's outdoors-only Citronella Grass incense. I burned some while I was out on the Laurel this past weekend and it made an amazing experience even more pleasurable in a way that other citronella-based products haven't. Candles are bulky and annoying to travel with, so I also appreciate the ease of using this instead. And sure, it does a great job of keeping the bugs out of its sphere of smoke, but I also just loved the experience of communing in nature with the faint scent of citrus blossoming into the air. As an everyday incense user, it didn't really occur to me that it'd be just as cool outside, but there you go. Consider me converted to the Flatout method:)
Nevada by Imogen Binnie
Generally speaking, one thing I love about reading is that it gives me an opportunity to hear from voices and perspectives that I might not otherwise be familiar with. In absorbing different narratives it helps me grow as a person, and as a human being interested in the act of learning, that can be rewarding in and of itself.
First published in 2013 and back in print again this summer, Nevada is a coming-of-age story about Maria Griffiths, a trans woman living in New York City. This book is wonderfully unapologetic in its telling of Maria's life as she experiences a breakup, loses her job, and decides to drive out west on a whim--all within the context of navigating identity and sense of self. It's raw, beautifully written, and I'm coming away a better, more empathetic person for having read it. While I don't know what it's like to be trans, and reading one book cannot represent the many voices and perspectives of the trans community at large, I am interested in knowing and hearing from more trans voices about what those experiences are like and this book was a good place to start.
Firestorm's New Location
While we're talking books, I was elated to hear about Firestorm Co-operative's recent purchase of Dr. Dave's Automotive further down Haywood Road in West Asheville. I am thrilled whenever I hear that an important asset to our community can take actionable steps to ensure its longevity and financial stability, and the intentional way they are going about it is true to Firestorm's values. It's exciting that the place where I can grab books like Nevada is expanding in such a thoughtful, community-driven way. If you're interested in learning more about the move and how you can help, click here!
P.S. When I envision Garden Party's future, part of that definitely includes having the resources to purchase the unit where we're located. It would mean our business is almost immediately profitable, can ensure our staying power, and allow us the space to continue to operate in what I hope is an equitable and accessible cannabis legalization landscape here in North Carolina. I have also been dreaming about a co-op dispensary model. Hearing Firestorm's news gives me hope and inspires me to dig in a little deeper into what that could look like!