At this point, on the night before a Zerolandfill harvest I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve. I know I'm going to get something and that it's going to be good, but I don't know exactly what it is. I was especially excited this Thursday night because Laura and I decided that we were going to use this Zerolandfill harvest as a kick off to a twelve hour foraging extravaganza. I'll let you know more about the other places we went in a future post. I promise.
We began our morning with breakfast at The West Side Market Cafe where I enjoyed an order of Eggs Arnold (like Eggs Benedict but with avocado instead of ham). After that, we were planning on browsing around the shops on West 25th Street, but we realized that we really needed to hustle if we wanted to make it to Garfield Heights by noon.
It was a struggle to get there due to some unexpected road closures. (Small children growing up in the Cleveland area need to be told that, despite its prevalence, one of our sports mascots is NOT the orange barrel.) Laura expertly rerouted us two or three times as the clock inched closer and closer to noon.
I swear that in some other life I was a food gatherer for a village where sustenance was scarce, because when I get it in my head that I'm going to be late and miss an opportunity to score free or inexpensive craft supplies my whole body starts to tense up. After the fact, I always feel ridiculous. Why do I always think that everyone else wants exactly what I want? What was the worst that could have happened? Am I really the same person who admonishes Little Tiger when she gets bent out of shape over being late to a birthday party?
We ended up getting to the county's solid waste management district a few minutes after noon, but Laura was kind enough to drop me off at the door while she parked so I could bust in and see if we were missing out on anything amazing. I'm not sure what I thought I would walk in on--someone yelling "Mine, all mine!" and then laughing maniacally while holding a box of buttons over her head? That sort of behavior is the antithesis of what the Zerolandfill crowd is all about.
Once again, everyone was really friendly. The two main organizers (major fumble on my part, I forgot to get a picture of them or ask if it was OK to mention them by name) introduced themselves to us and were genuinely interested in what Laura and I were making with our harvest materials.
One thing I did notice that I didn't see during the first two harvests were rolls of vinyl that had ads printed on them for billboards. I know that there are people who have started crafting bags out of this stuff because up close a small amount of the material creates an interesting abstract design. Plus, the stuff must be really sturdy to withstand all kinds of weather.
There were a plethora of upholstery samples. The samples were loose as well as in book form. I filled up a bag of what I thought were some of the most interesting pieces to take to a friend's house tomorrow. One of my artsy friends who has to work every Friday was lamenting that she can never make it to the harvests, so I decided that I'm going to bring part of yesterday's harvest to her. Don't worry, I have crafty plans for it all if she's not interested, but I think she will be. Check out this cool book of woven natural wall covering samples:
I think I may have actually squealed when I picked this up. They aren't merely pictures of different grasses --there are over fifty samples of different styles and shades of fabric made from woven grass. I only wish that you could touch these pages, because this stuff feels even cooler than it looks. I'm taking this book and 90% of yesterday's findings with me tomorrow, but I must admit that I did keep a couple of things for myself. Here are a couple of my favorite wall paper samples:
While I was looking at fabric and wallpaper samples, Laura busied herself collecting ceramic tile and little formica samples to use with her art classes. Being the doting aunt that she is, she also picked up a variety of mineral samples for her eight year old niece who is interested in geology.
All of those stacks to the right are carpet samples. Not carpet squares, which elementary teachers are happy to use in their classrooms, but books containing tiny samples of different types of carpeting. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be popular with Friday's harvesters. The carpet can be recycled, and so can the cardboard that makes up the books that hold the samples, but they cannot be recycled together. This means that, in order to avoid putting all of the unclaimed stacks in a landfill following the last harvest, someone has to rip all of the samples out of each and every book. There has to be a better way for the carpet manufacturers to display their wares.
As of now, this past Thursday was the last pollination day for the summer. However, there will be a pollination day on August 11th if enough people commit to volunteering. I know that I would like to volunteer to see how all of this works from a different perspective. If you're local and want the opportunity to get involved you can find contact information for Zerolandfill here.