Of Dahlias, Devoted Growers, and their High-Stakes Competitions
While many gardeners take their flowers seriously, few devote almost all of their time to growing one breed—the dahlia—then drive hundreds of miles to go mano a mano against other fanatical growers, for nothing more than a blue ribbon. But that’s exactly what Deborah Dietz does.
Written by THOMAS COOPER
Photography by JAK WONDERLY
The Kayak’s Cultural Journey
For millennia, Indigenous peoples across the world have built and used wooden skin boats to fish and hunt, for sport and travel, even for warfare. Skin kayaks are the unique product of Arctic peoples, but non-Indigenous admirers of the craft are making them, too. Does that matter?
Written by SIMON MORRIS
What? A Bamboo Bicycle?
OK, so some of them may look silly—brown and fat, with oversized joints. But Craig Calfee, a respected (and highly successful) carbon frame builder, swears by the strength, flexibility, and ecological value of the bamboo bicycle.
Written and photographed by JEFF GREENWALD
Tips and Inspiration from England’s Great Dixter Gardens
Fergus Garrett, one of the world’s preeminent gardening experts, talks about the art of making fine gardens, and fine gardeners. His tips are drawn from his years managing Great Dixter House & Gardens, the famously gorgeous and uncommonly diverse set of gardens that lie just outside London.
By THOMAS C. COOPER
The Lost Art of Traditional Bow Hunting
Over the years, the technology for rifles, scopes, and other hunting gear has gotten so powerful there’s little challenge left in the sport. Hunting with a bow and arrow, therefore, has been steadily rising. But now that even hunting bows have gone high-tech, a small band of purists — like Gabriel Miossi — have turned to a traditional Native American weapon: the stick bow.
By MEGHAN WARD
Homemade Artisan Bread Made Simple
Confined to our homes during the Covid-19 quarantine, many of us have realized this is an ideal time to start baking our own bread. The idea has spread so fast that stores are running out of flour and yeast. But fear not. Resources abound for how to make your own yeast, and even your own flour.
By TODD OPPENHEIMER
Photos by ERIC WOLFINGER
The Wizard of Old Wheels
Just like cars, today’s motorcycles have become dizzying assemblages of electronic connections—invisible to most riders, inscrutable to many mechanics. The more high-tech these machines become, the more there is to love about classic, old bikes. Among the simplest of the pack are the Japanese motorcycles of the 1970s, particularly the Hondas. They’re also among the most loved, and that’s exactly what keeps Dave Stefani in business.
Story by OWEN EDWARDS
Photography by PETER BELANGER and ELI MIKITEN
Our Second Artisanal Gift Guide
The word artisanal has become so shopworn that it’s almost devoid of meaning. (To wit: we once saw a pizza outlet on the outskirts of a small town in northern France that was fashioned in the style of an ATM-kiosk under the following sign: “Artisanal Pizza.”) In stark contrast to this sorry state of affairs, we would like to suggest a few items for holiday shopping made by some of the masters we profiled in 2016.
By SHARON TILLEY
From Bicycles to “Pedal Steel” Guitars: One Maker’s Quirky Frontiers
Ross Shafer made his mark creating a popular brand of mountain bikes, called Salsa, and a line of small but crucial bicycle parts that no one had brought to the market before. Now he’s making what might be the world’s most beautiful “pedal steel guitar.” Might Shafer’s relentless eclecticism offer a model for a kind of second Renaissance?
By OWEN EDWARDS
Primary photography by MIKKEL AALAND