I generally take my own bags to the store, but like most people, I sometimes forget and the clerk will ask, "Paper or plastic?” I probably overthink it. Early Ozarkers had a choice in what they carried their items in as well, oak or hickory. Before bags, baskets carried eggs, flowers, groceries, laundry and everything else that wouldn’t leak.
The Discover Nature Women group at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center recently tried their hands in making a free-form basket. Volunteer Linda Strauch and Naturalist Reta Barkley assisted nearly two dozen participants to create a basket from oak, hickory, grapevine, fabric and honeysuckle. The ladies learned baskets can be fashioned from exotic honeysuckle so you can improve habitat while harvesting materials for your baskets. Colorful creations can be created using natural dyes from black oak, goldenrod, indigo and walnut. It took a majority of the day, but everyone completed her basket and seemed pretty pleased with the result. Missourians care about conserving the forest, fish and wildlife resources of our state. Learning how to harvest our native resources responsibly or help eradicate exotics while creating a useful item helps us do just that. I wonder how many of these ladies are going to give honeysuckle baskets for special occasions. For more information on upcoming Discover Nature Women programs at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center, go to "Related Information" below.