Swallowtail Farm’s Spring Festival Features Workshops, Live Music and Physics
By Courtney Culbreath
HAMMER TIME - Pete Johnson, a 26-year-old blacksmith, pounds a metal rod that will later be used to construct a framed sculpture. Johnson, along with his partners Leslie Tharp, 29, and the coordinator of the Southeast Florida Artist Blacksmith Association, Shawn Williams, 47, demonstrated the art of metal-making. Courtney Culbreath / WUFT News
FARM FRENZY - Swallowtail Farm hosts its 6th annual Spring Festival Saturday, April 11 at its property north of Alachua. People milled around the farm from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. while they enjoyed live music, agricultural workshops and homemade vendor items. Courtney Culbreath / WUFT News
BASKETS FOR BEGINNERS - Nancy Gildersleeve, 76, demonstrated the proper way to weave short sowing needles through long pine needles to create miniature baskets during her introduction workshop on making pine needle baskets Saturday. Courtney Culbreath / WUFT News
BASKETS FOR BEGINNERS - Nancy Gildersleeve teaches an introduction workshop on making pine needle baskets to children and their parents at the 6th annual Spring Festival. Courtney Culbreath / WUFT News
BARREL TO BARREL - Six-year-old Virginia Mayhew plays on 4-feet tall hay barrels at Swallowtail Farm's Spring Festival. The 6th annual event featured various kids' activities such as face painting, workshops on making flower crowns and tractor rides. Courtney Culbreath / WUFT News
The smell of manure, meatloaf and mulch meandered through the muggy air Saturday as Swallowtail Farm hosted its sixth annual Spring Festival.
The farm, located north of Alachua, hosted workshops throughout the day along with various live music acts, including Shaky Earl, Thin Skin and Captive Eddies.
Zipporah Sky, a 23-year-old jewelry vendor at the festival, said she loves being at Swallowtail because it’s a beautiful part of the community.
“I love being out in nature,” said Sky, who walked around the festival barefoot. “A lot of my friends are here, so it’s a win-win.”
Amber Geller, the Outreach Coordinator for Swallowtail Farm, said the Spring Fest brought in about 1,000 people. The event was meant as a fundraiser, with all proceeds going directly to the farm. Geller is unsure of how much was raised this year.
She described it as “a model of sustainability and fine land stewardship.”
After a decade performing in big theatrical shows, appearing on television and dancing of Broadway, Andrew Cao gave it all up and turned his life upside down for a faculty position at the UF School of Theatre and Dance.