My Apple-Picking Gizmo and the Song ‘June Apple’ + Banjo Tab

By Wayne Erbsen

Why is it that when you drop a slice of bread that you’ve just slathered with peanut butter, it always lands peanut- butter-side down?  Maybe it’s the same cosmic forces at work that cause the best apples to be at the very top of the tree. That’s the predicament I found myself in yesterday as I contemplated how I was going to get some juicy apples down from 35 feet up a tree that was too skinny to climb.

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But wait! I’m getting ahead of myself. It all started this fall weekend when I was up at

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Log Cabin Diaries, Part 3: The Log Cabin Band

By Wayne Erbsen

We love log cabins. Always have. As far as we’re concerned, you can’t have too many of them. In addition to our rustic log cabin way up in Big Pine, North Carolina, we have an authentic log cabin here in Asheville on the same piece of land as our Native Ground office. This is where we teach our Appalachian music and cooking classes. We think this cabin was built in the 1940s out of a kit sold by Sears, of all things. That is the rumor, anyway. The original cabin has been added on to twice

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Log Cabin Diaries, Part 2: The New, Old Cabin

For Part 1, click HERE

By Wayne Erbsen
topo map ncLong before the days of Mapquest, Google Maps, or iPhones, we had to rely on honest-to-goodness paper maps to find our way around. Spreading a North Carolina map on the kitchen table, we finally found Big Pine, which was only a tiny dot on the map. Looking at a topo map, we soon learned that it was way back in the mountains of Madison County, North Carolina, which is about an hour’s drive northwest from Asheville

I remember excitedly telling my mother on the phone that we had possibly found our dream

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Log Cabin Diaries, Part 1: The Search

By Wayne Erbsen
 cabin In 1999, my wife Barbara looked me straight in the eyes and said that we needed to find a cabin or farmhouse way back in the mountains.  She wanted to find a old-timey place so far back in the sticks that we could hear only the sounds of birds chirping. No electricity, no plumbing, no cars, no computers, no cell phones, no nuthin’. You know, that didn’t sound half bad, so I bought into the idea.

After looking at a slew of so-called cabins right next to busy roads, Barb came into my office with a crazed

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Log Cabin Music: ‘Little Log Cabin in the Lane’ + Lyrics

By Wayne Erbsen

Now and then I write a column called “Log Cabin Music” for several bluegrass music magazines. I don’t call it that fer nuthin’. In fact, my wife Barbara and I own two log cabins. The one that sits next to our primary residence in Asheville, North Carolina, is home to our business, “Log Cabin Cooking & Music.” In the retro kitchen of this 1940s cabin, Barbara teaches workshops in old-timey Appalachian cooking on our 1928 Home Comfort wood cookstove. In some of the classes she uses our rock fireplace to teach hearth cooking skills.

The large and

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