Weaving together livelihood and culture in Maine, USA
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In: Pullanikkatil, Deepa; Shackleton, Charlie M., eds. Poverty reduction through non-timber forest products, personal stories. Basel, Switzerland: Springer Nature: 147-150.
For Gabriel Frey, making baskets from brown ash trees (Fraxinus nigra Marshall; also known as black ash) is a source of interwoven values of family, culture, identity, and income. Among these values, basket making plays a pivotal role in his young family's livelihood. Poverty levels are high in Penobscot County, Maine, USA, where he, his wife, and two small children live. In such rural corners of North America, people have long worked multiple jobs, often without quite meeting their basic needs. Gabriel works as a massage therapist to have a consistent paycheck that puts food on the table. But it is income from selling his baskets that has made it possible for his family to move beyond making ends meet, to thriving and moving ahead financially. With money from baskets, they were able to make a down payment on a home and begin saving to buy a truck. That truck will be another tool for his basket making, serving as an extension of his workshop and allowing Gabriel to transport brown ash logs from the forest and finished baskets to market.
Frey, Gabriel; Emery, Marla R.; Greenlaw, Suzanne. 2019. Weaving together livelihood and culture in Maine, USA. In: Pullanikkatil, Deepa; Shackleton, Charlie M., eds. Poverty reduction through non-timber forest products, personal stories. Basel, Switzerland: Springer Nature: 147-150. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75580-9_24.