The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 23, 2013

Tamarack visitors taste jellies, watch live demonstrations

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — Tamarack visitors Saturday were treated to jam and jelly tastings, as well as live demonstrations from local artisans.

Levada Hodovan, with Woodbine Jams and Jellies, was busy slicing up bite-size pieces of biscuits to serve up with some mouth-watering jams and jellies.  

“These make great house-warming or shower gifts,” Hodovan said.

She also said she delivers and offers special bargains for wholesale.

She was quite the saleswoman, but the jams and jellies alone spoke volumes.

Expect a mouth full of flavor as soon as the sweet treat hits your lips.

Hodovan’s personal favorite is the red raspberry wine jelly, but the black raspberry jam is a very close second.

She and her associate Libby Deitz, both of Richwood, started Woodbine Jams and Jellies over 15 years ago.

Deitz, who was 80 years old when they started their venture, has since passed away, but Hodo-van said she will always be a part of a “we” when she talks about the business.

Jam flavors include blackberry, black raspberry, red raspberry, and strawberry. Jelly flavors include apple, blackberry, black raspberry, crabapple, currant, strawberry, grape, plum, red raspberry, and, new on the menu, ramp-flavored.

Wine jelly flavors include blackberry, grape, and red raspberry.

Many selections can be purchased at Tamarack. For more information or to order online, visit

Artisan Nate Parr, of Vienna, was outside rev-ving up his chainsaw to show the spectators how he creates wooden works of art.

He said he’s been with Tamarack for just under a year, but he’s been wood carving for over 20 years.

Parr makes his own creations and he also takes requests. Several of his items on display Saturday were already sold.

Not only does Parr work with a chainsaw, but he also carves wood by hand.

“Hand-carving is my favorite,” he said. “I’m better at it,” he added with a laugh.

Although he still works full-time, he said he will retire soon.

“My theory is, I have to make enough money to support my habit,” he said as he nodded toward the trailer hitched to his truck, full of all his wood-working supplies.

Parr is self-taught and he encourages everyone to buy local and support local artists.

For more information, visit

Another artist was making some beautiful creations Saturday at Ta-marack, although she wasn’t wielding a chainsaw.

Merideth Young, of Second Creek, was surrounded by pieces of brightly colored aluminum cans, which she soon turned into all sorts of jewelry.

She demonstrated her craft to two Tamarack visitors, Debbie Davis, of Akron, Ohio, and her niece Lucia Fox, from Spain.

Young took a decorative hole puncher, punch-ed pieces out of the aluminum cans, and then put them through a rolling machine to give them textured ridges.

She then filed the edges down and started turning the pieces into earrings.

“It’s so cool,” Fox said.

Davis said the two were just driving through the area, but they can never pass up the phenomenal food at Tamarack.

Young offered the ladies an opportunity to select an aluminum can and a design, and she could have a custom piece of jewelry made for them in no time.

For more information about her upcycled aluminum can jewelry, visit www.meridethyoung. com.