There were many different types of vendors present at the 8th Annual Panhandle Earth Day Celebration. The event was held on April 30th, 2016 at Morgan’s Grove Park in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This article features JD of PINES VII, a local musician and artist who uses plants as his medium. The following interview looks at JD of PINES VII inspiration and current work in the region.

What inspires you to work with plants?

Well, when I was 10, I got a book on botany and read it front to back a million times and immediately immersed myself into it. I built myself a 6×8 foot green house and started growing orchids. I (also) started to do community art and performance art. PINES VII is my music project and just recently noticed that I was neglecting my botanical roots, so I got back into it.

Tell me more about these floating Moss Balls.

So these are Kokedama. It is a Japanese technique in which you take the plant and you form a root ball out of clay and soil; that becomes the base. Then you take live sheet moss and encase that in twine to hold it in place so that it does not erode away. It has a lot of wonderful applications in modern society because so many of us live in urban areas where we do not have very much space, especially where gardening spaces can be very limited. So it’s a way of gardening up. Suspending your garden from string is sort of an innovative, bizarre way, in most peoples’ eyes, to cultivate plants.

I think that it’s really important for people to surround themselves with bits of nature and life. The art of botany is very therapeutic and very meditative. It’s a way of connecting back to the world and in the end, it can benefit everyone.

How can people reach you if they are interested in purchasing a Kokedama or learning more about your art?

I am doing work with a venue called the Thought Lot in Shippensburg, PA. I am going to be teaching botany based workshops there. I can also be contacted at

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