LOGAN (AP) Not every vendor at the Gardeners Market sells leafy greens and beaded jewelry. One man sells entrepreneurship, personal enlightenment and physical remedy with his 102 different types of wooden flutes.
Eric Hash is a new seller at this year's outdoor fresh food and fare market. The 54-year-old Idaho man usually trades his craft at period-themed mountain man rendezvous but was invited to participate in the first Cache Valley Gardeners Market of the season by a friend and fellow exhibitor.
The two set up their booths next to one another a good idea considering the friend's booth sold Hula Hoop-type toys that attracted kids whose parents kept a close watch as they eyed Hash's finely crafted wooden instruments.
Hash said that besides making and playing flutes, he is also a guitarist. The musician sells dozens of key chains, leather bags and handmade wooden flutes, some simple and others elaborately finished and dressed with leather strapping.
Buyers can purchase either flat, square blocks with drilled holes and design their own curvature for the instrument or leave the market with a ready-to-play flute complete with a satin shine and mouth piece.
A unique twist to Hash's product is that he wants young people to learn how to build wooden flutes. Each unfinished instrument is accompanied with paperwork on the proper tools and finishing techniques for a person to complete his or her own flute.
"We need young people to get into this to learn a trade. This world would be a better place," Hash said, "if people were playing musical instruments instead of killing each other."
Hash said he began building flutes 15 years ago after trying his hand at cabinet building and decided bulk carpentry was not his passion. "At 39 years old, I decided I'm going to learn to build a flute. I didn't know much about it but decided I was going to do it," he said. "My wife at the time was part Native American, and I was always drawn to that type of music."
The craftsman said the sound each flute makes also contains the ability to heal and relax a person. "Each wood," Hash explained, "has a different quality, wood is tone and size is pitch.
"There's a spiritual message to each plant and physical properties to the wood," he said.
Hash has studied music and sound therapy for more than 10 years with a professional doctor, who teaches him the varying chemical properties of wood and plant compounds and how the invisible vibrations of the wood can heal people.
"Peppermint tea is a good classic example. You can take it physically by drinking it, and it also has good spiritual properties."
"The woods from poisonous plants like nightshade or poison oak are used only for the spiritual message. The physical application of the plant is negative, but the message of the plant is positive," he said.
Hash has been trained in several music-therapy methods and recalled one account where he was playing music in a healing circle where a woman with an ear infection who was about to lose her hearing was seated.
"Something told me to pick up a certain flute made of bitter brush, I don't know why," he said. Hash started playing for the woman when she said something popped in her ear, and suddenly, she started hearing well again.
Hash's flutes start at $4 for the unfinished blocks of drilled wood and $25 for playable instruments. The market is held every Saturday morning in Logan at 100 S. 200 East.