A 10-day course empowers participants with back-to-the-land skills
The promise of an abundant life is an inviting hook for a class, but what if the lesson includes how to slaughter and cook a goat, and then fashion tools from the carcass? How many of us would call that abundant living? Yet, that’s what the upcoming Living Skills Immersion class, taught at Chinquapin Hill near Barnardsville, promises—traditional skills, plus a new perspective on prosperity.
The concept might be hefty, but the application isn’t. “Simple skills have been lost to modern generations,” says Natalie Bogwalker, founder and director of Wild Abundance and the Firefly Gathering. “Older generations aren’t teaching them to younger generations anymore, and skills like how to find water, what herbs make good medicine, or how to cook over an open fire are foreign to most people. But it’s in learning simple skills that you can begin to create your own abundance.”
Bogwalker is partnering with Zev Friedman, owner of Living Systems Design, on a 10-day experience that teaches participants how to cultivate abundance through primitive and earth skills. The primitive skills taught will include fire building, wild food foraging, humanely butchering a farm animal (optional), and constructing a shelter from debris. The Earth skills, such as building solar panels and organic gardening, will focus on environmental sustainability.
These lessons will center on the discussion of permaculture, a design concept born in the ’70s that enables humans to live within the flow of nature. It’s a shift in thinking; all we need to live is literally right in front of us if we know how to access these elements, use them efficiently, and consistently regenerate them.
Friedman and Bogwalker will be joined by instructors Chuck Marsh, who received the Permaculture International Service Award in 1995 for his contributions to the movement, and Juliet Blankespoor, director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in Leicester.
Bogwalker is quick to point out the importance of fellowship in the program. “We aren’t teaching how to become hermits, living off the land in isolation. Community is essential.”