education is not the filling of a pot

W.B. YEATS

but the lighting of a fire

Classes and workshops may range from single half- or full-day events, recurring weekly or monthly afternoon/evening courses, and regular after-school programs. Scheduling and tuition pricing for any programming may be specifically tailored to meet the needs of any given school or institution.

 

A sample of available programs is listed below. This is not a comprehensive list of all possible activities; often our curriculum is developed spontaneously or may be catered to meet the needs of a group. These programs are usually found to be approachable by people who are at least six years old. All required tools and materials are provided.

 

The suggested prices are for one-time workshops, per participant, and are negotiable; additonally, a 10% discount is available for schools, churches and other nonprofit groups.  Individual scholarships are always available for those in need; to inquire, please contact us.

Contact us to schedule a class

Nature Connection and Survival

Fibers and Leather

Land Tending

Natural Awareness

Learn to be outdoors comfortably without causing discomfort to others, including non-humans. We'll discuss the natural cycle of the four directions, learn to read weather patterns, practice orientation with a map and compass, and avoid hazards including ticks and other insects.

 

We'll also delve into deeper awareness as we learn techniques for observation, listen to natural sounds like footfalls and bird language, practice skills like fox-walking, peripheral vision, and use blindfolds to emphasize how tactile touch connects us with our surroundings.

2 hours. $25/student

Shelter Building (Seasonal)

What is the most important factor to ensure survival in an emergency wilderness situation? Contrary to popular belief, secure shelter - not food or even water - is the primary priority of the survivalist! A human can live for a few days without water, and up to a few weeks without food, but without proper shelter, one could easily freeze to death or die from exposure overnight.

 

In the winter, when ample snow is present, we'll make a snow shelter. When snow is absent, we'll use sticks, twigs and leaves to build a debris shelter! We'll cover a few possible emergency scenarios and detail priorities.

 

2 hours. $25/student

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Tracking Animals (Seasonal)

As humans, throughout history and long before, studying the behavior of non-human relatives has always been paramount.  Animals are our teachers, our leaders, and often veritably provide for our lives with their own. How can we expect to reciprocate for this gift, and protect our non-human relatives, if we can't understand them and know how they live?

Practice the skills needed to identify, interpret, read and follow tracks and signs left by wild animals.  We'll cover the basics of gaits and strides, familiarize ourselves with local animals, and delve into the ancient art of intuitive tracking.

2 hours. $25/student

Wild Bird Identification (Seasonal)

Birds are perhaps the most visible and vocal of our non-human relatives, and each of their songs tell a story. The noises that birds make are specific vocalizations, each with their own unique meaning, and knowledge of birdsong and bird behavior has provided vital information for humans since time immemorial.

 

Learn how to find and identify wild birds! We'll be looking at local birds and searching for spring migrants, as well. We’ll cover the basics of key identifying characteristics like shape, size and color, habitat, flight and behavioral patterns, tracks, songs and sounds. We’ll have a few pairs of binoculars to share, but you should bring your own if you have them. 

2 hours. $25/student

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Tree Identification (Seasonal)

Intimately knowing our neighbors in the natural world is an invaluable, universal, ancient tenet of humanity. Uncivilized humans throughout time have depended on their relationships with the other living and nonliving members of the community of life to thrive.  Tree identification, then, is a key human skill, and intrinsic to the rewilders' path.

 

We can use visual clues, like leaf size and shape, the tree's silhouette, and growing conditions or habitat to identify trees. Identification is tougher in winter, when most trees have lost their leaves! Learn to employ simple techniques to effectively identify most trees by their location, bark appearance and growth patterns. 

2 hours. $25/student

Coal-burned Spoon Carving

This is a fun thing to learn how to do! No special knives required: we can use a glowing coal from the campfire to burn the hole for the bowl. A simple, safe introduction to the wide world of wood carving. Coal-burned spoons can look great when you finish them and send them.

 

Learn basic knife safety, overview of knife sharpening techniques, different fundamental carving skills, and how to use a burning coal from the fire to make the spoon bowl.

3 hours. $40/student

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Matchless Firestarting

Early or pre-humans have been controlling fire for as long as 1.7 million years – before humanity evolved, beginning 300,000 years ago. Fire is a result of impact, compression, solar energy or friction. Ancient fire-making methods include the hand drill, bow drill, pump drill, fire plow, fire saw, fire thong, and sparks caught from striking rocks. Bow drills have been used by humans around the world for thousands of years.

 

Learn how to make and practice using a complete bow drill kit using wood and a piece of string. Every participant will make a bow drill kit to take home. 

3 hours. $40/student

Bundle Bows

A bundle bow employs core principles to create a makeshift projectile weapon using found sticks lashed together. Small saplings can be cut and seasoned, while old fiberglass fishing rods or tent poles may also be used. The stronger the sticks, the harder it will be to draw the bow.

Learn to make a bundle bow and arrows! This bow may not be practical for hunting but is fun to make and use, and would be effective in an emergency survival situation. We'll use our bundle bows to practice the fundamental principles of archery.

2 hours. $30/student

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Twined Invasive Bittersweet Baskets

Oriental, Asian, or round-leaved bittersweet is a creeping vine with inedible berries that is invasive in North America. Frustrating to gardeners and arborists, bittersweet is considered a largely useless bane on wild land. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were good for something? We can use ancient harvesting techniques to tend Asian bittersweet in the wild, simultaneously harvesting material for baskets while managing future growth.

 

Learn to weave a bittersweet basket. We'll employ several different weaving techniques in order to create a beautiful basket for foraging, or use in the kitchen or garden.

 

3 hours. $55/student

Coiled Pine Needle Baskets

White pine, Maine’s state flower, and Red pine, are ubiquitous throughout the state and provide a vital pool of resources for human and nonhuman Mainers alike. Pine needles are beautiful, and strong! They can be coiled and sewn together to make hats, lovely usable baskets and/or adorably tiny ones.

 

Learn to identify, regeneratively gather and harvest, properly store and process, and weave with pine needles. We'll cover the basics of coiled basketry, which is a global, ancient human skill, and create a wonderful pine-needle basket. Every participant will make a basket to take home.

2 hours. $45/student

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Brown Ash Berry Baskets

Ash trees, like oaks, elms, hickories, and more, are ring-porous: the spring growth or "earlywood" (the area between the true growth rings of the tree) is full of pores. This unique characteristic allows for the rings of these trees to be separated individually, along the length of the log, so they maintain their full integrity and strength. Using a knife, growth rings may be further split and shaved into splints for weaving.

 

Learn to process brown ash logs into splints for weaving, and weave a small berry basket. We'll cover the basics of identification, ethical gathering, processing and storage, and horizontal plaited basketry. 

3 hours. $45/student

Brown Ash Pack Baskets

Ash trees, like oaks, elms, hickories, and more, are ring-porous: the spring growth or "earlywood" (the area between the true growth rings of the tree) is full of pores. This characteristic allows for the rings of these trees to be separated individually, along the length of the log. Using a knife, growth rings may be further split and shaved into splints for weaving.

 

Learn to process brown ash logs into splints for weaving, and weave a small berry basket. We'll cover the basics of identification, ethical gathering, processing and storage, and horizontal plaited basketry. 

2 days. $250/student

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Traditional Wild Willow Baskets

Willows, also called sallows or osiers, account for over 400 species within the genus Salix. Willows have ancient, global cross-cultural significance; they are strong and respond positively to coppicing and pollarding, two pruning techniques used in land management. Willow bark contains salicin, which has been used by humans for thousands of years to ease pain from stomach pain and headaches. and make for an excellent basket material.

 

Learn to weave a strong, good-sized, round willow basket. We'll employ several different weaving techniques in order to create a beautiful basket for foraging, or use in the kitchen or garden.

 

8 hours. $95/student

Folded Birch Bark Baskets

Birch bark is a special, very unique material that has been collected consciously by humans for thousands of years. Birch bark is very strong, durable, water-resistant and flexible; it has been traditionally used to make baskets, canisters and even canoes! Birch bark is also very flammable and can be used to start campfires.

 

Learn to identify, regeneratively gather, process, store and weave birch bark. We’ll use hand-gathered spruce roots and brown ash to sew a rim on our baskets (approx. 6x6"), which will be beautiful.

5 hours. $65/student

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Plaited Birch Bark Baskets

Birch bark is one of the only basket materials that can woven while old, dead and dry! To make plaited birch bark baskets, we use old, dead, dry bark that we find lying on the ground in the forest. It's a great way to make something strong, useful and beautiful from discarded material - no felling required.

Learn the basics of identification, gathering, processing materials, and storage; and create a beautiful horizontally- or diagonally-plaited (pictured) birch bark basket.

5 hours. $65/student

Cattail Hats

Cattails (genus Typha) are wetland plants with a unique flowering spike, and flat leaves that reach heights of 3 to 10 feet. They are one of the most common plants in large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Cattails are a wonderful plant: beautiful, edible in several forms, and excellent for weaving. Cattail leaves can be used for baskets, cordage, sleeping mats, and much more.

Learn to identify, gather regeneratively, process, store and weave with cattails. We'll use cattails to weave a sun hat that, if properly cared for, will last forever. $70 includes all required tools, materials, tuition, and a snack. You may want to pack a lunch for yourself to eat.

 

8 hours. $85/student

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Woven Willow Hearts

Willows, also called sallows or osiers, account for over 400 species within the genus Salix, and, when appropriately managed, produced a fine material for weaving. Willows have ancient, global cross-cultural significance; they are strong and respond positively to coppicing and pollarding, two pruning techniques used in land management. Willow bark contains salicin, which has been used by humans for thousands of years to ease pain from stomach pain and headaches. 

 

Learn to weave with willows: they are such a joy to weave with! We'll cover identification, regenerative gathering, storage and processing, and several basic techniques required to make a lovely heart for Valentine's Day.

3 hours. $45/student

Cordage and Carabiners

String, twine, rope and load-bearing locking loops are all made according to the same fundamental principles. Humans have been following these principles for thousands of years to make cordage using natural, organic plant materials. We can use natural materials to make beautiful, strong, and very functional string.

 

We’ll learn to identify, harvest, store, process and use materials like cattails, common milkweed, dogbane, stinging nettles, white cedar, basswood bark and also birch and alder twigs for cordage, rope and carabiners. Every participants will make a handmade bracelet, necklace, keychain or carabiner, or two

 

2 hours. $30/student

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Darning and Mending Clothes

Hand sewing, darning and mending are age-old, keystone human skills. Patches can be made to be beautiful as well as functional. Needles and thread can always be made from naturally-harvested organic material, while sewing comprehension with industrial supplies remains invaluable in the modern world.

 

Learn the vital art of sewing and mending. We'll study cross-hatch hole-mending, then employ a few simple stitches to create a functional cloth pouch. Bring your holy garments!

3 hours. $20/student

Making Leather (Hide Tanning)

Animal skins, when properly prepared, provide a strong material that may be used to fashion clothing, containers, cordage, and more. Humans worldwide have been using animal skins as fabric for thousands of years, if not more. Learn to process animal hides into strong leather, which can be used to make durable clothing, shoes, bags and other items that, if properly cared for, will last for several lifetimes.

We'll be scraping, cleaning, wringing, dressing, hand- and frame-softening, and smoking. Everyone can work a hide at various stages in the process. Hide tanning is hard, messy work! Wear your warmer dirties (rubber boots are nice), and be prepared to use your whole body.

3 days. $150/student

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Buckskin Wallets and Pouches

Buckskin, traditionally, was a term used to describe hair- and grain-free handmade leather or suede. "Buck" refers to the process of using lye or wood-ash to loosen the animal's fur and hair; buckskin does not necessarily have to be made using the hide of a male deer. Humans have been using animal skins to create versatile fabric for hundreds of thousands of years.

Study a basic overview of the intensive process required to turn animal skins into leather, and learn techniques required to sew with buckskin. We'll use brain-tanned deerskin buckskins to craft wallets, pouches or change purses. 

3 hours. $95/student

Invasive Species Removal

The term "invasive" is generally used to describe plants of non-native origin that proliferate and outcompete native species. Many non-native plants have been naturalized in foreign environs. Regardless, some invasive species can be significantly harmful, especially when they form monocultures that dominate the landscape.
Unfortunately, usually, harmful industrial herbicides are often used to eradicate invasive species.

 

Learn a few effective techniques for manually managing invasive species. Depending on the plant, it may have a variety of uses. We use invasive bittersweet vines to make strong, beautiful baskets.

Duration and price: variable

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Propagating Wild Plants

It's fairly easy to propagate a variety of wild native plants like serviceberries, elderberries and grapes, from live cuttings. Planting native plant species can help fight invasives, feed pollinators and animals, and beautify the landscape. Truly, tending the wild in a regenerative way is at the heart of rewilding. 

Learn how to propagate different wild native plants and help us spread them all over. Join us to take cuttings in the fall, sprout them and nourish them as seedlings in the winter, plant in the spring and tend/maintain in the summer. 

Duration and price: variable

Rawhide Deerskin Frame Drums

Music is universal! A frame drum is an ancient musical instrument, made by humans worldwide and throughout history, which, mostly simply, consists of a wooden frame and a piece of rawhide skin stretched across. Various peoples around the world have secured their drums differently, at times using lacing, dowels or rivets. Each drum has a unique sound and character based on the life of the deer whose skin will make the drum.

Learn to make a rawhide deerskin frame drum! We'll cover fleshing and scraping, trimming, cleaning, cutting and measuring, lacing up, and future care and storage. Parts of this class may be a bit smelly and messy. Wear work clothes!

6 hours. $120

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Japanese Knotweed Flutes

Japanese knotweed is a frustrating invasive; it should generally be eradicated. Finding as many uses for Japanese knotweed makes sense, as it is now abundant and largely unavoidable. Its young shoots are edible, and its roots may be used to fight Lyme disease. Its stalks resemble bamboo but are unfortunately not as strong and useless for building, but they may be fashioned into functional musical instrument!

We'll cover identification, best gathering practices, materials storage and processing, and then use knives, wood-burners, rubber bands and string to make several types of flutes.

2 hours. $30/student

Urban Foraging

Cultivation and maintenance of relationships with wild plants, and with other human and nonhuman creatures, is largely what sustained our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years before the inception of industrial civilization. Plants offer support, shelter, material, food, and love in countless other ways. The health and survival of the planet is dependent on interconnected relationships.

Learn to identify, regeneratively gather and harvest, and use various wild plants for food, medicine, tools and materials.  We'll follow one of several various routes around town, or one of your choosing. Bring your own basket!

2 hours. $25/student

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Making Sauerkraut and Kimchi

Lactic acid fermentation is a metabolic process in which glucose and other sugars are converted into living cellular energy. It is an anaerobic fermentation that has been employed for thousands of years around the world. Fermented foods are an excellent source of vitamins and may promote a healthy gut biome.

Learn how to make sauerkraut and kimchi! We'll use knives and other kitchen tools to cut up the vegetables, and follow a few time-tested and honed recipes to craft some delicious and healthy food. Everyone gets 32oz of fermented food to take home.

2 hours. $45/student

Processing Acorns Into Flour

Acorns, or oak nuts, have remained an important and nutritious food source for many animals, including humans, around the world for hundreds of thousands of years. The oak tree has sustained human civilization since its inception in countless ways; acorn flour is today little more than a trendy, niche food product although acorns are still abundant. Why have we in our modern culture nearly forgotten how to harvest, process, honor and eat this incredible gift?

 

Learn to identify, harvest, process, store, and use acorns in the kitchen. Delicious bread, muffins, and other snacks will be available for sampling.

2 hours. $40/student

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Home Winemaking

Fermentation is one of the world's oldest food-preservation technologies. Humans have been fermenting foods and beverages for thousands of years; in some cultures, the consumption of alcohol was largely restricted to religious ceremonies. Many animal species have been known to become intoxicated from fermented fruit, including monkeys, squirrels, birds, and moose! Making dandelion wine is a terrific springtime tradition. Always more fun if you have a bottle from last year leftover to pop open.

Learn to make your own wine! We'll meet up, gather some fruit or flowers, and discuss the winemaking process in-depth, from start to finish! Everyone gets a bottle to take home - later, after the fermentation process is complete.

3 hours. $40/student

Introduction to Blacksmithing

A rocket stove employs simple concepts to create an efficient wood-burning apparatus. Fuel is burned inside a combustion chamber containing an insulated vertical chimney. Rocket stove designs are most often used for portable stoves for cooking but the design is also used to make mass heaters for heating buildings.

 

Learn to make a tin can rocket stove! Using recycled materials to make something useful is resourceful. 

Excellent for camping; not too bulky or heavy - they pack fine into a backpack! We'll use 5 cans and some tin snips to create a lasting product that competes against and may even outstrip your industrial camp stoves.

3 hours. $35/student

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Knife and Tool Sharpening

If there's one tool we use above all others, it's the knife. If you only had two metal tools to take into the woods, you may select a knife and an axe. They would be the easiest to maintain. Knives and axes are generally made of metal, which can be sharpened using a hard stone, or a factory-made sharpening-block.

 

Learn how to sharpen knives, axes, pruners, scissors, and other blade tools. Bring your own dull tools that need to be touched up, or come to practice sharpening some of our tools. We'll cover the basic theory behind sharpening edge tools, and practice using a variety of sharpening stones.

2 hours. $30/student

Tin Can Rocket Stoves

A rocket stove employs simple concepts to create an efficient wood-burning apparatus. Fuel is burned inside a combustion chamber containing an insulated vertical chimney. Rocket stove designs are most often used for portable stoves for cooking but the design is also used to make mass heaters for heating buildings.

 

Learn to make a tin can rocket stove! Using recycled materials to make something useful is resourceful. 

Excellent for camping; not too bulky or heavy - they pack fine into a backpack! We'll use 5 cans and some tin snips to create a lasting product that competes against and may even outstrip your industrial camp stoves.

3 hours. $35/student

Rockettes #rocketstoves #tincans #tincan