The 2014 SCHEDULE is posted! Please come back and read all of the event details below:
The Florida Earthskills Gathering is a unique mix of resident and migratory earthskills practitioners. The Florida-based instructors are joined by many instructors from Rivercane, Falling Leaves, MAPS, Georgia Earthskills, and Firefly gatherings. Instructors and participants journey south to enjoy the mild winter and beautiful environs that North Florida offers.
This Florida convergence, taking place since 2011, is steadily growing and hosted about 400 participants in 2013. The 4th Florida Earthskills Gathering takes place 6-9 February 2014. The first circle convenes at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2014. The early registration discount is offered until January 15, 2014. Participants, instructors, and work-traders, please visit the Registration page for details.
For its first three years, the Florida Earthskills Gathering was generously hosted by Michael Stevens at Finca Mycol. In 2014, the fledgling gathering will “leave the nest” to Little Orange Creek Nature Park, about 1.3 miles east of Hawthorne, FL, on Hwy 20. The main camp and demonstration area will be on 65 beautiful rolling acres on the south side of Hwy 20, with hiking and other activities taking place on the 1200+ acres on the north side of Hwy 20. Site address is: 24115 SE Hawthorne Rd, Hawthorne, FL. Park information: http://littleorangecreek.org/
What to Bring:
Along with your camping gear, bring a headlamp and comfortable walking shoes. Bring a chair if you are uncomfortable sitting on the ground. This is winter in Florida – average temperatures range from 40 to 70, but it is not uncommon to have lows in the 30s or 20s, so bring warm clothes and raingear for our damp-cold weather. It also may be warm, so layering is best.
What to Leave:
It is the policy of this event and of the park that the event has no dogs/pets, no alcohol, and no drugs or illegal substances. Firearms will be allowed for demonstration purposes only. Generators are not allowed. Electronic devices of all kinds are discouraged.
Arriving Early or Leaving Late:
Campers are welcome to come on Wednesday (sunset potluck) and leave on Monday, the days before and after the event. The opening circle convenes at 12noon on Thursday. Instructors are welcome to camp four days before and three days after the event (February 1-14). Work-traders involved in setup and breakdown will be given instructions for arrival and departure dates.
Ride-Share and Parking:
There is more space for parking at our new site; nevertheless, we encourage participants to ride-share in consideration of the Earth. We will have people to guide you toward parking and camping upon your arrival. Visit the Facebook page to inquire about ride-shares: https://www.facebook.com/FloridaEarthskillsGathering
Caring for the Land:
When parking, please stay within the flagged areas to avoid impacts to the land. The entire site is open for walking, but camping and fires will be in designated areas. Throughout the event, please do your best to avoid injuring planted pines and wildflowers on the main site, and to stay on paths to minimize trampling of vegetation. Please do not leave garbage or litter on the land. Vegetation harvest may be performed on the land north of the road.
Camping is semi-primitive – there are no hookups of any kind, but (surprise!) we will have SHOWERS available on site. Camping will be in designated areas for tent camping, vehicle/RV camping, and quiet/wooded camping. A drop-off zone with wagons will be provided for the tent camping area. Vehicle camping areas do not have hookups and generators are not allowed, so RVers please be prepared to dry-camp. Please camp in designated areas to minimize disturbance to the site. There is plenty of room for camping, so no worries about competition for space.
Fires will be limited to designated fire circles scattered around the main site. Camp stoves may be used at your tent if you wish. No fires allowed north of Hwy 20. There is plenty of firewood on the site this year, so save your stash for next winter.
All instructors, work-traders, and campers will be provided a community breakfast and dinner. Lunch is on your own and lunch vendors will be available. Full-day visitors may also partake of evening meals and activities if they wish. Half-day visitors are on their own for meals. If you have a large amount of foodstuffs to offer, please use the Contact Form to inquire about barter for partial admission.
Water and Energy:
There is a well on site, so water is available; however, we ask that everyone practice their best water conservation behaviors. The well water at this public park is chlorinated, so please bring your own drinking water if needed. Drinking water and hand washing stations will be available at several locations on the site. Hand washing stations drain to ground, so we ask that you not use toxic detergents or put any foods or chemicals down the drains. There will be a dishwashing station at the main kitchen. There will be no water hookups available for vehicle campers.
Please be kind to the land and pack out your belongings and trash. Please do not dispose of cigarette butts or any kind of garbage on the land. A few garbage cans will be provided on the site, but we strongly prefer that you pack out your own trash (or better yet, don’t make any trash at all!). We strive for this event to be free of packaging and garbage of all kinds.
Poop and Piss:
Portable toilets will be available on site as required for a public park. In keeping with our recycling and sustainability vibe, however, humanure compost barrel toilets will set up at several locations on the site. At the humanure stations, please cover your feces with the sawdust provided so that no flies can land. Separate pee stations will also be provided. Please attend a humanure workshop if you are curious about how this system works. The humanure will be taken off-site to be composted at the end of the event. Thank you for your organic contributions!
All children should have a legal guardian with them at the event. All children under 6 should be supervised by their guardian at all times unless they are in a supervised class for kids. Children should not be at adult classes unless with a guardian or acceptable to the instructor. Please make your children aware of potential hazards on the site.
First Aid and Hygiene:
Speaking of hazards, the gathering is graced by a fully stocked first aid area, complemented by the skills of herbalists, herbal first aid experts, and wilderness medicine practitioners. Our event is also within a short drive of a top-notch trauma center for more serious injuries or illnesses. We provide several composting toilet and hand-washing stations on the site to encourage hygiene. In recognition of concerns about food-borne illness, we will be providing a separate self-serve kitchen so that participant cooking is taking place apart from the main event kitchen.
A typical day at the Florida Earthskills Gathering starts with community breakfast circle at 8am. Morning and afternoon classes are held from 9am-12noon and 1pm-4pm. Lunch is on your own and a dinner circle takes place at sunset. Breaks leave time for games, trade circles, and visits to the AnceSTORE. The evening is rich with drumming, dancing, storytelling, and friendship around the fire circles. A bell will ring to announce meals and classes. A central board provides class listings and directions to class locations.
Organized classes for kids were a big hit last year, and so we will continue to provide some programming for kids this year. There will also be a designated area for kids to hang out and play, with guardian supervision. If you bring children, you can arrange with other guardians to trade child-supervision duties so that all guardians get to attend some classes.
A trade circle will be set up several times during the event, usually in the hour before sunset. The trade circle is an amazing opportunity to trade things you have made with your own hands – no packaged products allowed! There will also be a Freecycle area set up at the event.
Instructors and participants alike will have a place to sell their wares in the AnceSTORE. The walled tent is a place to sell handmade goods and trade wares appropriate to the skills being shared at the gathering. The tent will be open at certain hours for customers to browse. A portion of sales (10%) goes to the gathering for continuation of the store in future years. Examples of items to sell include handmade soaps, bee products, canned goods, herbal medicines, handmade or re-purposed clothing, braintan buckskin, handmade jewelry, tools, books, music, handmade decorations, etc. Please do NOT try to sell artifacts, parts of protected or regulated species, fire arms, or alcohol (except that medicinal tinctures are OK).
PAST Instructors and Classes:
As an introduction to the event, here is a list of some of the instructors and classes that have been offered over the past two years at the Florida Earthskills Gathering. See the newly updated 2014 Schedule here.
7Song: Herbal first aid, Herbal medicine, Medicinal botany, Wildcrafting
Alex Kilgore: Bow drill friction fire
Alexander Ojeda: Fire starting, Permaculture gardening, Rainwater harvesting
Alina Ahh Ever: Foraging, Cooking wild foods
Andy Hemmings: Atlatl throwing, Primitive tools
Ariela Grodner: Thai massage
Aunt Maggie: Stick loom weaving
Barron Brown: Spoon and bowl carving, Net tying, Goat butchering, Wooden comb carving
Becky Beyer: Net tying, Garden Planning
Billy Willow: Rustic furniture making
Catherine Stinson: Kundalini yoga, Herbal medicine making
Chad Ananda: Plant-derived smoke
Chaz Meissner: Bicycle repair
Chris Rood: Pranayama techniques, Meditation
Chuck Thomson: Humanure composting, Tree climbing for kids
Claude van Order: Flint knapping, Primitive technology
Colleen Casey: Sewing with wool felt, Papermaking, Crochet
CoreyPine Shane: Medicinal plants, Plant walk for kids
Critter Watts: Knots
Danny Murawsky: Meditation
Davey Rogner: Non-consumer lifestyles
David Goodman: Survival gardening in Florida
David Hoffman: Body paint, Survival shelter
David Shebalin: Buckskin clothing, Flint knapping, Bow drill friction fire
Denielle Webb: Natural plant dyes for kids, Bamboo tipi for kids
Didi Wildrover: Traditional foods, Natural birth and parenting
Donnie Wilkerson and Jonathan Ahlers: Primitive arrow making, Bow bundle construction
Doug Elliott: Weed walk, Storytelling, Palm basketry
Elyssa Serrilli: Financial and social permaculture, Poi for all ages
Emily Faulkner: Natural water filtration
Emily Ruff: Herbal medicine, Lunar rhythms for healing and gardening
Eric Blevins and Johanna Anderson: Thai massage, Community connections for survival
Frank Salzano: Gaea theory and folk mythology
Fuz Sanderson: Didgeridoo making, Coal burn spoons, Mussel shell knives, Naturalist walk
Grant Adkison: Nature chi kung, Tai chi push hands, Combat skills
Green Deane Jordan: Wild edible plants
Jamie Sparks: Flat felting, Dimensional felting, Felting medicine bags
Jeff Gottlieb: Trade circle, Cordage, Moccasins, Knife and tool sharpening, Naturalist walk
Jimmy Gregory: Hide tanning
Joe and Connor: Rocket stoves and ovens, Making bio-char
Joel Cimarron: Rawhide sandals, Natural camouflage, Feral fitness
John Patterson: Spring-pole lathe wood turning
José and Francis: Tempe making
Josh: Clay ovens and rocket stoves
Karan Newman: Palm weaving and origami
Karen Sherwood: Vegetable fermentation
Kate Taluga: Muskogee Indian traditions of womanhood, Kids activities
Katie Capistrant: Acro-yoga
Keith Grenoble: Primitive pottery, Rock hunt
Ken Crouse: Collecting and identifying mushrooms
Khalsa Aquatica and Sadie Ranen: Yoga and psychic anatomy for healing
Leah Fox: Building a fairy house, Story hour for kids
Lee Pinkerson: Native American history, Native American circle dance
Lena: Leather pouches, Cordage
Liat: Miso fermentation, Cob construction
Luke Learning Deer: Tracking and nature skills
Marc Williams: Ethnobotany, Fermented sodas and meads
Mateo: Water catchment designs and systems, Hoop-house growing systems, Yoga
Matt Hansen: Fat candles and lamps, Primitive tattoo
Maya Crumb: Basic cob construction, Fermentation
Mel Norris: Cast net throwing
Michael Stevens: Collecting and identifying mushrooms
Mystri Barnhill: Rag rug braiding, Sewing and mending, Canning
Nancy Gildersleeve: Vine baskets, Pine needle baskets, Palm weaving, Sash weaving
Natalie Bogwalker: Eco-homesteading 101, Buckskin clothing
Nate Brown: Archery range with instruction
Oliver Moore: Grafting fruit trees, Edible mushroom propagation, Food forest
Patrick Ironwood: Entheogenic plants, Partner stretching, Wax earplugs
Reid Tillery: Wilderness navigation
Robert Wilson: Dutch oven cooking, Florida living history, Trapper trades
Robin and Gus: Cane flute making
Sara Henry: Palm leaf and fiber cordage, Cordage for kids
Sarah Stokes and Megan Gemma: Herbal medicine, Natural birth
Shon Law and Sheila Barksdale: Aikido martial arts
Sky and Bill Roberts: Blacksmithing
Snow Bear Taylor: Bamboo craft, Yucca cordage, African Drumming, Drumming for kids
Susan Marynowski: Herbal medicine making, Contra dance calling
Swamp Man: Tracking, Trapping, Finding water, Survival shelter
Talcon: Rawhide containers, Fertility awareness
Tony and Maureen: Mushroom log inoculation, Grafting fruit trees
Willy TheLosen: Log working, Palm thatching