Instructors

The instructors for the 2019 gathering are listed below.

Instructor Photo; Alexander Ojeda

Alexander Ojeda

Alexander Ojeda was raised in the counter culture of the late 60’s and early 70’s. He was raised with the idea that we need to be more connected with the Earth and conscious of its ecological health. It was expressed that the human world is a very delicately balanced system that is in danger of collapsing at any time. Growing up with these guiding principles, he was never comfortable with the way the world was set up. There was always an underlying itch of concern about the future of our way of life and that of the ecological balance of the planet. One way to combat that concern was to learn the pre-petroleum living skills of people from the iron age to early Tudor life and permaculture living techniques. Many years later Alex is now a permaculture instructor that teaches and designs self-sufficient homesteads under the name of the Starwalker Project. Ever learning the next way to live a modern lifestyle connected to living systems, Alex says repeatedly that the teacher should always be an information hungry student. He is forever grateful for the opportunity to be with like minded people on this same mission!

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Angie Minno

Angie has studied and used herbal medicines and natural remedies for more than 15 years with her family of five and in caring for and maintaining a dual-purpose beef/dairy herd of Jersey/Devon cattle, and a chemical/antibiotic-free healthy forage-fed goat herd. As antibiotic resistance becomes more and more widespread, knowledge of alternatives to antibiotics, especially in respect to wound care, are vital to our well-being.

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Annie SewDev

Annie SewDev is an herbalist and EMT in central Florida. She offers donation based herbal wellness consultations, gathers and prepares herbal medicine, teaches at the Florida School of Holistic Living, and offers free herbal first aid in downtown Orlando. With great fondness for the place that she lives, she seeks to practice bioregional herbalism, utilizing local plants to improve the quality of life and reduce suffering. For more information about Annie, visit www.takerootherbarium.com.

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Instructor Photo; Bill Parravano

Bill Parravano

Bill has over 25 years of martial art and body work experience understanding movement and tensions patterns that lead to physical pain.

Bill believes the nervous system holds the key to the body’s healing. It bridges the gap between what we currently know and the infinite number of possibilities for the body to heal in the realm of what we don’t know. This combination creates the shortest distance between a life riddled with pain to a high quality fully expressed physical life.

“You can’t think your way out of pain. Pain is not rational and doesn’t care what you think. You must feel your way out of pain through comfort. Through the weeks, months and years of injury and compensation patterns built up in your body limiting your movement and making you feel older than you are.” ~ Bill (The Knee Pain Guru)


His unique ability of identifying the blocks that keep people stuck in pain and skillfully removing them allows for lasting change and a new reality for his clients…

Here’s what just a few of his clients had to say...

"Bill's THE MAN. I've had him work on me and teach me for years now. He can do things I honestly didn't think were possible. He's patient, kind and funny and very, very good."

~ Patrick (44) Charlotte, NC

"Bill has a true gift for helping people in pain. I encourage everyone to allow him to share that gift with you so you, too, can get out of pain.”
~ Karen (57) Anchorage, AK

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Instructor Photo; Cali J.

Cali Janae

Cali Janae is an all-around nature nerd with a deep interest in sustainable living skills including accessible and empowering healthcare for self and community. Cali’s love for the wild was sparked early in life on plant and bird walks with their father in central Iowa. Cali’s training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnobotany from Drake University. Following this up, Cali studied for three years at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, completing the Community Herbalism Intensive and two years of apprenticeship alongside 7Song. During this time Cali worked as a volunteer clinical herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic. Cali is currently working as an clinical and community herbalist and botanist in their own practice on a farm outside of Gainesville. In their free time they enjoy spending time with friends, beer-brewing, fermentation and gardening.

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Instructor Photo; Corey Pine Shane

CoreyPine Shane

CoreyPine is director of the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has spent over 20 years helping clients by artfully blending Chinese and Western herbal traditions with a focus on local plants. As a seasoned wildcrafter he has extensive knowledge of wild plants as well as medicine making. He has taught at many national conferences, written on herbal medicine, and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. CoreyPine believes that laughter is an essential part of any medicine chest, which is why he is a part of the “Wise Guy” school of healing. www.BlueRidgeSchool.org

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Instructor Photo; Doug Elliott

Doug Elliott

Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher and harmonica wizard. Whether he's singing about catfish, pontificating on possums, extolling the virtues of Spanish moss, pondering the “nature” in human nature, demonstrating basketry techniques, telling wild snake tales or wailing out a jivey harmonica tune, he is known for his lively presentations as well as his broad, practical, scientific and cultural knowledge of the area's many useful wild plants and interesting critters. He has authored five books, produced a number of award winning recordings of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV and the History Channel.


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Instructor Photo; Elise D.

Elise Damilatis

Elise Damilatis is a Holistic Clinical Herbalist, having completed the Advanced Clinical Program at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine in the amazing Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Her previous herbal studies include an intensive 13 week Shamanic Herbal Apprenticeship with herbalist Susun Weed in the ancient Catskill Mountains of New York. Elise also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Philosophy through Binghamton University. She is a shamanic Usui Reiki Master/Teacher. Elise has also completed a 250 hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher training program through Asheville Community Yoga and 'A Heart of Service' Shamanic training with Bloom Post.

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Eric Lewis

Eric is a lover plants and aspiring greenman who dedicates much of his energy to deepening the relationship between people and plants. Inspired by the wise words of world renowned ethnobotanist Frank Cook, Eric is continually encouraging people to respect the plants as individuals and eat something wild everyday.

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Fuz Sanderson

Fuz is an endangered species biologist, Earthskills teacher, musician and storyteller. He has over 25 years as a wilderness instructor, naturalist, and research biologist for organizations such as 4H, National Wildlife Federation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, US Forest Service, US Park Service, and the Green River Preserve. Fuz coordinated the Earthskills Rendezvous for 8 years, and has now founded the Piedmont Earthskills Gathering in central North Carolina. Go ahead, ask him about birds.

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Instructor Photo; Jeanette Klopchin

Jeanette Klopchin

I am new York Native, but have called Gainesville home since 2008. My life currently revolves around my beautiful 5 year old daughter, Darva May. We live with our five beloved cats, one free-range rabbit, 1 miracle goldfish and 1 salt-water aquarium. I have a BS in Zoology and a MS in Environmental Studies. My experience includes zoo-keeping and animal husbandry, practical and applied biological research, ecological surveying, professional aquarium care, community driven permaculture projects, scientific writing and editing, teaching, extension and outreach, beekeeping and bee-related policy making as well as event planning, organization and a bit of food & beverage experience thrown in the mix! Life's been a blast and its moving fast! I love a good dance party and am looking for the love of my life! <3

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Instructor Photo; Jeff Gottlieb

Jeff Gottlieb

Jeff , MS (in Biology), has been a Naturalist, Outdoor Educator and Primitive Skills Instructor for more than 30 years. He works with school groups, nature centers, museums, scout troops and summer camps, builds full-sized wigwams and longhouses and replicates primitive tools and artifacts for display. His areas of special interest include fiber arts, flintknapping, basketry, edible and utilitarian plants, and nature awareness. He travels widely in the Eastern U.S. teaching at rendezvous, gatherings and historic fairs. He has written a how-to manual on building wigwams, and an instructors' manual entitled Teaching Primitive Skills to Children. His new book on natural fibers and ropemaking is available directly from him. He welcomes correspondence and can be reached via email at argskids@optonline.net, or at 245 Red Dog Lane, Whittier, NC, 28789.

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Instructor Photo; Jon Handelman

Jon Handelman

Jon is a world traveling adventurer who has spent his life connecting with others playing music, studying personal growth and inspiring people to be their highest selves. He was director of Montreal's largest children's day camp for 5 years and was a team building coach for high performance athletes. His passion and enthusiasm has inspired bicycle caravan circuses and traveling peace theaters. Jon has trained teachers on how to build connections through play, He has a business degree from Concordia University, and has studied Coaching for Transformation and Non-Violent Communication. Jon is also the co-creator of Awakening Harmony, a musical connection retreat that promotes emotional empowerment. He practices yoga, permaculture, music, acrobatics and woodworking, and grows his compassion with daily practice.

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Instructor Photo, Justin Marcano

Justin Marcano

Justin Marcano is currently a program director for Orlando Permaculture, a community based non-profit organization serving the Orlando area. Alongside it's other organizers, this group is pioneering the permaculture movement by providing free or low cost education through community gatherings and action days. Justin also commits the majority of his time to Orlando’s only active sustainable co-housing cooperative known as the Peanut Butter Palace. As a member of this intentional community, he acts as project developer and manager for elements and projects on site. These include community forest garden, aquaponics, rainwater and solar harvesting systems, composting, vermiculture, internal governance, and cooperative business development. Fantastic Ferments! is currently the first cooperative business being developed by this cooperative, a local provider of fermented green papaya and seasonal vegetables.

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Instructor Photo; Macon V.

Macon Verteskjall

Macon Verteskjall hopes with a deep well of remembrance in his humbly beating heart to leave a healthy world behind for all children and grandchildren to come. Through a recently born organization, Whole Tree Permaculture, he works to plant food forests and seed human inspiration towards abundant food, medicine and gratitude for the living earth.

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Mandy Phelan

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Instructor Photo; Marc Williams

Marc Williams

"Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied the people plant connection intensively while learning to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has spent over a decade working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe. Marc has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous world of plants, people and their interface. His greatest hope is that this information may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation."

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Instructor Photo Maurice Whte

Maurice White

Maurice White is a “lukku kari” (indigenous island indian name for island people). Having lived on the remote island of Eleuthera for over 25yrs, he has learned the island earth skills lifestyle of hunting for fish underwater, growing food in rocky shallow terrain, mastering coconut skills, bush medicine skills and indigenous peoples skills. Maurice has a passion to unite the one world tribe and to assist the tribe in the healing of the environment and humanity.

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Mel Beaux

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Instructor Photo; Melissa Desa

Melissa Desa

Melissa is the Co-founder and SeedEO of Forage, a non-profit based in Gainesville, FL. Melissa is a self-taught gardener and seed addict, teaching gardening and seed saving to growers of all ages. Through her work with Forage, she also helps promote the advancement of our local food community through a variety of outreach programs and activities. Visit foragefarm.org to learn more about the organization and Melissa.

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Instructor Photo, Nathaniel C.

Nathaniel Cajudo

Kuya Guro (big brother teacher) Nathaniel Cajudo Jr. is a certified instructor in Pambuan Arnis, a Filipino martial art, which is based on impact, edged and flexible weapons as well as empty hand combat. With 18 years of training and experience in the same art, he specializes in reality-based self-defense, "dirty" boxing, short sword fighting, close range rape defense and evacuation. In contrast to competitive martial arts, his classes will be based on survival and street combat, edged and impact weapon disarming.

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Instructor Photo; Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker, a self-taught blacksmith and throwing instructor out of Tallahassee Florida, teaches at gatherings and private ranges and lives outside 365 days a year, prefering to make a thing, rather than buy it.

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Sara Callaway

Sara loves a good conversation about things that matter. Her current passions include conscious communication, peacemaking, leadership, 8 shields, ancestral healing, and dancing. Longtime resident of Athens, GA, she recently relocated to the mountains of North Carolina to do some soul searching and live the homesteading life.

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Instructor Photo; Sara Hosburgh

Sara Hosburg

In her spirit, Sara Hosburgh is an artist. In all practicality, she is a maker. She is forever seeking chances to help herself and others experience life through the tactile sense.

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Instructor Photo; Sarah Gott.

Sarah McComb

Sarah grew up in the primitive skills community and now pursues all things fiber. She is a knitter, spinner, sewist, felter, jewelry maker, and beadworker currently living and making in Charleston.

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Instructor Photo; Tara Rawson

Tara Rawson

Tara Rawson has spent nearly 20 years studying all facets of yoga, meditation and herbalism throughout both India and the U.S. She has owned and operated health facilities and taught various holistic health modalities internationally for the last decade.Tara offers classes, trainings, thai bodywork, herbal consults and holistic land design through the Regenerative Living School based in Jacksonville, Florida. It is her sincere love and passion to share her experience and wisdom of holistic health and regenerative living with her community.

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Turn Stone

Turnstone is a product of the Back to the Land movement and the close ties to native communities he experienced from an early age. Knowing that our ancestors made their living from the land, Turnstone started making stone tools represented in the rich archaeological record of tidewater Virginia. Turnstone is passionate about making simulations of prehistoric cook pots, but still catches a knapp here and there.

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Zee Kong

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