top of page
River
Symbol Black July 7-22.png

THE WILD &
THE CULTIVATED

Exploring commonalities and contrasts between the world stewarded by humans and what stewards the human world. 

MARCH 21-24, 2024
HOT SPRINGS, North Carolina

Most people reside in cultivated spaces, the neat rows of organized society... simultaneously, inside each of us lives and breathes a wild nature, the germinated seed of pure creativity, reaching its curious tendrils out to meet the world. 


Both natures are distinct faces of the same being. 
Through harmonization, we tap into a wellspring of directed vitality, fueling our daily life through applied depth and meaning.

Together, in this immersion, we will use a vantage inspired by Deep Ecology to focus on reconnecting with land through activities in the liminal space between the Wild and Cultivated as a means of activating personal and social growth which we will all carry forward.

It may be work.

It will be play!
It is a journey, 
which we look forward to sharing with you.

Wet Leaves

ECOLOGY

"Ecology"

from "oikos" + "logos"
The Study o
f Home

Explore with us direct experience of 
authentic home in Gaia as sacred space 
no matter where you find yourself.


We will facilitate experiences both wild and cultivated from our backgrounds in both academic Ecology and direct experience from living on the land in more than 5 climate zones. 

Assortment of Books

PHILOSOPHY

Deep Ecology

joins spirituality with Ecology

Engage in authentic dialogue with 8-12 peers about the meaning of wildness and cultivation, their values and virtues.

We will draw from teachings of Joanna Macy, Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Rachel Carson, Wahiakeron Gilbert, Robbin Wall Kimmerer, Thoreau, Leopold, and MANY more.

No experience with "Deep Ecology"?
NO PROBLEM!


A diversity of perspectives and backgrounds enhances discussions!

Prayer

SPIRITUALITY

spiritual dimension infuses all life 
 

Spiritual awareness provides depth and meaning, contributing to personal and social health.

Marvel with us at the profound awe of the limitless miracles on the edge of boundless Wild and the fruits of cultivated practice.

While we will not push any particular tradition, our experiences are centered around Vedic, Buddhist, Celtic, Christian mystic traditions, and contributions from ecopsychology.

Group Hug

COMMUNITY

We all exist in relationship 

 

Be it a single neighbor, a family, a circle of friends, an organization, a plant community, and/or an ecosystem.

Build a community with kindred explorers as we strengthen our ties with this world.

Work together in navigating the connections through spontaneous and designed community frameworks. 

Large Tree

JOIN US THIS FOR THE SPRING EQUINOX

Register at our sliding scale honorable rate to reserve your space in this immersive experience

Branching Breathing with Al

A DEEP ECOLOGY RETREAT

Deep ecology is rooted in the following two main ideas: Humans ARE nature, not distinct from it, and in order to live in right relationship with integrity, a shift from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism will best serve the whole Gaian community. We will unpack and explore this meaning and application together through fellowship, lectures, and experiential learning. 

We'll take the spiral journey, directing our growth to climb like hermeneutic vines as we ascend through modules about earth-reconnection, participatory conservation, and daily application. The weekend programming is fractally designed using biomimicry. The long weekend follows natural energy from the cosmic scale down to personal fluctuations as our activities guide participants through the wave of internal to external energetics and back. This undulating spiral of transformation begins right at your own home with a two-fold priming exercise resulting in something to keep at home and something to bring with you. 

 

Through mycelial imagining, we will take you on a journey through hyphal webs interconnecting and exploring the invisible and subtle threads weaving us all together. Our forest bathing walks offer the opportunity to immerse your senses in your immediate surroundings, surroundings with which your human nervous system co-evolved for thousands of years - with bird sound, with scent of pine oils, with taste of bitter herbs, with touch of dirt beneath your feet, with tessellating patterns of leaves moving through your eyes... 

 

Experiential learning will guide you deeper into concepts such as fermentation as metaphor, the honorable harvest, the bitter as medicine, and scope to scope connecting the soil to the stars through introductory microscopy and star gazing.

At the edge where forest meets field, we will explore the wild and the cultivated as seen in the differences between garden soil and forest soil. Equally we'll explore the wild and the cultivated in ourselves through creative writing practices, storytelling around the bonfire, and journeys to the subconscious through the practice of yoga nidra.

The Wild and the Cultivated is set against a backdrop of community and food. Set at an idyllic ecological farm, each day's nodes of reconnection will center around shared meals prepared by a celebrated chef. 

what's included...

WORKSHOPS + LECTURES

  • ​Fermentation for the Soul

  • Bitters Medicine​

  • Wildcrafted Medicine​

  • Scope to Scope​ (microscopic to the cosmic)

  • The Wild and the Cultivated

  • Participatory Conservation

  • Collective Forest Mandala

  • All materials for workshops (please bring your own notebook + pen)

MOVEMENT + MEDITATIONS

  • daily yoga: Aligning YOUR Body, Yoga nidra, and more!

  • daily meditation

  • Fox Walking 

  • Mycelial Imagining

  • Forest Bathing

  • trails to explore

  • creative expression through word and image

  • Storytelling, firegazing, stargazing, and beyond

ACCOMODATION + MEALS

  • 1 double twin bunk bed (BYO sheets/sleep sack)

  • Indoor toilet

  • Outdoor community showers

  • 3 bioregionally sourced meals per day

  • Morning coffee or tea

  • Snacks, herbal teas, spring water

After the RETREAT

  • Long-term integration community network access

  • Access to the "salad bar" community library

RATES

STANDARD RATE:
$850

This rate covers your accommodation, use of the venue, private chef, all locally sourced meal ingredients, facilitator compensation, and materials for the course - everything listed above.

SUPPORTIVE RATE:
$950

This rate is for those with financial abundance, willing to contribute an extra $100 to cover the difference for those needing to select the financial assistance rate. Thank you for your generosity.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
$750

This rate is for those needing a discounted rate due to financial reasons. Please reserve this rate for those who truly need this rate that have a strong desire to participate in this immersion.

Forest Landscape

SAMPLE DAILY SCHEDULE

Flexible Woman

MORNING YOGA

gentle group yoga class and meditation to transition from sleeping to waking and tune into the day's theme

BREAKFAST

nourishing and fresh, locally sourced food to start your day. explore bioregional foods

Blueberry Cookies
Hiking

FOREST BATHING

journey on a guided, barefoot walk through the forest, exploring your surroundings through the five senses

HERBALISM WORKSHOP

discuss the honorable harvest as you make your own tincture from wildcrafted plants on the land

wooden-spoons-with-dry-herbs-flower-buds-and-tea-l-P8EE5PZ.jpg
Hot Meal

LUNCH

another nourishing meal midday to fill you up and fuel you for the afternoon's experiences

discussion- BASED WORKSHOP

explore fermentation as metaphor and how our human health is intricately woven into soil health

Outline1-whiteboard.png
Mason jars

Fermentation CLASS

create living food with your hands, incorporating foraged ingredients and with a deeper understanding of the role of fermentation 

DINNER

replenish from the day with a warm dinner as a group

Tacos
Sitting by Campfire

BONFIRE + YOGA NIDRA

circle around the fire for music and storytelling, then complete the night with a guided yoga nidra journey

FORAGING + WILDCRAFTING TIPS & TALES

ACCOMMODATION

Rare Bird Farm is a regenerative teaching farm nestled in a majestical holler with miles of hiking trails, boulders to climb, workshops to attend, farm animals to feed, live music, yoga, and so much more.

Participants (and hosts) will be housed in a bunkhouse on the land, overlooking the pastures and creek. The bunkhouse has indoor toilets and outdoor communal showers.

Additionally, anyone has the option to bring a tent or hammock if they prefer camping-style accommodation, as there are many places to set up!

Rare Bird 1.jpg
Rare Bird 2.jpg
Bunkhouse 3.jpg

NOURISHMENT

Dietrich.JPG

Dietrich McGaffey

Executive Kitchen Witch of Edible Alchemy Foods

Dietrich is a satyr with many hats.  Village Witch, Apothecary Technician, Sauceror, Herbalisto, Yoga Maestro, Dio
nysian Devotee, Lunatic. In 2009, Dietrich founded Edible Alchemy as a community resiliency project centered around food access, sovereignty, and autonomy. Focused on local, seasonal, sustainable foods featuring international flavors gathered through practicing with the people and cultures that bear them. Rooted in the soil wherever he goes, he seeks to bring the highest quality of regenerative foods from every field, sourced direct from farms, markets, permaculture centers, biodynamically grown, or ethically wild harvested. Moving beyond "Organic" for people and planet, he uses his food choices to impact economy and environment. Menus are Plant Forward: vegetarian at heart with the knowledge and practice of integrated animal stewardship. He loves to create living foods featuring activated, sprouted, and fermented bases. Meals are always made from scratch with the best ingredients available!

Wild Berries

SOIL CONNECTION WITH KRISz

Meet the Team

Here to guide + support + play + learn alongside you

bottom of page