Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Florida Earthskills Weekend

Levi and I attended the "Florida Earthskills Gathering" which was a 4 day gathering to learn "earthskills" (primitive type skills), and spend some time outdoors.    There are many different classes for kids and adults in all kinds of different earthskills, plus typical camping activities like hanging out around the camp fire.   Check out all of the classes here.

We camped out in an area designated as "Family and Elder" camping, which turned out to be a really nice spot because we were close to the kids area and the main fire, which was the central gathering place.     Every morning there was a "morning circle" where activities for the day were announced.   There was a morning and afternoon class each day with many to choose from.  

The kids program had classes for them as well, and lots of games and running around too.   They built a "fairy garden", did tye dye with black walnut,  learned how to start a fire with a bow drill, went on edible plant walks, did some henna tattoos, made natural soda, played a lot of "hand tag" learned about some local fish, did some water critter catching, and had a great time playing outside.   They even played "man hunt" which is something like hide and seek/tag but in the dark with flashlights. 

The classes I took were:   Didgeridoo making (from bamboo), an edible plant walk and bamboo craft (I made a bowl, cup and utensils from bamboo), and stargazing.     I only got to take a few classes because I did "worktrade", I helped with the kids program in exchange for a very reduced rate for the gathering. 

The food was really good - vegan and vegetarian options always, and fresh grown food.    Everything was cooked over the campfire!  

There was a camp fire each night (the last night was a big huge bonfire), and people would sing songs and play instruments and tell stories.  

It was a really fun experience for Levi and I, and we learned a lot of interesting things.   We will try and attend again next year for sure, hopefully with even more friends to join us!

A beautiful description of the Earthskills Gathering by Nettle and Thread here

Morning circle: 

 Levi has a snack from the kids area (they had fresh cut fruit, sugar cane and tea).   The tents behind him were where some of the classes met.

Levi and his new friends carving sticks by the main fire.   Many of the kids spent a lot of time making "hatchets" carved from wood. 

Main Fire

Levi near the kitchen, behind him is an oven.

Kitchen area and to the far right is the bathrooms (which were porta potties, but did flush, so gross, but tolerable!)

Me, our tent, and the didgeridoo and cup I made from bamboo.   (yes, I made the skirt too, I will be making some to put up for sale as I've gotten many requests!)

Some more about the didgeridoo class can be found here from another student in the class. 

Levi on the slackline we set up behind our tent - many kids and adults came and tried our slackline!

(I made this outfit too of course)

Nothing to see here, but this is what the Earthskills gathering sounded like at night.   One is the fiddle music, and the other has fiddle music, drumming, kids having a snack, and the hoe down. 

And as usual, I made Levi some clothes for the occasion, 3 shirts and the "crazy pants" he is wearing in the picture of him carving by the campfire.   

This describes Levi well: 

Camping shirt, of course. 

And this one is a combo of embroidery and screenprint, inspired by this

Some fun on the backs as well. 


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