- Learn how to hunt for mushrooms: species identification, where and when they grow, as well as ID of their associated trees and plants.
- Gain familiarity with more than 50 species of mushrooms: edible, medicinal, magical and poisonous, and their uses.
- Learn how to harvest and prepare select species as food, medicine, dyes, and for other material uses.
- Learn about the evolution of fungi, mushroom life cycles, seasonal and cyclical fruiting, symbiotic and parasitic relationships.
- Learn about and participate in basic mushroom cultivation practices.
- Participate in group activities that build connection with nature, each other, and the mysteries of fungi and nature.
- Click here to register and for more info.
We're super excited to announce the launch of our latest intensive program - the Spore School! This monthly program meets in many locations in the Pioneer Valley, and explores the world of mushrooms in an in-depth, hands on way. Led by veteran shroomer Dean Colpack, this program is guaranteed to widen your understanding of this fascinating kingdom.
Join us for a walk in the woods each Sunday for the fall. We'll explore different forest habitats in the Northampton area, with an eye towards all things fungi. Meet and great these not-so-distant cousins of ours, from tasty edibles to powerful medicinals and the potentially deadly poisonous!
FOR LOCATION AND TO RSVP, please visit the Western MA Earth Living Skills Meetup site here.
Walks are FREE, a 10$ suggested donation supports this program as well as public fruit tree planting. Open to all ages if accompanied by an adult.
COVID-19: Participants will be masked and socially distance.
Walks are lead by the knowledgable Dean Colpack, a veteran local 'shroomer and nature educator of many years. Species of interest that may be found include chicken of the woods, turkey tail, reishi, maitake, artist's conk, boletes, chanterelles, trumpet mushrooms, amanitas, earth stars, cordyceps, lichens, slime molds, witches butter and more!
The Snowy Owls have taken flight! This weekly after school program meets at the lovely, mystical and biodiverse Amethyst Brook Conservation Land in Amherst on Fridays, 330-530. Students romp in the woods, exploring streams, swamps, fields and forests while gaining familiarity, comfortability, confidence and a sense of connection with the wild world.
The program runs for 10 consecutive weeks, after which another session will begin.
Activities include nature skills like tracking, foraging, plant ID, tool use and crafting, fire tending, cooking and more. There will be plenty of learning and games along the way, all done in the context of safety and with COVID-19 precautions.
This program is off to a fun start! We've found edible black birch, partridge berries and more, lots of black nosed dace minnows, and the majority of a horse skeleton -- and that's just day one!
This program is currently full, but we are taking students for a Thursday program, same place and time. We'd love to see you there!
This program will take you deep into connection with the world we are a part of through the doorway of wild food and ecological design! Penetrate the wallpaper that limits our relationships with the wide world of plants and animals and start participating with your nonhuman neighbors in a meaningful way. Through a year's cycle, we'll cover a wide range of survival, practical and awareness skills with a strong focus on learning from and about eating and cultivating plants and animals. Enjoy an immediately positive impact on your diet, budget, health and sense of belonging to the land. Meets one sunday a month closest to full moon in varied locations (Northampton, Greenfield, Montague, Southampton, Amherst, Hadley, Holyoke, as well as an Eastern MA track of the program) in the Valley. Ages 15+.Gain confidence and familiarity with more than 50 edible, medicinal & useful and poisonous species of plants, and their uses - how to find, ID, harvest and prepare them into food and medicine.
For more information and registration, click here.
Requires a 200$ deposit - and supports public fruit tree planting. Limited work trade available. Register by 3/15: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor bio: Felix Lufkin has been foraging and educating about plants for 13 years. He teaches nature and gardening programs at K-12 schools in the Valley, and has offered hundreds of plant walks for the community through Acorn Kitchen and Help Yourself.
This year, we had over 40 folks come out for the 3rd annual community Groundnut Gathering! Our biggest year yet included guests from out of state... and France! As now feels like tradition, we had a sheep butchering workshop with a local critter from Greenfield, and gathered around her/him (they were a hermaphodite, as fate would have it) to learn anatomy, hide tanning, butchering and of course, feasting! Folks of all ages got comfortable with tool use, and we took many wild edible, wildflower and mushroom ID walks. Wild grapes did not disappoint, rabbit and sheep skins were tanned, and we made a phenomenal batch of sassafras/chaga/black birch lacto fermented wild soda! Hope to see you all next year!
The 2nd annual Groundnut Gathering was held in early October '18. We had a full schedule of classes and workshops, including sheep butchering, fly fishing, tool use, fire by friction, leather working, storytelling, drop spindle use, foraging and more. We took many walks on the trails looking for edible mushrooms and wild plants, and had a lot of amazing food - the sheep roast (kebabs), some mushrooms including the elusive 'shrimp of the woods', wild black walnuts, and more. We gave back to the land by planting a few apple trees and persimmons, and got to strengthen our connections with each other, building the local Earth living skills community. We hope to see you next year!
Hide Camp, a monthly hide tanning course
In this course, we'll explore the art and science of hide tanning in an in-depth and direct way. We will work together, and on individual projects, to tan deer hides into velvety buckskin, create a variety of beautiful pelts from local mammals, and work on goat skins.
Through group learning, and sharing of skills we will understand the tanning process, create and accomplish project goals, and complete amazingly soft and skillfully tanned skins ready for crafted projects such as pouches, bags, clothing and more.
This course is designed for you to get as much as you want out of it. You will be encouraged to work on projects, do reading and gain practical skills between classes.
All materials, including hides will be provided, though you're encouraged to bring your own!
We will sing songs and do group activities along the way!
Meeting one Saturday a month, May 2018-Oct 2018
5/12, 6/16, 7/14, 8/4, 9/22 (this day will be held at the Groundnut Gathering), 10/20
Ages 16 and up
Sliding scale, $10-$45 per class
Taught by Maggie Ranen
This apprenticeship will take you deep into connection with the natural world we live in and are a part of through the doorway of wild foods. Penetrate the wallpaper that limits our relationships with the wide world of plants and animals! Through a year's cycle, we'll cover a wide range of survival, practical and awareness skills with a strong focus on learning from and about plants and animals. Enjoy an immediately positive impact on your diet, budget, health, awareness and sense of belonging to the land.
Locations: Northampton, Greenfield, Montague, Huntington, Southampton, Amherst, Hadley, Holyoke
Saturdays: 4/28, 5/26, 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/22, 10/27, 11/17, 12/15. 2019: 1/5, 2/2 ,3/2
Instructor bio: Felix Lufkin has been foraging and educating about plants, for 12 years. He teaches nature and gardening programs at K-12 schools in the Valley, and has offered hundreds of plant walks for the community through Acorn Kitchen and Help Yourself.
We had a phenomenal time at the first annual Groundnut Gathering! Around 25 folks gathered for the weekend in a wonderful meadow in Leverret. After the many classes and workshops, we relaxed around a campfire, cooking and feasting, and getting to know each other better.
We found wild mushrooms, edibles, delicious wild grapes, and roasted a local sheep from New Salem. We look forward to future community events, and next years Groundnut!