Menu of Class Offerings
Primitive Living Skills
Primitive Cooking: Make one or more meals over the fire using handmade utensils and featuring foods familiar to our ancestors! Bring your appetite! We will use several ingenious traditional cooking methods.
Making a Sure-fire Campfire: Satisfy the Fire Triangle and practice starting methods, fuel choices and effective fire layout to make sure that your fire will start every time!
Friction Fire Starting - The Bow Drill: Depending on time allotted, make your own bow drill set and/or learn to make an ember, feed it proper tinder, and coax it into flame!
Wild Edible Plants: Take a walk with a master naturalist, learn to identify and collect delicious and useful wild plants, covering their nutritional characteristics, other uses, and folklore. Prepare and serve a few wonderful dishes to taste, from teas and salads to pesto.
Natural Fibers and Cordage Making: Experience the Cordage Museum! Learn to identify and prepare useful fibers from animals and plants. Practice techniques for making fine, strong cordage or rope in 2-ply and 3-ply, by hand and using simple but clever traditional tools.
Primitive Toys and Games: Construct and play with a variety of toys and games using natural materials and hand crafting techniques. We might cover dolls, games of chance, ball sports, hand games of skill, cat's cradle or lawn darts!
Survival Shelter- The Leaf Hut: This skill could save your life! Using only what the forest provides, make this shelter in less than an hour with no tools but your hands. It could protect you from hypothermia even in sub-zero temperatures! Children can do this as well as adults.
Flintknapping and Stone Tools: Make sharp, useful cutting tools as our ancestors did. Learn the art and science of controlled fracture in flint and other silica-rich stones. Produce knife blades, arrow points, drill bits, scrapers and other tools. Create beautiful stone art.
Primitive Jewelry of Bone, Stone and Wood: Make beads and pendants of natural materials, then make fine cordage and wear your creations home. This teaches a variety of traditional crafting techniques.
The Basics of Animal Tracking: Answer the 6 questions of tracking and find out what has been happening around you. Learn to see the subtle traces left behind by animals and natural forces, and become a wise nature detective.
Sensory Awareness Skills- How to See and Hear More in the Woods: Using these fun and illuminating exercises, train your senses to alert you to what is happening around you. Spot more wildlife, avoid dangers and seize opportunities outdoors and in.
Primitive Technology: This is a survey class of the skills that made survival and success possible for our species! See demonstrations, handle amazing specimens of natural materials and replica artifacts, and try some of the clever and precious skills employed in shaping stone, bone, wood, shell, hides and fibers.
Traditional Skills of the Pioneer Homestead
Wooden Spoon and Utensil Carving: Learn about desirable woods, knife choices, safety and carving techniques, and create a one-of-a-kind, useful spoon and maybe even a fork or spatula. Family heirlooms are made in this class!
Tool Sharpening and Care: Examine the equipment needed for proper sharpening of edged tools, learn the science behind the skill, and practice the techniques of caring for kitchen, hunting and crafting knives. This knowledge extends to care of scissors, garden pruners, hatchets and axes.
Make your own beautiful, useful, long-lasting containers. See the following choices of styles:
Coil Baskets: Using bunches of long, flexible core materials and a strong sewing cord, stitch a fine, strong basket using a needle or an awl.
Splint Baskets: Weave flat strips of materials in the familiar over/under pattern. Great for large and small baskets, backpacks, strainers, etc.
Spoke Baskets: Using flexible rods such as vines or commercial rattan, create tightly twined or woven baskets. So simple; it lends itself to so many creative design features!
Melon or Egg Baskets: These strong baskets have integral handles, can be made from many materials and often become treasured heirloom antiques.
Traditional Appalachian Bark Berry Baskets: Not just for berries! Folded and laced tulip poplar bark makes fast, gorgeous, useful wild-looking collecting containers!