Earthwork Wilderness Survival Training School | 413-340-1161
Elderberry Syrup--medicinal

Wild Edibles Workshop (WS 2, WE 4)

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

WILD EDIBLES IMMERSION SERIES

(you don’t have to attend all Workshops in the Series)
Join us for this unique experience and come away with skills in correct identification of wild edibles and medicines you can find right outside your back door.

You will learn how and when to harvest by season and in what habitat to seek out your favorite wild edibles. Additionally you will learn how to harvest with intention; keeping in mind the importance of the responsibility we have as foragers and earth stewards.

A responsible, attentive forager always finds a meal!

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

REGISTER HERE

VISIT our Wild Edibles page for a slide show and videos.
BE SURE TO REGISTER & PAY EARLY FOR THE DISCOUNT

2016 DATES
Sat, August 6, 4:30-7:30 pm (Berries, Baskets & Brook Trout Weekend!)
Sat, September 24, 1-4 pm (Wilderness Extravaganza Weekend!)
Sun, October 23, 1-4 pm
Sun, November 13, 1-4 pm

Berries, Baskets & Brook Trout Weekend! 2nd Annual!

Attend All, Some or Just One!

(Workshop fees vary…see below)

A Weekend of 4 Wilderness Skills Workshops!

For Families, Adults & Teens

All Workshops are in Conway, MA

BERRIES, BASKETS & BROOK TROUT WEEKEND:

Saturday, August 6, 2016
WS1: Birch Bark Basket Making 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
WS2: Wild Edibles & Medicinals 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 7, 2016
WS3: Primitive Fishing 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
WS4: Intro to Wilderness Survival 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

REGISTER ONLINE

BIRCH BARK BASKET MAKING

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Join Basket expert Barry Keegan and Earthwork Programs for a day-long, hands-on Workshop!

We will learn:

  • sustainable harvesting techniques,
  • birch bark processing,
  • pine root sewing.

And, we will use raw materials from the land to create one-of-a-kind pieces that will be beautiful and functional.

$60/adult, $30/child with adult–materials included (must be prepaid)

WILD EDIBLES & MEDICINALS

Saturday, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Join us for this unique experience and come away with skills in correct identification of wild edibles and medicinals you can find right outside your back door. Because we specialize in certain plants in depth, there are certain ones we’ll be reviewing from last class as well.

You will learn how and when to harvest by season and in what habitat to seek out your favorite wild edibles.

Possible Focus: Black trumpets, Chanterelles, Chrome foot, different type of suillus mushrooms and field plants, cats ear, dewberries, knotweed, horsetail, milkweed pods, sumac, dock, heal all, etc.

$50/adult, $30/child with adult prepaid (add $10/Workshop if pay day of)

PRIMITIVE FISHING

Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors were able to sustain themselves…not only surviving, but actually thriving? Primitive fishing has been one of the cornerstones of how it is done.

In this Workshop, learn

  • how to make a fish spear and techniques of stalking,
  • a way of making a fish net,
  • designing your own hooks and gorges, and
  • a tried-and-true method of “hand fishing” where we can catch and release and have had great success.

This is a real “game changer”–being able to go from nothing and making all of your own fishing lines, spears, gorges, lures, weirs, hooks and traps with all natural materials.

Join us! This class is for participants of all levels–no prerequisite required!

$60/adult, $30/child with adult prepaid (add $10 if pay day of)

INTRODUCTION TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Sunday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Are you a hiker, skier or just walk in the woods with your kids? What do you do if you get disoriented or some other unexpected situation arises while you’re out and about? Do you have a survival kit? What are the top 10 things you bring with you when you’re in the wilderness?

Earthwork Programs has been teaching these skills for more than 10 years.

  • Make fire with confidence in wet conditions as well as dry.
  • Learn the power of plants and their uses.
  • Discover ways to bring yourself closer to the land through tracking and awareness.

$45/adult, $25/child with adult prepaid (add $10/person if pay day of)

REGISTER ONLINE

10% discount if register and prepay for all 4 Workshops!

Want to stay overnight Saturday? Camping $5/person (bring your own tent & supplies), rustic cabins $8/person (limited). Register by 7/29.

BE SURE TO REGISTER & PAY EARLY FOR THE DISCOUNT

REGISTER ONLINE

Wild Edibles Workshop (WE 3)

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

WILD EDIBLES IMMERSION SERIES

(you don’t have to attend all Workshops in the Series)
Join us for this unique experience and come away with skills in correct identification of wild edibles and medicines you can find right outside your back door.

You will learn how and when to harvest by season and in what habitat to seek out your favorite wild edibles. Additionally you will learn how to harvest with intention; keeping in mind the importance of the responsibility we have as foragers and earth stewards.

A responsible, attentive forager always finds a meal!

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

REGISTER HERE

VISIT our Wild Edibles page for a slide show and videos.
BE SURE TO REGISTER & PAY EARLY FOR THE DISCOUNT

2016 DATES
Sat, August 6, 4:30-7:30 pm (Berries, Baskets & Brook Trout Weekend!)
Sat, September 24, 1-4 pm (Wilderness Extravaganza Weekend!)
Sun, October 23, 1-4 pm
Sun, November 13, 1-4 pm

Wild Edibles Workshop (WE 2)

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

WILD EDIBLES IMMERSION SERIES

(you don’t have to attend all Workshops in the Series)
Join us for this unique experience and come away with skills in correct identification of wild edibles and medicines you can find right outside your back door.

You will learn how and when to harvest by season and in what habitat to seek out your favorite wild edibles. Additionally you will learn how to harvest with intention; keeping in mind the importance of the responsibility we have as foragers and earth stewards.

A responsible, attentive forager always finds a meal!

$50/adult/Workshop (add $10/person if pay day of)

REGISTER HERE

VISIT our Wild Edibles page for a slide show and videos.
BE SURE TO REGISTER & PAY EARLY FOR THE DISCOUNT

2016 DATES
Sat, July 9, 9 am-12 pm
Sat, August 6, 4:30-7:30 pm (Berries, Baskets & Brook Trout Weekend!)
Sat, September 24, 1-4 pm (Wilderness Extravaganza Weekend!)
Sun, October 23, 1-4 pm
Sun, November 13, 1-4 pm

“The Pharmacy Is All Around Us”

On November 11, 2013, Frank Grindrod made his first primetime appearance! Here’s the segment from Chronicle, Main Streets episode (you can scroll in about 2:49 minutes to see Frank’s portion about wild edibles; or you can watch the whole segment to see some of our community).

Wild Edibles with Frank Grindrod of Wilderness Survival Training School Earthwork Programs in the Hills of western mass from Frank Grindrod on Vimeo.

Ancient Times and Early Humans: A View of the Past

Let’s look at early humans and how they and their tools changed over time.

We need to see through the eyes of archeologists and anthropologists to learn the specific skills and tools for dating artifacts and linking them to specific time periods.

This means we need to use our tracking skills! Lets get started…

hunter gatherer diarama

Hunter-Gatherer

Imagine you are taking a journey back in time to 2.5 million years ago. There was fuzzy creature hunched over with a large extended jaw and human-like form with long arms and a long trunk breaking rocks. This animal is our ancestor hominid (human-like creature). They were a primate that could walk upright but still had trunk and arm adaptations for climbing trees. They also slept in trees for protection from predators. Our distant ancestor stood only about three feet tall.

How do we know this? Clues left behind that have been preserved. Archeology is the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts. By studying their bones and tools we come up with ideas about them and their culture; it is like putting together a puzzle.

The bones become stone over time by a process called fossilization. These fossils can last for millions of years. Wow! Archeologists have also found pieces of various stones that have been chipped in a predictable manner with significant controlled force for a similar result. Tools!

Enter the Age of the Tool Maker

1-stone tools

Stone Tools

Look at the picture of the projectile points pottery and resin on an animal skin that was tanned for use of clothing, bags, etc.

These artifacts – the three on the left with 2 that are broken and all lightly colored are great tracks left behind that I share during our classes where we make stone tools and teach about ancient civilizations. Its one thing to read about it, but to actually MAKE it gives a deep respect for the artist and craftsmen these people were.

1-making stone tools with resin

Making Stone Tools with Resin

From an atl atl, a tool designed to throw spear shafts, the point can be seen on the far left with the upside down v that looks yellowish, is from the archaic period. According to my good friend Charlie Paquin, an Experiential Archeologist, which is someone who does not just study things they find but they also replicate it by making it themselves, this artifact also has a worn point which could be from hitting something hard like bone or a rock when launched from the atl atl, or it could have been used as a drill.

Here is a List of Exciting Finds We Continue to Discover

Africa’s Olduvai site: discovered hominid bone remains dated at 2 million years old.

Shanidar Cave in the Zagaros Mts of Iraq found eight prehistoric people over a 100,000 years old.

Oldest fire remains, evidenced by a ring of rocks, big ash deposits and stone tools, indicate habitation. This 790,000 years old site was discovered along the Jordan River in Israel.

in Beaches Pit in England, Archeologists found fragments of stone around fires dating back 400,000 years ago. These were flakes hit in a precise way with pressure that would break stone in a predictable way to create an edged tool.

Clay-fired vessels from 18,000 years ago were found in China. One of the first containers was a steatite-type soap stone that could be shaped with stone and set directly on the coals of fire.

There is so much to learn from our past that can help us understand our future.
Enjoy the outdoors.

Re-Awaken a Long-Lost Tradition of Gathering Wild Food as a Family!

Let’s Get NUTS!!

Hickory HarvestThere are all kinds of fall events. In addition to going for a hike and seeing the foliage, how about harvesting some nuts to prepare and eat?

There’s an amazing tree in the forest right here around us that will help us develop a stronger connection to the natural world. This is such an important part of our patterning on nature that plants seeds for the rest of our development and our ch
This tree is strong, majestic, camouflaged and blends in well with the other trees and not well known by sight, but totally worth the effort in recognizing how to find it…once you can find it. Next you have to figure out which one tastes the best because there are different kinds of hickory trees.ildren and how we will interact for years to come.

It’s not often that you hear people talk about hickories—they are not well known—so let’s go over some identification details that will be helpful in being able to develop the secret to finding this tree and some wild edible foraging skills too.

As we get started, direct your focus on looking at the different habitats in your area and aspects of the trees, bark, leaves (on the ground which may be easier to reach) and up in the tree, note branching structure and nuts and outer coating (husk). Find an area that has a lot of oaks, because we are looking for an oak-hickory forest type. Trees need to be older than 40 years for producing nuts; the younger trees will not.

Hickory TreeMichael Wojtech has a fantastic book, Bark: a Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast. I highly recommend it, and this will help give you some really great images and great detail on what to look for. We are fortunate that he has shared an image with us here in the article. I am feeling very grateful for all his research and his graciousness in sharing the knowledge.Most the time when you find hickory nuts they will be right under your feet. They are likely to be in an area that has a lot of squirrel activity; also blue jays are active in eating and caching (storing) them too. There are many kinds of wildlife feeding on this bounty: deer, bears, turkey, raccoons. You may find tracks and signs of their feeding, climbing and presence. You might even find the nuts on the pavement of the roads, parking lots, and other parks, golf courses and recreation areas. (Be mindful of the use of pesticid
Start to create maps of the area of your favorite spots and begin to look forward to visiting those special places around harvesting times every year. As a forager, this is a good thing to pay attention to and develop the habit of. Create special names and stories about these places, and soon you will want to return often, whether you are harvesting or not.es where you are harvesting food.)After gathering for a little bit, you might want to add a little excitement, if necessary.GAME: Nutty Squirrels–In this activity, you are a family of squirrels. By noticing the types of trees, are you able to find from where the hickories are coming (which is the parent tree?)? This is a great way to utilizefield guides and general observation skills. How many nuts can we gather as a group in a certain time limit? Ready set go!
You can always weave in predator-prey dynamics; lots of animals and birds eat squirrels!

Hickory in ShellBack to figuring out which nuts we have. Once you have the nuts in your hand, you can find out whether or not they are hard hickory nuts or soft? Why is this important? This will help in identification and to help you be successful in picking the best tasting ones and which to gather.

Look closely at the features of the nut. Is the husk thick or thin? When I say “thick,” I mean like a quarter- to half-inch thick. “Thin” is similar to an acorn shell, sometimes thinner.

Next, you need to shell and crack your nut. If it cracks really easily, you have what’s called a “soft hickory.” If it cracks really hard and the shells are like rocks, you have a hard hickory. There are two different groups of hickories: hard and soft.
Since there are no poisonous hickories, you can experiment and may be lucky enough to find Pignut Hickory, which is a thin-husked hickory with a hard shell similar to Shagbark but a little bigger in size and more nutmeat inside. This is the PRIZE one that can double your harvesting efforts.This is really helpful because the hard hickories with the hard shell have the sweet nutmeat inside. The soft hickories have the bitter nutmeat; at least it needs to be leached (take out tannins) and can still be edible. We are going to focus on the ones that do not need the extra step of leaching. These are the Shagbark and Pignut Hickories

Hickory Shell.

I have found that Shagbark and Pignut together are excellent. There is some information out there that says Pignut is bitter, but I think they’re confusing that with Bitternut. It can be a little confusing, so let’s focus on the hard and sweet hickories this time.

You can crack nuts i

ndividually, similar to the walnuts you get in the store, using a pick and getting the nutmeat out (which really makes the effort worth it when you taste the goodness). It can take about 20 minutes, and you can have a generous handful.

Teagan Crushing Hickory NutsThere is a learning curve of breaking the nuts to access them. You will find that some of them are hard to hold and hit just right, (watch those fingers) break the nut and try to open it; you have to be careful how much force you use because too much force just smashes it then you have the shell mixed in with the nutmeat and it can be challenging to get that out.

Learning traditions from our past and developing seasonal harvesting routines for free food creates an enriching future

A Recipe from our Past Called “Powcohicora” (Algonquin Language)

Historically, the native people used hickory. The way they did it was to pulverize the nuts, crushing the shell and nutmeat together, and place all of it in a container and boil it with a watchful eye. The shells sink and everything else rises to the top and they skim the heavy liquid off the top, which is called “decanting.”

Crushed HickoriesImportant: They got a special cream off the top which is hickory nut cream, and the rest of it underneath the cream is hickory nut milk (sweeten to taste, but not necessary).

This is not only sweet but it also can be very good as a soup broth or for a stew; it’s full of oils and healthy fats (very high in calories as an easy to digest oil including the high-quality essential fatty acids shown to prevent heart disease), and it’s a good source of vitamin B1 and magnesium. They also provide protein, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, potassium, trace minerals, and vitamins A and C
I hope this has inspired you to get out into the fields and forest, and in a sacred way, harvest from these great beings. I also would love to hear about your experiences learning about wild food. May we meet each other underneath a beautiful hickory tree…

Welcome to the Hickory Club.

 

Acorns,Acorns where are you acorns

This year I started to notice the oaks producing nuts and them dropping in late august.  Now coming onto the end of October I am noticing hardly ANY acorns dropping. There have been only a few individual trees where I have seen a good crop.

Last year we were swimming in acorns.It was a mast year!

Mast Year: a phenomenon when the fruit (mast) produced by trees in a given year is exponentially higher than the average; by extension, a year in which vegetation produces a significant abundance of fruit

 

However this year there are hardly any.

another great reason as a forager to learn about storing food.

Dry your acorns for a few weeks by a wood stove and they will be shelf stable for a year or so.

 

Next time there is a mast year stock up so you have acorns for the year where hardly any drop.Watch the cycles.

All the best

Frank

Ancestral Plants: A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Utilitarian Plants of the Northeast. Volume 1.

Please help to support Arthur in his new book.

He has been an inspiration to foragers, botanists,and folks studying primitive skills too.

I have had the pleasure of training with Arthur over this last year and my plant knowledge has grown exponentially!! I highly recommend spending time with this Master herbalist and primitive skills authority.

Keep on learning,

Frank

Orders now being accepted!

Ancestral Plants, volume 1

“Plants were immensely important to primitive people. They supplied them with many things needed for survival: food, clothing, medicine, fibers for cordage, lubricants, hafting materials, fire, raw materials for weapons, poisons for fishing and repelling insects, and much more. This has not changed in today’s world. People still rely on plants for their everyday survival and comfort. The main difference is the majority of the populace today does not know how to identify, collect, and process plants for the things it needs. They are dependent on food stores, pharmacies, clothing stores, etc. For some, this level of dependence on growers and manufacturers is the norm. They have been raised with it all their lives and assume it to be part of living in the modern world. For others, this lack of self-reliance may plant a seed within them that will grow into a desire to understand how our ancestors lived without the use of synthetic and highly processed materials. They may wish to lea

via Support.

Page 1 of 212