16 July 2011 (rain date: 17 July)
Humans have been cooking food for a long time, possibly 200,000 years or more. Aboriginal people learned to use the heat of cooking to detoxify food, break down molecules our bodies can't digest, and increase the pleasure of eating by enhancing flavors. Primitive cooks around the world created hearty, nutritious meals without the use of metal pots and pans, stove tops, ovens, crock pots, and the like. They had many different methods of cooking food that maximized nutrition while, when necessary, reducing toxins and antinutrients that may be present in the food. This day-long class will examine several methods of cooking that do not require modern kitchenware, including the aboriginal equivalents of the crock pot, grill, boiling pot, and baking pan. This class is a perfect companion to any wild food classes you may have participated in and furthers your "bushcraft" skills. A lot of organic, wildcrafted, and/or free-range foods will be consumed as part of the class and the day will culminate with dinner cooked entirely with aboriginal technology. Given the need to make and tend fires throughout the day for this workshop, a rain date needs to be kept open (the following day) for inclement weather. Price is $125.00 (which includes the price of food) and class is limited to 10 students. Class begins at 9:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm or whenever the evening meal is completed. If you are interested in enrolling for this class, please contact the Maine Primitive Skills School (207-623-7298) or visit http://www.primitiveskills.com/registration00.html.
Healing with Plants, Fungi, and Lichens
29‒31 July 2011
Coping with and recovering from illness, injury, and debility has always been part of being human. And for these complaints, plants have served as the major source of medicine. This class will examine the use of wild plants, fungi, and lichens for healing injury and supporting the body. Students will learn a suite of species that grow in New England that can be used for many common ailments, such as colds, infections, gastrointestinal upset, headaches, dermatitis, insomnia, etc. Methods of collecting will be discussed, as well as directions for making infusions, decoctions, poultices, salves, tinctures, and smoking mixtures. Throughout the weekend, various stories and examples will be shared demonstrating how plant-based medicines have preserved life and influenced aboriginal and contemporary people. Healing with plants provides people and families with another avenue of self-sufficiency and furthers connection to the landscape. The class will be taught by Arthur Haines (who personally uses plants, fungi, and lichens for all medicinal needs). Class will be offered at the Delta Institute of Natural History in Bowdoin, ME (click here if you need directions). Price is $180.00 and class is limited to 10 students. Class begins at 7:00 pm on Friday and ends at 12:00 pm on Sunday. If you are interested in enrolling for this class, please contact the Maine Primitive Skills School (207-623-7298) or visit http://www.primitiveskills.com/registration00.html.
30 September to 2 October 2011
This hands-on class is designed for those with with an interest in self-sufficiency, human health, and a deeper relationship with plants. Foraging provides many avenues of connection with nature and fosters a greater appreciation of the many things that local landscapes can provide for us. It has become increasingly clear through many independent studies that diets rich in wild foods promote health and defend the body from many of the debilitating ailments that plague modern societies (e.g., obesity, diabetes, arthritis, coronary disease, periodontal disease). Students should expect to spend much of the weekend outside identifying, collecting, and preparing wild plants for food (so be prepared for weather and uneven terrain). Class will focus on gathering plant foods and medicines that are appropriate for the season (nuts, legumes, fall roots and tubers, and wild rice--as available). Throughout the class, simple tools will be used and reference will be made to primitive and contemporary methods of processing plants. As well, wildcrafted medicine and utilitarian plants will be discussed to provide a more holistic understanding of how plants can positively affect our lives. Wild nutrition is both a link to the past and a gateway to a sustainable future. This class will be taught by Arthur Haines and will be offered at the Delta Institute of Natural History in Bowdoin, ME (click here if you need directions). Some locations will be visited off site so please be prepared to carpool short distances from the property. Price is $180.00 and class is limited to 10