Partners in Our Ecological Niche

Guilds in a forest garden are groups of species that support each other in beneficial ways, aiding self-maintenance and reducing the work required to maintain the system.

Peruse our essential partners who uniquely aid in our goal of empowering society to deepen its connection to nature and the skill sets that center us in our ecological niche.

Earthskills, Homesteading and Primitive Skills

people gathering to learn ancestral skills primitive skillsAstounding Earth

Cultivating Eco-literacy, sense of place and deep nature connection through experiential education and mentoring with Luke Cannon.

EarthSkillsGathering.orgpeople gathering around a fire

This website is dedicated to promoting Earthskills and Primitive Skills gatherings, events, schools and programs throughout the United States and beyond.

Wildrootsman in wild garden

Wildroots is a 30-acre Earthskills homestead in rural Western NC. Its focus is on experiential learning and living, while practicing, developing and sharing primitive skills for rewilding and reconnection.


Ancestral Knowledgeancestral knowledge logo

Ancestral Knowledge uses nature and the wilderness as its classroom to connect our students with the ancient skills of our past.  Ancestral Knowledge is the first in the DC Metro Area to use Earth-based living skills, nature awareness, primitive technology and wilderness survival to create an environmental stewardship between our students and the Earth.  Ancestral Knowledge offers adult and youth programs in a wide range of program topics from ancient living skills, survival and wilderness awareness to Earth-based philosophy and sustainable living.  Its programs guide its students along a path seldom traveled helping them rediscover the ancient ways that made modern life possible.


Dirt Cheap Builderdirt cheap builder logo

Information and resources to build your own low-cost, earth-friendly, high-efficiency home.  This informative website includes methods, construction articles, and a building school directory.



Kids Programs

Forest Floor Wilderness ProgramsForest Floor logo

Forest Floor Wilderness Programs was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing the Asheville area with nature-connection mentoring programs designed to reconnect youth and adults with the natural world, while also serving as a hub around which nature-based community can form.

Alternative Healing Schools

Appalachia School of Herbal MedicineAppalachia School of Holistic Herbalism logo

The Southeast’s oldest herbal studies school, ASHH offers holistic health education, career training, complementary care treatments, locally sourced herbal products, and a free library and resource center.  For more than a quarter century, ASHH has been empowering people from all over the country to heal themselves, their families, communities and the planet. Students gain invaluable insight from ASHH’s outstanding and diverse faculty and wisdom through direct interaction with the beautiful fields and forest of Western North Carolina. Discover your roots and grow healthy with ASHH!

Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine Blue Ridge School of Holistic Herbalism logo

Blue Ridge School teaches students to see in a new way, using the vision of traditional cultures from across the globe including Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and native plant medicine. Ultimately that vision is this: Treat the person with the disease, not just the disease the person has. Simply said, but the knowledge, wisdom and intuition behind this paradigm shift take months to learn and a lifetime to practice. Ultimately, it is a new way of looking at life.


Chestnut School of Herbal MedicineChestnut School of Herbal Medicine logo

The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine offers in-person workshops on growing herbs and several online opportunities to learn, including an Herbal Medicine Making Course and the Herbal Immersion Program.

Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in AshevilleDaoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts logo

Founded by a group of accomplished practitioners, Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts began with solidarity of purpose. It is always striving to help restore the ancient traditions by sharing its clinical experience and passion for Chinese medicine. It also believe that its comprehensive education can prepare students for success.


One Willow ApothecariesOne Willow Apothecaries logo

One Willow Apothecaries is a gathering place for Earth-nourished healing, handcrafted medicine and alchemical gateways of education. Offering classes and consultations in intuitive herbalism, healing consciousness and Earth magic, One Willow Apothecaries is founded on a deep belief in the multidimensionality of medicine.


AshevillageAshevillage logo

The mission of Ashevillage is to create community-based, on-the-ground programs, projects and people that foster a vibrant, just and regenerative world. Its goal is to accelerate the design and implementation of local, nature-based, regenerative systems and thriving community-inspired culture. Its vision is of humanity living by the wisdom of nature in a way that honors and supports life in peaceful, thriving and celebratory cohabitation. Ashevillage programs include Resilient Living SchoolPermaculture School, and more.


YummyYardsLaura Ruby Yummy Yards

Our mission is to help individuals, businesses and institutions transform our communities into healthy and productive outdoor environments; to create an easy-to-use, interactive community of gardeners, horticulturists, permaculturists, chefs, parents, children and anyone else interested in growing their own food; and to provide practical, accessible, and interactive information for those who seek it.  Originally in Colorado, YummyYards now offers services in Asheville, NC.

Ethical & Conscious Businesses

Edible Yard & Garden LandscapesEdible Yard and Garden logo

EYG Landscapes (aka Edible Yard & Garden) designs and installs low-maintenance edible landscapes and rainwater harvesting systems. It incorporates fruit trees, berry bushes, perennial vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, cut flowers, pollinator plants and butterfly gardens.  Its landscapes are elegant, functional, sustainable and delicious. EYG works to build community between its clients and its neighbors and to install plant systems that will be producing food for 300+ years.  It has bases in Asheville, NC, and Decatur, GA, and thus works on projects all over North Georgia and WNC.

Eric Bell, ArboristEric Bell arborist in a tree with his baby

Eric is the premier arborist in the Asheville, NC area and a local consultant for tree removal, pruning and maintenance.  Additionally, he has a portable saw mill and can locally mill lumber.  Please email him at or call (828) 318-6385.


Mountain GardensJoe Hollis Mountain Gardens

Mountain Gardens is a botanical garden featuring the largest collection of native Appalachian and Chinese medicinal herbs in the Eastern US, organically grown at the foot of the Black Mountains in Western North Carolina. Its specialties include native (Southern Appalachian) and Oriental medicinal herbs, wildfoods, perennial vegetables, craft plants and other ethnobotanicals. It offers for sale seeds, plants, fresh and dried herb material, tinctures, and other preparations. It presents useful information regarding the cultivation and uses of these species, as well as its philosophy of Paradise Gardening.

Useful Plants Nursery

Useful Plants Nursery is a permaculture-based nursery specializing in useful, phytonutritional, food and medicine plants well-adapted to the Southern Appalachian mountains and surrounding bioregions. Its plants are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides at its nursery located at Earthaven Ecovillage.

Intentional Communities

Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven is an aspiring ecovillage in a mountain forest setting near Asheville, North Carolina. It is dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture. It partners with Culture’s Edge (the educational nonprofit at Earthaven) and offers educational opportunities through its School of Integrated Living (SOIL).