Frequently Asked Questions

Where exactly are your classes held?

Many of our classes are held onsite at the Wild Abundance campus in Barnardsville, NC, while others are held at similarly beautiful sites within 25 minutes of here.  For some of our classes, we will take field trips to other sites in the area. Our online classes are hosted online and available to anyone with an internet connection.

Wild Abundance is located about 25 minutes north of downtown Asheville, off of the Barnardsville/Jupiter exit off of I-26 (Exit 16). You will receive detailed directions to our location after you register for a class.

Do I have to be 'hard core' to take a class with Wild Abundance?
Absolutely not! We strive to make our classes accessible to people of many backgrounds. The majority of our classes don’t require any previous experience or skills (the one notable exception is our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class, which requires the Basics class as a prerequisite). 

It’s important to note, however, that our mountain campus is unconventional, and may not be accessible to all bodies. Visit this page to learn more about our campus to see if you’ll be comfortable here. A few key features to note: we have an outdoor shower and (permitted) outhouse instead of a traditional bathroom. Our online classes are an option for anyone who cannot travel, wishes to learn from home, or is not comfortable navigating the campus. 

How much do your classes cost?
You can find prices for individual classes on the class pages. We offer sliding scale pricing and/or partial scholarships as a way to make our classes more affordable to more people. The sliding scale is a simple tiered pricing system that allows people to choose the price they are able to pay, within a specified range. We ask that folks with a household income of $80K+ pay on the upper end of the sliding scale, and that others locate themselves on the scale using this as a reference. This system allows folks of different financial means to be able to pay proportionally similar amounts for our classes. If you don’t see pricing on a particular class page, sign up for the waitlist and you’ll be notified when that class opens.  .
How and when do I sign up for classes?
Our classes open for registration at different times of year. If the class you are interested in is not currently open, you can get on the waitlist. Do this on the class page and you’ll be notified as soon as it opens. We offer the best deal (often including special discounts) and early registration opportunities to folks on our waitlists, so be sure to sign up for any and all classes you’re interested in!

Once a class is open for registration, you’ll be able to click through to a simple form and share your information, choose your price on the sliding scale, opt for a single payment or payment plan, and sign up for the class. We process payments through PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account to register and pay in full. If you are setting up a payment plan, a PayPal account is required. 

How can I make sure I get a spot in the class I want to take?
Most of our classes fill quickly, some within several hours of opening registration. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to get on the waitlist for whatever classes you’re interested in. After you’ve signed up for the waitlist, you’ll receive an email confirming your address. If you don’t see this, check promotions or spam, then move the email to your inbox and/or put admin@wildabundance.net on your “safe senders” list. Once you’re on the waitlist, keep your eyes out for emails from us about registration opening. We usually give a heads-up a few days in advance, so you can be ready to sign up once a class is open. 
I really want to take your classes, but am not sure if I can afford it. What options do you have?
We feel passionately about offering educational opportunities to everyone who is interested in learning. It’s also important to us to provide fair compensation to our instructors and staff. We try to accommodate those with fewer financial resources by offering sliding scale pricing and payment plan options for most classes, and scholarship opportunities for some. For more information on these options see this page. If you have questions that aren’t answered on our website, please contact us at admin@wildabundance.net.
I am coming from out of town. What are my lodging options?
Both local and out-of-town students are welcome to pitch a tent in one of our flat camping spots in the woods, hang a hammock from trees, or camp in our field. During the cooler months, we strongly suggest bringing a very warm sleeping bag and bedding. We have a fully functioning outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, and outhouse that are available to campers. In the event of freezing weather, the water will be drained.

There are lots of Airbnbs in the immediate area. When you register for a class, we’ll share a list of especially close ones. There is also a hotel in Mars Hill, the closest town. Whatever your lodging, we recommend that you stay within a 25 minute drive to our campus, as class days are full and we don’t want you to feel rushed.

Can I bring my dog with me?
No. We do not allow dogs on the property unless they are service dogs. If you have a service dog and would like to bring them with you to class, please let us know in advance at admin@wildabundance.net and we can discuss if it will work for a particular class. 
Can my child attend class with me?
Students 16 years and up are welcome to register for adult classes with parent consent. For younger teenagers, we are open to their participation with a parent accompanying them on a case-by-case basis. In this case, both the parent and the younger teenager would need to register separately. If they have a deep interest in the subject and a high level of intellectual and social maturity, it will probably work well for them to attend a class. Safety is our greatest concern and we require that minors are able to be aware of their safety and the safety of those around them, especially when it comes to building classes.

Depending on the class, you may be able to bring your younger child with you. We don’t allow any small children at our building classes. Generally, we like to encourage children to engage with the subjects that we teach about. If you’re wanting or needing to bring a small child to class, please check in with yourself about whether your child could be involved in the class or is self-directed enough to find something to do while you are in class. Parents are responsible for taking their child aside if they are distracting the class.

Please check in ahead of time with our administrative assistant about whether it is appropriate to bring your child to a specific class. If minors participate in the class (not just come and play on the side), their registration costs the same as adult registration. Please email admin@wildabundance.net for more information.

Will I be cooking over a fire while I am there?
The choice is yours! We offer access to a lovely outdoor kitchen equipped with running water (tasty well water), and a propane stove, a rocket stove (fire powered), and a nearby fire pit. Participants in some of our classes are invited to cook outdoors as part of the class, notably the Survival Skills Class.
Do you have a refrigerator I can store my food in while I am there?
No. We do not have refrigeration available for student use. We do have a place to store coolers, and there is a gas station ½ mile down the road that sells ice.
How old (or young) are your students?
Wild Abundance prides itself on welcoming students from many different ages and backgrounds. Our students’ ages have ranged from 16 years to 73 years, and have included many ages in between. We enjoy the intergenerational flavor of our classes, and find that it enriches everyone’s experiences to have age diversity within the group.
What are the racial identities of your staff, instructors and students?
Our core staff all identify as white; our instructors have various racial identities, though they primarily identify as white; our students are of many diverse racial identities. Many, but not all of our classes tend to have majority white student bodies, it just depends on the class.

We believe that it’s important to learn and practice skills with groups of people of various identities and backgrounds. And, we see and understand that very real barriers exist for some folks to participate in hands-on and earth-based skills. We actively prioritize collaborating with and hiring instructors of color, and our scholarship and other outreach programs focus on students who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Additionally, we are engaged in an ongoing process of equity and inclusion work throughout our organization, and offer support for anyone we engage with who may experience racialized trauma in our spaces.

We do this with the help of a racial equity consultant who identifies as a Black woman, and is available on-call. When you register for a class you will receive more information about how to engage with this support system, should you need it.

What are the gender identities and sexual orientations of your staff, instructors and students?
Our core staff identify as mostly cis-gendered, mostly women. Our instructors include various gender identities, mostly cis-hetero, women and men, and many of our students identify similarly. We tend to have some non-binary and/or LGBTQ2+ students in each class, with some classes having majority LGBTQ2+ identified students.

We believe it’s important to learn and practice skills with groups of people of various identities and backgrounds. And, we see and understand that very real barriers exist for some folks to participate in hands-on and earth-based skills. We are committed to an ongoing, emergent process of equity and inclusion work in our organization, and strive to create a safer environment for all gender and sexuality identities.

I do not identify as a cis-woman, can I still take your women’s only classes?
Essentially, these classes are open to all folks who are not cis-men (what does cis-gendered mean?). One of the intentions of our women’s only classes is to provide a safer space of learning to folks who have been challenged in gaining access to these skills because of their gender identity.

If you are trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming you are welcome to take these classes, but keep in mind that it’s likely that the majority of the students will be cis-women. We ask all students to share their preferred pronouns before and during class, in hopes that everyone will be accurately addressed and acknowledged for their gender identity. If you still don’t feel clear about whether or not these classes are right for you, please reach out for any clarification or support. We are open to your feedback and are in process with continually deepening our equity and inclusion practices. You can also submit totally anonymous feedback here. Email Hannah (she/they) at bookkeeper.wildabundance@gmail.com with your questions or non-anonymous feedback.

Why do you ask “What are your pronouns” on your registration forms?
We are committed to an ongoing process of equity and inclusion in our classes. We ask for pronouns so that we and other participants can refer to each other in ways that respect our own identities and are not dependent on assumptions. We ask every participant to share their pronouns at the beginning of class, along with their names, in addition to sharing them through the registration forms before coming.

Here’s more on the importance of correct pronouns from MyPronouns.org:

“Often, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message — that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not.

Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as using a person’s name can be a way to respect them. Just as it can be offensive or even harassing to make up a nickname for someone and call them that nickname against their will, it can be offensive or harassing to guess at someone’s pronouns and refer to them using those pronouns if that is not how that person wants to be known.”

I am handicapped, disabled, alterabled, or neurodivergent. Can I safely and comfortably take your classes?
Depending on your particular physical and mental capabilities, our classes may or may not be accessible to you. Our campus and learning spaces are built into the hillside, so we cannot provide flat or paved paths to be able to get around. Additionally, some of our classes (especially building classes) involve physical dexterity, and include loud noises and fast-moving tools. Our online classes are a great option if you are unable to move about comfortably at our campus, or may feel overwhelmed in a group setting. If you have particular concerns about accessibility, please reach out to admin@wildabundance.net and we will be honest about what the classes entail and if we think they will work for you.
Can my partner/friend camp with me if they are not taking a class?
You are welcome to bring a companion along to camp with you, with several important considerations:

We charge $15/night to camp for anyone who is not in the class. Payment must be made at least two weeks prior to class. Contact our administrator at admin@wildabundance.net to arrange for payment, and to give a heads up that you’ll be bringing an extra person. Arriving without payment or bringing an extra camper without requesting a spot incurs a $50 fee.

Parking is limited at our campus, so each student is only allowed one vehicle. This means your companion must ride with you; you cannot bring an extra car for a non-student.

Anyone who is not a student is not allowed in class spaces, the outdoor kitchen or outdoor shower during class times, from 9:00am-6:00pm each day. This is especially important for classes that are gender specific. You and your companion are welcome to cook supper together in the outdoor kitchen after class hours.

Finally, the campus is not open for wandering around. There are several private residences here and it can be disruptive for random folks to enter those spaces. If you bring a companion, they should plan to explore the national forest, downtown Asheville, or whatever other local attractions interest them during class time.

Can I take a tour of Wild Abundance?
Due to COVID and out of consideration of our close neighbors, we are currently not offering tours of Wild Abundance. We are only allowing students and Airbnb guests on the property at this time.
Can I volunteer at Wild Abundance?
We do not accept volunteers at this time. If you’d like to get involved, the best way is to take a class. From time to time we invite folks to come help out at work parties, so definitely get on the mailing list to stay up to date on any public events and opportunities such as that. Also, local students in our Online Gardening School are invited to participate in a hands-on portion of the class during the growing season. If you have very specialized skills like photography, graphic design, carpentry, etc. and would like to barter for a class, please reach out to admin@wildabundance.net to see if we can arrange something.