The dream of a simpler, natural life speaks to a deep place in all of us. Modern-day homesteading is both an embrace of the past and a revolutionary act for the future. Urban and suburban life can feel shallow and disconnected. Learning to live with the land in our homesteading classes brings meaning, purpose and empowerment.
Grow your interconnected, land-based life with our homesteading classes
December 30 - January 20, 2019
Learn from expert brain-tanners the process of transforming deer hide into soft, supple, beautiful buckskin, suitable for fabulously comfortable clothing and accessories. Leave the class with your very own finished hide tanned in the traditional and completely natural way.Learn More
April 4 - April 7, 2019
This class is intended to get ladies up-to-speed on basic building skills, working with wood, and using hand tools as well as power tools. Focus is placed on creating a safe, comfortable, relaxed and fun learning environment in which students with beginning to intermediate skill levels can thrive. Trans welcome.Learn More
April 15 - November 15, 2019
Our Apprenticeship Programs equip participants with the skills they need to live with the web of life: natural building & tiny house construction, foraging & wildcrafting; hide tanning & basket-making; permaculture design & organic gardening; herbalism & nature connection; functional communication & community living; storytelling; deep ecology; and much, much more!Learn More
April 26 - November 3, 2019
This is our Flagship program. Go way deeper than other Permaculture Design Courses. Learn building, wild foods, forest gardening and primitive skills, as well as standard PDC course content near Asheville, NC. We meet for one 3-day weekend-a-month for 8 months, which allows the knowledge sink in.Learn More
May 24 - May 27, 2019
Identify and wild forage medicinal plants in the Appalachian mountains. Learn to make medicine and cultivate herbs in your garden. Make and take home herbal salves, tinctures, flower essences, decoctions, cough syrups, herbal liqueurs, oxymels and vinegars.Learn More
June 20 - June 23, 2019
Gather with other women for a long weekend of connection, learning, and rewilding. Basketry, medicine making, cheese and soap making, wild foods cookery, friction fire, and more In the mountains near Asheville, NC.Learn More
August 15 - August 18, 2019
So, you know how to use a drill and a skillsaw and you can build a basic shelf, but you want to get proficient with building bigger things. Do you have buildings in your sights? This class will give you the skills you need for designing and constructing small buildings and sheds and will set you on the road toward more complex structures.Learn More
August 23 - September 1, 2019
Gain the skills you need to build your own tiny house from local, natural, or conventional materials. Tour beautifully crafted tiny houses and natural buildings, learn about each stage of building from expert lectures, experience hands-on learning as we build a tiny house from scratch, and practice natural plaster and paint. This is the most practical Natural Building Course out there.Learn More
Classes For Next Year
June 21 - June 24, 2018
Near Asheville, NC A one-of-a-kind, highly dynamic and intimate community-based skill sharing festival, the Firefly Gathering welcomes children and adults interested in Earth-based knowledge and primitive skills to transform for your life. Co-founded by Kaleb Wallace and our own Natalie Bogwalker in 2007, Firefly gathers a bevy of inspiring community members and skilled teachers, highlighting […]Learn More
Take a step closer to your dream of a self-sufficient homestead
Only a few generations ago, most people grew up in roughly the same place as their great-grandparents. Back then, children learned from older family members how to contribute skillfully to the homestead. But nowadays, things are a bit different. Few of us were raised with extended family around. It’s common for children to focus on book learning at school; they may never wield a shovel, hoe or hammer as part of their education.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t, as adults, renew our relationships with self sufficiency. Our homesteading classes grew out of a love for practical skills and the desire to make learning these skills accessible in a culture that has virtually abandoned them. We are here to welcome you back to your roots and to build a sustainable future together.
You may wonder what sorts of skills you need to live your dream of a self-sufficient homestead? Our instructors have been experimenting with this vision for decades. You can learn a lot from their experience in our homesteading classes. As a result you’ll be able to get started with your own project on solid footing.
Our classes combine traditional Earth-based living with the modern language of permaculture design
We believe that permaculture design and principles are incredibly useful tools when it comes to homesteading. Our Permaculture Design Course teaches them through lots of hands-on learning, site visits and a theoretical foundation. In our experience living with the land, permaculture and earthskills enrich one another. This is why we also offer an intensive Permaculture Certification with more than 100 additional hours of instruction, focused on Earth-based skills and rewilding.
Wild and cultivated plants are the stars of our homesteading classes
Getting to know the plants around you is important for every homesteader. We are out-of-the-closet plant nerds. Botanical education works its way into all of our homesteading classes. Every year in the early spring, we get out on the trail to learn about edible plants in North Carolina over a long weekend. This is not only a great opportunity to learn foraging in the field, but it’s an awesome way to get to know Wild Abundance and what we do.
If the green world is what draws you most, we also offer an herbalist class where you’ll learn all about wildcrafting and making medicines from healing plants. Both of our permaculture courses go deep into both wild and cultivated plant allies, too. Our gardening apprenticeship takes things a step further. Of all our homesteading classes, it provides the most hands-on experience with plants in the fields, woods, and garden.
Self sufficient living depends on diverse abilities, including practical and natural building skills
Everyone needs carpentry and building skills. Whether you hope to build your own home, renovate one, or just do your own maintenance and repairs, learning carpentry is important. One of our homesteading classes is a tiny house workshop that covers so much more than the basics. It’s 8 full days long and weaves in natural and sustainable materials, along with design and traditional building skills. The course is just one aspect of our tiny house apprenticeship, which includes room and board, plus individualized guidance in building, permaculture and just about everything we do here.
For female-bodied people who may not feel comfortable with hand and power tools yet, our women’s carpentry course will get you up to speed. We offer two levels: basic and advanced. The difference is that we dive into structural building in the advanced class.
Homesteading workshops help us reclaim the practical skills that have sustained our ancestors for generations
Homesteading is all about being resourceful. That means learning how to use what you have at hand. When your homestead includes raising livestock and/or hunting, the knowledge of how to use the whole animal is crucial. That’s why we teach you how to tan a hide so that you can make the best quality leather right on your homestead. You can see that our homesteading classes cover both the macro and the micro levels of sustainable living. As a result, we provide you with the skills you need to make your dreams a reality.