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Dates:  (Fall entry)  Octobre 28-29, November 26-27, 2022, January 21-22, February 25-26, March 25-26, April 22-23, May 27-28, June 24-25, 2023  

and TBA optional activities in July, August, September

(Spring entry point in April, details TBA)

Location: Wakefield, QC

Register

What is the Apprenticeship? 

We envision a small group of like-minded people on a one year journey together, dedicated to deepening their connection to the natural world and all our relations, and dramatically increasing their confidence and knowledge as naturalists, foragers, herbalists, and natural crafters.   

 

Curriculum:

WILD FOODS!  We will explore the world of delicious, healthy, and even gourmet wild plants and mushrooms available all around us. 

FERMENTATION! We will harness the amazing superpowers of yeasts and friendly bacteria to make wines, meads, ancient sacred beers, delicious healthy vinegars, and super healthy delicious sauerkrauts and kimchi, delicious natural sodas, pickles, and other ferments.

YOUR HERBAL & MUSHROOM APOTHECARY!  On the medicinal side, we will be building up our own herbal first aid kit and home apothecary for health maintenance  and treating every day and other illnesses.

BUSHCRAFT OF THIS LAND! Our relationship to the plant and mushroom world has always included fibres, dyes, woodwork, firemaking, tool making, hunting, basketry, and even transportation, (as we will explore  through the building of the iconic birchbark canoe).  As we re-awaken these relationships the world increasingly more abundant, animated, and even magical!

BEING HUMAN!   This is our chance to be around the fire together; to share gratitude, awe, and community, as is our birthright.  This is a time to share stories, both personal, and age-old.  We share special meals together, and make space to discuss what it means to be alive in this time and place.  There will also be plenty of opportunity to wander our trails, to explore our forest, creek, and fields.  There are also optional gatherings and workshops on soulwork and the art of mentoring. 

Core Curriculum:

  • 8 weekends of programming in foraging and “bushcraft”

  • Optional summer classes and foraging canoe trips (featuring our new birchbark canoe!)

  • Various foraging “sortees”

  • Free access to all additional workshops run by Rivers and Roots (such as mushrooms 101)

  • Personal mentoring by phone or facebook messenger.

 

Optional Curriculum:

 

For many, the deeper relationship with the Earth opens up bigger questions. We offer some avenues for further exploring:

  • For teachers, nature mentors, forest preschool teachers, parents, and other interested parties, an introduction to “the Art of Mentoring”, based on the work of Jon Young.

  • Friday night “soul nights” with Isabel Diaz.  A community meal, fire, and space for sharing where we are in our journey, as well as anchoring into the seasonal moment with simple rituals and ceremony, stories, and song.  (on the Friday of the workshop weekends)

  • A series of smallscale soul searching gatherings.  We are planning a November gathering on Grief,  A February Men’s and Women’s gathering (separate, but maybe a coming together at the end?), and some sort of gathering in May exploring joy and ecstasy.

  • Early morning “sit spots” and nature connection/grounding time. 

  • If you are interested in birchbark canoes, you may help as much as you like with our winter building, even to the point of learning the whole process!

Why are there two start dates?

Fall (October 29th)  Dreaming Bear Cohort::

This is the “start slow” option.  As the land, (and the bears) are going to sleep, we turn to each other and the stored bounty of the warm season to get through the winter.  A slow, peaceful, and beautiful silence envelops the land, and we have time to make ferments, gourmet foods, special medicines, and special projects, but also to connect with each other, and do “soul” work.  Bright sunny days offer opportunities for snowshoeing, and soaking in the silence and the sun, while looking for Chaga (king of the medicinal mushrooms), the tracks of our animal friends, medicinal tree barks and needles, and the stunning beauty of the endless nature-art of ice and snow.   Refreshed, we are ready for the busy busy foraging season starting in late March. Official graduation is around the summer solstice, and we conclude with a summer full of abundance.

Spring (April 22nd) Spring Peeper Cohort:

This is the “fast start option”

There is a magical day in late April when the spring peepers start their loud and beautiful song.  Spring is on!  Something wells up, a joy that gives so much energy, and thank God because the forager is going to get busy! Human beingness, somewhat transforms to human doingness, and we’re going to have so much fun gathering the many gifts of nature, hidden to most of modern humanity.  This cohort will continue meeting throughout the winter, to finish off with the more subdued and slowpaced season of projects, soulwork, and appreciation of fire!

 

Is it for me?

Could be! if

  • If you are looking to go beyond one-off workshops, delve deeper into, hone your naturalist, wilderness, bushcraft, foraging skills with skilled mentors who have dedicated their life to these endeavours.

  • Looking for a mix of learning skills, grounding nature time, fun, delicious food and drinks, some “soul work”, and a well deserved break from modern life.

  • Looking for a small program with lots of personal attention, flexibility, and caring about your personal journey.

 

Added Value: 

All materials will be supplied, (such as oils, jars, labels, medicinal alcohol)

- Handouts, including a colour coded calendar of local foraging options

- Opportunities to take cuttings and transplants from our wild areas and "wild" gardens

- Many options and resources for continued learning 

- Lifelong access to our members page, with tons of recipes, resources, and anecdotes

- 25% fee reduction for our "Wildharvest dinners" (or volunteer to help prepare them!)

-ongoing mentoring through phone or facebook messenger

Requirements:

Participants must be 16 yrs of age or older.  (childcare may be available, please inquire!).  Participants should be physically capable of hiking up and down hills.  (If this is not possible, you may still participate in most of our program, but may have to miss out on some of our more strenuous harvesting activities).   

Accommodation:

2 Tiny Houses/Cabins may be available for a small additional rental fee for those interested. Otherwise, participants camp out of on our property  and have access to our:

Outdoor Kitchen

Outhouse/bathroom

Outdoor Shower

& Walkout Basement suite complete with kitchen and bathroom (shower and toilet)

If you do not have access to camping gear, please let us know and we will do our best to find you some for you.

Food:

You will be responsible for your breakfast and lunch.  You are welcome to use our outdoor kitchen, and/or Cabin kitchen.  Evening meals will be a mix of potluck, our foraged wildfoods, and sometimes provided by us. The details will be in the pre-weekend emails.  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or allergies.  

The general schedule is as follows:

Friday evening:  You are welcome to come on friday evening if you wish, and camp on our land or stay in our cabin or basement apt.  Isabel Diaz will be on site to welcome you, and run a community meal, fire, and space for sharing where we are in our journey, as well as anchoring into the seasonal moment with simple rituals and ceremony, stories, and song.  (on the Friday of the workshop weekends)

Saturday:  Our Saturday concentrates mainly on wild edible foods and their preparations.  There will be a secondary emphasis on simple medicine harvesting and preparation.  After our morning meeting, we will be wandering and foraging from various environments.  Our afternoon will be about preparation of the harvest.  (Note: some of our winter sessions will vary from this template.  Details at https://www.riversandroots.ca/fulldayworkshops

Saturday evening:  After some time to set up camp (for those that are camping), our outdoor kitchen will be available for preparing potluck meals, leading to a night of fire, introductions, sharing of passions and stories and inspirations, context weaving and gratitude, as well as an introduction to some simple plant based craft such as a basket, that some may wish to continue working on throughout the weekend and beyond.  Whenever possible, we have guest musicians, storytellers, etc.

Sunday: Our Sunday sessions will centre more around foraging plants and mushrooms for health and medicine, as well as special areas of interest such as plant dyes, fibres, bushcraft, and other traditional uses.  Closing circle will be at 3:30, although you are welcome to stay longer for project completion, rest, & wander!

July, August, September:  It is sometimes difficult to schedule group activities during these summer months, but they are wonderful for foraging and it would be a shame to miss out!   We will be offering some foraging canoe trips, and the occasional foraging classes and outings.  The apprenticeship includes access to all our summer offerings (schedule TBA)  

Half Internship option: Note that it is possible to register for just the Saturdays (Wildfoods, some medicine, and evening festivities) for $1200.  Alternatively, One can sign up for the series of Sundays (medicines, bushcraft and special studies) for $800.  The "half internship" includes all the benefits and access to other courses and outings as the full internship. 

Payment:

Cost: $2000 for full internship,  $1200 for Saturdays only, $800 for Sundays only.  

Deposit of $300 due upon registration to hold your spot.

Work trade and payment plans available.  First Nations members may attend at cost (materials etc.), and there are scholarships available for immigrants, single parents, and otherwise financially challenged individuals with a passion for nature.  Please inquire.

 

Register 

Details:

Please note that you will be taking home both processed  and unprocessed foods and medicines.  Some of our “special plant studies” will include projects that will have to be finished at  home.   You will also be given many resources for continued study, for the keen learners.
 

The tentative curriculum for the 8 weekends can be found here:  Gifts of the Land: Full day workshops.   Please note that the classes will very much be responsive to the interests and the energy of the participants, what’s happening in nature, and sudden bursts of passion from the instructor, so the exact curriculum will vary. 

July, August, September:  dates TBA.  Choice of at least two canoe outings including our new birchbark canoe, and a series of  foraging outings and short classes.  If you miss some of these, we will still send you notes and videos.  


REGISTER

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