Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Wild Brew 101 -- NEW CLASS

A Brand Spanking New Class that introduces the art of home brewing wine, mead, and beer. We do this classic class our own way using wild plants for the flavoring. Come and learn the basics of fermentation and create your own special brew. At the end of the day, students will go home with a few brewski's they truly can call their own. (21 and older only!)

For those who cannot wait:

Nettle Beer Recipe

  • a mess of nettle tops
  • 2 1/2 gallons of water
  • 3 lbs of sugar (or equivalent in Honey)
  • 50g cream of tartar
  • 15g of beer yeast or brewer's yeast (you can chance a harvest your own at your "own risk")
Bring Nettles and water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
strain Nettles and bring liquid back to boil... add sugar and cream of tartar.
simmer and stir until it is all dissolved.
let cool to warm... add yeast, stirring well.
fill your bottles with vapor lock and let brew for a few week to three months.
when bubbles of CO2 slow to a minimum, cap or cork bottle.
let age for a while and enjoy fruits of your labor.

You can learn so much more at the class. See you there.
Dont Drink and Do Primitive Skills!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wolf Moon Camp Was a Howling Success

Our first seasonal moon camp was a success!
Three days of winter skills and crafts; including, Flint knapping and Pottery Making/firing with special guest instructor Keith Grenoble, Brain tanning, making things from buckskin and Mead making with special guest instructor Natalie Bogwalker, Bow Drill Friction Fire and Grass Coil Basketry with Tim MacWelch, and Wilderness Self Defense with Hue.

Take a look at the Happy pics!!

Pam stayed the night in the wicciup.

Keith warms the pottery by the fire before firing...

Fire Keeps them warm between classes.

The finished product.

Natalie stirs the wort.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Wolf Moon Camp - Jan 16-18

Earth Connection is very pleased to announce a series of primitive skills gatherings hosted by the Earth Connection Family of schools. The events will be run at our Virginia camp near Fredericksburg, VA. The events will happen each season and be closely tied to the traditional skills and activities of that time of year.

Wolf Moon Camp, this first of these events is our Winter Primitive Skills Gathering - Jan 16-18

The Wolf Moon is the season when our ancestors would draw close together as the hungry wolves howled around the edges of their camp. Join us as we make use of this cold season with our theme of "Winter Skills and Crafts". This event is for ages 18 and up.

Lessons currently being planned include Flint knapping, Pottery Making and Pottery Firing with special guest instructor Keith Grenoble - Brain tanning and making things from buckskin with special guest instructor Natalie Bogwalker - Wilderness Self Defense with Earth Connection North Carolina - Winter wild edible plants with Hue Hueston - Friction Fire with the Bow Drill and Grass Coil Basketry from Tim MacWelch - Primitive Winter shelters, Coal burning wood bowls, String and fiber arts, Primitive jewelry and more.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

The Earth Connection family wishes everyone who attended our classes in 2008 a wonderful and happy holiday. Those of you who could not make it to an EC class this past year... well, we wish you the best too!!
Survive Smarter, Not Harder!
Why learn primitive skills from the not-so-in-touch with their primitive self? Learn from the best... Earth Connection. 250, 000 years of hunter-gatherer skills in one school. Now that is cool.

You choose!

Tim, Hue, Wes, Hardee and Todd -- the original cavemen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fire Palooza in a Family Basket

EC recently held thefirst triple deluxe set of classes contained by one entire weekend at Earth Connection school in VA--Fire Palooza, Primitive Basket Making and a EC family friendly class with Kate's family.

Wes Massey, a Fire Plow Boy, conducted Fire Palooza, Earth Connection's friction fire making extravaganza, with Hue's help. Tim taught the basket making class with the help from Jamey's dextrous fingers.
Despite the cooler weather and some moisture in the air the Palooza class actually make fire the island way--fire plow. Wes was a proud fire father coaching the crew on to a coal and nuturing into full flame. Hand drill was more challenging that day than the fire plow, but Wes pushed one out anyway. He's a stud when it comes to hand drill technique.

Baskets materials were provided for the first coil basket. Later in the day the group collected local wisteria vines to make their own wild baskets. If it was spring all would have been annoyed with the constant pounding for the production of oak splints. But, the pounding always produces a fine burden basket.

The family class took place in the new wicciup Tim made for Kate and family. Stories and tales punctuated the clay bowl making and other skills that were presented. The kiddies had fun even though the cold was a little uncomfortable.

Monday, September 22, 2008

North Carolina Games and More

On Saturday, EC-NC hosted its first survival workshop. The participants used a few pieces of equipment they might have with them in a survival situation to create shelter, build a fire, boil water, and even do a bit of fishing and trapping (everyone escaped their own traps unscathed).

As always, Wes Massey impressed the group with his ability to make fire seem to appear out of nothing. He also showed courage by demonstrating his faith in iodine tablets for water purification by drinking the water Hardee Merritt obtained "from somewhere." We expect him to make a full recovery.

The group came away with a greater appreciation for the elements needed to survive in the wilderness, and the reassurance that the necessary resources are available to them, if they just know how to look.

On Sunday the intrepid band of EC-NC instructors took on twenty-two even-more-intrepid young warriors. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta squads raced through the woods, swinging over a perilous chasm, walking a rope bridge, and encountering numerous obstacles in their path to be the first groups to return to base.

Later, armed with swords and armored for battle, these promising fighters defended their group's flag to the death on the field of glory. Returning to camp after a bloody afternoon, they had the opportunity to improve themselves with lessons in fire safety and other wilderness skills.

The highlight of the afternoon was an unusual repast of copperhead snake (minus the head), roasted over the fire by chef Massey.

Everyone had a great time, and returned home to tell their valiant tales.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Earth Connection - North Carolina's First Fire

EC-NC, the newest addition to the Earth Connection family, held their very first classes on 23-24 Aug, Emergency Fire Skills (half-day) and a youth survival class.

The inaugural Emergency Fire Skills class enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on Saturday. Wes Massey led the class through a wide assortment of fire skills from identifying and locating good tinder to appropriate location and construction, to the proper use of modern and primitive fire starting tools.

Walking around the woods, Wes showed everyone how to identify trees such as tulip poplar, cedar and birch, and how to harvest resources from each. Discussing the best way to get a fire started in the rain, Wes gave an impressive illustration of the value of "fat wood" from a dead pine.

By the end of the day, everyone had tried their hand at using a bow drill, had given a lot more thought to carrying fire tools, and had enjoyed a few hours in good company appreciating the variety of natural resources available if they need them.

On Sunday, the youth class had an exciting time exploring the woods. The group built a sturdy shelter out of readily-available materials that would have protected them from the elements easily in an emergency survival situation. Throughout the class, the instructors emphasized ways of avoiding becoming lost, staying safe, and enjoying the outdoors.

There was one interesting character visiting the school that provided the band of survivors with some excitement and laughs.

Our wily crew easily caught a fish from the pond, and learned how some primitive fishermen might have done that work. This valiant band of young woodsmen had a great time, and are looking forward to seeing more wildlife at the next EC-NC class.

All of the attendees were present and accounted-for at the end of the class, and in mostly the same condition in which they arrived.

This weekend will go down in Earth Connection history!!