The clear blue skies, the curvy Appalachian Mountains, the rich clay soils, and abundant sunlight and rainfall make North Carolina a wonderful place to grow plants and raise livestock for food. This is why Natalie Bogwalker, the founder of Wild Abundance, an earth-based educational center, calls out into the valley to make the most of the sunlight while we have it.
Wild Abundance is an initiative to encourage people, especially younger generations, to reconnect with the land and have a deeper understanding of the natural processes and cycles in nature.
It is necessary to understand the seasons, how they unfold, how to work in sync with them, as well as how the seasons affect the behavior and migration patterns of wild animals.
According to Frank Salzano, a partner at Wild Abundance, the seasons represent a universal archetypal way of being. He adds that “everything follows a seasonal cycle wherever you are,” like a medicine wheel, with each season representing different stages of life and human sensibilities.
Wild Abundance aims to encourage people to heed the teachings of nature and step into the mystical space of the wild environment. It is a time for introspection, observation and spiritual recovery.
Inspired by the medicine wheel, Bogwalker defines land-based living according to these principles, and breaks it down in the calendar she created. The calendar includes a comprehensive guide of everything you can do throughout the growing season and a few recommendations on how one can make the most out of the slow, melancholic days of winter.
The calendar notes specific tasks that should work best in each month, from the last frost leading up to harvest season, as well as provides food preservation and seasonal eating tips.
For example, the calendar notes that March is the best time to collect wild and woodland shrubs and firewood for fuel. It also covers annual garden preparations, mulching, orcharding and companion planting tips, and many more.
Since March 2016, Wild Abundance has been holding workshops on homesteading and talks on matters of sustainability, waste management, food security and community activism.
Through the workshops, educational talks, wildlife tours and apprenticeships, Bogwalker and the rest of the Wild Abundance community aims to promote land-based living through the year and inspire people to improve their connection to nature and other human beings to cultivate a return to balance.
Bogwalker hopes that achieving an intimate relationship with the wild and a profound understanding of natural cycles–which is naturally learned through land-based living–would nourish the soul and encourage the individual to actively protect the environment.