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Oak Tending: Care & Craft of the Oaks

  • Potter Valley, CA (map)

Givers of life, pillars of biodiversity, and a majestic presence in our landscape, oaks have been in deep relationship with humans around the world for thousands of years as a source of food, medicine, and more. Oaks and their many gifts have literally built a foundation of many cultures from Europe to Asia to North America.  

In this class, students will engage in and deepen our reciprocal relationship with the oaks. We will learn to care for the oaks and they ecosystem they are a part of, as well as receive their gifts through the making of crafts. Tending and stewardship techniques will draw from the worlds of oak woodland restoration ecology, traditional knowledge, the use of prescribed fire and fire mimicry, spanning a wide spectrum of approaches intended to strengthen the health of this keystone ecosystem, and students will engage in a number of hands-on tending techniques. As we tend we will also explore the world of utilizing the multitude of materials that come from the oaks, learning to prepare delicious food from acorn, and creating beauty with projects such as making ink, dye, and medicine.

Throughout the three days we will engage our minds and hands as we weave together practical skills amidst a container of songs, stories, and celebration. Families are welcome in this intergenerational learning experience; join us for a super special weekend! 

Cost: $300 (includes organic farm-fresh meals and camping) 

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Instructors: Lindsay Dailey & Natalie Bartlett

Lindsay is a passionate wildtender, dedicating her practice and study to giving back to the natural world through stewarding wild plants and connecting people to nature. Learning from the worlds of ecological restoration and traditional knowledge from native peoples, she is an avid student of the wild, and dedicated to tending plants on behalf of all life. She is the co-founder of The Oak Granary and part-time Wildlands Program Director at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center. She has also spent over twelve years developing environmental education programs and permaculture designs with indigenous communities in California, Mexico and Australia. 

Natalie has spent the last ten years of her life deeply immersed in land-based culture and has a passion for learning the stories and skills of traditional peoples around the world. She is the Director of the Wild Series at Quail Springs and is a hide tanner, craftsperson and musician. She divides her time between the world of Quail Springs and the Bay Area, and has been song-catching and singing with the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble, KITKA since 2014. She is currently spending her summer with Lynx Vilden on the Stone Age Project. On any given day you might find her running around tending things, tanning, cooking, cleaning and scheming! She is deeply grateful to her many beloved teachers for their integrity, love, inspiration and gifts.

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