Are you ready to begin your resilient life in community? Would you like to dive into a transformative program where you can explore your role in creating the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible? Are you yearning to learn hands-on skills that you can really use? We invite you to come connect with the land, your natural instincts, and a group of passionate peers and practitioners in the oldest mountains on the planet. Explore your purpose and path in the world while living in community. Gain earth- and heart-based living skills. Get to know your food source and cycles. Take your next steps toward a resilient life.

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Date: Fall 2016 dates coming soon in Asheville, NC
Location: Asheville, NC. You will live in a community house with shared camping and room options near downtown. The program is based at different sites in and around the Asheville area.
Schedule: Monday-Thursday (10am-5pm), with the exception of the first week where you will participate for five days in the Resilient Living Workshop.
Fee, Food & Lodging: See details below.

We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human. ~ Charles Eisenstein


This school is a deep dive into the skills you need to create a resilient life and hone your personal calling and path in the world. Discover what it takes to grow a garden, preserve and ferment food, make medicine, work with the plants, be connected in nature, and live in community. Asheville’s top teachers, gardeners, fermenters, healers, botanists, and community educators will share what they know about creating regenerative ecosystems that work for humans and the rest of the natural world. If you are an aspiring homesteader, naturalist, food activist, health professional, inspired human being, or hungry student, you will gain life-long wisdom in this 2-month school.

Participants will leave this program with a wealth of hands-on, earth-based skills, personal inquiry and development tools, interpersonal communication and community living experience, and an increased ability to connect with your passion, purpose, and next steps in creating the life you want for yourself, your community, and our precious earth.

Resilient Living School includes an 8-week residency (details below) that will help you maintain and refine your intentions and action plans, test ideas, garner feedback, build cohesion, and establish conditions for accountability and ongoing community in your life.

I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news. ~ John Muir

Interactive learning, educational workshops, site projects, personal transformation

Below are details on what each week offers, though the chronology of the weeks may vary.


Week 1: Resilient Living Workshop — with all of the RLS teaching team
Jump right in and learn the basics of gardening, foraging, fermenting, food preservation, plant identification, herbal medicine making, and homesteading skills. You will also learn about community and regional resilience, what that means, and how to measure it. This is an opportunity to meet all your teachers, and have a jump start. This introductory workshop is an overview of the basic skills you’ll need to create a resilient life.

Week 2: Transformative Participation & Personal Inquiry — with Charles Eisenstein, Cynthia Tina & friends
Explore group dynamics, personal perceptions, your mission and vision, and sacred connections in community. Through experiential learning and personal journeying with your inner and outer landscapes, explore how you can create a more beautiful world your heart knows is possible. Move through preconceived limitations to begin rewriting your life’s story, and discover your deeper passions and true purpose.

Week 3: Organic Gardening & Urban Homesteading Practices with Kate Hanford
Explore gardening and food production strategies, including crop planning and planting, soil ecology, fertility & nutrient flow, vegetable, worm & compost systems, mulching and cover cropping, pest and disease management, bee keeping, mushroom cultivation, and seed saving. This week will orient you to the gardens, and help you understand overall gardening systems and how to begin to grow your own.

Week 4: Traditional Food Preparation, Fermentation & Preservation — with Quinn Asteak
Embrace the bounty. Preserve and enhance the harvest. Add value to your food. Make delicious goodies, and skill up your hands-on practices. Some projects include making vegetable ferments, mead, wine, kombucha, kefir, preserves, chutneys, wild green pestos, and salads. Harness the bounty of the season through canning, drying, blanching, freezing, infusing, pickling, and salting. Relish in the abundance of nourishing food as medicine.

Week 5: Eco-literacy, Deep Ecology, Wild Foraging & Botany — with Luke Cannon
Create the world you want, and a beautiful relationship to it by connecting with deeply earth-based practices and pathways. Eco-literacy is looking beyond the green wall, understanding plant families, functions, and how every living thing in nature is connected. Identify and forage for wild edibles, tune into bird song, immerse yourself in place and the power of presence in one of the world’s most ancient and bio-diverse mountain ranges.

Week 6: Herbal Medicine-Making & Nature Awareness — with Asia Suler
Medicine sits in place – it’s all around us. Orient to place. Deepen your relationship with the tame and wild lands surrounding you. Connect to natural patterns. Identify native plants. Understand their uses, and learn the top medicinal herbs. Make natural medicines with herbs that can support your greatest health. Learn harvesting, drying, and other processing techniques to make herbal remedies such as tinctures, teas, salves, syrups, and more.

Week 7: Homesteading, Traditional & Living Skills — with Natalie Bogwalker
Observe the land to learn her patterns and listen to her needs. Deepen your earth and survival skills. Discover how one woman & her community are creating a sustainable homestead in harmony with the land. See how Permaculture has been designed into the landscape systems. Create hands-on traditional crafts using local materials….and more.

Week 8: The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible — with Charles Eisenstein, Cynthia Tina & friends
During your last week in the residency, you will be weaving together all that you’ve learned, and creating pathways and next steps for moving forward in your life. Through a deep self reflection and inquiry process, community sharing and ceremony, you will explore the questions: How can I be of greatest service in this life? In all that I’ve learned, and with all the skills that I’ve gained, what brings my heart alive, and how can I put it to greatest use? Expect magic, transformation, and activation!

Is it too much to ask, to live in a world where our human gifts go toward the benefit of all? Where our daily activities contribute to the healing of the biosphere and the well-being of other people? ~ Charles Eisenstein


Weeks 3-7, Thursdays 10am-1pm: Community & Sustainable Living Models, Farms & Homesteads — with local change agents & practitioners
Visit inspiring models of resiliency in the Asheville area. Go on in-depth, guided field trips. Learn about the history of each model you visit, their business structure, lessons learned, scalability, and relevancy and purpose to the community at large. You will gain insight into the daily operations and management, and meet the people who are making it happen. The goal of this track is to help you integrate the ways you most want to live, yourself; what works for you, and what doesn’t…based on the reality of what others have learned in the process.

Weeks 2-7, Thursdays 2-5pm: Non-Violent Communication — with Steve Torma
For you to be effective agent of change in creating a resilient outer world, you must learn how to live peaceably with your inner world, and with others. Participate in an experiential group course in conscious connection, drawing from the work of Marshal Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing), Susan Campbell (Getting Real), Brad Blanton (Radical Honesty), Eckhart Tolle (Power of Now), and others. Topics include self-awareness (distinguishing between one’s thoughts and feelings), moving through fear, the power of vulnerability, and heart-centered connection. You will have the opportunity to address issues in your own life with the group’s support.

Months 3-8: Post-Residency Follow Up Support, Group & Peer Mentorship & Personal Project Implementation — with YOU & your community!
This is where you get to shine! Bring back the richness of resiliency into your life, your community, and the world at large. Integrate all that you’ve gained over the eight weeks. Experiment. Hone your particular path, and start making it happen through a personal project plan. You will be integrally connected with your cohorts throughout, providing mutual support by coming together (virtually) on a bi-monthly call and shared community forum. What truly turns you on, and brings you into your greatest potential as a transformative agent of change in creating a more resilient world? We are excited to see.

What should young people do with their lives today? The most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. ~ Kurt Vonnegut


Charles Eisenstein Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His viral short films and essays online have established him as a genre-defying social philosopher and countercultural intellectual. Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy and spent the next ten years as a Chinese–English translator. The author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is PossibleSacred Economics and, Ascent of Humanity, he currently lives in Asheville, NC.

Ultimately, work on self is inseparable from work in the world. Each mirrors the other; each is a vehicle for the other. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well. When we do work in the world, internal issues arise that we must face or be rendered ineffective. ~ C.E.

Natalie BogwalkerNatalie Bogwalker is the founder and director of Wild Abundance, the Living Skills School, and the Firefly Gathering, all based in the Asheville area. Natalie teaches and shares tools and skills that are essential for living harmoniously within the natural systems of the earth. She also teaches with Wild Intelligence, the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, Maps Meet, Earthskills Rendezvous, and at universities. Natalie practices and shares skills she considers vital to humanity’s future, while living in a growing homestead nestled deep in the Southern Appalachians. She spends her time harvesting in the wild, building, gardening, planting, putting up food, growing, teaching, and scheming about how to introduce more people to earth-based living.

I don’t know how one woman could know so much, do so much, and have such a fabulous laugh, all at the same time. She inspires me! ~ Ellen

Luke CannonLuke Cannon, more than a botanist, is a long time pursuer and teacher of the magic and medicine of plants. His passions to study and understand the ecological intricacies of the natural world have led him throughout the Americas and across the globe. An avid naturalist, Luke draws from a diverse pool of knowledge, combining his natural history studies with his life experience in organic farming, natural building, permaculture, nature based mentoring, and rural homesteading.  For over a decade, Luke has instructed several wilderness awareness programs, led walks for the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, and taught at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, and the Appalachian School Of Holistic Herbalism. Luke currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina, studying Appalachian ecology, and teaching ethnobotany and birding classes.

Luke reminds me of a nature spirit. Either a plant, a tree, or maybe a forest elf? His wisdom runs deep and listening to him talk about the plants is like poetry…Nature’s Rumi. ~ Sarah

Asia SulerAsia Suler is a writer, teacher, herbalist, and energy healer who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. Asia holds a B.A in English, Anthropology, and Native American studies from Vassar College and a Reiki Masters degree. She began her journey into healing and plant-based medicine after early years of chronic pain. She began her formal study of herbs with Juliet Blankespoor at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and has continued to study, seek, listen, and learn since. Asia teaches at gatherings across the country and is blessed to work intimately with people and plants, spirit and stones. She is the creator and concoctress of One Willow Apothecaries, a small Appalachian-grown business that offers handmade, heartfelt magic and medicine.

Of the 50, or so teachers we had over the season, Asia was one of the most beloved by our students. They got so much out of our time with her! ~ Stacey Murphy, Director, Urban Farm School

Steve TormaSteve Torma has gently guided people toward cooperation and regeneration for over 30 years. He is the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage, where he continues to live his passion for community and sustainability. He co-founded The REAL Center in 2007 and was on a core faculty member for The Asheville Tantra School. Steve is trained in Nonviolent Communication, Radical Honesty, Body Electric, Cuddle Party, Restorative Circles, Permaculture, and Creation Spirituality. Through his compassionate presence and guidance, Steve has helped countless people to find healing, direction, and meaning in their lives.

Steve truly lives what he teaches, and that is a rare find. He is intelligent, generous, and meets people exactly where they are without needing them to change. ~ Maureen McCarthy, Creator of the Blueprint of We (aka, State of Grace Document)

Kate HanfordKate Hanford is a farmer and a local foods advocate. Passionate about contributing to thriving food systems, she focuses on creating ecologically and financially viable farm systems. Kate was the Marketing & Production Manager at Growing Power, an international urban farming training center where she led sales, mushroom cultivation workshops, year-round vegetable production, and maintenance of the large-scale vermicompost, compost and aquaponics systems. Kate was also Production Manager at a herb farm where she tended perennial gardens and co-created a medicinal, value-added herbal product line. Kate directed the popular West Asheville Tailgate Market for two years, and was Site & Garden Manager at Ashevillage.

Kate’s love, passion, and knowledge for the garden was contagious and inspired all of us to learn more. ~ Lara

Quinn AsteakQuinn Asteak is the program manager for the Food As Medicine Workshop Series. She is a sustainable farming enthusiast who is passionate about helping people develop deeper understandings of where their food comes from and how to use it as medicine. Quinn was director of operations and programming at North Brooklyn Farms, an urban farm that transforms vacant lots into productive green spaces to feed, educate, and connect urban dwellers with nature. She also worked with Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture where she ran public programs, gave tours, facilitated corporate events, and taught nutritional cooking classes. Quinn is a certified health coach and motivational presenter, who brings her multiple passions into one place and path through Ashevillage.

I loved how much awesome energy, knowledge, and support Quinn brought to our whole experience. She’s such an attentive teacher and host! ~ Timothy

Marc WilliamsMarc Williams is an ethnobotanist who has studied the people-plant connection intensively while employing botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business from Warren Wilson College. Marc also holds a Masters degree in Appalachian Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International, and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. Marc has taught hundreds of classes about the marvelous world of plants, people, and their interface. In the last few years, Marc has worked with over 50 organizations, as well as with Botany Everyday, an online botany course.

“Marc is that perfect blend of knowledge, practice, insight, enthusiasm, and presence that makes for an inspired teacher. His dedication to sharing about the plant world touches me deeply and I will continue to study and go on walks with him — each time I learn more and realize I know less.” ~ Matthew

Cynthia TinaCynthia Tina, Program Coordinator is certified in Permaculture Design, Ecovillage Design, and Possibility Management. She is a council member of the Global Ecovillage Network, as well as a leader in NextGEN, an organization focused on inter-generational sustainability education. Cynthia has a strong background in food traditions, ecological design, and creative marketing. She has a passion for designing and hosting gatherings that fuel the creative collaboration needed to address humanity’s greatest challenges. A facilitator of community programs with people from around the world, Cynthia is excited to serve the Resilient Living School’s cohorts to share in a deeply transformative experience.

By endeavoring for lifestyles which are “successfully continuable into the indefinite future,” communities, ecovillages, and other innovative initiatives are living models of sustainability, and examples of how action can be taken immediately.


Fall 2016 dates coming soon!

• Day 1: Group orientation
• Week 1: 5-day Resilient Living Workshop where you will meet many of your teachers and get a jump start into many of the topics.
• Weekly Format:
Monday-Wednesday: Meet your teachers (aka: track leaders) and dive into each subject matter
Thursdays AM: Field trips to various community and food-based initiatives and business models
Thursday PM: Non-violent communication class for self awareness and group resilience
Friday-Sunday: Free time to explore the dynamic culture and natural beauty of the Asheville area
Note: There will also be some homework and storytelling assignments each week
• Continuing Integration: Following the 8-week residency, you will integrate what you’ve learned through your personal mission, goals and projects back home, as well as a shared structure with:
– Structured monthly goals & project assignments
– Six group coaching calls (one per month)
– Six peer check-in calls (one per month)
– A private, dedicated online group forum

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e.e. cummings


Sign up below to receive an application. You will get email updates about the Resilient Living School, new courses, discounts, work trades, free videos, and more. You can count on your information always being safe with us and never being shared with others (no way, no how)! Plus, you can unsubscribe from this list whenever you want. Gmail users please check your ‘Promotions Tab’.

Signup Button

When we must pay the true price for the depletion of nature’s gifts, materials will become more precious to us, and economic logic will reinforce, and not contradict, our heart’s desire to treat the world with reverence and, when we receive nature’s gifts, to use them well. ~ Charles Eisenstein


Cynthia Tina
Program Coordinator

In a time of social and ecological crisis, what can we as individuals do to make the world a better place? We are all connected, and our small, personal choices bear unsuspected transformational power. By fully embracing and practicing this principle of interconnectedness—called interbeing—we become more effective agents of change and have a stronger positive influence on the world. ~ Charles Eisenstein