Natalie Bogwalker was born to be wild. She has a degree in ecological agriculture and spent time living in a bark hut in a primitive community where residents carried all of their water, started fire by friction and cooked all their food over open flame. “I loved living superprimitively; it fed me so much,” she says. “I saw a lot of things about contemporary life that were damaging to the earth, so I decided to share what I was doing.”
After founding and running the annual Firefly Gathering festival for a decade, Bogwalker started a permaculture school, Wild Abundance, to focus on more individualized education. “[Firefly] was a great event, but I really wanted something more intimate, to see how people could undergo a transformation long term,” she explains.
Through Wild Abundance, Bogwalker and a tightknit community of neighbors and friends teach courses including homesteading, hide tanning, wild foods, medicine making and women’s carpentry (the most popular). Classes — suspended through late April due to COVID-19 but planning to resume at the end of the month — take place on a hilly, wooded eco-homestead campus featuring Bogwalker’s self-constructed cabin, gardens and fruit trees, and students can choose to camp on the property for a full immersion into a more sustainable way of life. “We are permaculture in action, a living example of the beauty and abundance of the land,” she says.
For more on programs at Wild Abundance, visit wildabundance.net.