Natalie Bogwalker develops natural skills at Wild Abundance

Natalie Bogwalker at Wild Abundance
ROOM TO GROW: Natalie Bogwalker's eco-homestead serves as the setting for Wild Abundance's classes in permaculture, medicine making, carpentry and more. Photo courtesy of Bogwalker

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


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.