Welcome to the Hostel in the Forest

The Hostel is a membership organization, please browse through our website before calling us to make a reservation. If you have further questions, we would be happy to answer them over the phone any day between 10am and 6pm, 912-264-9738. We can not accept reservations, cancellations or provide availability by email. If you have a reservation PLEASE check in no later than 7pm

IF VISITING FOR THE FIRST TIME PLEASE READ THIS

We are always looking for skilled instructors willing to share their knowledge on a variety of subjects that support our vision. If you have some ideas or suggestions, or would like give a suitable presentation or workshop, please contact us..

If you are interested in working at the Hostel please review the applications page.*

Our Vision

The world would be a much healthier and better place if all its inhabitants advocated sustainability instead of unlimited growth. Rather than trying to control nature and use it as a resource for development, we should revere it, respect it, and work with it. The Hostel in the Forest is taking steps to manifest this vision. We see that nature’s creatures, including humans, animals, birds and insects share the same land in a unique manner. Inspired by the creativity found in the natural environment, we have transformed our ideas into actions by having an organic vegetable garden used in our dinners each night, recycling our wastes, having a cutting-edge gray-water system, watering plants with a solar powered irrigation system, and using a worm box that composts our table scraps into fertilizer for the garden. Hostel members sleep in tree houses, hike the T-trails through the 133 acre forest, swim and paddle canoes in the lake, take part in the healing process of walking our labyrinth, participate in the sweat lodges held on the nights of the full moon, eat a healthy vegetarian or vegan meal each night, and attend the many educational retreats and lectures designed to teach us how to move toward a wholesome and more sustainable future. We invite you to visit us and be a part of our work in progress; even participate in helping us with our projects, if you so desire. If you are financially able to do so, we would also be most appreciative of any gifts to our 501 C 3 tax-deductible organization in order to encourage and further our goals.

OWN A PIECE OF HOSTEL HISTORY

Latest News and Events

The fall equinox brings great knowledge and excitement to the Hostel in the Forest. Marc and Mycol return to the woods to provide Hostelers with practical ecological identification of plants and mushrooms as well as fermentation techniques.

Mycol Stevens has a masters in aquatic ecology and has worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL since 2004. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook and Robert Hunsicker. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to eat your food as medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol hosts (Willing Workers On Organic Farms, (WWOOFers) at his finca. Contact him if you are interested in visiting. He also is the host of the Florida Earthskills Gathering in February and annual mushroom teaching in July on the Finca.

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied plants intensively while learning to use them for food, medicine, biological conservation, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. Marc’s major research in graduate school focused on the most useful plants of Appalachia. However it is clear that a holistic appreciation of nature irrespective of utility will be necessary to create the new paradigm that are current global situation calls for. He has since spent significant time learning the plants of the Western U.S. and tropical regions as well. Marc has spent over a decade working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 23 countries in North/Central America and Europe and 49 of the United States of America. In those travels he has visited over 70 of the best botanical gardens in the world. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous lives of plants and their respective uses. Marc first came to the Hostel in the Forest in March of 1998 and was immediately transformed through a first time sweat lodge experience with Tom Dennard the hostel founder. Like Mycol many of the principles that make the Hostel in the Forest such a special place have informed his expression of life in this world ever since. Further info can be found at www.botanyeveryday.com where an online botany class in the tradition of Frank Cook is conducted by donation.

Teachings will start Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

Workshops will include:

Botany 101 presentation, Wild Foods/Medicines walk, Super Food preparation presentation, Botanical Beach/estuary Walk, Fermentation Overview with Honey Mead Making and a Permaculture Ecological restoration talk. Botanical slide shows of various parts of the world including Latin America, Africa and Europe are also possible.

The cost will be $150 per person, which includes accommodations at the Hostel for the Friday and Saturday night as well as a beautiful vegetarian dinner on both nights. Call ahead to reserve your spot.

Bring your notebook, any relevant books you have, a camera, a loupe if you have one, water bottle, rain coat etc. Handouts will be provided.

The Hostel

Forest Update Summer 2014

Posted May 26th, 2014

Spring has sprung in the forest and the summer sun has begun to shine down bright. Apollo (also known as Steven) has departed beyond the horizon, leaving good vibes and a field of solar beauty in his wake. During his mighty sun streaked chariot ride across the forest, Steven oversaw the reclamation of the Hostel’s dome roof which, after thirty nine years of moss growth and forest symbiosis, was ready to be repaired and re-imagined. A skilled team of hostel family craftsmen united to take on this important and prestigious project. Dirt, Freddy, Frank, and Eddie along with Hostel staff and dozens of gracious volunteers, dipped, hand cut, and nailed over three thousand red cedar shakes, completely transforming our beloved mothership. After seventy seven days and seven thousand nails the roof has been restored to it’s vital glory.

The inspiration and enthusiasm exuding from the dome’s grand completion has whirled down the garden path to the (not so) secret garden where the plant king Chris has been utilizing his extensive love and knowledge of all flora and permaculture technique to maximize the work and devotion that has come before him. The garden is now poised and ready to produce a summer of great abundance and beauty.

As always the soul kitchen is providing delicious vegetarian dinners courtesy of Jeff, the Hostel’s master of cuisine. When not intriguing weary travelers with the wafting smells of exemplary meals drifting throughout the dome, Jeff moonlights as the Hostel barber, resident reiki master and all around integral fellow.

Excitement flows deep as the era of the Fantastic Four comes to an end and the age of the Fearsome Five begins, with the advent of the great and glorious Dawn joining the forest crew.

From the acoustics of the library to the serenity of the lake the Hostel in the Forest is ready to usher in a summer of dreams.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff