Food Forest Workshop - March 30 - 31st 2018

Posted December 24th, 2017

This is the ideal time to learn how to establish and work on a permaculture food forest. Mycol Stevens will return to his favorite classroom (where he often teaches ethnobotany and mycology with Marc Williams…and hoping to do this Oct 2018). Mycol has been living “off-the-grid” on his permaculture homestead since 2002 in N. Central FL which is a nearly identical climate to the Hostel. There he has been establishing a diverse food forest where he has had many failures, but along with diligence, many a success. Learning from others mistakes is one of the best ways to learn! For an idea what Mycol is now growing on FInca Mycol here is a partial list: 7 varieties of persimmon on about 20 trees, 6 varieties of muscadine/scuppernog grape, 4 varieties of pomegranite, figs, olive, 8 varieties of citrus (about 60 trees), 6 variety of pear, 3 apple variety, cold hardy avocado (thanks to Oliver), guava, 15 Che fruit, peach, about 15 Dunstan chestnut trees, white sapote (thanks to Oliver), Rio of the Grand CHerry (thanks Oliver), yams, ginger, turmeric, about 8 varieties of blueberry (incorporating into long leaf pine restoration), ginko biloba, asparagus, sassafras, etc etc etc! He is also heavily involved in long leaf pine restoration and its often overlooked understory where he is also planting rare listed species. Mycol also grows a diversity of tropical fruit trees in Sarasota at his parents home and now at his old house in St Augustine. Of course Mycol is growing mushrooms too! Mycol has been grafting for over 15 years now, but crucial techniques were learned by Oliver Moore. Oliver has been a great friend over the years and I hope you will take advantage of learning from both of us. During this event, you will learn how, why and when to prune fruit and nut trees, you will learn how to sharpen your tools, you will learn plant propagation techniques, you will learn various grafting techniques, you will be able to take home your own grafted fruit tree, you will get to taste some of our fruits of Mycols and Olivers labors, you will eat some dank food and have an awesome time! We hope to improve food forest production and management at the hostel so that they will live more sustainably and hope that you will “invest” in your future by planting foods for yourself and others in the community!

Mycol Stevens has a Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology and worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL from 2004-2014. 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 Hunsucker. 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 let your food be your 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 is now allowing guests to GLAMP at his Finca via airbnb and also at his house in St Augustine if you are interested (Finca Mycol and 20 Davis St).

Oliver Moore is a permaculture gardener based in Gainesville, Florida, where he is deeply committed to teaching and sharing skills related to community food production. Oliver grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia on a 200-acre farm with seven springs, sheep and cows, and a pastured grove of over 500 black walnut trees, where his father first introduced him to the basics of grafting. After going to Hawaii in search of tropical paradise, he became convinced that we need to create paradise wherever we are especially on depleted or degraded land. Accordingly, he returned to the states and bought a five-acre tangerine grove in Citra, Florida and continued to implement and refine grafting methods. He also experimented with growing exotic tropical fruits in a greenhouse, learning how to adapt to the challenging line between the tropical and temperate climate zones. In 1995, Oliver volunteered with the Trees For Life organization in Guatemala, assisting with fruit tree and firewood nurseries and organic growing methods. Three years later, he visited Earth Haven, an intentional community in North Carolina, and discovered the concept of permaculture. The holistic vision and integrated approach to working with the earth instantly rang true for him, and while it would be several years before he would return to train for and receive his permaculture certification, he immediately began integrating the concepts into his life and work. In 2005, he sold the tangerine grove and began cultivating edibles on a four-acre property closer to the city of Gainesville, drawn by the resource of its vibrant nature-loving and supportive community. In 2008, he expanded his personal nursery into a commercial enterprise and founded Abundant Edible Landscapes, which offered design-planning and installation of fruit trees, perennial vegetables, and shiitake, as well as rainwater capture and irrigation systems. He has helped bring out-of-town experts to his local community to teach Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s). He regularly offers classes and consultations on grafting, pruning, and mushroom identification, wild-harvesting, and propagation. He enjoys making fermented beverages chock full of adaptogens and other tonic herbs and sharing them with good friends. PRICE: $250 per person Please call the Hostel in the Forest at (912) 264-9738 to register.

Visionary Goddess Retreat 2018 April 26-29th 2018

Join us in celebrating the sacred divine feminine and art as a spiritual practice- with three days of visionary art workshops, sacred sweat lodge and meditation/healing activities. For creative women and feminine spirits. No art experience necessary.
Your stay includes: Lodging of three nights and three days on 133 acres of lush Forest. Two delicious vegetarian meals per day prepared by a holistic chef. (Brunch and Dinner). Access to all art classes/workshops. Participation in sweat lodge. Access to Hostel space and amenities (Treehouse linens included), outdoor showers, glasshouse, private lake access, swimming, hiking trails, labyrinth, and library. 

Classes PAINTING – Beginning Acrylics and Techniques with Veronika Rose. Acrylic Landscape Perspectives with speed painter Ania Amador. ART OF HENNA – Visionary Henna with Jennifer Duque. How to make henna, sacred symbols and designs and body application. Each participant will receive a henna cone to practice. SACRED BEADWORK – Learn to make earrings with colored beads and feathers with Astraya Luna. Each guest will leave with a new set of earrings. SPIRIT DOLLS - The practice of making dolls as a spiritual practice has been found in many cultures all over the world. Since ancient times dolls have been embodied with healing Protection and as a rights of passage. Join John Moore in the ceremony of creating your personal healing inner child doll. Create an effigy of your personal inner child doll and embody it with the essence of it’s healed and true nature.

Events – Art Church with Veronika Rose in the Glasshouse. Sacred Sweat Lodge and tobacco prayer, lead by Moon Dancer, Drea Silvestri. Yoga, Meditation and healing circles.

PRICE: $250 per person Please call the Hostel in the Forest at (912) 264-9738 to register.

Madre Tierra Retreat, May 25-28th, 2018  

Retreat includes: Daily Yoga classes, 3 night accommodation at Hostel in the Forest, Daily delicious and healthy vegetarian brunch and dinner (3 brunch, 3 dinners) Pricing: $300 per person In order to register for a this retreat, participants must call the Hostel at (912) 264-9738 to sign up, at which time the Hostel collects a $75 deposit (refundable up to 10 days prior to the event, you can pay for the event in full when registering if you wish).


“Stop, Drop & Breathe* Kristy Vizzone. Participants will be guided in mind, body and spirit activities to increase concentration, self-regulation, calmness and compassion; including yoga, meditation, pranayama, and hands-on projects. They will also learn how to extend these practices to children up to adults. Useful in schools, corporations, hospitals, and homes.

Learning objectives: Self-regulation/calming skills, elf-motivation/increase focus, Discover best personal practices for increasing inner calm.

Heartful Hooping Katie “Pinto” LaBrun. Time to embrace the therapeutic integration of yoga and the hula hoop.  We will begin and end with yoga practices that utilize the hula hoop for stability and alignment.  These practices will bookend a fun and challenging (but open to all levels!!!) hula hoop dance class that will get you jumping, rolling, and throwing things in the air.

Learning Objectives: Successfully accomplish a physical action that was previously unavailable to participant, especially if participant believed he/she was unable to do it.  aka … if you didn’t think you could do that, but you just did it… what else do you believe you can’t do that might need to be reconsidered?

Let go of something: We will address the concept of trust in the release by leaning tricks that involved jumping (letting go of the ground) and throwing the hoop (letting go of your security blanket) and apply the emotions and process to daily life. How to care for your body on a daily basis with exercises that can be done in 5-10 minutes, so that this movement can be a part of your life even when you don’t feel you have time to do a full practice or attend a class. Making this accessible to everyone   Chakra Journey Awakening the Rainbow Within* Beatriz Ricco A body mind soul experience through the 7 main energy centers of the body. Explaining about the Chakras in theory then moving along with dancing meditation, yoga Asanas for each Chakra, mudras and mantras to awake and create movement to balance the centers. In this workshop you will learn about the 7 main Chakras, experience dance with music and movements designed for each of the 7 Chakras and awakening the Kundalini energy.

Utilizing Chanting, Creativity, and Visualization: This workshop is designed to work on the soul and embark on a journey to come home to our real self.   Embodying Your Wisdom: How to Nurture and Grow a Simple Daily Practice. April Kline & Kimberly Bush. Do you ever long to feel more connected? Wish you had something to hold onto that could remind you to breathe and be present? In this one-day workshop, Kimberly Bush and April Kline invite you into a safe and powerful place of spiritual creativity. You will be encouraged to become still, listen deeply, and purposefully and intuitively weave your inner wisdom into a personal collaged journal and your own set of prayer beads. You will leave the workshop with an understanding of how to carry what you have experienced and learned into your daily life. No artistic ability or experience necessary.

Objectives/Outcomes Participants will be able to compare embodied and disembodied experiences as well as identify the advantages of being embodied, particularly in challenging circumstances.Participants will be able to identify five specific ways in which witnessing and embodied experiences can be strengthened and become second nature through concrete practices including: a silent practice; meditation; connection with breath; visual imagery; and the creative process/art making.Participants will be able to actively apply three principles of open studio process to increase empathic attunement with themselves and others. They will demonstrate an understanding of how these principles can deepen relationships with themselves and others and the benefits therein. Participants will be able to use the tools practiced in this workshop to directly enhance and expand upon a non-judgmental and open attitude towards their own creative process which increases non-judgment and unconditional acceptance of self in all aspects as well as increasing attunement to the delicacy of this process in others.

More information here