The prelude to summer brings great knowledge and excitement to the Hostel in the Forest. Marc and Mycol return to one of their favorite classrooms with practical ecological identification of plants and mushrooms, as well as permaculture and fermentation techniques. We will share in the fresh local bounty, eating and drinking deliciously all the while elevating our collective wisdom around the wonder of biology!

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 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 annual mushroom teaching in July on the Finca. https://www.facebook.com/FincaMycol

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 our 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 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 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. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. 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.

Workshops will include: Botany/Mycology 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 given interest.

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Teachings will begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

COST: $150-200 per person sliding, which includes accommodations at the Hostel for Friday and Saturday night as well as a basic breakfast porridge, potluck lunches and beautiful vegetarian dinner on both nights. Please bring a food item or two you would like to share. Worktrade may be available for interested participants with limited funds. Write to marc@botanyeveryday.com with stated need and proposal.

BRING: Your notebook, any relevant books you have, a camera, a loupe (portable magnifying glass) if you have one, water bottle, rain coat etc. Handouts will be provided.

May the Forest Be With You