What is Wildroots Earth Skills Community?
The Idea of Earth Skills Communities and How it All Started
It’s been 3 years since I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the beautifully vibrant Earth skills community known as Wildroots in the rugged mountain landscape of Western North Carolina near the edge of Tennessee. When I first visited this wonderful place, my perception was very limited as I was extremely close-minded and unaware of many things not only involving my surroundings but of my own inner consciousness as well. Nonetheless, the first trip was a very informative, therapeutic, eye-opening, and thought-provoking experience! It planted seeds in my heart and mind that I would later discover were in full bloom and ready for the most magnificent harvest!
As the years past, I became more drawn to this self-sustainable lifestyle. Not just for the spiritual, mental, and physical growth that comes from practicing such ways of life, but to achieve the sense of ultimate individual power and liberation. You see, we live in a society that promotes consumerism in all things. We are conditioned to believe we should work constantly and focus primarily on financial gain and material possessions. We are conditioned through mainstream media and corporate agendas that we need the newest and most trendy products to be happy and feel accepted and loved by society. They want us to believe that we need all these external things to achieve happiness because they profit greatly off of enforcing these beliefs. These big corporate entities need us to rely on them so that they can thrive. They need us to be helpless and unable to create our own food and products. This is an extremely dangerous way of life as it further disconnects us and robs us of personal growth, exploration, and discovery among many other magnificent things!
The more self-sufficient we become, the more their profits plummet.
That's the main and most common idea of these Earth skills communities and homesteads. More and more individuals are opening their hearts, minds, and waking up to this idea and the many flaws in the structure of our American society that keeps us vastly disconnected from ourselves and each other in order to continue to work and produce for the rich and powerful. This is a sad realization to come to but once you acknowledge it, I'm very confident that it will positively change your life forever as it has my own and many others in the community. Or at least, it definitely should! Most people are seemingly so wrapped up in this way of life that when they begin to come to this understanding, they either automatically reject it because they don't want to believe such things, or they're far too deep in debt and work to remove themselves from this flawed system. Ben Franklin once said, "Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither." Our forefathers knew of the danger of such ideas. They foresaw the tyranny and atrocities that could follow such individuals in governing positions. They were well aware of the type of destruction that this single-minded pursuit of greed and power could bring to our nation's culture and way of life.
I've always been attracted to survival and the great outdoors since I was a kid. I remember running through the woods careless, free of worries and thoughts. It brought me a unique sense of pleasure and homey comfort that I just couldn't find anywhere else. Even then I felt the importance of this freedom, but I didn't fully understand it on a deeper level until many years later.
A look inside one of the selters!
My First Trip Years Ago
The drive for me to get more involved in this way of life started with the show "Live Free or Die" on National Geographic. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the show, they take camera crews around the US to follow people who primarily practice this way of life in everything they do. It piqued my interest but I immediately knew that it was more than that... there was a deeper meaning to this intense fascination. I was very eager to get involved and hungered to learn more... so I began to search for communities like these near me. And that's when I discovered Wildroots! I knew that I needed to go there and experience it firsthand but I did not yet understand why... I didn’t realize what great and raw power was held in the curiosity of this idea.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was very disconnected from nature and myself during my first visit. My decisions were still greatly driven by ego and selfishness. There were a great many things I did not yet understand. With that being said, it didn't hinder me from having one of the most delightful and positive experiences of my life!
The people you meet in these types of communities are a truly a rare breed of individuals. They are some of the most compassionate, loving, caring, down-to-earth, genuine, and intelligent human beings that I've ever had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with! It really touched my heart and mind how accepting, open, and eager these people were to embrace me with all my thoughts and ideas as well as share with me their own! I thoroughly enjoyed myself for the first week. Being around such positive energy was truly life changing! The peacefulness of the atmosphere and that special feeling I'd get when joining them for dinner around the fire as we shared songs and stories. The way they all laughed and lived so easily... Free of cares and worries. Free to do and create whatever their hearts desired... free to live and be how they pleased without anyone to answer to. Free to live in peace without having to worry about making it to work on time or showing up for appointments. Their only responsibilities were that of their own personal growth and development rather than putting forth their own energy for someone else's growth like a lot of us do in this society without even realizing that we're doing so.
Me being in the disconnected state of consciousness I was in at the time, quickly took this place for granted and found myself bored and unfulfilled. I stopped being helpful and open to learning. Then I began to search for other external means of stimulation as my conditioned mind was taught to do. I had just turned 21 at the time.
Over the next 3 years, I had the most incredible and vastly expansive shift in consciousness and personal growth than I had ever experienced in my entire life... I met some like-minded friends who share my passion for the outdoors and began to travel and experience as much of nature's beauty as I possibly could! I found that the more time I spent embracing Mother Nature in all her infinite beauty, the more I discovered about the true nature of myself and how I could connect to this truth in a life-changing way!
Gathering around the fire for dinner!
My 2018 Trip to Wildroots!
In my most recent trip to the wonderful little community of Wildroots, I was absolutely blown away by the positive energy that surrounded the place! With this fresh perspective and new mentality that I’d developed and refined meticulously over the years, I was able to open myself to the abundance of amazing experiences and people while truly having the capability and capacity to immerse myself into this way of life enough to really get the full embrace of the experience in its entirety... and once again, it was completely life changing!
My first day I trudged all around the place with a 70-pound backpack on my shoulders searching for souls... but there didn’t seem to be anyone around. After about 20 long minutes of making my way through grown-up trails, eating spider webs, and sloshing through the river, I finally made it to the camping area in the valley. Just when I had become completely content with residing there by myself for the next 5 days, I saw someone walk through the trees around the corner of the trail... It was an old friend from my first trip years ago! Happy to be reunited and grateful to no longer be alone, we caught up while he and his girlfriend helped me set up my camp.
Over the next four days of my stay, I ended up meeting around fifteen other amazing people! Keep in mind that there were only 3 people who lived there as a more permanent home. Everyone else consisted of visitors who were just passing through for a night or two. All of which were very interested in the lifestyle and just wanted to embrace nature for a while... same as me. We all get the urge to disconnect from our busy lives every once and a while to find a place of serenity where we can restore and reconnect with nature and ourselves. In Edward O. Wilson’s most personal writing, he coined this term “Biophilia”.
It was so magnificent to be surrounded by all these beautifully intricate souls! One day we had an entire family of six come to visit us. They were by far the most brilliant and connected family I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting!! The mother and father had a little baby, two daughters about 7-10, and a 14-year-old son. These kids were more knowledgeable about identifying plants and fungus than most of the adults there! They were so intuitive, perceptive, curious, and always inquiring about useful information from the environment around them!! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the interactions with them and I especially enjoyed my interactions with the father as we naturally seemed to be drawn to each other. We talked about many things involving spiritual awakening and he was extremely interested in the topic. Also, he was very intelligent and opened to my thoughts and ideas. We seemed to connect on an even higher level than I had experienced there yet! Most of these people are particularly interested in the more primitive way of life or implementing these more sustainable ways of living into their modern lifestyles. You’ll find that a great deal of these people are also on very personal and spiritual journeys so it was a win-win for someone like myself who came to the place seeking a bit of both worlds.
It was so refreshing to be among all this positive energy again! But this time, I was able to be more connected and perceptive of this energy, also able to nurture it in order to better understand it. This was immensely transformative for my experience and this abundance of marvelous energy helped me to become a gateway for much more powerful energy in my spiritual journey! My last night there I had one of the most important awakenings because of this. But I’ll save that for another article!
For anyone who’s even remotely interested in sustainable living, Earth skills, homesteading, etc. I would highly recommend that you get in touch and plan a trip to Wildroots! Also, if you’re on a spiritual path and feel you need an accepting and free place to do what you need to do, look no further! In my opinion, learning more about sustainability and learning how to be more self-sufficient is the most powerful and liberating idea any individual can possibly open themselves up to right next to a spiritual awakening!
For those of you who don’t reside within the Bible belt area of the South like me, there are sustainable communities all over the US who practice these same principles! So go explore, experience, receive, learn, discover, and open your hearts and minds to experiences that truly have the power to change your life forever!
I’ll leave a link below to my YouTube video with footage from my stay at Wildroots! Also, check out my Instagram for more pictures from the stay and all kinds of beautiful nature photos from hiking around Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains!! If you’re more interested in the spiritual aspect of it all, feel free to follow my Facebook page, Consciousness and Beyond. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed!!!
Camping 5 Nights at Wildroots:
- 5 Nights at Wildroots Earth Skills Homestead (Western NC) - YouTube
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