The Sacred Gardener
Earth Wisdom Gathering

Earth Wisdom Gathering


Over the years we’ve had people let us know that they wanted to come to the Sacred Gardener School, but the four separate trips to the School was not doable for them. Then they ask if it’s possible to come for a single, longer, session?

Now it is.



Starting this April we are opening another in-person hands-on learning experience with Steven and Megan. We call it the EARTH WISDOM GATHERING.
A gathering of kindred souls, where we gather wisdom, and gifts of the land like herbs and food. A retreat from the hectic, mechanistic, industrial reality of our time, to gather our thoughts and re-align ourselves with the Earth and our deepest aspirations. Your time in the Earth Wisdom Gathering sessions will be a bit more like an apprenticeship than a course of intensive learning as the school offers. Send us a message to learn more, or register below. I hope you are as excited as we are for this!


7 or 14 day re-creation retreat
April 29-May 12  or  September 16-29
This is a unique opportunity for both graduates and people who have not yet been to the Sacred Gardener school. In the Earth Wisdom Gatherings our approach to teaching and working with you will differ from The Sacred Gardener School. The times seem to call for a more open ended way to be with and learn from Steven and Megan. The Earth Wisdom Gatherings are longer stand-alone sessions, with many options. There is some structure but no curriculum and no agenda other than what the land and farm are calling us to do, and working toward deepening your connection with the Earth. Steven will teach and be your guide for ‘the circle’ and some of the day’s activities, but in a less instructional way than with the SG school. There is no long format for the weeks, only day to day planning, guided by the qualities of that day and those who are present. In the Gatherings you will have more personal free-time each day, and all activities are optional. You can be social or spend time by yourself as much as you like. 

7 or 14 day re-creation retreat
April 29-May 12  or  September 16-29
8 people max
13 days of teachings and guidance 
Organic Food provided
Shared accommodation included in the Dragonfly House, or BYO tent.
$2000 CAN + HST for two weeks, $1200 CAN + HST for a single week
(we are encouraging people to come for two weeks but also want this open to folks who just have one week)
The start time both weeks is midday Monday and wrap-up midday on the second Sunday.

There are two open Gatherings a year, Spring and early Fall, right at the start and the end of the growing season. You can come to just one, or both Gatherings each year, or keep coming every year! There’s always more to learn and more depth to experience.

In some ways your time at The Gathering is more like an apprenticeship, in that we are not catering our tasks to you and giving you all our time (as we do with the school), but rather you’ll be helping us as we go about our daily tasks. Once you’re onto something, for efficiency we may also just ‘leave you to it’ while we move onto something else. This is learning through doing. There is a way the wisdom comes into your hands and body and stillness that comes from working gently with the Earth for hours and days. With the SG school we set up shorter ‘work’ periods so you do many diverse tasks in a day, for the greatest range of experiences. With the farm stay you may just do one task all day or over many days.

With the SG school three meals a day are prepared and served, and your time is somewhat regimented. With the Gathering you will be responsible for managing your own time and preparing your own breakfasts and lunches. We’ll provide you with the food for a high quality plant-based diet from the farm here, and local or organic. Roughly half the dinners, 3-4 of our dinners each week, we will eat all together in our farmhouse. They will be collectively prepared meals, that may have a meat or fish option. The other nights the participants can eat at the dragonfly house by themselves, or together, or go to town.

About the daily structure of the Gathering

Long ago, before my time with a wife and children, before demanding businesses and farms, I lived a life I made for myself in the forest. It was fashioned on the model of Helen and Scott Nearing (the original “back to the landers”). They felt we needed to have three types of experience every day to keep ourselves healthy and balanced. This breaks down as; four hours physical work, four hours community activities, four hours for your own spiritual work or craft or artistic endeavours. (Food, house chores and socializing would take up the rest of the day and evening.). I thought we could loosely model our days after this with the farm stay.

Four parts, and their oriented activities, to each day (starting at 7-8 am)

Spiritual 

1-2 hour personal time for meditation- movement – and breakfast

At 9am we’ll gather and most days start with a 1-2 hour morning teachings – dreams – teachings – discussions – guidance – healing 

(The circle can happen in the morning or afternoon depending on the weather and pending farm activities)

1-2 hour break around noon for lunch 

(sometimes when it’s really hot or we start really early we take a midday siesta)

Physical

About 4 hours of homesteading and herbalist activities. Might be anything that needs doing, cleaning the chicken coop or painting, but mostly digging beds, weeding, harvesting, processing harvest.

Personal time

About 4 hours to do your own work, maybe personal reflection, craft work, writing, painting.., or a ‘project’ I can provide, or just going for a walk, or to the beach. We also have an incredibly diverse library from which you can borrow for your time here.

(Depending on the demands of the land and your own ‘work’, you may have more work or more personal time on any given day)

Break for dinner

Communal time 

Group time in the evening around the fire or in the dragonfly house (the shared sleeping space), or if you wish or more time for personal work. Dinner may be earlier or later so this time period is the most flexible.

We are not restrictive, but encourage abstinence or moderation in drug, alcohol and phone use at night because these activities have an energetic hang over into the next day, which on some level effects us all and prevents you from entering a certain level of present peacefulness.

While your attendance is optional for any part of the day, we would ask if you’re going to be part of something you be there at the start time. You can drop-off during the activity but not drop in. This is because if you miss the start you’ll likely miss much of the explanation around the activity and early corrections, and I don’t usually repeat the teachings. I also calculate what we can realistically accomplish in four hours with the number of people I have at the start. And we often head out somewhere to go harvest and if you are late you’ll be left behind.

MORE RETREAT INFORMATION

The farm retreat weeks will start on a Monday and end on Sunday. You must pay for a 7 or 14 day stay but you are not obligated to be here for the whole time. For those who are here for a two weeks we will break all day the first Saturday, and just do our own thing. (Shopping, day out at a local park or town, or maybe a silent retreat day…). The second Saturday will not be a day off but just be a regular day (because you’ll be leaving the next day).

FOOD DETAILS

We will provide the food for your time here, from the farm, organic and/or local…(everything for a healthy plant based diet, with eggs from the farm (but no meat). Sometimes we get raw local milk in which case we can share a good amount of that, but generally if we have to buy it at the store so minimal dairy will be on offer. A few times a week we will all eat together at the farm house where we might have our homegrown chicken or fish. Retreat participants will be expected to take care of their own food prep and clean-up in the Dragonfly house, individually or collectively, but independent of us. Any ‘extras’ that might be part of your regular diet that we aren’t providing (like coffee, alcohol, meat, cream, butter, cheese, avocados and other tropic fruits), these can be purchased by us or yourself at local grocery and health food stores, both within half an hour drive.

HOUSING

The Dragonfly house is very clean and hypoallergenic (no animals allowed). The house has a propane stove and fridge. Dish and hand washing water is available from a water catchment system. There is no electricity in this house, but we have a small solar set up for lights and to recharge devices. No wifi and the cell phone reception here is poor if at all. (this is all good news for those of you with EMF sensitivity.) 

There are outhouse bathrooms with hand washing stations. (We use a humanure system, so there is no outhouse funk) 

There is also a sink and outdoor private shower with hot water available anytime, by the farmhouse.

You can sleep on a nice cushy bed in the shared Dragonfly house (each sleeping area has individual visual privacy)  or in your own tent, which you might choose because of snoring (you or others) – for privacy – or because you like being on the ground and sleeping outside. The tent can also give you a bug-free private place to hang out during the day. 

GETTING HERE

For those of you travelling afar, we suggest flying into the Toronto Pearson Airport and driving up from there (4.5 hours drive from Toronto to our farm). We are closer to the Ottawa Airport, but you would transfer from Toronto to Ottawa (We are 1.5 hours drive from Ottawa). Usually there are other people travelling up from either Toronto or Ottawa and carpool to the farm can be arranged.

Discounts

We need to know the number of beds available and so we have clean sheets for everyone, but if you’re committed to sleeping exclusively in your tent (even in potentially cold or rainy whether) then we can give you a break on the price $100 a week off.