Slippery Elm Wildcrafting Intensive
April 5th - April 7th
On sale until March 1st
Make a weekend escape to the rolling spring hills of the North Carolina Piedmont and immerse yourself in the healing wonders of Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra). The right person for this experience will show up excited to get tired, dirty and, if tradition holds, thoroughly drenched with rain. Your hard work will be rewarded with the best nights sleep you’ve ever had, and a take-home batch of Slippery Elm Bark you harvested yourself, some of nature’s best medicine. Over the course of the weekend we’ll bond through hard work, and go in depth on the “How”, “When”, and “Why”, of using Slippery Elm to maintain and improve you and your families health.
60 acres of Springtime Carolina Piedmont will host our first ever weekend long Slippery Elm Wildcrafting intensive. Will lived on this land when he first moved to North Carolina from West Virginia, and has been exploring and utilizing it for the last 30+ intervening years. Unlike most herbs, Slippery Elm bark cannot be made into a useful medicinal fluid extract, so normal medicine making practices may not apply. The effort we put into it’s care is rewarded in turn with extreme versatility, especially when it comes to treating dryness of any type. A traditional famine food, the bark contains high amounts of vitamins A, B, and D, and the delicious Root Bark you’ll bring home is totally unavailable on the commercial market. Slippery Elm’s fibrous wood and bark are also strong candidates for primitive cordage and bow making techniques. Slippery Elm populations have been greatly effected by Dutch Elm disease and over harvesting so we’ll delve into the specifics of conservation and ethical wildcrafting. For those looking to use Slippery Elm in the home or in professional practice, you can expect to cover the tree as it pertains to treatment of stomach ulcers, constipation, major digestive disorders, and as a drawing poultice.
Syllabus & Schedule:
Thursday - Out of towner arrival day…
Friday - Meet in Hillsborough at Will’s house & carpool to the dig site. The group will be leaving Will’s promptly at 9:00 so be sure to arrive at least a few minutes early. Upon arrival at the dig site, we’ll circle up and start the day by introducing ourselves to the group, focusing our intentions for the weekend, and giving thanks to the tree we’re about to harvest. Next, we’ll work together as a group and pack all of the weekend’s equipment in to the dig site. After learning how to ID the tree, the real work begins as we bring down the trunk and get to work digging roots. The rest of the day will be devoted to the hard work of sawing logs and digging roots. As the digging process is so time and labor intensive, we will stay at the site all day so be sure to bring a bag lunch and plenty of extra water
Saturday - Saturday morning we’ll again meet at Will’s and carpool to the dig site. Once we get to the tree, we’ll open the day with a discussion on Ethical Wildcrafting with a special focus on how to sustainably harvest herbs like Slippery Elm that are becoming more and more rare due to over-harvesting and disease. Afterwards, we’ll get right back to work digging roots. Once there are enough roots to go around, we’ll move on to techniques for processing the trunk and roots of the tree for drying. Saturday’s lunch still be “Bring your own brown bag” as we will stay at the dig site for most of the day. Make sure you pack enough water and snacks to get you through the day.
Sunday - When we convene at Will’s house on Sunday morning, we’ll stay put for the day. You’ll have an opportunity to move your take-home bark harvest through every stage of the cleaning, drying, and preservation process and learn best practices for finishing off the job yourself at home. The rest of the day will be focused around intensive clinical use for you and your family and we’ll go over some of the unique properties that make the use of Slippery Elm different from most other herbs. Sundays lunch break will be to the Weaver Street Market Co-op in historic downtown Hillsborough.
Monday - Out of towner departure day…
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Reducing your environment impact by coordinating logistics such as rental cars and lodging is encouraged. If you would like to coordinate with other attendees, or stay up to date about changes to the schedule/itinerary, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your Facebook profile and we will add you into the private group.
Airports - Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) or Piedmont-Triad International (PTI)
Transportation - While there is a bus system locally, it is quite slow and can be difficult to navigate. Renting a car at the airport and driving to Hillsborough will be the best option for most people.
Lodging In Hillsborough - For interstate accessibility and affordability, we recommend the Holiday Inn Express or Microtel Inn & Suites. For a unique experience and walking access to all of Historic Hillsborough, we recommend the Inn at Teardrops, a local bed & breakfast.