The Ground Shots Podcast is an audio project exploring our relationship to ecology through conversations and storytelling with artists, ecologists, farmers, activists, story-tellers, land-tenders and more.
How do we do our work in the modern age, when the urgency of ecological and social collapse feels looming? How do we creatively and whole-heartedly navigate our relationships with one another and the land?
Wild Tending Series / A conversation in a Camas meadow. Adam Larue of Sharpening Stone on tending wild plants in southern Oregon
Episode #68 of the podcast is a conversation with Adam Larue of Sharpening Stone Gathering, out of Grants Pass, Oregon. visit our blog post on the episode to see a few photos of the land where we interviewed: https://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com/podcastblog/2022/6/12/episode-68-a-conversation-in-a-camas-meadow-adam-larue
Adam and I recorded this conversation in a Camas meadow adjacent to his land after I taught wild-tending and critical ethnobotany plant plant walks for a week at the Sharpening Stone Earthskills Gathering, which Adam helps run.
In this episode with Adam, we talk about:
How Adam got the land that he lives on and runs the Sharpening Stone Earthskills Gathering
Some of the methods and madness of logging in Oregon which happens all around Adam’s private inholding near Umpqua National Forest, the herbicide spraying and GMP tree planting replacing forest diversity
the downfalls of profit-centered thinking vs. ecological centered thinking
some info about the Sharpening Stone Earthskills Gathering which takes place on the land we do the interview on
Re-wilding as a hot topic and trend right now
dancing with modern technology while trying to reconnect to land
Links: For one time donations to support this podcast: Paypal : paypal.me/petitfawn VENMO:
@kelly-moody-6 Cashapp: cash.app/$groundshotsproject Our website with an archive of podcast episodes, educational resources, past travelogues and more: http://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Project Interstitial Music: ‘I’m Moving to the Mountains’ by Adam Larue Theme Music: ‘Sweat and Splinters’ by Mother Marrow This episode hosted by: Kelly Moody Produced by: Kelly Moody Sharpening Stone Gathering on Instagram Becoming Wild on Instagram Sharpening Stone Gathering Adam’s Youtube project: ‘Becoming Wild’
Ted Packard on bodies as a multiplicity, coyote-trickster troubadour-ing, music as ecological channeling, kids and nature connection, & creating communities of mutuality
Direct link to episode with extra photos and Ted's poetry: https://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com/podcastblog/tedpackard
Ted studied History and Anthropology at Christopher Newport University, got a Master’s in Teaching, went on the road with the Momentary Prophets band, and then went to study with Alderleaf Wilderness College and Wilderness Awareness School. He taught various program for youth around the greater Seattle area for many years before relocating to Durango, Colorado to dry out, as he says. After some years of a break, Ted just started up a new nature connection program for youth in the Durango community. Ted does lots of things, including various handcrafts, refurbishing guitars and other instruments, music-making, writing, wood-burning and more. As college peers, we spent a lot of time together researching things like mushroom cults, the esoteric origins of Judeo-Christian religion, the anthropology of psychedelics, zen koans, and more. We both have lived in different places since and woven in and out of each others’ lives so we spent some time really checking in about how we think about things now vs. when we were radical activist driven neo-pagan coyote-trickster troubadour mind-melters.
In this episode with Ted, we talk about: Ted’s nature connection mentorship work with youth in Washington and Colorado
Ted’s upbringing in northwestern Virginia
Our experience in college of community: artists, philosophers, musicians, activists, and neo-pagans and our reflections on that time now
seasonal ritual as a somatic map
ways that Ted’s anger at an eco-cidal culture has transformed over the years to a yearning for finding points of connection vs. telling someone they are wrong or how to live
what is a community of mutuality in a broken society that emphasizes hyper-individualism?
activism can look many ways and can even be in small moments of advocacy
awareness of the isolation of capitalism is often crippling
the reality that financial security is generally not available to our generation (millennials)
Ted’s musical projects which include Momentary Prophets from his early 20’s, that had a coyote-troubadour element with community driven instigation, as well as his own solo projects
paying attention to ‘nature’ bringing you closer to crazy synchronicities that become signposts to keep going
weaving a web of interrelated ideas and ecologies as a way of being
trauma, neutrinos, quantum physics intersecting eastern philosophy, bodies as multiplicity, the mycelium nature of everything, music as ecological channeling
Links: The Emerald Podcast, mentioned on the podcast Daniel Quinn, author we mention on the podcast Mystic Moon of Norfolk, VA, pagan community mentioned Terence McKenna, mentioned on the podcast Mountain Justice: organization dedicated to ending mountain top removal in Appalachia Momentary Prophets on Facebook Momentary Prophets on Bandcamp (Interstitial music featured on the episode) Ted’s music on Bandcamp (he is putting out a new album RIGHT NOW, his individual music featured in the intro of this episode) Wilderness Awareness School Living Earth School Sophie Strand Ted’s Patreon for his music, art, writing Ted’s revived blog of writing (do yourself a favor and read and savor) Ted’s Venmo if you’d like to donate to help support his musical projects : @Theodore-Packard Support the podcast on Patreon to contribute monthly to our grassroots self-funding of this project For one time donations to support this podcast: Paypal : paypal.me/petitfawn VENMO:
@kelly-moody-6 Cashapp: cash.app/$groundshotsproject Our website with an archive of podcast episodes, educational resources, past travelogues and more: http://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Proje
An ode to Doug Elliott, Appalachian storyteller, herbalist and naturalist
To access full blog post on the episode, full show notes and a photo diary, click below: https://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com/podcastblog/dougelliott Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and regional indigenous peoples, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival. He has lectured and performed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and conducted workshops for the Smithsonian Institution. He has led ranger training sessions for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C. He is the author of five books, many articles in regional and national magazines, has recorded a number of award winning albums of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV, and the History and National Geographic Channels.
Links: Doug Elliott’s Bandcamp page, where you can listen to and download all of his full length albums and story recordings: https://dougelliott.bandcamp.com/ Doug Elliott’s website and blog: https://dougelliott.com/ Doug Elliott’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKpxmzq7RqmnGeW2R0UnfpQ Todd Elliott’s ‘Mushrooms of the Southeast’ book mentioned in the podcast Article on Bessie Jones, whom Doug mentions in a story on the podcast, national treasure and African American singer (also see video alongside others, displayed on blog post page for this episode)
Support the podcast on Patreon to contribute monthly to our grassroots self-funding of this project For one time donations to support this podcast: Paypal : paypal.me/petitfawn VENMO:
@kelly-moody-6 Cashapp: cash.app/$groundshotsproject Our website with an archive of podcast episodes, educational resources, past travelogues and more: http://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Project This episode hosted by: Kelly Moody Produced by: Kelly Moody and Ted Packard
#65: Wild Tending Series / Janet Kent and Dave Meesters of the Terra Sylva School of Botanical Medicine on disempowering the engines of disruption through intentional land-tending
Episode #65 of the Ground Shots Podcast is a conversation with Dave Meesters and Janet Kent of the Terra Sylva School of Botanical Medicine out of Madison County, North Carolina. https://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com/podcastblog/terrasylvaschool
After trying to get together for a conversation all summer, we finally met up in the early fall at Dave and Janet’s herbalism school classroom at the Marshall High Studios, in Marshall, North Carolina. It was a frigid fall day and when I arrived, they had tea going and snacks out on a table in their beautifully lit and decorated studio space. It was obviously curated and inhabited by herbalists.
Dave and Janet run the Terra Sylva School of Botanical Medicine with Jen Stovall, and have a clinical herbalism practice in the rural area where they live and the nearby city of Asheville, NC.
Dave Meesters grew up in Miami, Florida and attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He moved to Asheville, North Carolina in the winter of 1998. In 2003, his formal herbal training began with an apprenticeship with CoreyPine Shane at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, and since then his experience has included organizing and staffing a free clinic in New Orleans in the months after hurricane Katrina, and starting and practicing at a free clinic in Asheville’s homeless day shelter. Dave has plans to be involved with another herbal free or low-cost clinic in the future, but until then he sees clients privately and provides care to the mountain folks in his rural Appalachian neighborhood, most of whom would rather see an herbalist than a doctor.
From 2013 to 2016, Dave was, with Janet, the director and primary instructor at the Terra Sylva School’s summer apprenticeship program, which was held on the communal mountain land where he resides before the school moved to Marshall. He and Janet are the founders of Medicine County Herbs, an herb apothecary, medicinal plant nursery, and blog.
Dave sees herbalism as a way to provide a more appropriate, accessible, pleasurable, and effective form of health care than the dominant model, and as a means to bond and integrate ourselves with plants, the garden, and the wilds. His herbalism is wedded to a life-long resistance to the forces of domination and alienation, especially domination of and alienation from Nature. His practice and his teaching reflect a deep evolving holism attained by listening to, honoring, embracing, and collaborating with the whole of Nature, and by his study of the threads connecting holistic physiology, energetics, ecology, gardening, systems theory, magic, alchemy and permaculture.
Janet Kent is a clinical and community herbalist, educator, gardener and writer. The child of two naturalists, Janet grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, learning the amazing diversity of regional wild flowers at an early age. She began studying the medicinal uses of plants when she moved to a rich Appalachian cove high in the mountains of Madison county, North Carolina fifteen years ago. She did not set out to become an herbalist, but as she learned over the years in her forest home, if we are open, we do not change the land we inhabit as much as it changes us. The transformative healing power of the plants around her turned an interest into a calling.
The vast power to heal through reconnection is the medicine she most seeks to share. Whenever possible, she encourages her students and clients to grow their own herbs, to make their own medicine, and most of all, to experience the more-than-human world first hand. Here is where deep, foundational healing is most profound.
Janet views herbal medicine as a means of reconnecting to the long tradition of plant medicine in rural Appalachia. This tradition has become more relevant with the ailing state of the dominant health care system and the rising cost of herbal medicine. Janet considers herbalism the best option for addressing injustice in health ca
#64: Mary Morgaine Plantwalker of Herb Mountain Farm on care-taking a botanical sanctuary in Appalachia
Episode #64 is a conversation with Mary Morgaine Plantwalker of Herb Mountain Farm in Weaverville, NC.
This episode was recorded in person in the gardens of Herb Mountain Farm August 2021.
Mary Morgaine Plantwalker is one of the main caretakers of Herb Mountain Farm alongside her partner, Hart Squire.
Located in the oldest mountains on earth, Herb Mountain Farm was established in 1970, originally as an organic vegetable and flower farm, by Hart Squire and his family, in Weaverville, North Carolina.
Herb Mountain Farm was a piece of land that had been overgrazed, logged and farmed unsustainably for over a century and needed a lot of conscious stewarding to build up the soil that had been washed away to the Mississippi Delta. Hart, with the help of many hands over the decades, brought in organic matter and plant diversity.
For decades, Hart sold vegetable and flowers from the farm to local markets, restaurants and grocers, then built an earth-bermed warehouse on the property for the organic farmers in the area, called Hart Distributing, which eventually grew into a distribution center for organic ale and wine – long before Asheville was beer city! Hart spent several years in California, opening one of the first farm to table restaurants called ‘The Seasons’ in the 1970’s.
In 2005, Mary Morgaine (aka Mary Plantwalker) came to work on Herb Mountain Farm’s garlic production crew and first met Hart. She worked there for a few years before starting her own business, Earth Dancers, where she taught an array of “Plants as Allies” classes and workshops. In 2010, Buchi Kombucha took over the warehouse and began what grew into a very successful fermented health drink business. Buchi remained on the farm until they outgrew the space in 2016.
In 2011, Hart and Mary Morgaine reconnected and fell in love. They married in 2012, and their union birthed the vision to transition the farm into a Learning Center and Botanical Sanctuary. In 2013, their daughter, Nadia, was born and has been absorbing the gardening and plant knowledge of her parents since day one and gives Hart and Mary Morgaine the inspiration to keep sailing on for the future generations.
Herb Mountain Farm’s website Herb Mountain Farm on Instagram United Plant Savers
Support the podcast on Patreon to contribute monthly to our grassroots self-funding of this project
For one time donations to support this podcast: Paypal : paypal.me/petitfawn VENMO:
@kelly-moody-6 Cashapp: cash.app/$groundshotsproject Our website with an archive of podcast episodes, educational resources, past travelogues and more: http://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Project Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow Guest music: ‘Overflow,’ ‘Entropy,’ and ‘The One’ by Cole Sullivan This episode hosted by: Kelly Moody Produced by: Kelly Moody
Living in the wilderness, fermenting on the road and facing the immediacy of death with Marissa Percoco
Episode #63 is a conversation with Marissa Percoco out of Barnardsville, NC. Marissa (she/her) is an avid fermentation enthusiast who has spent the last 10 years exploring community and the wilds, as well as living deeply with various fermented cultures and local plants, and learning how it all comes together. Traveling through the wild places of Tennessee, Florida, the Southwest, California, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and most everywhere in between with her four amazingly adventurous children, Marissa has gathered cultures from far and wide. Deeply rooted in the Earthskills movement and committed to co-creating a new culture within which we, our children and all beings thrive, they are now nesting in Barnardsville, NC, and she humbly offers her humorous experiences to you. She is also the Director of the Firefly Gathering.
In this conversation with Marissa, we talk about: rural Appalachia dynamics and gentrification in a valley outside of a hip city, Asheville, NC
some stories of Marissa’s moving from the bay area of California to the rural south in the early 2000’s and what it was like initially, the culture shock
shifting from years of nomadism to mainly tending one small place in community
some of Marissa’s childhood experiences in California with chemically bonded parents and plant loving grandparents
farming in west climates vs. arid climates
tending tropical plants in a subtropical four season place, and pushing the edge of what is possible during rapid climate change
the perspective gained from travel and having an awareness of the plants in those places
Marissa’s time in the Gila wilderness doing walks and we geek on plants we found there
the pros and cons of isolation living in wilderness areas, co-dependency, addiction and depression wrapped in idealism, and how can we contribute to society living ‘out there?’
Marissa’s mead brewing practice on the road over the years, capturing place through brewing plants
how facing the immediacy of death changes perspective
Firefly Gathering, sign up for year round classes or attend the annual gathering: http://www.fireflygathering.org Firefly on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/fireflygatheringnc Support the podcast on Patreon to contribute monthly to our grassroots self-funding of this project For one time donations to support this podcast: Paypal : paypal.me/petitfawn VENMO:
@kelly-moody-6 Cashapp: cash.app/$groundshotsproject Our website with an archive of podcast episodes, educational resources, past travelogues and more: http://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Project Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow This episode hosted by: Kelly Moody Produced by: Kelly Moody
Life changing & inspiring
I came across this podcast due to relationships with the folks being interviewed or interest in their work. I found myself jumping with joy and excitement finding that I can continue to connect with the people, plants, animals, and stories that I get to connect with at primitive skills gatherings or elsewhere. This podcast feels like a continuation of those gatherings. This podcast is home, where I feel most understood. These conversations fill me with wisdom and leave me with questions.
A beautiful listen
super informative and calming. I love to hear each guests perspectives. I am always left with new insights & more to think about.
Loved the Doug Elliott Episode
It's been a while since I have listened to this podcast but I'm diving back in with Doug's episode. Wow what an amazing episode and storytelling. I've been listening to his bandcamp channel, too.