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Classes Tuesday & Workshop Saturday in Puyallup

From: Chris C.
Sent on: Sunday, September 25, 2011 8:34 PM

Hi Everyone. We have a great line-up this week, and hope you can join us for any of the following events at our home campus in Puyallup:


Tuesday Classes on Natural Navigation, Lostproofing & Orienteering: 1:00 Homeschoolers; 4:00 All Ages; 7:00 Adults with focused youth welcome. Costs range from $5-$15 depending on number of family members and whether you pre-register. Please see or for all the details including specific itinerary.


Saturday Workshop - Weaving Willows, Cattail & Nettles: 10:00-4:00 for adults with focused youth welcome. Cost is $35-$45 depending on the number of friends/family you attend with. Pre-registration is required at or and the itinerary includes learning to weave a willow basket and a cattail mat, plus make rope from stinging nettle. Join us to harvest and process these plants into some of the best winter tonics to keep you healthy, and whip up tasty dishes today as well. Join us to celebrate three of the Top 10 Most Important Plants of the Pacific Northwest, and take a huge step toward understanding the most critical plants of our region! If you would like to prepare in advance, check out our essays on Stinging Nettles and Cattails!

Make Rope from Stinging Nettle - Our strongest native plant fiber! Central to this workshop is making rope from stinging nettle, the strongest dry plant fiber that is native to Western Washington. We will harvest and dry it, then spin it into cordage using various "reverse wrap" methods. Take home what you make for use over the coming year. You'll never have to buy rope at the store again!

Dine on Stinging Nettle - Our most nutritious native green (and tasty, too)! We'll celebrate the nutritional and medicinal qualities of nettle by harvesting new growth that comes up in the fall and making it into a tasty soup and pestoa! You'll also learn to properly dry and store it for continual use as a tea tonic for improved health during the cold and flu season.

Create fire with Stinging Nettle - One of our best sources of dry tinder! Stinging nettles are an incredibly good source for fire tinder in otherwise wet forest environments. You will put together your own tinder bundle of nettle, grass, cattail and cedar bark to practice blowing coals into flame. After lunch we will also test the strength of nettle rope, using it while demonstrating the bow-drill method of traditional fire by friction.

Harvest Cattail for mats, tinder and warmth - Our most abundant source of down! Before lunch, we'll head over to our cattail collecting pond to harvest cattail "down" to dry for later use as part of a fire tinder bundle and natural "ember match" used for keeping embers alive. We will also use the cattail down as well as harvest their leaves in order to craft a winter sleeping bag, as well as placemats for our afternoon meal!

Snack on sumptuous Cattail - Our greatest source of carbohydrates in the wild! We'll show how the downy seed-head of cattail helps to make fire and maintain embers over a long period of time. We will also roast cattail shoots and rhizomes over the coals, and work together to separate flour from the starch-filled rhizomes, adding that to "ash cakes" which we will bake in the fire before enjoying as a final treat.

Weave a Willow Basket and Make Aspirin! Together we'll gather willow branches to start our baskets. While weaving, we'll learn about the medicine willow provides and prepare willow bark tea to taste.

Join us for a great day together, and please contact us for carpooling information! Please prepare as you normally would for a hike, including lunch, water bottle, 10 essentials, etc. However, please be aware that sparks from the campfire can melt your synthetic clothing, so wool might be a good option.

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