This Environment Statement has been prepared to enable you to envision life here at Wildroots. Our Homestead is a radical departure from the life style generally known nowadays. However, we firmly believe that the skills we are learning and utilizing desperately need to be relearned for the fast approaching future.
If after reading this Environment Statement you feel a desire to visit and tour our exciting facilities, please Contact Us and we will answer any of your questions.
Again, thank you very much for your interest!
Visiting Season Open!
If you’re interested in visiting, please read the ‘Visiting Wildroots’ section below, and contact us via email.
As a community, we felt it would be helpful to share some background about our daily routine and a few of the things to consider before visiting. We especially encourage visitors to be self motivated and to ask questions, to lend a hand during meals and on community projects. Some of these things include gardening, helping to carry water, gather and cut firewood, start morning and evening fires, prepare meals, wash dishes, gather food, etc. All of our cooking is done over an open fire.
Aside from rescuing high quality minimally processed food from Mother Dumpster, our food is gathered seasonally and grown in our small garden. We ask visitors to be prepared to help gather and preserve food – usually greens in the spring, greens and fruits in the summer, fruits, nuts acorns and meat in the fall. Our community spends weeks processing these foods, and it helps us to be able to share with others if visitors help with these projects during their stay.
Somethings to be aware of during your stay:
- Please come prepared to camp during your stay. We do have a limited number of cabins, but we keep these available for people with kids, or other needs. There are lots of camping spots down by the stream or in the forest, and people are also welcome to build their own debris huts if they are motivated to. So, please come with a tent, hammock or tarp and sleeping bag or blanket. Be aware that it can be rainy at any season. **Don’t forget the rope to put your stuff up with. Hammocks are especially useful here during the summer, and tarps are almost necessary to put over the tent, so if at all possible, bring an 8×10 tarp to use.
- We are a very small community. Photos on the site tend to give a distorted picture of how many residents are usually here, and the number of permanent residents tend to fluctuate year to year, due to transience, etc. We also have a large number of visitors and guests from Spring to Summer, so it is impossible to give a real answer to the question of how many people live at Wildroots. However, the number of permanent residents tends to be no more than a handful. Guests can be anywhere from none to 10 at any given time.
- Wildroots is not an anarchist community, though it originally had its roots in the green anarchist movement. Many people who come to visit identify themselves with this label, and sometimes even residents, however as an intention, the community is not anarchist. While we do not wish to be labeled politically with any movement or group, this is due to the wish to not have any particular identification label or ‘box’. However, no judgment is leveled at any person who wishes to label themselves this way.
- We close to visitors during winter. This generally is from November to March. We do sometimes make exceptions for people who are coming through the area and just want to visit for a day or 2, but we generally have very little going on during the hibernation period, and space is limited, not to mention weather issues and our own need to rest. So, we ask that, unless you really really want to visit during this period, that you try to plan visits during the other 3 seasons.
- Bring a few things with you to help you work on various projects. We do have some tools, but it is difficult to be constantly having to provide basic things such as scissors, needles, thread, etc. So, it you think you will be working on sewing or leather-working projects, bring a small sewing kit, a knife, etc. Your sewing kit should contain needles, scissors, maybe some artificial sinew or glovers needles and an awl, if you are going to work on buckskin projects. Most of these things can be bought at crafts stores, or in Asheville at Earth Guild. A good knife is almost essential – and don’t forget a sharpening stone. The knife should be of good quality, but doesn’t need to be expensive. A good, inexpensive knife to consider is the Mora brand fixed blade knife. If you need to, we can show you how to sharpen the knife, or make an awl, make a knife sheath, etc.
- We do keep deer hides for people to use if they want to learn to tan hides. We have some for sale for $15.00 apiece, and we also have some available for trade. You are also welcome to bring hides of your own if you have some.
- Visitors are asked to donate a minimum of $20 a month towards a community expense fund. This goes towards such necessaries as canning jars, taxes, tool replacements, etc. We have been approached about work trade in place of the $20 a month and unfortunately we just can’t accommodate that. In such a small community, everybody works every day – though not on a time clock – and it is impossible to try to figure out what ‘more’ would be. As a compromise, we do offer the first 2 weeks free to everybody who wants to stay as a short term visitor.
- Cell phones don’t work here.
- Bring some personal eating and drinking utensils. We do have a limited supply, but it is easier if you bring your own.
- There are no electricity, computers, or running water here. We do have a land line phone.
- Bring some projects or have an idea of some things you would like to learn or accomplish here. Some ideas are: friction fire making, hide-tanning, edible and medicinal plant uses, buckskin projects, dead falls, etc. There are sometimes extra deer hides for guests to use to learn hide tanning.
- We ask people to bring a bit of extra food with them to offset the food they use. We will often during the summer have 10 or 15 people visiting and staying, and trying to feed that many people is something that we just can’t do by ourselves. You don’t have to feed the community but a couple of bags of the below would be greatly appreciated: fresh produce – store or garden, brown rice, black beans, lentils, honey, nut butters, granola, cornmeal, teas of various kinds, amaranth, steel cut oats, molasses, maple syrup, coconut milk, seaweeds. Bring what you’ve harvested, bought, use your food stamps, jump in a dumpster on your way here but don’t jump a fence to get to it and please don’t bring a box full of half way rotting produce or processed foods full of sugar and gluten, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial or natural flavors (what are they anyway?) We have the luxury of being able to be somewhat picky with our diets. food is medicine!
- We do understand that people hitchhiking in, in particular, have a hard time bringing any or much food with them. To help with this, for hitchhikers who are staying for longer than a few days, we also offer the option of paying a bit more towards community expenses. While we can’t put an exact number on it here, it might generally be $5 or $10 dollars, more if you are staying for more than a week or so. And if we take a trip into town you can come along and help us gather more supplies.
- We do not have a hard and fast rule regarding things such as coffee, smoking, etc. However, be aware that if you do have addictions such as the above, that you are responsible for bringing your own. Stores are pretty far away, and we only go in ourselves once a week or so. Bring enough if you do drink coffee regularly or smoke.
- While we are not straight edge, we do discourage more than occasional use of addictive substances, including pot, while staying here. We have found that heavy use of drugs while here tends to deaden a person’s self motivation and self awareness and can be fairly disruptive.
- We have a very limited parking area. If possible, hitchhike. If not possible, there are a couple of extra spaces for cars. In addition, our driveway, while not too long, is very rough. If your car is low or even normal clearance, it will not make it up, and will have to be parked across the street. Also, RV’s, buses, vans, etc. will not be able to be parked up the driveway. In some cases, they could be parked in the pullout across the street.
- Children are welcome. We are trying to encourage a greater age diversity and life experience diversity. We currently have one child here and she loves when kids come visit! Her mom loves when moms come visit. We have been blessed to have our visitors embrace our youth and share their stories and skills.
- We are not vegetarians, vegans or straight edge. We do mostly eat wild meat, though occasionally dumpstered (we know where the good quality meats are). People who are vegans, etc. please be aware that you may have to provide for yourself at meal times. Also, be aware that you should plan to bring more of your own food with you.
- We generally eat twice a day. If you are used to 3 meals a day, or feel you need snacks during the day, please bring your own snacks with you. We do occasionally have crackers, etc. but it should not be counted on.
- If you, or your kids, are sick, please consider postponing your visit until after you are no longer sick. Listening to ones body is a skill we can learn more of, and it helps to not pass it around our community as well.
- We do not ‘live off the land’. Our goal is to be always moving more and more in that direction, as we learn more and more skills, and are capable of more and more independent thought and living. However, we are a ‘work in progress’ as well. We are still to an extent dependent on the system, in many ways. Practicality is the argument here, but we are always working towards less and less of those things, and moving more towards gathered and grown.
- We currently have 2 dogs here. No other pets. Sometimes people bringing their dogs works out fine, sometimes it doesn’t.
If you would like to visit, please email us and tell us a bit of yourself, what you would like to experience, and when you would like to visit. We generally encourage visitors to arrange a short term visit the first time, but are open to longer term visitations if you let us know ahead of time. We only get to the computer once a week or so, so don’t worry if it takes a bit to get a reply.
Becoming a Resident
People have asked for a clearer description of how to become a resident.
The first step we ask for all persons who think they might want to become a resident is to visit. Please read the section about what to expect when visiting. We ask that people plan a short term visit of 1 – 2 weeks at first, and we can take it from there.
If things have worked out so far and we all get along and work well together, then we ask that a person become an apprentice for a season (spring, summer or fall, not winter) and see how everything goes after that. This is primarily because there are so many things to learn that are so different from living a modern, mainstream American life. It can be overwhelming to people just ‘detoxing’ from ‘normal’ life.
If we all still like each other and work well together, then we can begin talking about a more long term commitment. For people wanting to become a resident after they have lived at Wildroots for a season, we ask that they make a commitment to actually live here for a total of 4 seasons. This is not to say that you are not allowed to take a trip or leave the premises, but that you do actually live on the premises for a year. This is so that you can actually see how the community works through all seasons, can participate in all the different seasons’ activities, and so that both sides can get a good overall feeling for how well we really do all work and play together.
At both the 6 month and 1 year points we will all sit down together and talk about how we feel about living with each other and what our expectations are, etc. If it sounds rather like a relationship, well, it is sort of. Please keep in mind if you want to become a resident that this is not only about us liking you or accepting you – it is also about your needs and expectations, and how you really like living here and if it is suiting you as well.
We are aware of the challenges of a family wanting to transition. It isn’t as easy as a single person wanting to live here for a while. Aside from one mom and child here now, we’ve never had another family want to start the process of possibly transitioning here, so we’ll work out the kinks and take things as they come. To reiterate, we want age, race, and gender diversity here!