Earlier this week I drove 20 miles south down WI 35, a roadway punctuated with greenery, gentle rolling hills, a few curves and some more rolling hills. I took one left turn and meandered slightly east from the St. Croix river valley and sank deeper into the forest with every passing mile. Then I abruptly remembered to pay attention and turned right at the correct fire number and parked in from of a pole barn. A van had pulled in right before me, and a man covered in grass clippings was walking across the lawn in greeting as I approached. The occupants of the van got out and joined us. I had arrived.
The destination? The site of “The Great Back to Nature Exchange” as visioned by herbalist Kelley Hagenbuch. She and her family moved onto 30 acres of wooded Wisconsin wildness late last year with the mission to live close to the land, and she’s passionate about sharing nature-based wisdom and cultivating a sense of community around realigning with ways of being that foster living attuned to our environment, rather than separate from it. Our purpose of the day was to tour the site and do some planning for the event that will take place in early September. After brief introductions, we started off into the woods, stopping frequently to discuss the plants along the trail, identify mushrooms and commune with the resident grouse, all the while absorbing the energy of a place that is still mostly wild. Continue reading “Let’s Get Back to Nature”