About the Organizers
Who We Are
We are a growing, inclusive, non-hierarchical network of volunteer organizers committed to building relationships and dismantling oppression through earthskills gatherings in NE Ohio. We are motivated by a deep desire to live in harmony and love with nature and other humans.
We are grounded in northeast Ohio plus we have relationships with other like-minded people and groups beyond. We include farmers, hunters, gatherers, laborers, young adults, elders, activists, builders, healers, herbalists, teachers, and learners of all sorts. We hope this is a community for you!
How We Started
We came together over ideas of liberation from dominant culture and oppressive practices, towards a vision where all our needs are met sustainably off the land, in interdependent community, and humans are free to live intertwined with the natural world.
The first team met each other in 2018, when they came to a meeting at Kelly’s Working Well Farm in response to a Facebook event posted by Red Beet Row education farm. Many of our early organizers moved to the area recently, or returned to the area after living years away. Everyone was seeking nature-centered community with grassroots social justice in our hearts.
We are not yet our own legal organization. We are legally a “project of Kelly’s Working Well Farm,” in Chagrin Falls, which is an educational permaculture farm sharing practices and principles of sustainable agriculture, natural building, and social permaculture. The farm hosts workshops, summer camp, and a farm-immersive, self-directed educational program for homeschool children and their families.
During 2018-2019 our team of 10-20 volunteer organizers put on several fundraisers, community dances, and the big event – a large annual skillshare. We organized a 3-day weekend Skillshare in August of 2018 and again in 2019. The event drew 200-300 people, including all-volunteer teachers, organizers, work-traders, and paying attendees. We had workshops all day, awesome healthy community meals, dancing and music at night, a tent devoted to the healing arts, natural building demonstrations, overnight camping with cabin options, and more. We designed our written language and Morning Circles to aim for an inclusive atmosphere where everyone felt safe and invited to learn. We struggled to keep everything as low cost as possible.
What we found is that our location (different each year, but always in a rural setting) was inaccessible to many people we care about including. What we liked about the setting was the ability to connect with nature, breathe clean air, see the night stars, find wild medicine and mushrooms in the workshops because there were trails with forests established enough to have them, swimming in the lake, and more. But, of course, this is a privileged space. The fact that the natural world has become a privileged space is an immeasurably painful loss to humanity.
We also learned that we were doing too much – the amount of work and stress it took to put on all these events was burning out our all-volunteer team. In 2021 we began revisioning, regrouping, and recruiting. We are now working on one-day skillshares across northeast Ohio to build our networks.
We are still imagining a large multi-day “Reeds & Roots Skillshare” in the future, but we are recruiting more organizers and teachers to help shape what that looks like, where it is located, how it is accomplished, or even if it’s a 3-day event at all! We hope to better be on target with our vision.