Our Mission and Vision:
Our mission is to cultivate an environment for people to reclaim their roles as caretaker of the earth by sharing earth living skills, developing community, and reawakening our inner wildness. We are committed to weaving together ancient and modern practices to find a lifestyle that is aligned with The Way of the Earth.
We are an Earth Skills Community based in Blue Hill, ME, offering a variety of programs for youth and adults. Our programs are all nature based and are designed to give people the tools to return to a deeper relationship with the earth, themselves and their communities.
Environment at the school. We strive to create a culture that is inclusive and accessible to participants with wide range of backgrounds, gender identity, race, income, physical abilities, etc. We want people to feel safe pushing their edge and empowered to nurture their passion.
Earth skills. These skills enable you to develop a more intimate relationship with life. We teach ancient and modern technologies of skills such as hide tanning, fiber arts, shelter building, procuring potable water, fire making, plant identification, and processing wild foods and medicine. We also delve into the softer skills of awareness, nature based ceremony, and building a heart based connection to the landscape. These skills will give you the power to provide for yourself in an authentic way and to tune into the rhythms of the earth that surround you.
Developing community. Nature is organized in communities of species called an ecosystem. Therefore, community skills are an integral part of what we practice here. We are dedicated to exploring different tools to build deeper connections, navigate conflict in rewarding ways, and cultivate our innate gifts to share with one another. Community is the key to the health and success of nature.
Inner wilderness. Many of these earth skills are of a physical nature but if you tune into the process of weaving a basket or tanning a hide, you will start to notice something deeper happening within you. If you use these physical skills to help reflect, guide, awaken certain parts of you that need attention, they become a powerful vessel to help you kindle a deep relationship to yourself and your inner wildness.
Caretaker Role. The caretaker role is behind everything we do at Way of the Earth. It’s a way of being in relationship to life around us that encourages abundance. We believe humans were designed to play a role in navigating various ecosystems development in a way that encourages health and diversity. We integrate permaculture, follow indigenous peoples’ practices, use modern Eco-friendly technology, and mimic nature in the way nurtures the land. Whether that means thinning over-crowded tree stands for firewood, or encouraging tasty dandelions to re-oxygenate and re-mineralize damaged soils, we are striving to embody the caretaker role.
Hannah Sol Rhea
Co-Founder, Girls Mentoring Program Co-Director & Instructor.
I began collecting & cultivating these skills when I was sixteen. My garden first showed me the world of wild edibles and medicinals, and I followed those plants out of my garden into the world of ancestral skills and the wild ways of the earth. I’ve studied and worked at various primitive skills school such as Hawk Circle, Flying Deer and Maine Primitive Skills School, teaching both adult and youth programs. I’ve traveled nomadically, sometimes with pack animals, gathering skills in other countries as well attending numerous workshops with knowledgeable instructors here in the United States. I am an experienced hide tanner, crazy about wild fiber arts, have a strong passion for crafting with raw materials from the earth and love the feeling of processing animals into many beautiful and useful artifacts. I deeply believe in the earths healing ways, and strive to unite the inner and out world in the programs I offer and how I live my life. I am committed to continually developing an intimate connection with the earth and to fully step into my role as caretaker of her.
Co-Founder & Instructor.
Living close to the earth, feeling her power and healing abilities has been important to me my whole life. I started exploring these skills in high school and have studied at various primitive skills schools and nature education centers such as Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School, BearTracks, and Maine Primitive Skills School. I’ve taught for various programs for both children and adults at schools through out New England. My strongest skills lie in the art of being sheltered, hide tanning, permaculture, and animal/plant processing. I’ve tested and honed my skills during extensive backpacking, sailing, and survival living adventures all over the world. In 2013 I completed my bachelors of science in adventure therapy at Unity College.
Girls Mentoring Program Co-Director & Instructor.
I grew up in the Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. There I experienced cultures that were seeped in tradition, especially with regard to folk arts and storytelling, and in which magic was a mainstay of everyday life. When I moved to the United States, I attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University. I majored in History, and focused on that of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. I minored in Religious Studies and Russian. After university, I came to Maine for a river guiding job. I fell in love with Maine and paddling. I have been guiding wilderness therapy and recreational canoe and backpacking expeditions in Maine, Alaska, and Minnesota for five years now. I lived and studied with my mentor Ray Reitze for three years. He helped me to refine my skills as a trip leader, taught me basket weaving, plant identification, and other earth living skills. I apprenticed and instructed at The Maine Primitive Skills School. I am passionate about restoring Maine’s wild rice, paddling, fiber arts, and discovering the real behind the apparent. I daydream about goat-packing, and woodland creatures.
Wilderness First Responder & CPR certified
Our Address is 319 Jay Carter Rd. East Blue Hill, ME.
From Ellsworth: Take 172 into Surry. Right after the Surry Village, take a left on 176. In 6.5 miles you will come into East Blue hill village. Directly after the metal bridge, take a right onto Jay Carter Rd. Drive a mile up the road, past all the houses, into the woods. You will come to a T in the road with our School Sign, take that right down our driveway.
From Bucksport/Blue Hill: If coming from Bucksport, take route one East towards Ellsworth. After around 4.5 miles, turn right onto route 15 down into Blue Hill. Take a left onto main St.. Across from the COOP take a right onto 176. In around five miles, right before the Village of East Blue Hill, turn left onto Jay Carter Rd. Drive a mile up the road, past all the houses, into the woods. You will come to a T in the road with our School Sign, take that right down our driveway.