Robin Greenfield Visits Doug Elliot in North Carolina

Robin Greenfield smiling while posing with a man.
Asheville, North CarolinaGrowing FoodOff the GridOur Dear Friends in Service to Earth and HumanityPermaculturePersonalSimple LivingSustainable Living

I am grateful and enthused to have spent the weekend with this gem of a human, Doug Elliott and his wife Yanna.
I was in the presence of people who have a deep connection, respect, love and stewardship for our home Earth. Doug is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher and harmonica wizard. I have met few storyteller’s more skilled at bringing a love of our Earth and our fellow plant and animals to the people. I had heard from a few friends that Yanna is fantastic, but oh boy was it a treat to spend time with her wisdom and excitement for Earth!

They live a wonderful life in the woods about an hour from Asheville. There is wonder in every nook and cranny of their homestead. I helped them with cleaning out their fruit tree orchard for a couple hours. They made delicious meals from foods they harvested from their diverse and bountiful garden. We bathed naked in the cold creek-fed pond. I slept in the guest home that Doug built with local, natural materials above his shop. Yanna showed me their pantry full of years of bounty from the garden. Doug showed me many of the crafts that he has made from the land and the natural materials he has collected in his travels. I could go on… Their life is the dream for many city folk, and for them it is simply their reality in the woods, closely connected to nature.

We caught a black rat snake in the woods, a creature that commonly centers in Doug’s stories and took it to a summer solstice gathering where he told stories and amazed the children. I know Doug would have brought me so much joy and wonder as a child! Afterwards we released the snake back where we caught it.

Doug and Yanna are one of the reasons I am attracted to the woods of North Carolina. There are good people everywhere in the world indeed. But here, good people aren’t hard to find at all. In fact I have been coming across them on every corner I walk down. I am looking forward to many returns to Doug and Yanna’s in the years ahead. I’m pretty sure that if I’m willing to weed the garden and tell some stories of my own, that they’ll be happy to have me around.
Their passion for the Earth has flowed through me and I hope it is flowing to you.
Return to nature!
Learn more about Doug, read his writing and purchase his books and CD’s on his website and follow him on facebook.

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