What It’s Like To Attend A Primitive Skills Gathering – Marjory Wildcraft









Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • See what it’s like to step back in time, slow down, and learn primitive arts and ancestral skills.
  • Photos of a variety of primitive skills classes with commentary, including flint knapping, weaving, hiding tanning, wholistic medicine, bow making, fire building, shelter making, and much more.
  • What to expect—from accommodation, to food, to evening socialization and classes, to daily class registrations.
  • How to find a primitive skills gathering that suits your interests.

About The Speaker:

Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, an organization dedicated to teaching everyone how to simply and easily grow, prepare, and preserve their own food and medicine.

A featured speaker at Mother Earth News Fairs, on National Geographic, and on countless national radio and TV shows, Marjory is best-known for her video series “Grow Your Own Groceries,” which has over half a million copies in use by homesteaders, foodies, preppers, universities, missionary organizations, and more – all around the world.

“Homegrown food on every table” is the catalyzing statement of her organization.

Marjory has been called “The most dangerous woman in America” for teaching people how to live free of the grocery stores and drugstores. And she encourages EVERYONE to grow food for reasons that include health, spirituality, preparedness… and for no reason at all!


QUESTION:   Do any opportunities exist, in your local area, to learn primitive skills like these?


  1. Inge Leonora-den Ouden

    Am I the first here? Must be because I am in a different time zone. Here it’s afternoon when there with you it’s morning. I like what you call ‘primitive skills’, I would call them ‘hand crafts’. While listening an looking at your pictures with ‘half an eye’ I was busy hand sewing …

    1. Inge Leonora-den Ouden

      Sorr, had to answer your question. Camps like that are not here (as far as I know). But we have some Open Air Museums (f.e. Archeon), organising all kind of interesting activities.

  2. Kate Howell

    This is an excellent presentation, with only one difficulty that I can see. As I watched, the audio track was almost 1.5 minutes ahead of the video. If I closed my eyes I could enjoy the audio, so it wasn’t a real problem, just a little disappointing.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Kate,

      Sorry to hear you had some sort of syncing issue. I’ve just re-watched portions, and did not have any disconnect….so I’m thinking it was a one-time glitch.

      Thanks for watching!

  3. melissa merritts

    Not that I am aware of. They maybe be a class once and a while here or there. I would love be able to attend some.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Melissa,

      It really is worth the effort to attend a Primative Skills Gathering – such a heart-centered wise group of folks, sharing what they know for the betterment of all!

  4. Lydia F.

    Thanks for including this Marjory. It’s amazing how growing your own food begins to be connected to the interest in primitive skills. Perhaps because we are now more sensitive to the record(psi?) in the land.
    Someone in our town has made me aware that Native peoples used stone in many different ways, as well as for the familiar pestles which are commonly collected. Many ordinary looking rocks show evidence of having been shaped for hand holds, edges or flattened, for uses in making other tools, pottery, grinding seeds,etc. Now I am looking at the very stones in gravel piles or along the gravel roads in a different way.
    I went to the “Not So Simple Living Fair” in Boonville, CA a few years ago and took a class from Tamara Wilder, of Paleotechnics, in string making from plant fibers. Continuing the process creates rope. She made it into a delightful and philosophical experience, which has usefulness down the road. One can use the technique on other materials, such as cloth strips, to make cordage.
    My Permaculture class had a day of study on Native American agriculture: the use of fire and gathering in forests and fields in managing the land for sustainable productivity. European settlers were not able to “see” this.
    Anyway, I think your presentation has relevance to all of us gardeners and back to the landers. We need to understand where we came from, as well as how the people who lived in this land (and still do) survived and thrived. Thank you for you efforts and authenticity.

  5. Marjory Wildcraft

    Thanks for your kind comments Lydia. For many, simple gardening in the backyard becomes a doorway to step back into a conscious relationship with Mother Earth…and once that connection becomes palpable the urge to connect deeper can become a calling home 🙂

  6. Dorothea Lowe

    Great, thanks for sharing! The second and third link for gatherings didn’t work. Sure would like to attend!

  7. Annette

    Thank you for sharing the experience. I’ve never been to a primitive skills gathering. I now have found the closest one and am planning to attend next year.

  8. A

    That is not teddy bear cactus. That is cholla. Teddy bear cactus is very small and has such fine needles that it looks fuzzy.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hey thanks A! I appreciate the clarification.

  9. Jon

    I liked your explanation and found it helpful.

    Reminded me of an “open air museum” meets camp.

  10. Michael

    I have attended a similar gathering here in Missouri the last few years, it is called “Bois D’arc Primitive Skills” and I think it’s always the last weekend in September.

  11. Sue

    Desr Marjorie,
    Interesting presentation on Primitive
    Skills gathering with many unique classes
    in creating all kinds of wonderful but
    useful items.

    Also thank you for sharing a host of
    speakers on topics ranging from gardening
    to chickens. I learned ways to efficiently expand
    my gardening and to dive right in and take
    risks on trying to grow unusual foods from
    seeds and pits. Come the next growing season
    I will be looking at gardening very differently
    because of listening to your speakers who were
    enthusiastic and adventuresome. I really loved
    it all. Thank you very much for your efforts in putting it altogether .

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Thanks so much Sue! I’m really happy to hear that you found the presentations useful and inspiring. Keep growing!

  12. Lenny

    I live in Phoenix area and have been to Wintercount a few times. I used to work with primitive skills a lot and find it rewarding but not as much as my current gardening hobby. It is all connected and doing things simply and within the nature of God’s laws of creation is a joy. Thanks, Marjory, for hosting this cyber gathering.

  13. Matti

    Wonderful Marjory

    I love what you do and wish we had you in Australia 🙂 we need more ‘dangerous people’. Are you in contact with any Aussies who run similar ‘primitive skills’ gatherings?
    Huge warm hugs and smiles

  14. lee

    AAAAmmmmmaaaazing Summit Marjory!!! Well done!
    We actually got to watch ALL of it – yes EVERY SINGLE ONE- and we enjoyed them all. Kinda makes us wish we lived in the USA so we could take advantage of a lot more of the ‘stuff’ on here!

    Perhaps we may in a different life. Keep up the great work ladybird and I’ll see you in the Grow ‘Lab soon when my eyes are back in my head properly LOL!

  15. lee

    sorry Marjory – stupid me forgot to say ‘THANK YOU’ and my husband says ‘thank you’ as well – he enjoyed every minute of it too and we learned a lot from the experience. Going to bed now, it is 1.15 am here and every night the same – we are absolutely shattered lol

  16. Mickey

    Hi Marjory. I could really use your help. I am a single mother of ten children on welfare. After seeing your facts on the average household of four using $15,000 a year for food and knowing I receive less than $12,000 a year for food to feed my family it forces me to grow I do love gardening so that’s a plus I planted 90 potato plants this year in southern Chester county pa. They were small and have already been consumed. I have no income but S.S.I. and a small bit of child support. I can’t afford your info maybe you could visit Amish country ?

    1. Sandy

      Mickey: There are church groups that have in various ways begun missions in the US that teach people how to garden, sustain themselves and by supporting food security help people grow in spirit. If you have 10 children, by now some of them are surely over 10 years old. That is old enough to enjoy and learn how to garden. Some of the church’s sponsor community gardens where you would be able to grow your own plot of food or collaborate with experienced gardeners and learn skills in a supportive community, then to share in the results. If you have a computer and access to the internet, you should be able to network your way to a situation of that kind. I have watched youtubes produced buy these churches, many of which are on the East Coast and some were in Pennsylvania. Another way to achieve food independence is to learn how to forage. At this time of year, depending on weather conditions, you can find roots and the seeds of forage plants (frequently a.k.a. edible weeds) like lamb’s quarters, amarannth, mallow, plantain, grasses of various kinds. These can be sprouted or ground into flour. Your city library may have books in their collection that you can read (or have your children read and read to you while you take care of the younger kids) that will teach you plenty about how to find free, nutritious foods in the woods as well as small untended city spaces (check for pesticide and herbicide spraying policies first), and could offer great, tasty adventures for your whole crew all spring, summer and fall. One famed writer on this topic is Linda Runyon, who spent much of her life a single Mom foraging to survive in very simple circumstances. Another is Sam Thayer, who writes about forage plants all over the No. American continent (he loves a fruit called Nannyberry or Rasinberry that is ripe and ready to eat late into the fall and early winter). Another who lives and teaches on the East Coast is Arthur Haines. All of them will explain in great detail about what you can eat safely AND WHAT YOU CAN’T. There are many, many youtubes on foraging, too. Learning to forage will give you and your children a great gift of independence and pair well with any gardening.opportunities that come your way.

  17. Jean-Guy

    Quite an experience … skills all should learn … TY

  18. Jean-Guy

    PS ….GREAT JOB HOSTING …Much Appreciated ! <3 Keep up the good work <3 Listened to most … loved all … 🙂

  19. Tami

    I live in Arkansas. . .primitive skill opportunities? It’s like living in a perpetual workshop. Tick removal and avoidance course. . .check. Poison Ivy identification and Jewel Weed treatment. . .check. Earthing (shoeless lifestyle). . .check. Bow season, musket season, open season, beer season. . .check.
    This event appears to be a bit too proper for me. LOL! Loved the presentation and so glad to learn of its popularity.

  20. R Kay D

    Could you email the sites for the primitive skills gatherings — Thanks in advance

  21. Monique

    Marjory thank you! This has been a great summit, I have watched and taken notes on most of the presentations. My husband and I have been to MEN fair, we would LOVE to go to wintercount!! Sounds just up our alley! Would an Acupuncture chiropractic veterinary demo be acceptable there?

  22. Sgl

    I feel so educated after watching this! I was clueless of most of what you presented, but you presented it so well I want to participate. I will probably take your advice and attend a MEN Fair before I jump in with two feet. Thank you for an excellent presentation!

  23. Lori

    Marjory where do you attend the gathering? Is there ever one here in Central TX? I’d love to attend one. 🙂

    1. Lori

      I just got to the end of the presentation and see the list! Thank you so much for the awesome summit!! <3

  24. Sandra

    Dear Marjory,

    great reminder to look out for primal stuff and even sustainable thinking of thinking twice and finding solutions with what is at hand first, down to the refined artcraft skills that move the body, challenge the brain and settle the soul. Thank you so much for putting this summit together.

  25. Jean

    Just wanted to add my voice to the Thank You!! list. The whole summit has been very enjoyable and your overview of the primitive skills gathering is a delightful gimps into that intersecting circle. May we all grow in peace.

  26. pamela

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I would love to attend one day.

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