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Afield   [uh-feeld]

-adverb

  1. Abroad; away from home

  2. off the beaten path; far and wide.

  3. in or to the field or countryside

  4. beyond the range or field of one's experience, knowledge, acquaintanceship, etc: a philosophy far afield of previous philosophical thought.

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What is Living Afield? It is different for each of us. For me, Living Afield means changing my life to get back in touch with the natural world. It means eating healthier, spending more time out of doors. It means reconnecting with the world around me. It means eating wild foods, and using the medicinal aspects of plants to heal body and soul.

When I was younger, I spent a great deal of time in the forests of northern Michigan. I loved nothing more than heading off into the woods with a light pack, looking for adventure. I would take no food, and only minimal supplies, and embark on survival outings. I practice long term survival. I became able to live indefinitely from the land. As I grew older, and began to build my family, I noticed that life began to get in the way of my adventures. Even after my time in the military, I still made time to periodically head out on my own, but as the years passed, these times came less and less frequently. I also noticed I was beginning to feel more and more run down. I was working 7 days a week, sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day. I always thought this is the way life is supposed to be though, right?

I am attempting to bring sanity and order back to this crazy world. We must get back to a homeostatic relationship with the natural world. The Native Americans lived in harmony with nature. They took only what they needed, and used what she provided to adapt their lives to fit the natural world. Early white settlers tried to bend nature to suit their lives. In the early 1900's so much of the American prairie had been plowed under to make room for crop growth, that we experienced the Dust Bowl, arguably the worst ecological disaster of modern times. Today many are plagued by diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Systemic Mastocytosis; the latter disease means that there are actually people who are quite literally allergic to everything. This is crazy. Enough is enough. We must find a way to bring nature and our modern world into concert before it is too late.

 

I feel I must tell you that I am not a hippie, or some left wing tree hugger, or a survivalist living in bunker in the forest. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those, it is just that they are not me. I am just a normal guy. I live in a medium sized town. I am an omnivore, I love steak, and potatoes, as well as fish, chicken, and pork. Not to mention venison, squirrel, rabbits, raccoons, game birds of all manner of feather. Along with meat, I eat all kinds of civilized and wild plants. I am not advocating moving into a cave in the forest, or moving into a commune and weaving your own clothes. If either of those is your thing though, more power to you. That is what my philosophy is all about; finding your own way to live in concert with the natural world. We can all benefit from bringing a little bit of the natural world into our urban/suburban/rural lives.

 

After reading this page a friend said it sounds like I am starting my own religion. I guess when it comes right down to it, she may be partially right. While I am not religious in the least, this subject holds the importance of a religion to me. If I may take another moment for clarification, you will never see me walking through the forests in long flowing robes, talking to the animals. This is actually a philosophical journey to find my peace with the world around me, and in turn within myself. I have made it my mission in life to bring this new "old" way of living to everyone else.

My family supplements our meals with wild food. I regularly hunt the forests of Michigan, as well as fish her waters. I forage for edible as well as medicinal plants to nourish and heal our bodies. We use teas, decoctions, tinctures, ointments, and salves which I make from plants available free for the picking around our home, and within short driving distances from our home. For minor pain we use tinctures of Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens and Willow Salix alba. The Methyl Salicylate from these plants is fast acting and highly effective; for pain of a more acute nature there is Ghost Pipe Monotropa uniflora, which acts in a manner similar to opiates, without any of the opiate fog. For cuts and scrapes we use ointments made from Yarrow Achillea millefolium, Comfrey Symphytum officinale, Chickweed Stellaria media, and Plantain Plantago spp. For allergies, coughs, colds, and general lung ailments, we use tinctures and teas made from Mullein Verbascum thapsus, Goldenrod Solidago canadensis, and Echinacea purpurea. Many medicinal plants are not only edible, but highly nutritious. By supplementing our diet with these plants, we reap their healthful benefits.

I have tried to include something for everyone in this website. Please look around, and enjoy yourself. Drop me an email if you like, or just try some of the things on the various pages, to see if they work for you. It is my fondest desire that you too can find enrichment from our natural world.

 

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Revised: 07/07/14 Living Afield

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