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Astounding Earth

Classes That Connect

 

Current Class Offerings

 

Mushrooms of the Southern Appalachians 
A Seven Week Deep Dive into Mushrooms and Fungi

7 Mondays August 15th - October 10th, 2022

(No class 9/12 and 10/3)

9 am to 4 pm.

Asheville NC area.

Limited to 10 participants.

This Class is Now Full.

Are you excited to take a Deep Dive into the fascinating world of Mushrooms and Fungi?  This class provides an in depth study of Mushroom Identification, Common Mushroom Families, Local Edible and Medicinal Species, Preparation and Tastings, Safety Considerations, Fascinating Fungal Facts, Mushroom Ecology and More!

We will share time each day finding fabulous fungi in the forest to discuss and admire, listen to and sometimes eat.  We will practice utilizing field guides and taxonomic keys for safe and accurate identification of our specimen. Fungal families and groups and potential poisonous look-alikes will be discussed in depth.  This class is appropriate for beginning and intermediate students.   

Tuition: sliding scale (please pay as high on the scale as you are able based on your means)  $425 - $600

Payment Plans and Work Trade available.
​No one turned away for lack of funds. 

For more information email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com

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An Introduction to Marvelous Mushrooms 
A Five Week Series 

5 Thursdays August 18th - September 15th, 2022

9:30 am to 4 pm.

Asheville NC area.

Limited to 12 participants.

Registration is now OPEN! 

Come join us in discovering the marvelous and bedazzling world of Mushrooms and Fungi!  This class provides a thorough introduction to Mushroom Identification, Common Mushroom Families, Local Edibles, Important Safety Tips and Precautions, Mushroom Ecology and More!

We will share time each day finding fungi in the forest, identifying specimen, and learning helpful tips for field guide use. Safe and accurate identification and familiarity with common fungal groups will be primary foci. Taxonomic Keys will also be introduced and perhaps the mushrooms themselves will teach us a thing or two if we listen closely. We will definitely dine on some of our findings!

Tuition: sliding scale (please pay as high on the scale as you are able based on your means)

$300 - $400

Payment Plans and Work Trade available.
​No one turned away for lack of funds. 

 

For more information email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com

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Trees of the Southern Mountains 
A Five Week Series

5 Tuesdays August 30th - October 11th, 2022

(No class 9/13 and 10/4)

9 am to 4 pm.

Asheville NC area.

Limited to 10 participants.

This Class is now FULL.  

Come join us in learning about the magnificent Trees of our region and their incredible uses and folklore.  This class provides a thorough introduction to Tree Identification, Habitats, Ecology, Edible, Medicinal and Utilitarian Uses, Interesting History, Folklore and More!

Each day we will visit various beautiful and wild ecosystems taking time to become familiar with the wondrous trees that preside there and their amazing life cycles and connections to the greater habitat.  Several classes will take us to extremely old individuals and rare species.  We will also practice navigating Tree field guides for ease in field identifications.    
 

Tuition: sliding scale (please pay as high on the scale as you are able based on your means)

$300 - $400

Payment Plans and Work Trade available.
​No one turned away for lack of funds. 

 

For more information email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com

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Spring Bird Apprenticeship 2022

Ten Tuesdays: March 22nd - May 31st, 2022
(No class April 19th)
7 am to 1 pm. 
In the Asheville NC area.


Limited to 8 participants.  
Registration is now FULL.
  

Come take a deep dive into the incredible world of Southern Appalachian Birds.  
This is a fun, active, in- the-field class, where we get out and meet, observe, and learn about dozens of resplendent birds as they traverse the wilds of Western North Carolina.


We will explore: bird I.D., song and language, habitat, behavior, as well as conservation issues, and species surveys - all while participating in an international citizen science project.  Beginners Welcome.

    


​Tuition: sliding scale (please pay as high

on the scale as you are able based on your

means)  $425 - $600

Payment Plans and Work Trade available.
​No one turned away for lack of funds. 

 

For more information call or email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com  

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Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian Mountains


A seven week series on the Natural Plant and Forest Communities of the Southern Appalachians!  

Thursdays: March 31st - May 26th. 

(No Class April 21st and May 19th)

9:00 am to 4 pm.
Asheville, NC Area.

Limited to 12 participants.
Registration Is Now FULL.  
Email Luke to join the wait list.  


Join us for seven sensational Thursdays of exploring and discovering the magnificent forests of our Southern Mountains!  

In this series, we will enter and explore 12 of the verdant natural communities of our region, learning the significant ecology and plant and animal species for each. We will utilize experiential approaches in meeting each ecosystem with hands-on and sensory activities to complement lectures and discussions.    
 
Focus Topics include: Plant, Tree, and Mushroom ID, Delineating Ecosystems and Ecotones, Keystone Species, Ecosystem Succession, and Appalachian Ecology.      

Tuition:  sliding scale (please pay as high as you are able based on your means):  $300 - $425

Payment Plans and Work Trade available.

No one turned away for lack of funds.  

For More information call or email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com

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The Sacred Naturalist School 

 

The Sacred Naturalist School is a 25-day naturalist immersion located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina & Tennessee. We stretch out in time to luxuriously embrace the full glory of the Appalachian seasons - from spring ephemeral wildflowers and the long sunshine of summer to the rainbow of trees, mushrooms, and wild fruits in the fall.

We meet for five 5-day/4-night immersive sessions to deeply build our relationships, reverence, and knowledge of this astounding bioregion. We dive deep into the immense diversity of the region, meeting and exploring the lives of plants, trees, birds, fungi, mammals, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, as well as the cycles and ecosystems that weave them together.

Blackberry Blossom Farm in Tennessee will be our base camp for walks, talks, embodiment practices, yoga, dance, forest bathing, camping, hiking, swimming, fires, games and much more!  Additional locations include sacred land in Cherokee, NC and several regional fieldtrips.  

For more information and to register visit:

Earth Path Education.  

 

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Regular Seasonal Offerings
Full descriptions for Open classes above


Spring
- Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachians         (Spring session)
- Spring Bird Apprenticeship
- Explorations of Appalachian Mountain Plants


Summer
- Nature Connection Games & Activities for             Educators
- Birds of Summer
- Fantastic Mushrooms and Fungi


Fall 
- Fantastic Fall Mushrooms and Fungi
- Our Magnificent Trees
- Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachians         (Fall session)


Winter
- Introduction to Animal Tracking and Trailing
- Winter Tree ID 
- Our Birds of Winter
- Wonders of Winter Ecology Walk 

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Custom Classes

 

Discover the life all around you...

Luke Cannon, one of Western North Carolina’s premier naturalists and ethnobotanists is now available to bring a dynamic ecological experience to your school, business, group event, family, or home.  Luke offers private personal and g
roup plant, bird, mushroom, and ecology walks, custom nature connection and survival skills classes, plant and bird surveys, land consultations, and more....  

Luke brings decades of experience to a wide range of classes from beginner to expert level, and delivers exceptional content and experiential learning every time.  An accomplished mentor, Luke tailors each class with thoroughness and care, bringing his fervor for learning to all. Luke has taught alongside Doug Elliot, Sandor Katz, Frank Cook, Natalie Bogwalker, 7Song, Lena Eastes, and Alan Muscat, among others.


Popular classes include:


Half or full day Naturalist Walks at your home or favorite WNC natural area. 

 

One-on-one or small group instruction in:

Wild Plants

Mushrooms and Fungi

Birds and Bird Language

Animal Tracking and Trailing

Wilderness Awareness Skills

Hands-on workshops learning the skills of ancient fire making, lean-to survival shelters, spoon carving or rope from wild plant fibers.  

Afternoons of fun nature connection games and experiential activities for educators, parents, families, or teens.


To book with Luke call 804-384-2908 or email AstoundingEarth@gmail.com

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