Whole Earth Homeschool Programs at Great Hollow Wilderness School 

Call or email to reserve your space


NATIVE HARVESTS: Identify & Study the Wild Plants & Mushrooms in Surrounding Environments

with Barrie Kavasch…….. Accomplished Author, Herbalist and Ethno-botanist, Artist, and Teacher

 based upon Barrie’s book: NATIVE HARVESTS: American Indian Wild Foods & Recipes
For children 9 to 14+, & accommodating for younger & older w/serious interests.
    Trek through the surrounding areas and learn about Great Hollow’s dynamic habitats. Learn to “read the landscapes” and track wild animals while learning more about the plants & wild mushrooms they are dependant upon for their seasonal diets. Create your own unique “naturalist’s notebook” filled with observations, field identification, personal research, & poetry & stories. Some days we will prepare a “wilderness tea” to share & talk about the virtues of wild plants & herbs in our own diets. Learn about “wilderness toothbrushes” & which ones are the most flavorful to use; learn about “wilderness first aid” & what plants can reduce a fever, calm headache, settle an upset stomach, clean a wound, & relieve nausea.

DATES B: Four consecutive Fridays in March
              March 6, 13, 20, 27
COST: $160.00   
TIME: 9 am – 12 pm
AGES: 8 -15

One day Wonders: (Single workshops)

Dream Catchers with Barrie Kavasch
Create your own traditional dream catcher from materials we identify and harvest on-site. Learn some of it’s rich history and lore, tribal significance, and learn how to weave the web of dreams!
DATE: February 26 (Thursday) 
TIME: 9-12
COST: $25.00/dream catcher, $15/each additional
AGES: 8 + parents welcome

Local Pizza! with Beth Meyer
Beth Meyer, Locavore, Nutritionist, and Great Hollow parent will show us how to make delicious cheese and  pizza from all local ingredients! Feel great about your cooking and have fun with friends. For kids and parents, too. 
DATE: March 31
TIME: 10 am – 1 pm
COST: $35 individual or $45/family, materials included
AGES: 7 +


Great Hollow Wilderness School ~ 225 Route 37 ~ New Fairfield, CT. 06812

ARE YOU, or some one you know…..

~Passionate about Nature? 

~Concerned about caretaking our Earth?

~Great with kids?

~High energy, creative, motivated to make a difference?

~Knowledgeable about Nature and/or primitive skills and excited to provoke other’s curiosities?

~Passionate about education reform, or alternative education?

Looking for a place to integrate and apply your gifts? Come to Great Hollow!


Whole Earth Homeschool is hiring! Come and be a part of a unique and vibrant community of families and educators committed to Nature and to experiential learning. We offer nearly 900 acres of breathtaking land to learn from… replete with rivers, forest, field, bogs mountains, trails, abundant wildlife and rich biodiversity. 

Our team of staff members provide training, curriculum and leadership support, and supplemental development resources to help feed your passion and further your personal growth.

Harvest an incredible experience of reciprocity, challenge and endless fun.

Contact me (Ananda, coordinator) or print out an application and send it in. (please note that the forward does not address the Homeschool program, but rather the regular GH staff – the below forms are what we need.

The schedules are on the calendar linked above if you need dates. 

In Green ~ Ananda


Here are the long awaited photos of our favorite spots, both built entirely by hand in the traditional way, by the Thursday Pioneers, ages 9-12. Granted, the shelters are snow-capped, but isn’t that a testimony?

Here is the Wikiup, complete with stone wall foundation, lashed poles, and goldenrod thatching. Inside is a stone lined fire pit for heat and cooking. A peace flag hangs in celebration of it’s completion.


Below is the log cabin. Inside there is a stone and mortar firplace with chimney, and on the side is their handbuilt balcony. Something to be very proud of!


Winter gifts

native-harvests-with-barrie-1-0071 Ahhh yes. In between snowfalls and cancelled programs, we have the Gem of January. Our Thursday brought in the brave nature souls for Barrie’s Native Harvests. It felt so good to get out of the house to learn with the kids, but somehow still allow the real rhythm of winter to reign. We trekked out into the white yard, and followed some of the littlest tracks…..

native-harvests-with-barrie-1-0031We followed these around the yard, into the stone wall, and back out again, only to fint much bigger tracks. Which led up to the apple tree. Once we were at the apple tree, Barrie talked all about how much the apple tree provides, even in the winter. All the terminal buds were eaten off by deer, and little holes at the base provided warmth and more nutrition for little critters. 

The green-blue scaly stuff along the trunk was an interesting discussion on lichens, as Barrie explained to us how they form and what important roles they play in both the history of plant evolution as well as our present day habitat. Fascinating.



We had the chance to explore some of the winter weeds with their intricate seed patterns. This bean-like plant is actually a milkweed – Dogbane specifically. It has the signature fluff inside the pods, and the stalk makes an exceptionally tough fiber for cordage. This exploration also led us along  more tracks; coyote and bobcat, with some variations on paw size leaving us to wonder if there were a couple of generations.

Inside we created our own journals and taped in our plant specimens with some written details. They all came out so unique and beautiful! And to top it all off, we made delicious snow cream. Yum!

See you tomorrow!


dad-and-sage-making-arrowsHappy New Year Everyone! I hope you all have had a joyful holiday season and are rested up for another adventurous time with us at Great Hollow. As you can see, the vibe seems to travel with us no matter where we are; the flint knapping class has inspired some off season arrow making and memorable Father-Son time.

The snow has been beautiful and promises some clear tracking  days ahead if you are signed up for the Saturday club with Ethan and Nick. Justin and Whendi are gearing up for a multi-faceted creative endeavor with those of you who will be coming to our full semester of StoryLand (I can’t WAIT for this class!). In addition, we are blessed to have an exceptional, seasoned herbalist/author/artist/ethnobotanist with us each week – Barrie Kavasch, who once apon a time taught with our founder Eva Rupert. 

Looking ahead, now is the time for planting the seeds of our future at Whole Earth Homeschool. Do you have ideas? Do you know people who would make awesome instructors? Do you have a vision of Great Hollow that you want to see flourish? Well don’t stay quiet…. it is YOU my dear Homeschool families, that propel us to keep going and growing – so write those ideas down and send them on over to me. Planning ahead is going to be key this year. 

Thanks for coming together and making the Fall of 2008 our most abundant yet. 

See you soon!


Our first student writing submission! Clever, succinct, and rhythmical, I think we’ve got a future Haiku -er! Enjoy……




Barberry is stickering

prickering, and when your in it

you can’t stop bickering.




Water is overflowing,

and when you step in it

it can’t stop growing


                                                                      Zeke, Jr. Naturalist

Graduation & Gratitude


When ten weeks arrives at it’s finish, we see the realization of many things that we have worked for. 

hanna-fires1Pictures can’t really describe it. The joy and accomplishment felt by all was palpable during each of the graduation afternoons. It was a memorable celebration of being present,


giving and receiving acknowledgement,


of heart to hearts……


with more learning and discovery…..


and all the right imprints for the future……


Graduation Gratitude to the incredible students of Fall 2008. You have taught us as much, if not more, than we have taught you. The memories and stories and skills will live on…. building stronger in your own hands and weaving seamlessly into the next generation. Don’t forget…. one day you’ll be the ancestor.