Foraging, Permaculture, and Macrobiotic Food Ways

Foraging, Permaculture, and Macrobiotic Food Ways

Stephen Hoog

Details & Online Registration

Program information

Cost: Sliding Scale $500, $375, $250

This weekend’s workshop will examine the human relationship with the rhythms of the natural world. Friday’s program will lay down a way of seeing the world from an energetic perspective. There will be an emphasis on food energetics as opposed to a simple scientific nutritional way of looking at how we should eat. By identifying energetic properties of specific foods we can find out how to prepare and eat our daily food that creates balance in our physical condition and our emotional state. But nature is always changing and it is important to know how to adjust to those changes. We can learn how to do that by studying the principles of macrobiotics –or seeing the big view of biology—closely allied to traditional Chinese medical philosophy and Ayurvedic medicine. It involves the study of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements. 

The second part of the program on Saturday, is a Wild Food and Herb Walk around the grounds. Here we will explore and identify the wild plants that can be used for food or medicine. We will include insights from a macrobiotic perspective as well as seeing how some of the plants can be used in a permaculture design. This will be followed by a lunch with wild foods in each dish. Later in the afternoon a session on Applied Kinesiology [muscle testing] will be presented showing how a simple technique can give us insights into our overall condition, on our vitamin and mineral needs, and other energetic qualities of our body. Wild plants can be tested to see if they are edible. We will introduce the Meridian system which is used in Acupuncture and Shiatsu and show how simple corrections can make us feel better and reinvigorate our energies. Muscle testing can also help with dealing with and releasing extreme emotional states. All of this is presented at the very novice stage to stimulate further study.

On Sunday the topic will be permaculture. This is a system of design and creation that sets up permanent agricultural systems that work in harmony with nature rather than fighting it as our present day agricultural system functions. We will see how to integrate elements of the system that will support each other and minimize inputs from outside of the system. These are long range plans using many perennials, annuals and wild plants. The principles can be used to create a larger system or a smaller plot for home use. The Food Forest system is a growing phenomenon.  We also can examine some of the plants we saw during the Wild Food Walk and see how they can be incorporated into an overall plan or design. The underlying principles can be used to recreate society with mutually supportive elements.

The menus for the weekend are designed to offer macrobiotic choices for educational purposes and allow participants to see that delicious meals can be prepared with a larger view in mind. The whole workshop is intended to showcase natural connections, rhythms, and cycles with tools for living in harmony with them. 

Stephen Hoog has been a Macrobiotic Dietary Counselor and Shiatsu Practitioner since 1980. He has taught Shiatsu classes on numerous occasions over that time and for several years taught a 300 hour Certification course.  He expanded his knowledge of Holistic health by studying and applying Cranio-Sacral work, Lymphatic Drainage, Applied Kinesiology [muscle testing], and Meridian Emotional Release. Stephen has a great interest in the Natural world. In the early 1970’s he began to learn about the use of wild plants as edibles and herbal medicine. In 1975 he began offering Wild Food and Herb Walks in Eastern Pennsylvania and New England and has even gone to Missouri and North Dakota to offer that service. Stephen was introduced to Natural Agriculture during his study of Macrobiotics and then read a great deal about Permaculture. He has lead workshops and several design sessions on that topic. Recently he has shown an interest in the state of the birthing process in the United States and its effect on the physical and mental health of the population. He joined the Association for Pre and Post Natal Psychology and Health to further his study. He occasionally presents talks on the importance of home birthing and working with midwives and doulas. Recently he rekindled his interest in hand drumming and leads Drum Circles in the Eastern Pa. area.