Food for Life 2013

May 31, 2013toJune 2, 2013

Join us for the 15th Annual Food for Life

For nearly two decades the Sequatchie Valley Institute’s annual “Food for Life” event at Moonshadow has gathered thinkers, practitioners, dreamers, and eaters alike.  On the walls of the ancient Cumberland Plateau, Food for Life is an act of community connecting and opening us to the flow of energy we call food.

In a space where being is your criteria for expertise, discussion and presentations range from the practical, common, and scientific to the edgy netherworlds of speculation, mythology, and spirit.  Topics covered in these manners include, fermentation and the art of cooking,  the joy of eating, nutrition, herbal medicine, crop and animal production and building relationships with the origins of our food.

Workshop leaders are drawn from a wide background of expertise and experience – allowing for a variety in the types of teaching, learning, and interaction.

Sessions Cover:

  • food preparation and preservation strategies, including canning, drying, and fermentation. The exploration of various fermentation cultures, such as sour kraut and kim chi, mead, wine and beer making, kombucha, kefir, sour dough, miso, yogurt and cheese making. Our keynote speaker on this topic is Sandor Katz, the well loved southeastern author of “The Art of Fermentation” and “Wild Fermentation.” This underground fermentation superhero will be sharing his enthusiasm for & wisdom about various aspects of health and vitality through fermentation.
  • permaculture gardening & edible landscaping, with an emphasis on how to create & live within your own abundant environment
  • plant walks, meeting & greeting our local wild edible & medicinal plants here in the forest, harvesting, discussion and preparation of various medicines
  • metabolic, nutritional, biochemical, evolutionary relationships to health and disease
  • theoretical and political explorations of the social and ecological implications of industrial agriculture as well as the pitfalls of the modern diet & an exploration of various methods of creating sustainable community-based food systems instead of global monopolies
  • a comprehensive kids program encouraging adventurous eating & a real connection & relationship with food.  We will be sharing yummy snack ideas that kids prepare & share, food based art projects, ways to play with your food, kids fermentation by making herbal sodas & general fun in the garden & fun with our food.  We view kids as the future and helping them to fully understand how important it is to make wise choices about where their food comes from, how it is prepared & the ways in which we share it is imperative to a sustainable & abundant future.
  • the art of bread making, culminating in a pizza party in our outdoor wood fired earthen oven
  • tours of our land and hand built homes, permaculture gardens and sustainable lifestyle
  • games, theatre, live music, sharing circles, and of course, delicious food!

All events are intentionally affordable and we ask $25 — $50 per adult, per day and children are $5-$20 per child per day, which includes lovingly prepared nutritious meals and admission to all workshops and lectures.

There is a $10 camping fee for the weekend.  Sliding scales are available for those who need it. All Sequatchie Valley Institute members receive a 10% discount.  We are not for profit (501c3), and all proceeds go to cover the costs of this and future events. Limited work trade is available and needs to be arranged in advance. Food trade is accepted, but only if the food is nutritionally and ethically sound (i.e., produced in manner that makes our world a better place). All food trade must be approved in advance.

Our goal is to deepen community through educating and empowering people in one of the most fundamental aspects of being… FOOD.

Food for Life 2013 Schedule

Friday, May 31

9:00 AM  Welcome!

Register and set up camp.

10:00 Tour

Explore the structures and gardens with Johnny and Carol.

11:00-11:45  Opening Circle

11:45-12:45   Lunch

1:00-3:30  1st  Session

Plant Walk with Alan Powell

Come & discover our lovely slice of Appalachia on this guided hike with Alan, who will introduce local plants in the forest and fields.  We will harvest wild edibles & medicinal plants to bring back & turn into medicine, mead & magik!

3:30   Bentos!

4:00-5:30    2nd Session

Medicine, Mead, & Magik

Patrick, Marissa & Maya will explore a variety of tinctures, tonics & fermented beverages.  We’ll chat about yeasts, sample brews, & make wild wine from the plants we gathered on Alan’s walk.

5:45-6:00 Dinner Bell & Circle

6:00-7:00   Dinner

7:00-9:00   Connections

We will begin with “The Green Man, A Tribute to Frank Cook,” a short film about this deep ecologist who inspired many of us to discover wild foods.   We’ll share our relationship with food.  Then we’ll explore how we came to be the animals that we are and the serendipitous events that brought us all to this unlikely event in the woods!

Saturday, June 1

7:45   Rise & Shine!

8:00  Morning Circle

8:20-9:20  Breakfast 

9:30-12:00  1st Session

Optimal for What?

Join Joel Kimmons & Bill Keener for a moderated conversation on food, cooking, diet, and wellness.  Nothing trumps fiction like the real!  Explore the labyrinth of millions of years past to consider the evolution of metabolic processes in the twisting arms of nature’s bounty.  How, why, and how much:  What does it mean to pursue an optimal diet?

12:00-12:20    Afternoon Circle

12:30-1:30    Lunch

1:30-3:30   2nd Session

The Art of Fermentation

Join well-loved southeastern author & wild fermentation master, Sandor Katz, as he spins the web of folklore & practicality into a delicious version of reality!  Learn to create your own sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir, kombucha and other healthy fermentation foods at home.

3:30   Bentos!

4:00-5:00   Fermenting Grains

Join Patrick & Marissa discussing sprouting & fermenting wheat & the art of making bread, while creating the pizza dough for dinner.

5:00-6:30   Evening Entertainment

Join Michelle Kimmons & the FFL kids in an art opening to view the creations from the kids’ programs.  Cheese and (kid) “wine” will be served.

Bridge the arts and the environment with Cerulean & WAN Love in collaboration with Friends of the Forest (the SVI homeschool program), performing, playing, and having fun!


6:30-8:30   Pizza Party!

Create your own masterpiece using locally grown toppings on sourdough crusts made in our workshop, then bake them in the earthen wood-fired oven!

9:00-??? Campfire Shindig

Don’t forget your instruments, stories and songs to share ‘round the campfire. Pass your favorite drinks or homebrew around– bring some, drink some, share some! We’ll have teas of local herbs, cocoa, and homebrews.  What will you bring?

Sunday, June 2

7:30-8:30   Coffee, Tea & Crumpets

8:30-8:45     Morning Circle

8:45-10:00    1st Sessions

A. Safe and Healthy Food Preservation

Discover fun and easy methods of canning, freezing, and drying your surplus from garden and market.

B. Dairy 101.  Join Andy Onion for a hands-on workshop to explore soft cheese, yoghurt, & other milk products.

10:-10:15  Brunch Circle

10:15-11:30   Dutch Brunch!

Enjoy Dutch oven baked food, sprouted breads & more!

11:30-1:30   2nd Session

Wild Woods Mushrooms

Join Matt Shigekawa as he shares his adventures in wild foraging.  Then take a hike in search of elusive edible fungi…happy hunting!

1:45   Closing Circle

We need a handful of folks to stick around to help clean up the aftermath of this glorious event!

Family Friendly Schedule

Programs created with kids in mind!

Friday, May 31

2:00-3:30   1st Session:    Cheese!

Join Lori Carter and her baby goat from The Farm Camp & learn basic cheese making skills.  Help prepare the 3:30 Bentos!

4:00-5:30    2nd Session:  Relax!

Join Allyson Ford for a relaxing movement session designed to relax, refresh & renew you.

7:00-9:00   Movie in the Woods

Bring your blankets & cozy up under the stars for this outdoor big screen viewing of a surprise food movie!

Saturday, June 1

9:30-12:00   1st Session

Play with Yer Food!  All are welcome to join Michelle Kimmons for a hands-on exploration of food-based art, featuring Kool-Aid water colors, spaghetti sculptures, games, stories & more!

12:00-12:20    Afternoon Circle

12:30-1:30    Lunch

1:30-3:30   2nd Session

Food Mandala!  Join Lisa Fox & her daughter Tori for this beautiful exploration of art & food, creating a meditative mandala of food to be shared at Bentos!

3:30  Kids Share Bentos!

4:00-5:00  Gallery Preparations

We will transform our outdoor pavilion into a gallery to display our food art creations. Everyone is invited to an Art Opening, complete with “wine”, juice & cheese!

5:00-6:30   Art Opening

Participants share their artistic creations as we mingle in the gallery!  Lynn Grabowski, from the Avian Learning Center, will display her fascinating collection of nests & eggs & share wisdom about birds.  Then join Cerulean, WAN Love & Friends of the Forest for forest frolicking, theatre & games!

6:30-8:30   Pizza Party!

Create your own masterpiece on our sour dough crusts, then enjoy the unique flavor of our earthen wood-fired oven!

Sunday, June 2

8:45-10:00    1st Session

Bento:  Artful Box Lunches

Join Mirel Crumb to learn about artistic presentations & healthy combinations of yummy food.  Participants will share their creations with everyone at the 10:15 Dutch Brunch!

10:-10:15  Brunch Circle

10:15-11:30   Dutch Brunch!

Enjoy a bounty of Dutch oven delights, sprouted bread, fresh fruits & more!

11:30-1:30   2nd Session TBA


Download a flyer to print and post in your community:

 Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 5.07.15 PM

Download the full schedule and share with friends:

screen-shot 2013-05-20 at 1.07.51 PM

FFL ‘Zine Thirteen

We will have a limited number of high-rez ‘zines available for folks paying full fare. Those of you on the budget plan can print these out and assemble your own:

Food for Life ‘Zine Thirteen:

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 9.48.29 PM

8 thoughts on “Food for Life 2013”

  1. How can I find out more details about the food for life schedule? Do you have more information about workshops and times? If so, please send.

    Thank you,


  2. Hi Polly:

    Dates, times, and info are all posted above, as they become available. We already have a fairly full schedule and are adding presenters as we get their bio and workshop info. As we add to the schedule, we’ll post more info here. We’ll also send additional email to our announcement list with final information a couple of weeks prior to the event. If you are not already on the list, please go to the home page and sign up (add your email in the form on the right side of the page).

    Thanks for asking!

  3. I’m curious about what the price ranges for adults are all about. I am a student intern/resident at a half-way home in Nashville and I do a lot of gardening for the residents here. I would love to come out and learn and hang out with you guys! Is there any chance that student rates would be at the lower end of that range?


  4. Hello! Wondering about the kids sessions? What age group usually attends? How does that work? Do children do their own day while adults do the other groups? Does a parent stay? Just heard about this awesome event and am trying to figure everything out! Thanks

  5. All ages may attend. It’s best if parents attend the child’s first session, then if the child is comfortable, they can attend the next sessions without the parent. Parents must attend the event and remain on-site during their child’s attendance (no drop-offs). In general, if your child is comfortable being in the care of others, they are welcome to attend kids sessions without parental supervision.

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