FARMINGTON – With summer around the corner, locals and tourists alike are taking advantage of all that the wilderness has to offer. For some, this means camping, hiking and exploration. For others, like Josiah Wannemacher, it means doing exactly the same thing that he does every day- living with the land is a lifestyle for Wannemacher, not just a summer vacation trend.
Wannemacher is known as a homesteader: he lives mostly off the grid, relying on what his family can produce in their garden and the skills he’s developed by trying to live in the simplest way possible. He recently installed solar panels on his land and his family uses composting toilets.
Because of the growing interest in what he refers to as “country living”, Wannemacher is hosting a free workshop for anyone interested in learning about the lifestyle.
“I’ve had lots of questions; there’s a growing interest in my own social sphere,” Wannemacher said. “Something like this would’ve been helpful to me.”
This workshop is inspired not only by interest, but by a lifetime of experiencing with all that the natural environment has to offer. Wannemacher grew up being taught how to survive in the woods and how to preserve them.
“I’ve learned how to work with the land; to have a symbiotic relationship with the ecosystem.”
Wannemacher is also inspired by holistic health practices. Working with the land requires effort that he describes as exercise. “Exercise is medicine,” according to Wannemacher, as well as sunshine and fresh air. He considers himself a health missionary for both the body and the environment. He also understands that this lifestyle is not for everyone, and notes that it is not convenient.
He describes country living as “living in a way that supports the natural world around you and yourself.”
The Country Living Workshop will take place mid-August at his home on the Knowlton Corner Road of Farmington, and will include topics such as canning and food preservation, wild edibles, bushcraft and wilderness survival, homestead designs and considerations, gardening basics and seed saving, simple solar systems, chainsaw technique and maintenance and more. Guest speakers will include David Kidd, III, a lifetime logger and outdoorsman, and Lauren St. Germain-Kidd, agriculture enthusiast and local greenhouse and nursery caretaker.
The event is free, meals are not included. When asked about the inspiration for hosting the event, Wannemacher reinforced his philosophy about truth and transparency.
“My desire is to help people become who they want to be. This workshop will establish a network of relationships; a support group.”
So far, 14 people have signed up to participate in the workshop on the 43-acre homestead, and Wannemacher expressed surprise and excitement that of those 14, he only knows two. Anyone with questions or interest in signing up for the workshop can email Wannemacher at email@example.com.