Alexis Burnett of Earth Tracks Outdoor School will guide us on a morning hike in the forest as we learn about the abundant beneficial plants (both native and non-native) that grow among us. We will learn techniques for plant identification, ethical harvesting frameworks and more.
In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity with Alexis' instruction to forage and make your own take-home plant-based creation. The plants we will be using are dependent on what is 'in season'.
What You'll Learn:
🌱 Knowledge of local wild edible plants and ethical harvesting practices
🌱 A sense of joy, kinship and connection with the land and participants
🌱 Ease and renewal from spending time in nature and community
🌱 Take-away creations to support your well-being
This event is by registration only and includes a catered lunch featuring wild edible plants and local flavours.
Staying at Sarana Springs:
Plan to come up for just the day or make a weekend out of it! There are many great local B&Bs, or camp overnight at Sarana Springs and experience the chorus of spring peepers in action.
This opportunity is made possible by donations made directly to our Yana Fund. Want to support our work of bringing Mindfulness, Compassion and Nature Connection skills to young adults? Donate Here
Meet Your Guide for the Day:
Alexis Burnett is a naturalist, tracker, herbalist, and nature connection mentor who lives on the traditional land of the Three Fires Confederacy, home of the Anishinabek Nation also called Grey County, Ontario Canada. He lives with his wife and 2 kids on Rebel Roots Herb Farm (www.rebelrootsherbfarm.com) where they grow, sell and ethically wildcraft more than 50 medicinal plants using organic and regenerative farming practices to produce high quality herbs and herbal medicines. Their farm is also home to Earth Tracks Outdoor School (www.earthtracks.ca) which specializes in connecting people to nature and forming a deep relationship with the earth. Earth Tracks courses and apprenticeship programs include learning how to forage for edible and medicinal plants, herbalism, naturalist training, wildlife tracking, bird language, bush craft skills and nature connection programming for children and adults.
Through exploring nature education and foraging, we can deepen our wonder and appreciation for the natural world. This connection brings us joy and sustains us.
We will be getting our hands in the soil, tantalizing our tastebuds, and opening our hearts up to the fragile balance and truth of interconnectedness that exists between all life on our precious planet. We hope to see you there!
Sarana Springs is 171 acres of wildlife refuge located on the traditional lands of the Anishinabek Nation.
Sarana Springs is home to Sarana Institute's land based retreats like our Yana Retreat for young adults (August 10-13th 2023) and our Autumn Equinox Meditation Retreat. We are approximately 2.5 hours North of Toronto, near Owen Sound, Ontario.
The Land is home to many different beings and ecologies including wetland, meadow, old growth forest and young hardwoods.
Getting to Sarana Springs
We are approx 2.5 North of Toronto, in Holland Chatsworth, Ontario. If you are arriving from the GTA we encourage carpooling when safe to do so. If you are open to sharing a ride with someone else, there is an option in our registration form to select if you need a ride or can provide one. We will do our best to help coordinate ridesharing. If you have any questions about this, just reach out.
Camping at Sarana Springs
Whether you are traveling from out of town or you're local to us, we welcome you to camp here Friday May 23rd or Saturday May 27th (or both!) Camping is optional at an additional fee of $25 per night. This fee can be paid by cash or cheque separately to Angie Di Iorio Blake. Compostable toilets are near 'The Nest' which is a pine forest that makes for excellent sleeping. There is wifi and electricity access on the Land, but not at the camping area. There is access to our community kitchen. If you choose to camp you will be responsible for your own meals (aside from our lunch the day of) and clean up.
Make it a whole weekend experience
There are many local Air B&B options as well if you'd like to find a cozy place to stay as a homebase for the weekend. Grey-Bruce is home to many breathtaking hiking trails, artisan shops, and vistas, and we welcome you to come explore and include our day-long event as part of your weekend!
Food and nature awareness are central pillars of Yana. Here are some participants from our summer retreat at Sarana Springs in Chatsworth, Ontario.
Yana is Sarana Institute's young adult-focused program serving those aged ~18-35. For us, it stands for 'Young Adult Nature Awareness', and yāna is also a Buddhist term meaning 'vehicle'. Our intention is to provide a “vehicle” to support you in realizing and manifesting your potential
All of our Yana events are funded through donations. Because of this, we're able to offer reduced rates and sliding scale fees. Please contribute a suggested amount of $80 - $100 according to your means. To make additional donations that support our work (and provide bursary funds!) click here.
If you really want to attend, but our sliding scale fee feels inaccessible, please reach out to us directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If you want to come, we want you to be here!
Is this just for young adults?
Our May 27th event is open to all ages. Scholarships and some spaces are being specifically reserved for young adults (18-35)
Bring walking shoes or boots that can definitely get muddy. We will be outside rain or shine. Layer up because May temperatures can fluctuate. We will send you an official 'what to bring' list closer to the date. Just make sure you register to receive this.
Yana events are hosted by Sarana Institute which is a secular mindfulness-based registered Canadian charity focusing on offering mindfulness training that awakens compassion in caring for ourselves, others and the earth. Yana events are part of our Yana program, and we also host a yearly mindfulness retreat for young adults called Yana Retreat.