What Happened At Wild Roots

In 2017 I began my uncivilization project, hoping to explore the possibility of living a primitive life in the modern age as an alternative to revolution. The project, or at least the main goal, predictably failed, but during the course of it I explored a number of U.S. states and ended up on a primitivist commune in Western N.C., where I learned the ins and outs of living close to the land. The following posts give an account of my time there.


See also, “What Wild Roots Was Like” and “Notes Concluding the Uncivilization Project.”

  1. Accidentally crossing over into TN — arrival — first dinner
  2. Splitting black locust with C. — fixing trails — two weeks of isolation
  3. Tod and Tod’s truck — history of Wild Roots — “Mother Dumpster”
  4. Arrival of the crew — learning skills — the empty space
  5. The visitors — family of 12 brothers — commune relationships
  6. Dark history of Wild Roots? — the meaning of W. — Mace
  7. Hippies at the bar, hippies in the streets — Santa Claus dumpster diver — street culture in Asheville
  8. Fall tasks — apples — gatherings — chestnuts
  9. Bear — increasing tension — journalist — mugwort dream
  10. Skin-hunger — streets of Asheville — final goodbye — reflections


  • Hoot says:

    Sounds like fun.
    Have you tried St. John’s Wort ? Common here in the N.east.
    Has yellow petals and makes a good tincture. Fill a jar with the flowers and good vinegar. Let it sit for a month or more. Shake jar sometimes. Take a few tablespoons per day if you’re a bit on the down. I tend to be a bit in the fall with the shortest amounts of sunlight. St John’s Wort after a few weeks “cheers” you up nicely. I think the flowers hold the uplifting powers of bright sun and release into you after you consume it for a few weeks.

  • dramboy says:

    Great stuff, when’s the next installment?

  • Marcus says:

    Hey neat to hear your story so far. I spent a few months living at Wild Roots back in the days when the original founders were slowly drifting into other ventures. I remember canning bear, the hills, and the rhododendrons. Mostly, though, I spent fifteen years in and out of the Teaching Drum and also turned to writing to work through that experience. Eager to see the new installments…

Leave a Reply