Updated: Mar 7
Ferrox (wild) Earth Vison, Foundation and Purpose.
“ Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present of the future; he lives as if he is never going to die. And then dies having never really lived.” Dalai Lama
My name English name is Elizabeth. I am also called Iekawehatie which translates as “she paddles along”. This is my adopted Kanienkehaka (mohawk) name. I am a shepherdess with a small flock of primitive breed sheep, I utilise them to farm alongside nature. I also work as a contract shepherdess across the country on other farms. I offer consulting services on shepherding and my craft, selling woven rugs, felt and leather sheepskins at festivals, craft fairs and teach workshops throughout the year in the ancient art of hide tanning, fire making and our essential connection to nature and honouring our animals.
I am a traditional leather hide tanner, using the methods of the native, indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (USA) a wool crafter and photographer with a great passion for wolf conservation, justice for minority and indigenous nations and women’s rights. I use primitive and ancestral skills with my work and educate / show others a way to live simply in connection with the earth and our animal relatives.
I am looking to occupy land between 10-20 acres, this is flexible , preferably with a mix of woodland and pasture to set up home with my flock and live semi wild. Hunting, foraging, off-grid. During this phase of settlement and transition of un-learning modern day comfort and coping mechanisms, I intend to establish a sanctuary for people, mostly women to come to a place of rewilding not only their physical environment, but their garden of the mind. A place of safety where women of all backgrounds can bring their story, share it, be listened to and healed. Then leave this place to write a new story of their true, authentic self. The key to changing our world and restoring balance to our earth is to begin with alliance of self, then collectively we can join forces and reverse the decline of our spiralling extinction.
Away from the fast paced pressures and stress of life and family, work, this will be like transitioning back to wilderness, tranquility, fire circles, workshops and retreats. A place to dance, express, sing. A place to start rebuilding our lost connections with nature and our ancestral circadian ways.
I would like to create a space in relationship with the land to grow some of my own food through the season and to also bring some of my sheep to graze the land for the benefit of nature. (mob grazing, primitive breed foragers) Through regenerative agricultural methods. To form a collection of wild medicines from mother nature and establish a small scale apothecary.
The dream would be to initially live in a large bell tent or yurt/ shepherds hut, then in the future self build a small cob house, or two, dependant on permissions and availability. These would be built with local connections, women’s refuge centre, school, single parent focus. A great way to engage in ancestral crafts which stimulate conservation in the mind and peace in the spirit.
Then central to this will be education, the practicing of heritage crafts. Workshops on foraging, and natural plant dying. Cordage and basket making. Making clothes from buckskin and creating natural willow structures. Hopefully a willow or hazel coppice or orchard on site or plant one.
Below is a link to the original video I posted which sparked some response from people. This gives a good idea of my vision. I come from a non farming/ countryside background. But so far all of the experience I have gained has bought me to this point with the skills I’ve gained to embrace and strive for a project like this.
There will be more detail to come with more specific plans. But for now I am open to any ideas or plans and would hope to at least find a place for me and my 3 dogs (and up to 20 sheep possibly) to come and live out for the remainder of the summer .. to get a feel for what’s required for the next step of increasing community to the site. I do not propose for others to live there also, simply to accommodate folk who are wanting to participate in educational resources and workshops.
Very much of this is a dream that’s been building a little while, but almost every corner I turn there are obstacles and so little opportunity to create a much needed sanctuary like this, unless you’re born into farming or have inherited land. I will draw up a business plan if that’s what’s needed.. but I would initially like to keep this as simple as possible. The freedom to express my intention is quite an important element to this proposal, but I am not discounting working alongside another established project. I foresee an already great response from the people who follow me and my work and this awareness will bring huge positivity to the site/land.
If you’d like to chat, know more, or have a place you could offer me then I look forward to hearing from you.
Elizabeth Iekawehatie Kneafsey.
Founder @ wildwoolshepherdess on Facebook and Instagram where you can learn more about myself and my work/purpose.
As featured on Channel 5, This week on the Farm.
Top image by Artist Vasil Woodland