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Little Wing country sanctuary offers holistic, sustainable living weekend for whole family

HARRODSBURG  — The owner of a nearby “sanctuary” is offering a new family-friendly weekend on her Cornishville farm. Little Wing Hollow Art & Nature Sanctuary will hold Holler Days the weekend of Oct. 5-7, for homesteading enthusiasts, nature-lovers, fans of sustainable living and anyone interested in holistic health.

Anessa Arehart says anyone nervous that it will be weekend full of “tree-hugging granolas” should throw that notion aside.

“I love granola, tree-hugging folks, and I might be one at heart, but our events attract what, in contrast, would be considered pretty ‘mainstream’ folks,” she says. Moms, bankers, nurses, writers, physical therapists, biologists, teachers, homeschoolers, church groups and entrepreneurs are just a sample of who generally come out to participate.

The camp will offer eight classes and workshops by regional and national instructors; a book-signing by New York author Leah Guy; several holistic and healing vendor services; free paddling on the Chaplin River; overnight camping; a catered farm-to-table dinner; and live, solo musical performances at sunset both Friday and Saturday nights.

Arehart and her husband Beau Walsburger have hosted events on Little Wing for years, as well as operate a paddling business there.

Word-of-mouth gatherings gained popularity, and now they regularly host educational events open to the public.

Photo contributed
Little Wing Hollow offers an art installation trail as part of its harmonious atmosphere.

The event will have several offerings on sustainability, survival and holistic health. Some of the classes will be directly related to healing bodies through fermented foods, practicing herbal nutrition and wellness, employing self-care massage, Reiki sessions and even biofeedback scans.

“Others classes promote ways to live more in tune with the natural world, such as permaculture basics and straw bale home construction. And some offer skills to assist and encourage people to spend more time being active outside, such as the wilderness first aid class and primitive survival skills,” Arehart says.

The weekend, previously catered to women and called Cowgirl Days, has been reworked as more of a family event after those who attended asked for one to include their boyfriends, husbands and children. Arehart says their events especially attract folks who have office jobs but still crave time away from the daily grind. Past participants’ ages range from 8 to 75. 

“Bucking the status quo of modern living has become mainstream these days. Being healthy and having fun are standard hopes and goals for people from all walks of life. I wouldn’t say we have a ‘type’ of attendee; a wide variety of people sign up for our events and they all seem to have a great time getting to know one another.”

Arehart says it’s a funny thing that what is often considered “alternative” is usually a return to traditional ways.

“It’s not alternative at all. It’s rather old school, like your great-grandma making bee balm tea from the garden to settle a queasy stomach.”

Arehart says as our society evolves and adapts to new technologies, conveniences and pharmaceutical quick-fixes, sometimes we discover that these new habits developed in the quest for convenience and progress actually become more detrimental instead of beneficial.

Many who participate, Arehart says, have lamented their lifestyles require lots of sitting, mostly inside and under fluorescent lighting, with non-stop screen time.

“What seems like progress and innovation is actually hurting them in the long-run, both physically and psychologically. They know and they want to change but perhaps don’t know where to begin,” she says. Little Wing Hollow events are to designed to “gently assist interested folks off that crazy gerbil wheel and give them an opportunity and a destination where they can regroup, learn new ways of doing things, reset their internal rhythm, and provide knowledge, skills and a supportive network so they can begin their journey towards healthier lives with confidence and enthusiasm. It’s baby steps for some and big leaps for others, but everyone is pointed in the general same direction.”

Most of the classes are designed for adults and teens, but if younger children want to learn, they can take part in workshops with parental supervision. Holler Days won’t offer bouncy houses like you’d find at most outdoor events, she says. Instead, they encourage kids to play tag, fossil hunt, explore and spend time with their families.

“Numerous child development studies suggest that time spent in nature helps children reach their full potential and build critical cognitive skills. Unfortunately, many children never get to experience much time in the wilderness or even outside unless it’s through organized sports, or a 30-minute recess.”

Arehart says one of her best memories from a past Cowgirl Camp was observing a 70-year-old woman having a lively, in-depth conversation with a 12-year-old about an art installation they discovered on the farm’s walkable art trail. “Healing comes in all shapes and forms, and I feel like it manifests throughout people who gather here.”

Arehart says sure, a weekend camping in the woods may not heal a physical wound, but it can absolutely heal us in other ways. “I hope people walk away from our events feeling capable, connected and encouraged.”

SO YOU KNOW

The Holler Days event will offer workshops on: permaculture basics; fermented foods; straw bale home construction; wilderness first aid; primitive survival skills; self-care massage; nutritional herbology; and Kentucky native fish and rock identification.

Vendors will include: biofeedback sessions, Reiki healing appointments, a mobile mini-healing and spiritual care boutique, henna body art, and an organic coffee and smoothie truck.

Live music by honky tonk entertainer Johnny Berry of Louisville and singer/songwriter/social activist Nicholas Penn of Lexington.

IF YOU GO

Holler Days will be Oct. 5-7 at Little Wing Hollow Art & Nature Sanctuary, 1450 Johnson Road in Harrodsburg. Cost is $100 per person; spots are limited and registration is underway. Children under 12 are free with parent/guardian admission. The event will take place rain or shine. To learn more or register, visit hollerdaysky.com.