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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Touch Mother Earth this Memorial Day Weekend

Apr 30, 2016 11:00PM

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver Memorial Day weekend, 189 acres of sacred land in Warren county will vibrate with new ideas as “Tribes, Vibes and Scribes” gather at Mount Eden Retreat for Touch Mother Earth 2016. The event is the brainchild of Event Coordinator Dave Miller, whose vision combines earth-friendly solutions with a love of music and appreciation of “hands-on” learning.

Miller has been a community organizer, nature lover and interested in “making the old new again” since he was a child. “Nature, gardening and camping were a regular thing for our family. It was fun to buy secondhand furniture and old bicycles to repair or recycle,’” says Miller. His experience with Bluegrass music festivals, promoting bands, and as a radio jock at WRSU-FM moved him to serve as musical director at the Kindred Spirits Fairs at Mount Eden Retreat and as a performer with EarthMovers Drum Collective. His desire to expand those formats to include more “earth” provided the inspiration for Touch Mother Earth.

It sounds like a typical festival...but it’s not.

Touch Mother Earth is the place where learning center and festival girl-791274_640meet. Yes, it is filled with things to do, musical acts, food and interesting vendors. What makes it stand apart is the 33 intriguing, experiential workshops for adults, kids and families with some real hands-on activities, including: “Bio-Dynamic Farming” by Brian McGuire, “Planting a Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden” with Debbie Zodkoy or “Hiking and Foraging for Medicines and Food” with Dan de Lion from Return to Nature. Plus the Enrichment 4Kids program allows kids to leave the electronic world behind in favor of handling snakes, reptiles and managing pets responsibly. Or they can become skilled at juggling or folding origami, take yoga, and understand soil, compost, earthworms and build a butterfly garden as a permanent installation!

Mount Eden Retreat is the perfect place for this type of gathering. The facility was created to provide a holistic environment designed to help people reclaim their wholeness, heal and renew themselves. In addition to being nestled within an 189 acre hilltop paradise, it also offers a 60’ yoga studio, meditation garden and sweat lodge.

A truly community solution-based event

“Our vision is simple,” states Miller. “We seek harmony by reducing our material waste. By fostering health, we promote a lifestyle designed to lift one another and avoid destructive practices. We come together as a community by supporting organic, earth-friendly decisions. Instead of knocking down ideas, we provide and support healthy sustainable ways of living. We have no need to protest when we can work and plant from the ground up as our families did not so long ago!”

Join for part or all of this three-day holiday. Basic day passes start at $40 (kids under16 are free) and go up to full lodging with six veggie meals so that participants may stay for the weekend for $225 per person double or triple occupancy.

Location: Mount Eden Retreat, 56 Mill Pond Road, Washington, NJ 07882. Contact for questions, vendors and volunteers is [email protected]

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