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Elle D'Coda

  • Instructor
  • Ozark Herbs


    I'm known in Arkansas as a woman who went back in time...however, my own perspective is that I moved FORWARD in see I went to live in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Preserve...15,000 acres tucked away in the Ozark National live without a car, a job, an income or savings, without government assistance, or a phone, even a decent road...and most of time, without other people. I once spent 5 years without leaving the wilderness at all. I lived off of the forest, my garden and occassional help from well wishers. I hiked a rugged 1000 ft mountain to where a friend received mail for me. I stayed in touch with people through letters...until supporters installed some solar power and gave me a laptop and eventually satlink. I went to save seeds, seeds of endangered plants and seeds of hope. I confess that I'm really cut out for cultivating the mind far more than cultivating the soil. In a different world, I'd be aging in the halls of academia rather than in the bush. I brought an extensive library with me and between grinding grain for bread, making herbal medicines and chasing bears off...I'd have my latest book in hand...or a pen to write. There were days spent listening to the water gossip along the stones of the Hurricane...meditating in the grove...getting lost looking for new trails. Two chow mix dogs, a cat and guineas were my constant companions. I was also there to learn. To learn the ways of our grandmothers and great great to turn peaches into vinegar, how to brew wine from potatoes, beer from yarrow, how to treat my wounds and scrape away the layers of conditioning I'd picked up along the way. How to sit at the feet of a mother plant and learn her secrets directly...plant language...and the language of animals...the language of Being. Eventually my path crossed that of the Ozark Tracker's Society ( )...a group in the lineage of Tom Brown that teaches nature awareness and primitive skills. They brought groups in to study edible and medicinal plants with myself and the well known naturalist, Kent Bonar. (see "The Naturalist" on Netflicks) My work saving seeds connected me with Dr. Brian Campbell, a professor of anthropology (his specialty is agricultural anthropology) who started a seed bank to preserve traditional Ozark crop seeds and I became one of the primary growers for those rare plants. Now the seed exchange has grown throughout most of Arkansas with seed swaps in several towns and cities. I'm now relocating to another area of the glorious Ozarks, to continue the work with plants through Ozark Herbs which offers a series of workshops and web courses on both medicinal and edible plants. Finally, I've recently begun work with Open Intelligence out of England. A fascinating project of citizen journalism, knowledge management, social intelligence, meta-data analysis & curation, game development, Survivance.

    Professional experience


    Ozark Herbs

    March 2006 - Present

    open intelligence ltd