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Traversing rural Romania to record the old knowledge of how to live--gathering a disappearing wisdom.
Traversing rural Romania to record the old knowledge of how to live--gathering a disappearing wisdom.
63 backers pledged $5,652 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Welcome!

Luka Negoita and Philip Walter will be traveling rural Romania for six weeks this spring--from mid-April through May 2012--recording old knowledge about the skills of homesteading from people that still rely on it. Please help support this project so that we can preserve this old knowledge before it disappears. See to the right for more details on how we can share this experience with you. Read on for more information about the project.

Life in the United states now comes with a price tag; we live in a generation where a global market has been the norm, where most of our basic needs for life come from corporations. We are disconnected from the land and the resources that sustain us. Last year, the UN released a report stating that world hunger can't be solved using industrial agriculture. However, small scale agriculture has been on the rise: US farmer's markets have more than doubled in the last ten years and many people are starting to rediscover homesteading. The increase of homesteading has led to an increased demand for the knowledge required for it, and there are currently many resources online and offline to help with this. However, few of these resources come from first-hand sources--from people whose survival actually depends on these skills.

There are still a few places in the world where homesteading is not a choice, not a way to leave the city, not a romantic endeavor, but the only way to live. One such place is the rural countryside of Romania.

   Luka Negoita:  I’m a botanist and plant ecologist by training, but I’ve long been fascinated by wilderness survival. Through practicing the skills of primitive fire making, shelter building, hunting, gathering, and many others, I realized the importance of these skills beyond their physical utility. They helped me access a way of life common in our history as humans and helped me gain a deeper awareness about our connection to the resources that keep us alive.

    Phil Walter: I have been studying architectural design and drafting over the last few years.  I am fascinated by the effect of the spaces we create on the way that we live.  I believe that the key to developing a more sustainable energy pattern in the US will rely on architecture and infrastructure that first address an alternative lifestyle, rather than trying to develop new ways to sustain our current one.  Much of my own inspiration comes from looking for synthesis between modern efficiencies and traditional concepts.  

Our focus will include: 

  • Growing food
  • Raising animals
  • Food preparation 
  • Natural medicine
  • Daily lifestyle
  • Clothing
  • Architecture, building and construction
  • and, of course: music, stories, folklore, and fun.

We will document these old skills using notebooks, sketchbooks, an audio recorder, and black and white film.  On our return we will compile our findings digitally to share with you!

Update: Click here for a link to Luka's Flickr page for photos and drawings from past explorations. More photos and drawings will be posted in the next few days.

But we can't do this without you. Your donations will help with travel expenses and living costs while we travel Romania for six weeks.   

Photos of Romania taken in 2005 by Luka Negoita

All other photos, drawings, and images by Luka and Phil

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You are awesome. Thank you so much for your help! You will be acknowledged for your wonderful support, Thank you!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Mulţumesc! You will receive the above, plus: We will send you a handwritten postcard from Romania.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Esti incredibil! All of the above, plus: We will develop and send you an original (8x10) black and white photograph taken during the trip, including the written story and knowledge that goes with it. You will also receive a CD with highlights from our sketches and notes.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Marfa mare. All the above, plus: We will send you a print of one of our drawings from the trip, including the written story and knowledge that goes with it.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Extrem de misto! All of the above, plus: We will send you an additional photograph and printed drawing, including the story and knowledge that goes with them.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Foarte tare. All of the above, plus: We will send you an original drawing from the trip, including the story and written knowledge that goes with it.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Te iubim! All of the above, plus: We will take requests on specific questions or topics about old knowledge that you want us to explore as we travel the country.

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Funding period

- (30 days)