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Video: Harvesting Arnica Cordifolia in Washington's North Cascades

I am an avid wildcrafter. In this new video, filmed May 23rd, 2017, I share how and when to harvest Heartleaf Arnica (Arnica cordifolia) and then I sing an ode to the Arnica.  There are several hundred thousand acreas of Arnica blooming in North Central Washington this year because of all the forest fires in 2015 and 2016. Arnica oils, creams and salves are used topically to treat sprains, bruises, and muscle pain. Diluted tinctures of arnica can be used in foot baths (1 teaspoon of tincture to a pan of warm water) to soothe sore feet.


AWAKE, A Dream From Standing Rock Documentary - Must See!

I recently watched this documentary, 'Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock,' in Port Angeles, WA with about 50 people at the Lower Elwha Klallam tribal center. It was very powerful.  I went with my friend Terry D. who spent 100 days at Standing Rock. This should be on mainstream television, but of course it won't be. America, wake up!

               --Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Society

AWAKE, A Dream From Standing Rock will also be available for a limited time online at


and interested viewers will be able to stream for a donation of $1 or more from April 22nd to May 6th.

Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock is a feature-length documentary directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker and activist Josh Fox (Gasland, How To Let Go Of The World And Learn To Love Everything Climate Can’t Change), Academy Award nominated filmmaker James Spione (Incident In New Baghdad) and indigenous filmmaker and Digital Smoke Signals founder Myron Dewey. The film tells the story of the #NODAPL Native-led resistance against the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock, premiered on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival as part of the festival’s N.O.W. special screening section.


Updated: BARTER FAIRE SUMMIT & Training

May 18-21

At the 2017 Okanogan Family Faire, 11 miles east of Tonasket, WA

Learn how to put on a barter faire!

(Occurs during the Spring Faire)

* The Summit will consist of meetings, observations and presentations by current and past barter faire organizers. A participatory, immersion training at an actual barter faire.  We will set up a Summit camp for participants. Summit participants can have a regular booth at the faire provided they have other people to run the booth when they are occupied with the training activities.

.* The Summit starts at 12:00 Noon on Thursday and ends at 3:00 pm on Sunday. There is no fee to attend the Summit. Regular Faire admission can be waived if you participate in some of our work trade activities (and the worktrade qualifies you to eat at the volunteer kitchen).

* We will put up a big meeting tent and have a hospitality fire-ring meeting area next to it and an adjacent camping area for summit participants.

* The summit is being hosted by Skeeter Michael Pilarski (founder of the barter faire in 1974).

Some topics to be discussed:

Bookkeeping, budgets, admission pricing
Documentation. Video, YouTube,
Education portals, Artisan Row
Fire watch, fire permits
First aid, ambulance, CALM area,
Food booths, health dept.
Free Store
Going Green
Hospitality fires
Information booth, T-shirts, memorabilia
Infrastructure, materials
Legalities, permits, insurance.
Marijuana and paraphernalia, alcohol policy.
Marking out the streets, street covering, straw.
Music, stage
Parking. Vendor parking, campers, day parking. Handicapped,
Power needs, lights, solar, generators
Recycling, garbage
Sanitation, portapotties, hand washing set-up
Security, horse patrol
Taking care of the Earth being impacted, reseeding.
Team building, coordinators, work trade, volunteers, work parties.
Volunteer kitchen, food procurement, night shift.
Watering roads, road issues
Youthtopia, kid’s area, children’s parade
And other topics that come up.


Summit Schedule

(tentative). We will finalize the schedule at the event.


10:00 am to 12:00. Opening circle.  Introductions, Setting the agenda.
2:00 to 4:00 pm. Assist with vendor parking.
4:15 – 5:00. Get together for download and discussion.
7:00 to 9:00 pm. Meeting.


9:30 am to 12:00. Morning meeting.

3:00 to 5:00 pm. Assist camping parking crew.

7:00 to 9:00 pm. Do a walkabout in small groups. Visit gate, stage area, drum circle area, etc to observe. Meet several times along the way to compare notes.


10:00 am to 12:00. Morning meeting. Legalities, permits, insurance.

3:00 to 5:00 pm. Meeting.

7:00 to 9:00 pm. Do a walkabout in small groups. Visit gate, stage area, drum circle area, camping areas, etc to observe. Meet several times along the way to compare notes. Focus on security.


10:00 am to 11:30. Meeting.

11:30 – 12:30. Watch the formation of the children’s parade and participate in the parade. Assuming they do the parade as they do every fall faire.

1:30 to 3:00. Wrapping up and final remarks.

The above schedule would add up to about 30 hours scheduled over the 5 days.

Stay tuned to www.friendsofthetrees.net for further updates.

Okanogan Family Faire

Education Portals at the Spring Faire

* We are setting up 3 educational portals at the 2017 Spring Faire with tents where workshops will be offered throughout the Faire plus workshops will be held at vendor’s booths.  Everyone is invited to share Their talents, knowledge and experience.  There will also be a soapbox for short public talks. Skeeter Michael Pilarski, Cyndi Benitez (OFF overall coordinator) and others are helping put this together.  One of the nodes will be connected to Artisan’s Row, which is an educational portal which has been operating for years at the Fall Faire. It commonly includes blacksmiths, canoe building, primitive skills, knapping, medicine-making and many other crafts.

* We’d like to see over 50 workshops and plant walks.  People can come to the Faire specifically to do workshops or you can have a booth and do a workshop on the side.

* Would you like to be part of the Education Portals? Give a workshop, demonstration or talk? Help us organize? Provide structures?

For further details on the Summit and Education Portals contact:

Skeeter Michael Pilarski

[email protected]