The former tech worker goes feral, finding rewards in plants and animals foraging for food
“We weren’t creating a better world through technology,” Kraft said one recent afternoon at Remillard Park in Berkeley, where she still spends time after moving to a house in the Sierra foothills in 2021. Happy future, but people on screens are getting sicker, and that’s where I find myself.
Today, Kraft, a writer and editor, keeps expenses down by growing and gathering food, making most of life’s necessities herself or buying them used, saying, “We’re all living too high a life on pig and eating it.” Lots of resources.”
About six years ago, the rewards Craft felt from her outdoors led her to study nature in earnest, starting with a course at UC Berkeley and frequenting Tilden Regional Park behind the school, where she rediscovered “the wonder and joy of being in nature.” Her move. The next, attending a primitive skills gathering, led her to look back hundreds of thousands of years ago when people lived nomadic lives, hunting and gathering, rather than comfortable consumption. Lisa Nisbet, a psychology professor at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who studies the effects of nature on humans, said that significant scientific research supports the idea that spending time in nature, and deepening connections with the natural world, improves health and well-being and reduces stress. Physical and mental health. “When people walk into those places, they tend to have more positive feelings compared to negative feelings, and more of a feeling of energy,” Nisbet said. The benefits could be significant for those whose immersion in nature is much less profound than Kraft’s, Nisbet said. “For some people, it may just be that they want to enjoy their local park or green space,” she said.
Kraft knows her lifestyle is unusual, but she believes connections with nature, even small ones, provide an antidote to the frenetic pace and over-consumption of modern life. As she speaks, Kraft peels blackberries, then scrubs, twists, and twists them into a raw rope a few inches long in just a few minutes. “It’s a really ancient skill, about 130,000 years old,” she said. “In almost every ecoregion there is a plant strong enough and of the right consistency to make thread. I can make a very long cord in a few hours. And when you’re done with it, it’s not rubbish, it’s biodegradable.”