Preservation and Education
Once established, Celtica will be a non-mechanized working farm dedicated to the preservation of Celtic cultural heritage, animal husbandry, and land stewardship through education and practical experience.
- We seek to inspire people to connect more deeply with nature and leave the world a better place for those who come after us.
- We believe that it is our duty to educate the world about the historic Celtic traditions that provide people the tools to nurture the land and themselves.
- We seek to demystify Earth-based religions and how these traditions actually connect us to the web of life.
— Lisa Stewart, Founder, President, High Priestess, Author
Celtica as a Living MuseumAs part working farm and part living museum, Celtica will engage, educate, and enthrall those who visit by providing an immersive experience of life in an Iron Age Celtic Settlement. Not only will visitors learn about the agricultural, animal husbandry, and land management practices employed by our early ancestors, but they will have the opportunity to learn these incredibly valuable skills for themselves.
Visitors will also learn about the history, languages, and customs of the Celts through interpretive exhibits where actor/historians in period dress directly engage with their audience.
For the sake of simplicity, we have divided the skills and knowledge which can be learned at Celtica into two parts: Agricultural and Land Management and Celtic Culture and Artisanal Crafts. The list that follows is by no means exhaustive, as additional areas of focus are likely to be added when they become available.
Agricultural, Land Management, and Conservancy Skills
The Celtica project will take some time to attain full operational capability following inception and not all of the features described will be immediately available but will be added progressively over time.
Animal HusbandryAt Celtica, we passionately believe that all living things, especially those who provide for our sustenance, are deserving of our gratitude and respect. In the modern era, where mass-production and factory farming is the norm, we humans have become increasingly isolated from nature and, as a result, are now largely unaware of our dependence on it for our survival. To borrow the words of Joni Mitchell, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone." Whether it be the bees that pollinate our crops and provide us delicious honey, the sheep that provide the wool for our clothes, the oxen that help plow the fields, or the laying hens that provide for our sustenance, at Celtica we consider them all to be essential to our very existence. Our courses on animal husbandry will not just focus on the care of livestock for health and general well-being, but also incorporate practices which contribute to their emotional well-being, thus ensuring they live happy and productive lives.
Apiculture and Apiary Management (Beekeeping)Bees are vital to our agricultural eco-systems worldwide, but under threat from excessive use of toxic pesticides. It has often been suggested that if the bees become extinct, so will humanity. Celtica will offer courses in how to manage and care for these incredible pollinators, and will produce small batches of organic honey and beeswax. There will also be a “living museum” exhibit to inform visitors of the importance of bees and to educate them on the history of beekeeping, which has been practiced for thousands of years.
Horticulture and Agronomy
Our early Celtic ancestors were far savvier than most people realize. They understood how to work in harmony with the land to produce the very best crops along with an abundance of natural materials for use in building, and the manufacture of clothing, tools, and utensils – without ruining the environment.
- Complementary and Seasonal Planting and Crop Rotation Techniques
- Soil Improvement through Zero Waste Recycling
- Soil Conservancy and Erosion Management
- Coppicing and Woodland Management
- Natural Fencing and Hedgerow Management
- Water Resource Management: Purification, Drainage and Irrigation
- Artisanal Skills and Culture Preservation
Many of the skills practiced by our early Celtic ancestors were an integral part of their culture. However, with the onset of industrialization, factory farming, and our increasing isolation from nature, many of these are on the verge of being lost for all time.
At Celtica, we will provide living museum exhibits to inform and educate, and offer visitors the opportunity to learn these valuable skills for themselves through practical experience.
Additional programming that will be available in time:
- Hedgerow Pleaching
- Natural Building Techniques: Wattle & Daub, Thatching, etc.
- Natural Textile Production
- Linen: Flax Cultivation and Harvesting, Threshing, Retting, Scutching, and Spinning
- Wool: Sheep Shearing, Carding, and Spinning
- Fabric Weaving
- Basic Pottery and Kiln-craft – The production of containers and utensils from natural materials
- Wickerwork and Crafting – The production of containers, baskets, and other objects from natural materials.
- Coracle Making: Small, round, lightweight boats used for fishing on rivers
- Basic Ironwork and Forge-craft: Production of agricultural tools & equipment – horseshoes, plowshares, etc.
- Natural Food Preservation Techniques: Cellaring, Salting, Drying, Pickling, etc.
We will also focus upon the history, culture, and the language of the Celts and will be offering courses that will include:
- The lands of Celtica: from its humble origins, to mainstay of European civilization and subsequent decline.
- The ancient Brythonic and Goidelic Celtic languages: the P and Q Celts
- The seven surviving Celtic Nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, and Galicia
- The modern Celtic Languages: Irish/ Scottish/Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Breton
- Astronomy and Astral Navigation: the Celts were expert navigators
- Celtic Customs, Folklore, and Mythology