About Us

Xavier de la Foret
was born near Paris, France and raised in the French Alps. At the age of 20 he immigrated to the USA to pursue a degree in Psychology. In college he was introduced to ideas on sustainable living and started to read profusely in order to understand the ways of Western Civilization and what alternatives were available. He kept on reading about these issues at night throughout graduate school while earning his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology during the day.

After teaching psychology for a year at a small liberal arts college in Mississippi, he decided to switch gears completely and commit himself to learning the skills necessary to live sustainably. He then attended Wilderness Awareness School's 9-month residential program (now Anake Outdoor School) in 2004, then stayed another year to attend their 9-month Tracking Apprenticeship while being an apprentice both at Youth School and at the Residential Program. That same year, Xavier attended another 9-month primitive living skills program at Earthwalk Northwest.

After marrying Rosalee they moved to Twisp, WA where Xavier started studying with Lynx at Four Seasons Prehistoric Projects. In 2009, Xavier participated in the Stone Age Project, a month-long primitive living experience in which only wild foods were consumed and only stone age tools and gear were used.

Thus, drawing from his years of experience at different schools, observing different teaching methods and thinking about the best way to both live sustainably and teach sustainable living skills, Xavier and Rosalee are now leading the Sustainability Living Project, in which people can learn practical skills in a real-life context.

(You can read Xavier's "reflective" extended bio here.)

Rosalee de la Foret

My journey in life began in the beautiful state of Utah where I lived in various parts until attending college in the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Foreign Languages (French and Spanish) and an emphasis on anthropology. 

Following college I became very interested in child development and worked in several Montessori Preschools before becoming a professional nanny and then a parenting consultant. 

I began my plant kingdom journey seven years ago when I started studying primitive living skills with Earthwalk Northwest. Through the experience of exploring my relationship to the natural world around me, I fell in love with plants and apprenticed for three years with ethnobotanist Karen Sherwood. I learned practical botany, ethical wildcrafting skills, and traditional uses of plants for food and medicine.

Following my years of apprenticeship I involved myself in intensive self study of herbalism. I have also been honored to be mentored by Paul Bergner, Michael Moore, Michael and Lesley Tierra, and Kiva Rose. 

Over the past two years it’s been my privilege to be an herbal consultant for HerbMentor.com, a community-based website for herbal education. To date I have written four e-books, created over 30 educational videos, and written many articles including a series on Anatomy and Physiology for herbalists. I also spend a lot of time in the forums participating in herbal discussions and answering questions.

This year my main focus is creating a botany-for-herbalists course, publishing a book on Colds and the Flu, and creating a mini visual glossary series to explain herbal terms.

Interested in many healing modalities I have also spent over four years and well over 4,000 hours training at the Institute of Structural Medicine with Donna Bajelis. I have been practicing this type of Structural Integration for the past 2 years. I see clients at my office in Twisp, WA. I am also the Director of Student Affairs for the Institute of Structural Medicine, helping facilitate students on their learning path. Besides being fully certified as a Structural Medicine Specialist I am also a licensed massage therapist in the state of Washington and a Nationally Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. 

I met my husband Xavier while I was studying the wilderness arts. After marrying we remained dedicated to our values of living close to the earth. Our small cabin is located on the edge of the wilderness and we live simply with minimal solar electricity and no running water. We love experiencing the seasons and having the wild world at our fingertips. Our neighbors include fields of arnica, niches of lady slippers, hawks, owls, and black bears. 

Another exciting part of my life recently has been my involvement with the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. This new event is bringing together innovative teachers to present on western herbalism with a strong focus on plant energetics and bio-regional herbs.

I also help to organize a primitive skills gathering that takes place here in the Methow Valley each September. Saskatoon Circle is a four day event focused on sharing ancient skills within a community.