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Makȟaša Ethnoecological Workshop & Nursery

Makȟaša Ethnoecological Workshop & Nursery is a story

it was told by emsenn for anyone

it is meant to be teaching

it is about ethnobotany, ethnopedology, and indigenous

it was released on Apr 23, 2020

Summary for Settlers: This is a very small nursery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina focused on cultivating an indigenous relationship to the land through its soil and plants.

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Continue reading for more information.

Makȟaša [mahk-ha-sha] (red earth) Ethnopedology Workshop & Nursery is a space near the southern part of Lloyd's Branch of Bolin Creek, feeding into Little Creek that runs into Jordan Lake, in the Haw River watershed, part of the Cape Fear River Basin.

It is on land where once the people who called themselves Shoccorree lived their lives. They were displaced by colonizers, never ceding their territory. Those colonizers have had a very different relationship with the land than the Shoccorree, and it has taken a lot from the land. Animals have vanished, plants have been displaced and diseased, topsoil has been eroded, and what remains has been drained of nutrients.

This workshop is a humble gift from emsenn to the land; a labor to restore the relationship of mutual gift-giving that humans once used to ensure their long-term survival and prosperity.

Here, an effort is made to cultivate living reciprocity, from the stone beneath to the sun and sky, and everything between.



Composting is done on-site, using indigenous worms and insects.


Sustainably collected wood is turned into biochar, a soil amendment.

Native Plants

Several native plant specimens are maintained within the space.

Clay Extraction

Clay is extracted from the indigenous topsoil and subsoil, for use in on-site constructions.