Perennial Firefly : 2021 in Review

This year we launched Perennial Firefly, a series of sliding scale workshops offered around the Asheville area.

This year we launched Perennial Firefly, a series of sliding scale workshops offered around the Asheville area. Born from the dream to make the cyclical sharing of skills offered at our Annual Gathering accessible to more people, we stepped into this year-round work unsure of what to expect. The Annual Gathering brings people from all over to share in an experience of community and hands-on learning, and has been THE centerpiece of our organization for almost 15 years. Our vision to expand our offerings throughout the year felt exciting- if a little daunting. We made the leap with high hopes that this Perennial work might further build capacity in the Southeast for living well with Earth and one another. 


Between August and November, we offered a total of eleven Perennial workshops throughout Buncombe county. From Mead Making and the Bike Clinic Series to Wild Basketry and Acorn Processing, both new and long-time instructors came together to share their expertise with the community. To our delight, over 80 eager learners participated and walked away with hand made crafts, knowledge, and tools for practicing their newly acquired skills. Many of the folks who came out to the workshops had never even heard of The Firefly Gathering – affirming our hopes to expand our reach of skill sharing opportunities. You can see some of the finished crafts and products made in the workshops in the photo gallery below!


We offer all Perennial Firefly workshops at a sliding scale in an effort to increase accessibility and strengthen our community as a whole. This year, roughly 15% of attendees signed up at the Sponsor Price, contributing towards the cost of attendance for another community member. One of the ways we distribute these funds is through our Equity Discount. This discount is available for interested community members that are owed amends for generations of harm based on marginalization, such as institutional racism. About 10% of attendees signed up through the Equity Discount this year. We hope to keep expanding our capacity for access and equity in the years to come, and are very encouraged by how this sliding scale model functioned this year.

“[Luke] is a gifted wisdom teacher & storyteller!  I came away with a deeper appreciation of the forest & inspired by the presence of each person & the glorious trees!”  

Participant from Magnificent Trees Workshop 

As Perennial Firefly falls quiet for the winter in anticipation of a lively spring, we’d love to hear about your experience this season or hopes for what comes next to nurture our Perennial growth. Did you attend a workshop? We’d love to hear about your favorite learning moment. Did you miss out on Perennial workshops this year?  We’d love to hear what kind of skills you’d be excited to learn in the comments below!

Want to learn more about our Perennial Instructors from 2021? Stay connected:

Luke Cannon – Meet our Magnificent Trees Workshop 

Check out his website Astounding Earth.

Matty Semkowich – Bike Clinic Series

Follow the Asheville Recyclery on Facebook for news and upcoming events.

Osker Brown – Acorn Processing Workshop

Follow Glorious Forest Farm on Instagram, and check out this youtube video series on Nuts as a Staple Food.

Nancy Basket: Wild Basketry Workshop

Follow Nancy on Instagram or check out her website for more info.

Tod Kershaw: Neo pre/post apocalyptic Blacksmithing Series: 

Follow Tod’s Ironworks Instagram to stay connected.

Tyler Charles de Sanfrancisco: Bringing Home the Bacon: 

Check out the Sugar Creek Meat website or Facebook for upcoming workshops

Marissa Percoco: Mead Making

Check out her website & blog here or find her scampering in a forest near you!


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Lily Harlin


Lily is an artist, creator, and dreamer. Since a very young age, she has been immersed in the natural world and draws heavy inspiration from the wild. Though her medium changes frequently, Lily’s art and expression always incorporate an element of the organic and unpredictable. She got her associate in fine arts in 2023, and now volunteers at her school as a ceramic studio monitor. She hopes to open a studio of her own one day to have a place to teach and inspire others. In addition to doing commission work, Lily has been creating many graphics for The Firefly Gathering since 2019. Lily grew up in the Earthskills community from the time she was eight years old, so having the opportunity to grow and give back in so many ways has been incredibly fulfilling. No matter where she ends up, this group of people and ideas will always hold a special place in her heart.