Robbie Anderman has had an intimate working relationship with Trees for several decades, as orchardist, nurseryperson, Tree pruner, luthier, woodwind musician, off-grid forest homesteader, sustainable Tree harvester, and Tree herbalist using Tree medicine for himself and friends and family.
He has planted and tended pear, apple, plum, and nut orchards organically in his farm community and for others; worked for years at a small Tree nursery; handcrafted local woods into hundreds of musical instruments: mountain dulcimers, kantele harps, Celtic harps, and Native American flutes; as a musician produced three music CDs (robbiehanna.com) of him playing wooden and bamboo instruments; and he has been a frequent carpenter and furniture maker.
Robbie’s life skills and achievements have also included cofounding in 1969 the 100-acre intentional land-based off-grid community that is still his home, an ongoing learning/teaching/pioneering experiment in co-operative, Earth-friendly living, consensus decision-making, natural building, organic gardening and farming, and home schooling for many of the children, including his own children and grandchildren.
Robbie honed his researching skills at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, and his respect for, and love of, self-directed learning at Rochdale College, Toronto. Natural food cooking skills were picked up at a macrobiotic restaurant in Woodstock, New York, and practised as a “natural food chef” in the cafeteria of Windham College.
For six weeks in 1969, Robbie helped set up campsites and the free kitchen; was on the “Security Please Force”; and helped clean up at the big “Demonstration of Peace,” The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. Co-operation, sharing, and feeding each other while mutually enduring challenging weather and enjoying great music and people wer e simple basic lessons he learned and demonstrated there.
Living lightly on, and close to, the land came by osmosis while living in a tipi in eleven various widespread locations in North America for over fi fteen months. With winter coming on in 1978, he built a ten-by-ten-foot log and Birchbark cabin, half in the ground, with a sod roof, and lived in there for three winters.
With his life partner, Christina, taking the lead, in 1998 Robbie helped develop, make, market, and distribute Cool Hemp Organic, Fair Trade, non-dairy frozen dessert, which was available in over 200 supermarkets and natural food retail stores in Canada for over ten years.
Today, Robbie works with his adult son Ethan and his wife, Christina, in their pear and apple juice, cider and vinegar business; shares his organic orcharding and gardening knowledge and experience with visitors and WWOOFers; and offers Tree medicine workshops.