Fresh Roots Retreat: Farm, Food and Yoga at Firelight Camps in the Finger Lakes

October 15th-18th, 2017
Get back in touch with the roots of the Earth!


Treat yourself to a one of a kind glamping experience as you tour innovative local and organic farms and taste their fine offerings during the fall harvest!  The Finger Lakes are an immensely rich and fertile agricultural area, with many small scale farmers producing a rich variety of foods.  On this retreat you'll have the opportunity to visit some of these farms, learn from the farmers about the food they're growing and taste their offerings both on-site and on the premises of Firelight Camps, an elevanted camping destination.  Ithaca, New York is also home to a surprising amount of talented chefs, cooking locally sourced and delicious food for the soul which you'll sample around the campfire and on site at local wineries and cideries.

THE SCHEDULE for this retreat will consist of arrival on the afternoon of Sunday, October 15th with an optional yoga class, a welcome glass of local wine, cider, beer or soda and a lazy dinner by the campfire followed by an on-site evening activity.  The next two days will consist of optional morning and evening yoga classes, tours to local farms, wineries, cideries or breweries, scrumptious meals and beverage samplings and evening activities hosted by local entertainers.  The retreat will end on Wednesday morning with a final and fabulous Firelight brunch and a short Yoga Hike to send you on your way.

THE FARMS:  Ithaca, NY is at the hub of a vibrant local farming community that is working to grow crops that are healthy and nutritious for both people and the planet.  With a huge demand for locally sourced and organic food from the Ithaca and surrounding regions, farmers are developing a wide variety of innovative techniques for growing and showing off their crops.  October is a major time of harvest in New York State and a great time of year to both see the fall foliage in its full splendor and to delight in the tastes of the season.  Pumpkins, squash, kale and Brussels sprouts are among the vegetables ripe for the plucking (and carving!).  And apples are ready to be picked from the trees.  Cheeses, wines, beers and ciders are being made year round and ready in sampling rooms for tourists to enjoy.  On the retreat, you'll get to tour a variety of these farms to learn how farmers are doing business, what they're growing and how we can support their businesses and use their products to better our lives and the lives of others, all while saying ooh - and ahh- and delighting our taste buds.  You may even get to pet a goat or a sheep (and have you ever heard of Goat Yoga?)!

THE FOOD:  You certainly won't go hungry on this retreat!  A healthy, locally sourced breakfast buffet will be served at Firelight Camps every day from 7:30-10am.  The robust coffee from a partnering farm in Nicaragua is a big hit with all the guests and will be available all day for your enjoyment, along with tea and water, of course.  Lunches will be enjoyed at local wineries and cideries where you'll also be able to taste and purchase locally produced beverages.  Dinners will be enjoyed back at the Camp and be catered by or prepared by restaurants and chefs who are experts in producing high class meals from locally sourced ingredients and one evening you'll get to experience one of Ithaca's famed food trucks.  Vegetarian and gluten free options will be available for all meals.

THE YOGA: Yoga will be accessible to all levels, from those who have never tried it before to more advanced yogis.  We will focus on yoga that connects us to the natural world, that connects us to our roots, and that promotes rest, relaxation and good health.  And for those feeling the need for a more vigorous practice, we'll be sure to give you some options.  Yoga classes may be led by Astrid Jirka, owner of Vahana Yoga & Eco-Tours and a certified hatha yoga instructor, or by one of several other talented yoga instructors teaching in the Ithaca area, some of whom are also working within the farming community.  Youll love it!  Bring your own mats, though we'll have some on hand.

EVENINGS will be spent around the camp and campfire, enjoying games, listening to local experts talk about relevant themes, roasting smores, enjoying beverages from the Camp's bar, even listening to (or dancing to) a local band which will play on Tuesday evening as part of Firelight Camp's Firelight Live music series - and making new friends.   We wish for this retreat to be a time for you to relax, unwind, experience new sights and tastes, learn a bit about the rich and growing sustainable food industry in the Finger Lakes and enjoy some yoga that will help you feel good in your body!

LODGING:  Firelight Camps is a one of a kind glamping experience.  You'll stay in safari-style tents (canvas walls on wooden platforms) with extremely comfortable beds and scenic porches looking out into the forest of the famous Buttermilk Falls State Park.  The Camp is situated behind the famous La Tourelle hotel in Ithaca, on a secluded piece of land, but still a short drive to reach the town of Ithaca.  The tents can accommodate 1-5 people with either one King sized bed or two Queen sized beds, and optional additional cots.  When you reserve your spot on the retreat, you'll indicate which style tent you prefer and whether or not you are traveling with a roommate, or looking to share a tent with a new friend.   There is a separate bathhouse with warm showers, plush towels and even hair dryers.

TRANSPORTATION:  Firelight Camps is best reached by car, though buses can be taken to downtown Ithaca and taxis can take you the rest of the way.  Flying to Ithaca is also an option, or taking the train to Syracuse.   Please note that we will also be driving ourselves to the farm tours and that we will make sure that everyone has a ride!  We will be asking those of you who drive to welcome a new friend into your carpool. 

COSTS: Cost will cover all accommodations and meals and will vary based on your choice of tent and # of roommates - and will be determined soon.  Please stay tuned for more information.

Stay tuned for more information and registration information to be available soon by signing up for the Vahana Newsletter on the home page or contacting us with any questions!