Forever Wild (Full Episode) | Live Free or Die

NARRATOR: It’s the season finale of Live Free or Die. Five people living in the wild… TONY: Boom shaka-laka! NARRATOR: Have shown us their lives. COLBERT: Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been dreaming about living in the woods. NARRATOR: They’ve been tested. THORN: It’s been two degrees at night. GABRIEL: In California we’re in a severe drought. Everything seems to be dead out here. NARRATOR: But their will hasn’t faltered. AMELIA: Swarm! TONY: Ah… I’m getting stung. NARRATOR: They’ve proven… THORN: There’s no failure here. NARRATOR: Just how far they can go. GABRIEL: It’s a big deal to take a life. Uh…there’s the arrow. COLBERT: I actually built this house…every screw…every nail and now it’s gone. [Thorn screams]. NARRATOR: Now they’re fight continues. GABRIEL: I don’t have too many choices; I’ve got to catch a couple fish. THORN: My little girl Briar is just so sick. [Briar coughing]. I’ve got to get some medicine. COLBERT: I’m rebuilding my home with my family. NARRATOR: Because their quest to live free never ends. TONY: This is the way that we want to live. It’ll be that way until the day I die. NARRATOR: There is a movement growing in America. These pioneers have made a choice… To awaken the animal self by going back to the wild. GABRIEL: It’s windier than I thought. Alright…I’m gonna try my luck. NARRATOR: In California…nomadic hunter Gabriel is about to begin the final leg of his grueling journey. Having trekked nearly 40 miles from the mountain cabin where he spent the past several months… Gabriel is now headed down the coast… home to his fiancé Luna. GABRIEL: This has been an awesome experience out on the land. But at the same time I’m engaged to Luna. We’ve been together ten years. It’s time for us to start the next chapter together. A lot of the times we go out on journeys… I’m hunting or fishing or gathering some kind of food source to bring home for Luna and for both of us and so I usually don’t like to come home empty-handed. NARRATOR: Gabriel will try his luck using a simple improvised hand line. GABRIEL: I’ve got my yucca with a good hook on the end. I’m gonna go get some mussels out before the tide comes in too much. NARRATOR: But heavy ocean currents will make it challenging to keep the line steady. GABRIEL: It’s crazy out here right now. It’s like full storm surge. It’s a hard time to be out in the water. It’s kind of dangerous ’cause there’s rip tides and waves moving everywhere. Alright that should be good. Let’s get out there. So basically I’m gonna head out here and tie myself into the kelp and try to drop my hand line down into the kelp bed all the way to the bottom. I have to be careful of the waves…the current… the wind and also the sharks. The ocean kills people really easy. It’s a place where if you don’t know how to move and bend with the currents then it’ll take you under. It’s not the best time to be fishing in the kelp bed but I don’t have too many choices. I gotta catch a couple fish. NARRATOR: With escalating gale force winds and choppy heaving swells Gabriel’s quest for a fish is risky. GABRIEL: It’s pretty crazy lumpy right now. There’s a big riptide. Ohhh! NARRATOR: While Gabriel struggles against the ocean’s currents… in North Carolina… homesteaders Tony and Amelia are testing out a new way to feed their chickens. AMELIA: They’re gonna love this… c’mon chickens. TONY: C’mon boogies. AMELIA: Woooo…oh my God! We’ve got thousands and thousands of maggots in this bucket. They’re eating what was once a ground hog… has basically turned into nothing. Flies have flown in through the top holes… they’ve laid eggs on the roadkill and the eggs… which are turning into maggots… are falling out of the bottom. TONY: It’s raining maggots. AMELIA: Alright chickens…go for it. TONY: There they go. AMELIA: These maggots are extremely nutritious for the chickens. They give them plenty of protein. TONY: Maggot showers equals happy chickens. Happy chickens equals delicious eggs. NARRATOR: Tony and Amelia have dedicated their lives to being entirely self-sufficient. But finding a way to eat only what they grow has been a challenge. TONY: Three years we’ve been here. AMELIA: Yeah. TONY: We’ve done pretty good for three years of swale digging and tree planting. NARRATOR: Tony and Amelia fought every possible element to turn this uninhabitable hill into a fully sustainable homestead. TONY: So you know what we should do today? AMELIA: What’s that? TONY: We should have a little feasting on the forest garden to celebrate our three-year land anniversary. We’ve got plenty of vegetables to eat. AMELIA: Yeah. TONY: Let’s do it. NARRATOR: Before the harvest begins… Tony’s gonna make use of something else from the garden. TONY: So it’s Amelia and I’s three-year anniversary of living on the land together and I’m wanting to make Amelia something really cool for an anniversary present. We’re dealing with some foul (bleep) here. This pig came from our neighbor’s pig that we helped slaughter. It’s pretty “F’ing” gross. I saw the teeth and I was like… “God those teeth are really cool.” So I could make a really cool you know cavewoman necklace for Amelia. I think Amelia will be stoked that I had the nerve to pull these teeth out and touch this greasy… stinky pig remnants. I’m a little nervous that I’m going to vomit. Yeah…hell no. AMELIA: Are you gonna vomit? TONY: I’m alright. Yeah…ugh…ugh! Actually I’m just not gonna do this. No I have to. I gotta get ‘er done. I’m gonna have to muster up the will to touch a rotten pig’s head to get the teeth out. These are the things that a person will do for love. These aren’t really budging. I think we can come back to these later. NARRATOR: As Tony mulls over pulling pig’s teeth… five and a half miles over the ridge… primitive woodsman Thorn is beginning a project of his own. THORN: My new shelter’s looking really good. I’m pretty proud. It’s awesome to have the difficult things out of the way and now I can move onto a little bit more of the fun stuff. You know what I was thinking about doing today? I wanna build a bunk bed with you. I have my bed finished. BRIAR: I thought that was my bed! No…I’m gonna build you one a little higher up. BRIAR: Don’t forget you should have shoes on. THORN: I’m good. BRIAR: Ok you’re good. THORN: Out here I’ve got a really enormous forest to pull resources out of and I’m really lucky. It’s not like buying all the lumber. This is my lumber yard. BRIAR: Daddy…I’m getting so excited. THORN: I know… I’m excited too for you. I might be more thrilled than she is because it’s really hard to sleep with her. She just kicks me all night long. I don’t know what she’s dreaming about but it’s gotta have something to do with fighting a bunch of Ninjas off. Back where we moved from in our house… we had a bunk bed. And I built it for her it was awesome. I knew she loved it. NARRATOR: The A-frame structure of Thorn’s new shelter will allow him to frame two crossbeams directly above his existing bed. BRIAR: Daddy… you’re making a mess in here! THORN: Yeah. [hammering]. BRIAR: Yeah it’s almost there I think. THORN: Just gotta make a ladder. I’m really appreciating having this open floor plan. At some point in the future I can move onto some walls but I don’t need to do that until the fall. That’s pretty good. Check it out. BRIAR: I can even stand up a little. THORN: Yeah… just a little? Briar’s totally into it… she loves it. It’s not a huge bunk bed but it’s not a huge house. I think I’m gonna sleep better tonight too. It’s win-win. [Briar coughing]. NARRATOR: But any plans for today will have to be put on hold as Briar’s nagging cough has taken a turn for the worse. [Briar coughing]. THORN: It’s not a good one. My little girl Briar… she’s pretty sick right now. [Briar coughing]. You want some medicine? I’m just about out. I’m running low on medicine and I really need to attend to this cough. NARRATOR: As Thorn cares for his sick daughter… in the swamp of south Georgia frontiersman Colbert’s grandchildren have come to help him rebuild. COLBERT: You remember the cabin? They’ve been coming since they were little bitty kids and it’s great to have all four of them come at one time to share in the fun. NARRATOR: This is their first visit since his cabin burned down this winter. COLBERT: Now this is a super antique. This is over 100 year-old screwdriver and it had a wooden handle on it. CODY: So many memories in that place and now it’s just gone. COLBERT: Do you recognize what this is? DEVON: That would be the .22. We always used to sit out on the porch and just basically tell jokes all night. COLBERT: Everything in life is temporary and everything is precious. It’s always a traumatic experience when you lose something that we put a lot of value on. To me…to help me make a transition of letting go of emotional attachment to material things I guess that’s a lesson I needed to learn. So I’ve been dragging all this new logs in to rebuild the cabin. So we’re gonna dig a hole to put the pole in. I remember putting up the very first pole. That’s been 24 years ago. That first erection to start the process to figure out where to put the deck and the frame. We’re gonna stand the first pole up here so we can build a cabin on posts. You think that hole’s big enough for that post to fit in? CODY: It’ll slip right in. COLBERT: Cody go measure the pole like this and see if it’s this wide or wider. See if it’s big enough to fit down in the hole. What about the other way? CODY: Nope. COLBERT: So what we have to do is we have to make the hole a little bit wider. How do you like our rulers? To me this is a really big deal. I’m rebuilding my home a home I’m going to share with my family with my grandkids so as they get older they’ll not only have Grandpa’s cabin to go to but they’ll remember how they helped put it together. NARRATOR: Colbert’s fire damaged tools throw a wrench in his plans and Tony goes to great lengths for love. TONY: There’s still like some smushy bits on this thing. [gagging] GABRIEL: It’s not the best time to be fishing in the kelp bed but I gotta catch a couple fish. NARRATOR: Off the coast of California Gabriel is battling the unforgiving ocean currents in hopes of catching a fish. GABRIEL: There’s a big riptide…Ohh! It’s crazy out here. This is like 35-40 knot gale force winds… which doesn’t happen very often. I think I gotta go in. No fish today. It was almost impossible just to get the hook to go down to the bottom because of all the current and chop. It didn’t go too well but maybe tomorrow when it calms down a little bit in the morning I’ll have better luck. NARRATOR: With no luck on the ocean Gabriel has no choice but to eat his own bait. GABRIEL: I think my best bet is to take the mussels that I got for fishing and cook a few of those up. You wanna cook ’em until they pop open. Now these mussels are one of my favorite things to eat. But mussels collect toxins in the water that can make you really sick and also kill you. With mussels you can test it by touching your tongue to the mussel and if you get like a numbness in your mouth then you know there’s toxins in there. There’s a little tiny bit of a kind of twinge but I’m kind of testing my fate ’cause I’m pretty hungry right now. So good…alright. NARRATOR: Hoping that he hasn’t eaten toxic mussels Gabriel calls it a night. GABRIEL: I’m gonna head over to my little nest and get up with the sun early in the morning and see if the wind’s dead so I can try another day and see if I can catch some fish. TONY: We gonna get some vegetables? AMELIA: Yes. NARRATOR: Back in North Carolina… homesteaders Tony and Amelia are planning a celebration to mark the three-year anniversary of their life together on the land. TONY: Should we get some sochan? AMELIA: Why not? TONY: Let’s get some sochan. AMELIA: I wanna get everything. I wanna have like a nice big feast. NARRATOR: But with the abundance of plant life growing on their hillside deciding what to eat is going to be tough. AMELIA: Hey look! There’s a bunch of oyster mushrooms! TONY: Cool. Everything here is here for a reason. Above and below ground there’s more going on than you can even conceive here than you can even understand. AMELIA: I think this is the biggest wild strawberry patch we have right here. TONY: We’re creating this web of symbiotic relationships with plants and animals and fungi and water and soil and sun that take care of us and meet our needs. AMELIA: The dandelion greens came up. TONY: It’s crazy to think about how much people spend on greens and herbs in the grocery store. Stuff like almost grows wild. NARRATOR: 20% of fresh fruits and vegetables in today’s modern supermarket spoil and get thrown away. This forces grocery stores to charge a 75% markup or more to offset the loss. TONY: I just got a grasshopper. They’re starting to get big this time of year. Well I just think that communities should just take it upon themselves to be resilient. Instead some of the folks have to drive off to the city to like make money to pay their mortgage to buy pop tarts at the store to make themselves sick. It just it’s not making any sense. You know let’s get some honey. Real things like soil and water and community that’s the way that we build in resilience to our lives. Not by having a stack of cash that has nothing to back it that you can set on fire then you don’t have it anymore. You know. AMELIA: Ooh…look at all those milk weeds. TONY: But if you have skills and materials then you’re good…you’re safe. You’re safer than a lot of people. AMELIA: Let’s see if there’s any wild strawberries down here. TONY: Oh hell yeah… I wanna have that. COLBERT: What you do right here when you’re not getting any dirt is you have to poke like this and break some dirt loose. NARRATOR: In Georgia Colbert’s grandchildren are helping him rebuild his cabin. COLBERT: Who’s having fun? Whoopee! We’re gonna start the process move one of the bigger logs and show them the technique and then we’ll start lifting the pole. It’s gonna be hard to set in the ground but we’re all gonna participate in the process of starting the building project. NARRATOR: The first step is to place utility poles deep in the ground to provide a solid foundation. COLBERT: Now who wants to pick up the post and throw it in a hole. Can you pick it up and throw it in there? Why not? GRANDKID: It’s too heavy. CODY: Because he’s weak. COLBERT: Let me show you a trick. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna hook this on here. So you slip it down here till it’s tight. NARRATOR: Colbert uses a rope and pulley system to create a mechanical advantage. COLBERT: If you push it down like that then it slips. But if you lift the rope up then it locks. NARRATOR: The system requires less force by transferring the weight of the pole to the pulley and rope making it easier to move. COLBERT: Now be careful and see if you can get that log to jump up and go that way. Look at that. I think Chase is stronger than Cody. CODY: No. COLBERT: As we lift this up there’s gonna be a lot of pressure on the bottom end the whole weight of the pole. The problem with this is that it went through the fire and it’s really rusty and it might not work. NARRATOR: To start building the new foundation for his cabin Colbert and his grandchildren will need to hoist this 400-pound utility pole to a 90-degree angle and anchor it in place. COLBERT: If we start to stand that up what could possibly go wrong? CODY: It could kill someone. COLBERT: If that falls where do you wanna be? CODY: Out of the way. COLBERT: Out of the way. Does everybody understand their job? Everybody ready? A little more Devon… Oh (bleep). COLBERT: Is everybody ready? NARRATOR: In the Georgia swamp frontiersman Colbert and his grandchildren are attempting to stand a 400-pound utility pole in the ground for the cabin’s foundation. DEVON: I bottomed out. COLBERT: I see the problem. Since he can’t travel anymore we have to figure out something else to do. Give yourself some slack and move the slippery rope farther to the end of the pole. If we don’t slip the anchor point up higher on the pole it’ll make a great deal of effort and stress but at the last point we might have to push it up with our hands. I want you guys to start pulling and help me lift it. You guys ready? GRANDKIDS: Yeah. COLBERT: 1…2…3. Ayyyy the pole’s in! We did the impossible with simple tools and we did it as a family. CODY: That’s pretty awesome. COLBERT: Pretty awesome. CODY: That’s pretty awesome. COLBERT: This may not look like a lot. Just a big utility pole. But to me it’s the beginning start of my home. The most important step in any long journey is the first step and I’ve got the first step done. There you go. That’s straight up and down. NARRATOR: With the hard work behind them it’s time for a meal. But miles from civilization they’ll have to improvise to put food on the table. COLBERT: Instead of taking the grandkids out for a drive thru window meal that they’ll forget right away… we’re gonna catch an organic…fresh fish. Who wants a tall fishing pole? They’ll remember that and their tummies will remember. Are you guys hungry? GRANDKIDS: Yeah! COLBERT: You feel something Chelsea? CHELSEA: I think so yeah… I felt something. COLBERT: Give it a short yank…beautiful! That’s a nice small catfish. These here are sharp as needles and they have barbs on them. If they do stab you it’ll really burn a little bit. Just put your mouth on it and suck really hard and suck the poison out and spit and then you should be alright. Whew! It sure is great having grandkids and having a place where they can play kind of like their own private park where they can come to swim and fish. DEVON: Got another one Grandpa. COLBERT: I’m really proud of you guys. This is awesome. NARRATOR: While Colbert and his grandkids reel in dinner… back in the Blue Ridge Mountains… Thorn’s daughter has taken a turn for the worse. THORN: Hey. [Briar coughing]. How are you doing? You want some medicine? BRIAR: Yeah. THORN: We’re just about out of this. [Briar coughing]. Right now Briar has a pretty serious cough. If it dropped into her chest and really got into her lungs it might be a doctor visit. So I’m treating her with Usnea tincture… is a moss that’s antiviral. I gotta make some more sweetie. But I’m running a little low on medicine. So we really need to get out in the back country and bring some plants home that we can make some medicine with. NARRATOR: Thorn will take his goat with him to train her in the art of goat packing. THORN: I’m going with a super light rawhide bags that I’m making. My goat hasn’t ever packed before so it’s gonna be exciting I’m sure. [Briar coughing]. I’m here sweetie. Whoa…whoa…whoa. This place where I’m in is disturbed land. About 75 years ago it was pasture. That’s different from where I’m headed… which is an old growth forest. It’s a vastly different landscape and a lot of it is the elevation climb. NARRATOR: Thorn plans to travel to the backcountry to an old growth forest where a wide array of medicinal plants are known to be found. The trek will span thousands of feet of elevation over multiple mountain ridges. THORN: I’m not gonna be able to take Briar. It’s too much of a hike. Let’s head out. So I’m gonna drop her off at some friends’ place just right over the ridge and I can just continue on my way. C’mon goat. NARRATOR: Gabriel braves the waves to hook a meal. GABRIEL: Got a little bite. C’mon! [Briar coughing]. NARRATOR: In the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina…Thorn needs to get medicine for his daughter Briar before her cough gets worse. THORN: I’m gonna head out and go a little bit of back country and see if I can find some medicine for you sweetie. I’m not gonna be able to take Briar. It’s too much of a hike. So I’m gonna drop her off at some friend’s place just right over the ridge and I can just continue on my way. Hey. TONY: Hey dudes. AMELIA: Hi…how are you? THORN: We’re alright. TONY: Thorn is a friend of ours that I first met right on the other side of that ridge and now he lives right on the other side of that ridge. AMELIA: Hi…good to see you. Thorn’s a great friend. TONY: We all have an affinity for living life and being free. AMELIA: So where are you headed to today? THORN: I’m actually heading out into the back country and I’m trying to get some medicine for her. She’s got a bit of a cough. [Briar coughing]. AMELIA: Yeah? THORN: So…is it cool if she could maybe hang out here? AMELIA: Of course! THORN: If I thought that Briar’s cough wouldn’t respond to herbs I would take her to the doctor in a heartbeat. But I do think that the medicine I’m gonna find is gonna help a lot. AMELIA: Be careful out there. THORN: Yeah…see you soon. BRIAR: Bye. NARRATOR: There’s still plenty to do to get ready for their anniversary dinner so Amelia enlists Briar’s help selecting ingredients from their garden. BRIAR: Hey look! AMELIA: Oh these are the autumn olives. BRIAR: They’re ripe! AMELIA: I don’t think they’re ripe yet. BRIAR: No taste them! AMELIA: Really? BRIAR: Yes taste them! AMELIA: Here’s one. Oh hey…you’re right; they are ripe! BRIAR: Mm-hm! [Briar coughing]. NARRATOR: While Amelia and Briar continue to pick herbs and vegetables… Tony is working on an unusual anniversary present. TONY: It’s stinky. It’s Amelia and I’s three-year anniversary of living on the land together and for our anniversary I’m gonna make Amelia a pig’s tooth necklace. Look at that. Oh gross…maggots on a pig tooth. I’m a little nervous that I’m going to vomit. There’s still some like smushy bits on this thing. Yeee-a…God those are gnarly teeth. This is my first time doing pig dentistry. I want all of the teeth… not just a couple. I want all of them. Ah-ha…This is strangely satisfying; smashing these rotten bones apart and pulling teeth out. It’s getting less gross the longer I’m going on here. Ohhhhh what?! It’s the bullet. That is so crazy. That’s what killed this pig. NARRATOR: This pig’s head has been rotting for the last three weeks so a little cleaning is in order. TONY: If you look up love in the encyclopedia you’ll see a picture of me brushing pig’s teeth. That’s how much I love my wife. NARRATOR: As Tony polishes those pearly whites… in California Gabriel is determined to catch a fish for his homecoming. GABRIEL: There’s so much current right now… this is a big upwelling for the ocean. This is kind of like the last big winds of the spring. There’s too many waves in here and I don’t wanna lose my pack. So I think I’m gonna head out over on this side away from the rocks. If I paddle really fast I’ll probably make it before I get hit by too many waves. I’m gonna try that. NARRATOR: Springtime swells make setting a lure near shore almost impossible. So for his next attempt Gabriel is swimming out past the breakers into a deep and more dangerous area. GABRIEL: It is gonna be a challenge to get fish out here with the wind as it is but I’m gonna try my luck. NARRATOR: Gabriel is dropping a lure of mussel into the dense kelp bed hoping for a bite. GABRIEL: Come on! I got a little bite… Yeah! It’ll be a nice fish for Luna! You never can predict what the ocean is gonna do. You just have to move with it and that’s part of the dance of the ocean. Awesome day. THORN: C’mon goat. NARRATOR: Back in the Blue Ridge primitive woodsman Thorn is searching for a medicinal mushroom for his sick daughter. THORN: This is deep forest. We get up into the hemlocks that’s old growth. NARRATOR: Old growth forests generally contain trees that are at least 120 years old. THORN: I’m just out looking for reishi mushroom. I think they’re gonna be super crucial for Briar and her sickness. This is one of the only places that I know where they grow. NARRATOR: Reishi mushrooms have been used medicinally for over 4,000 years. Recent studies have shown that the mushrooms can boost the immune system and have a healing effect. THORN: The reishi mushroom grows on hemlock trees that have been downed. So I’m looking for big trunks on the ground. Starting to get into some hemlock. The whole reason I’m here is these old hemlocks. NARRATOR: Because reishi mushrooms grow on fallen mature hemlock trees Thorn will have to travel deeper into the forest to find them. THORN: I’m coming up on the falls. It’s making me thirsty. It’s kind of making me need to pee too. Everything about this place is beautiful. I think the main feeling that I have right now is gratitude for the opportunity to do things like this. I’ve got a new camp where I have a lot of land to explore. I really feel like I’m putting my roots down and getting the nourishment from the forest. Just like these trees. It gets pretty steep up here. NARRATOR: As he moves hundreds of feet higher Thorn leaves his goat behind to travel as light as possible. THORN: I kind of want to be able to move kind of freely just in case I have to kind of clamber over some logs or whatever. This is a slippery slope. The scary thing is not finding any reishi. Nothing. Gotta help Briar get over this cough. NARRATOR: Thorn goes in for the kill. THORN: I think I see a squirrel right here. TONY: Rummaging through my junk here. Seeing what I can find. NARRATOR: In North Carolina… homesteader Tony is working on a unique gift for his wife Amelia. TONY: For our anniversary I’m gonna make Amelia a pig’s tooth necklace. I know I’ve got something somewhere I just gotta find it right? I’m trying to find something to string the teeth together. Oh! Copper wire. I think I can strip this and make a string to hold the necklace together. Now people are a lot more apt to just throw stuff away and say “Oh that’s junk” and send it to the landfill. But we understand the value of junk. I’m drilling holes into the pig’s teeth and stringing them on to the copper wire. I don’t know if most dudes would do this for their lady because they’d probably go out and buy some stupid ring at the store you know? Is this starting to look like something? I think that Amelia will like the way that the necklace looks but I think even more so Amelia’s gonna like the fact that I was fidgeting with a rotten pig’s head for her ’cause that’s a pretty big deal for me. NARRATOR: As Tony puts the finishing touches on his gift… back in the swamps of south Georgia Colbert’s two daughters are visiting to see the progress their children have made with their grandfather. COLBERT: We’ve already erected the first pole for the corner post for the cabin and all the kids helped. Pretty neat huh? DAUGHTER: He did it once and he’ll be able to do it again I know he will it’ll just take him some time. But he’ll get it… he’ll do it and it’s gonna be great when he completes it. COLBERT: Is anybody hungry? ALL: Yeah. COLBERT: Alright. You guys did a great job catching fish and I’m gonna show you how to cook ’em without any equipment. I want them to see how important it is and take responsibility for taking a life… to use it wisely and consume it. So what I do is open up the gills… is their breathing apparatus put my thumb in there and I twist and that pops the skin and twist and pop and twist their head off. DAUGHTER: I can’t do that. COLBERT: It’s just part of the process of killing the fish so you can eat it. What I think is really gross and weird is that you read a package and it says “mechanically separated chicken.” What does that mean? Does that mean someone ran over it with a lawn mower? You take your thumb and pop their intestines out and rip like this and rip ’em right down to their vent. It’s incredibly awesome and exciting to watch your grandkids from little bitty kids teach them all kinds of stuff… everything…watch them grow up and get bigger and bigger and bigger. Rip it apart…Rip. CODY: In the face…ugh! COLBERT: So what we really want to accomplish. Let me check this one. Yep it’s so soft it’s coming apart. Well what I always say is you need food and water and shelter and family. Mm…now that’s fresh fish! CHELSEA: It’s actually really good. COLBERT: I’ve got food and water and as a family we’re rebuilding the shelter. What are we doing? DAUGHTER: You’re gonna stand in between them. COLBERT: That’s a pretty heartwarming experience. DAUGHTER 2: Ah…that’s a good face Dad. NARRATOR: While Colbert’s family heads back to town back in the Blue Ridge Mountains primitive woodsman Thorn is on a goat-packing trip to get medicinal mushrooms for his sick daughter. THORN: I’m not finding any reishi…nothing. I think I see a squirrel right here. Fresh squirrel is awesome. You can get ’em off the road but it’s nice to get one with the bow. That’s one in the bag. NARRATOR: While squirrel will make a nice gift for Tony and Amelia… Thorn has yet to find what he needs most… medicine for his daughter. THORN: My little girl Briar is just so sick. She’s got this lingering illness. I’ve got to get some kind of strong medicine for her. It looks like a pretty good sized one. It’s too old. Not exactly what I’m looking for. I see one down a little further. Just gotta get to it without wiping out. Whoa…it’s very slick. Wow this one looks good. I got it. I found some reishi and uh… take this home and make some tea for Briar. Get her on her way to feeling better. C’mon…Good job. THORN: Hey y’all. AMELIA: Hey…you’re back! THORN: Made it. NARRATOR: In North Carolina… Thorn has returned from a long hike into the mountains with a gift for Tony and Amelia. AMELIA: You got a squirrel! THORN: Got a squirrel… some meat. AMELIA: Nice. THORN: Got some medicine for Briar. Did you have fun with Tony and Amelia? BRIAR: I want to stay here for a little while. THORN: You want to stay here a little bit longer? AMELIA: We’ll borrow you any time. THORN: Well… y’all are welcome to that squirrel. AMELIA: Thank you! THORN: Thanks so much. We’ll see you around for sure. Bye. TONY: Amelia and I have lived here together for three years now in the forest garden. We’re gonna celebrate our anniversary by eating a bunch of delicious food from the forest garden. AMELIA: Gotta include some meat with our feast. So squirrel’s the perfect thing to add to our vegetables and eggs and berries. Oh flowers…wow. TONY: So I made you something. AMELIA: You made me something? TONY: Mhm…I sure did and it’s not a swale… it’s not a house. It’s an abstract representation of awesome. AMELIA: Wow…oh my gosh it’s beautiful! It’s my first piece of jewelry from you. TONY: This is the first piece of jewelry I’ve ever made. AMELIA: Was it hard to pull them out? TONY: Yeah and it was pretty gross. Smelled bad… smelled like rotten pig. AMELIA: Oh my God. TONY: But I went ahead and did it. AMELIA: I’m impressed. I can’t believe you did this. TONY: Yeah…I can’t believe I made it either. It’s just mildly stinky. AMELIA: That’ll go away. COLBERT: What I’ve learned from the loss of my cabin is letting go of an intense emotional attachment to something I’ve made that I built. And in that sense I feel wealthy…because all of nature… if I need it… is available for my simple…physical needs. ♪ ♪ [Gabriel makes bird call]. LUNA: Hey…oh my gosh… you’re back! GABRIEL: Hey! [greeting each other inaudibly]. Not many women would support somebody to run off for three months and trust that I’m 100% there for her and that’s the reason that I’m ready to marry her and take it to the next step. I paddled out and fished a little bit. I actually brought one back. LUNA: Mmm…awesome. ♪ ♪ THORN: This’ll help your cough. Just drop ’em right in. They won’t hurt you. Life’s looking pretty good out here and I think heading into this next fall and this next winter… Here you go. I’ve got a lot of knowledge that I’ve acquired from just trying. It’s a good feeling to feel at home in the woods. ♪ ♪ AMELIA: We’ve gotten really far and I mean… there’s still a long way to go but jeez…we have come a really long way this past year. So maybe next year we’ll be having our spring anniversary with a third little human here with us. TONY: The only babies I want around here are ones that I can eat. AMELIA: Happy three-year forest garden anniversary. LUNA: Cheers. GABRIEL: Yeah! COLBERT: This is my lookout spot. I used to come up here when I was younger. Now I need a ladder to get up here. I come out and climb it once in a while. A lot of people ask me how old I am and I say well I’m just a teenager. I’m kind of an antique teenager but I’m just a teenager. I’ve been a teenager for fifty years. [laughs]. ♪ ♪ GABRIEL: This has been an awesome experience. I’m really grateful for the time out on the land. I put my whole soul and energy into it and I’ve gotten a lot out of it. ♪ ♪ THORN: There has been some tough times out here. But that’s okay. There’s struggles everywhere. TONY: Amelia and I were born into a culture of making money and then taking it to buy your things and we dropped out of that culture. So now we’re trying to pull together fragments that make sense and glue them together and make what I think is a better life for ourselves. COLBERT: Everything in nature has found a niche… a perfect harmony… a balance. Man needs to find his niche his perfect balance where he fits in the natural cycles. You gotta find yourself. I feel like a little kid in the Garden of Eden. Just playing in the woods.

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