Di Wood (Hammill). Was raised by her Grandfather and Father in an unconventional upbringing for a little girl in the seventies. A childhood that necessitated teaching herself self-reliance skills led to a university post-graduate education in Criminal Psychology and teaching at college. Three children later, Di had given up academia to raise her children alone and off-grid in a remote North Yorks Dale and a return to work in teaching again but this time in the natural lifestyle skills that was her lifestyle. They had no heating, loo, or running hot water, living in a green painted caravan in a five acre field, they lived very simply using what was around them. Wild Harvest began fourteen years ago with the making and selling of beeswax candles, hedgerow teas and cordials through local tourist shops then evolved into running wild food walks privately and for the Forestry Commission. Basket weaving, candle making and rag-rugging days were later added, usually taught from the kitchen table! Today Wild Harvest has moved to a farm on the outskirts of York and now offers residential courses in the form of the popular Self-Reliance Crafts Retreat and also offers groups the chance to stay off-grid in Timber Tipis and learn from a range of the activities she now offers. A qualified Adult Ed. tutor, Permaculture Designer, Natural beekeeper, archery instructor, almost blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and a Member of the Association of Foragers, Di is now seen as one of the countries leading experts in simple, natural lifestyle and is often asked to comment in the media or speak at National shows about various aspects of her work. This year she has started committing everything she teaches or practises to paper in the form of ‘Barefoot Self-Reliance’ a book due out soon, with tips, recipes and ‘how to’s’ to help you transit to greater practical and personal self-reliance, naturally. All wrapped around Di’s story of her unusual upbringing, moving from abuse and neglect, via raising her own children alone, away from popular culture to becoming a successful but ethical business woman and educator.
School of Self-Reliance in the Media
Radio Interview for BBC Radio in 2016 about Di’s upbringing