CLASS DESCRIPTIONS
~ Urban Gardening
~ Animal Husbandry
~ Kitchen & Food Skills
~ Everything Else


EVENTS
~Spring Kick-Off
~Urban Farm Tours
~Book Release Party
~Day of the Dead
~Winter Open House


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Permaculture Principles
Lead in Your Soil
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Class Descriptions

Mad Skills for Urban Self-Sufficiency

listed by category

GREEN means GO These classes Are OPEN for registration
RED means STOP, THIS CLASS IS FULL contact us to get on the waiting list
GREY means NOT YET OPEN FOR REGISTRATION
, please check back later.

Pre-registration is required and exact location is given once you have registered.

TO START YOUR REGISTRATION PROCESS PROCEED TO REGISTER HERE

Many classes will repeat if there is enough interest. If a class is past or you do not get in on time,
please contact us and we will let you know if another session is forming.
Classes are for age 12 and up unless otherwise indicated.


SKIP TO:
Fiber & Handcrafts

Foraging & Wildcrafting
Homemade Health & Beauty
Householding: Water, Power, Building/, Repairs
Permaculture

NEW!! Community Design Clinics


Fibers & Handcrafts

Made BY Hand: Mosaic Making Intensive
Saturday March 7 10-4 pm & Sunday March 8 10am-1pm 2015
Instructor: K.Ruby Blume

Location: North Oakland

cost:$200 supplies included limit to 6 participants
A thorough introduction to the wonderful world of mosaic tile setting. We’ll learn about substrates, adhesives and tools, options for materials including ceramic tile, glass and found materials, cutting and setting techniques, grout and how to use it. Each participant will create a finished 12 x 12 mosaic. Small class size and personalized instruction.

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Foraging & Wildcrafting


Wild Medicine :Natural Remedies from Local Weeds
TBA 2015

Instructor: Maya Blow
Location: El Sobrante
Cost: $35- 65
sliding scale plus $15 supply fee to be paid in cash on day of class
Many of our most common garden weeds contain highly valuable medicinal properties that can heal you "on the fly" when you get a bee sting, cut your thumb, get a headache or have achy feet. These wayside weeds living all around us possess special nutritional and healing powers that often surpass cultivated plants. In this class we will spend the afternoon identifying some of these green allies in the field and learning how to use them for simple age old remedies. We’ll make our own herbal glycerin and vinegar tinctures and learn simple first aid tricks using plants we find along the way. This class will be geared towards begi
nners, so come with all your questions and we'll dive in!

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Homemade Health & Beauty

Local Medicine:Tinctures & Teas for Winter Health
Sunday September 28, 2014 1pm-4pm
Instructor: Maya Blow
Location: El Sobrante

Cost: $35-65
sliding scale plus $15 nsupply fee in cash on day of class
Along with re-learning vital skills such as growing and preserving food, it is also time to take health care back into our own hands. Everyone can learn basic preventative care and how to make a few natural remedies to care for themselves, their family and community. In this class you will learn to create "local medicine" from native, culinary and horticultural herbs right out of the garden! We'll learn about tinctures, decoctions , infusions and salves, how to make them,how to use them and the benefits of each. Working with seasonally available herbs that will tonify the body as we head into the winter season, each student will prepare a tincture, salve, and hand-blended tea to take home. You will also receive handouts herbal medicine making, a list of easily identifiable local plants which can be used for your health and resources for further study.


Herbal Medicine Demystified

Saturday February 14 2015 10am-3pm
Instructor: K.Ruby Blume
Location: North Oakland
Cost: $60-90
sliding scale plus $12 supply fee
This course will give you a introduction and overview of the herbal medicine making process. We'll learn about plant constituents and actions, get an overview of different herbal products that can be easily made at home including salves, slathers, tinctures, teas, poultices and decoctions. We'll learn about local sources for herbs as well as a brief introduction to harvesting, drying and storing your own. Then we'll visit and learn about some of the medicinal plants available locally — both wild and those grown easily in the garden. While we will not go in depth on every plant (that would be a year long course), we will learn about a few useful 'starter' plants and go home with a sampling of remedies for common maladies. We'll learn about useful references and how to decipher them to become more proficien and confidentpurchasing, making and using herbal remedies at hme.

Lather 101:
TBA 2015

Instructor: Serena Bartlett
Location: North Oakland
Cost: $35- 65
sliding scale plus $10 supply fee to be paid in cash on day of class
Making soap is so much fun! Join Serena Bartlett, travel author and DIY maven to learn the cold process method for making soap. You'll learn about the different types of bar soaps, how to balance your fats and alkalines with solid ratios, attributes of different plant oils, and fun things to add for various benefits like exfoliation or extra moisturizing. Then we'll walk through the process of making a batch of soap. We'll learn techniques for measuring and mixing, how to safely work with sodium hydroxide (lye), options for molding and details of the curing process . As an extra bonus we'll see how to turn these cold process bar soaps into liquid hand soap or shower gel, and you'll go home with samples and a cool recipe zine. Make bar formother's Day (session 1) or to give as holiday gifts (session 2)

The BItter Truth: Making & Mixing Homemade Bitters
TBA 2015
Instructor: Tanya Stiller
Location: Berkeley
Cost: $40-70
sliding scale plus $10 supply fee in cash on day of class
Come learn the basic methods of small-batch artisanal bitter brewing. Experiment with differenct flavor profiles and fashion your own signature blend while learning several tried and true recipies. We will discuss the medicinal benefits of bitter herbs, spices and botanicals, and the digestive issues they can help remedy. We will go into the history of apertifs, digestifs and consider what cocktails and beverages pair best with different bitters. Come get your Mixology on.

Wild Medicine :Natural Remedies from Local Weeds
Sunday June 1, 2014 1pm-4pm

Instructor: Maya Blow
Location: El Sobrante
Cost: $35- 65
sliding scale plus $15 supply fee to be paid in cash on day of class
Many of our most common garden weeds contain highly valuable medicinal properties that can heal you "on the fly" when you get a bee sting, cut your thumb, get a headache or have achy feet. These wayside weeds living all around us possess special nutritional and healing powers that often surpass cultivated plants. In this class we will spend the afternoon identifying some of these green allies in the field and learning how to use them for simple age old remedies. We’ll make our own herbal glycerin and vinegar tinctures and learn simple first aid tricks using plants we find along the way. This class will be geared towards beginners, so come with all your questions and we'll dive in!

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Householding: Water, Power, Building, Repair

DIY Home Electriic: Know-how and Repair
Sunday May 4, 2014 1pm-4:30pm
Instructor:David Langsam
Location: Fruitvale
Cost: $45-75
sliding scale
This class offers an introduction to home electrical systems and basic repairs anyone can safely do armed with the right tools and information. We'll start with an overview of the main components of the outdoor part of your electrical system including the mast, meter, main breaker, ground and circuit panel and how to safely turn your electricity off and on. Then we'll go on to learn about common electrical components, basic electrical theory and tools needed to get the job done. You’ll learn how to use a meter to test for electrical flow and how to replace an outlet, switch or light fixture. As a bonus we’ll also learn to replace a lamp cord or install an inline switch into an existing cord. This class has a required text and tools to bring along. We’ll send that information along with your registration confirmation.

DIY Tile Setting
Saturday October 4, 2014 12 -4pm
Instructor: K.Ruby Blume
Location: North Oakland
Cost: $50-80
sliding scale
Setting your own tile is relatively simple yet amazingly satisfying and can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This overview class will take you step-by-step through the entire process. We’ll start with proper substrates for different projects, substrate preparations, options for adhesives, and layout strategies. We’ll talk about different kinds of tile and what they are best for, how to calculate what you’ll need and how to make a great visual and textural impact on a budget. Then we’ll look at tools and techniques for cutting and breaking and adhering the tile. We’ll address design challenges such as working around fixtures and things that are not square.. There will be demonstrations and hands-on practice of breaking and shaping tile, spreading adhesive, proper spacing and grouting techniques. Finally we’ll talk about where to buy tile and other materials in the Bay Area.

Knife Sharpening and Tool Care
Saturday August 2, 2014 1pm-4:30pm
Instructor: Grant Marcoux
Location: Alameda
Cost $35-70
sliding scale
Tired of knives that just won't cut the mustard (or anything else)? Join blacksmith and cutler Grant Marcoux for course in kitchen and field cutlery sharpening. Learn about knife construction, steel types and how to get the perfect edge on your knives. The goal is to provide the student with the knowledge to maintain their own knives. Students will learn the techniques of hand-sharpening using the oil-stone, steel and strop. Students should bring at least one knife to sharpen. Purchasing a 5" or greater sharpening stone (about $15-20) is very helpful, but not mandatory. As a bonus we'll also talk about other metal tools, their care and upkeep.

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Permaculture

Biochar for Urban Gardeners: Soil Fertility and Eco-Resilience
Instructor:Paul Taylor
TBA 2015
Location: Fruitvale
Cost: $40-70
sliding scale
Come learn about the multiple benefits of Biochar for home-scale gardeners and commercial and small-scale land use. Biochar is a 2,000 year-old practice that converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security and mitigate climate change. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and native soil management practices. In this presentation Paul Taylor, author of The Biochar Revolution will discuss the specific benefits of using biochar in agriculture as well as potential global benefits through more widespread use. We'll learn how to build simple devices for making biochar at home and we'll see one of these devices in action. We'll also learn how to blend and apply biochar to enhance soil fertiility in the garden as well as how it can be used in vermiponics, aquaponics and hydroponics. Copies of the book, The Biochar Revolution will be available for purchase as well as small Biochar ovens.


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