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Class Descriptions

Mad Skills for Urban Self-Sufficiency

listed by topic

BEFORE REGISTERING
PLEASE CHECK OUR CALENDAR
TO MAKE SURE CLASS IS LISTED GREEN
& OPEN FOR REGISTRATION


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.

Fiber & Handcraft
Foraging & Wildcrafting
Homemade Health & Beauty
Householding
Permaculture & Ecology



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
Saturday May 30, 2015 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 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 October 18, 2015 1-4pm
Instructor: Maya Blow
Location: El Sobrante

Cost: $40-70
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:
Tuesday October 27, 2015 7-9pm

Instructor: K.Ruby Blume
Location: North Oakland
Cost: $35- 70
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
Friday November 6, 2015 7-9pm
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
Saturday May 30, 2015 1-4pm

Instructor: Maya Blow
Location: El Sobrante
Cost: $40-70
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

Knife Sharpening and Tool Care
Saturday May 16, 2015 1-4:30pm
Instructor: Grant Marcoux
Location: Alameda
Cost $40-70
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 & Ecology

Biochar for Urban Gardeners: Soil Fertility and Eco-Resilience
Instructor:Paul Taylor
TBA
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.

Food Forests, Plant Guilds and Polycultures
Saturday April 11, 2015 2pm-5pm
Instructor: Giancarlo Muscardini
Location: Berkeley, 4th St
sliding scale
Perennial Food Forests are a much beloved element of permaculture design, yet most food forest experimentation has been done in the tropics, where plants grow lushly year round. Come learn the ins and outs of temperate food forests and see how the DaTerra family food forest is weathering the drought. After a tour of the property we’ll learn the theory and practice of assembling perennial plant guilds, the different roles that each plant play within them and how to aseemble several guilds into a functioning food forest. We'll hear about experiments in tropical regions and how to take those ideas and apply them in our own climate including tips for maintenance and pitfalls to avoid. Then we'll get hands-on practice assembling a guild. As a bonus we’ll touch on polycultures, which utilize some of the same principles in the annual vegetable garden.


Native Bees & Native Plants: Pollination to the People

September 13 2015, 10am-1pm
Instructor: K.Ruby Blume
Location: North Oakland
Cost: $35-65
sliding scale
This is an introduction to pollination ecology, the wild world of bees and pollinator friendly gardening for folks who are curious and want to nurture an awareness for these beloved hardworking critters. There are over 25,000 species of bees worldwide, 4000 in the US and 1000 in California. We will learn about the lifecycles and biology of honey bees, and native bees, the differences between the two, the special relationship between bees and flowers and what you can provide to support more bee and insect life in your garden. We learn to how to tell the difference between a bee, a wasp and a fly and how to identify a few of our local native bees. We will also introduce the idea of api-centric beekeeping and offer possibilities for natural beekeeping. We'll taste some honey, observe both honey bees and native bees at work, and get the lowdown on Colony Collapse Disorder.

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