Homestead Academy: A Two Day Course in Kitchen Self-Reliance

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I’ll be doing a keynote speech at the end of an intensive weekend of classes in bread baking, vinegar brewing, yogurt making and more. The event, which will take place on July 6th and 7th is presented by Growcology and the Emerald Village and will take place in Vista, CA.

This weekend intensive is designed to catapult you into a life of self-reliance through homesteading. Join Growcology and the Emerald Village Volunteers as we share the simple and effective ways to make: yogurt, cheese, butter, bread, home cleaning products, beer, salves, infusions, preserving, and healthy cooking. Special features include local farmers and food providers.

For more information and tickets head here.

Bread Class and Lunch at Jennie Cooks Catering

jenniecooks I’m going to be teaching a rye bread class and demonstrating how to create a sourdough starter at Jennie Cooks Catering on Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 pm. The class comes with lunch (and Jennie is an amazing chef).

To enroll email or call Jennie Cook to reserve your spot:
[email protected]
(323) 982-0052

CLASS #1 – THE BREAD BASKET

Guest Teacher: Erik Knutzen, Root Simple

On the Syllabus:
The Secrets of Sourdough
Magical Vegan Biscuits
Black and Blueberry Jam
Strawberry Balsamic Jam

For Lunch:
Sparkling White Sangria
Cashew Cream Savory Sourdough Bread Pudding
Classic Gazpacho (from Jennie’s upcoming cookbook!)
Wilted Spinach Salad
Strawberry Shortcake

This class is the first of a 3-part series! The regular price is $85 for a single class or $200 for all three. Price includes all ingredients, supplies, recipes, instructions, the take-home finished product you will make yourself, and a delicious meal! Oh and there will be booze, too! Sign up by Wednesday May 22nd for a $10 discount.

There Will Be Kraut Part II–Full Day Hands-On Fermentation Workshop at the Greystone Mansion

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Part II of the Institute of Domestic Technology’s Fermentation Fest begins with a lecture on Friday, April 26. The next day will feature a hands-on workshop. Here’s the description from the IDT’s website:

Full-Day Hands-On Fermentation Workshop: $195 (Includes lunch, snacks and a take-home fermentation jar)

Saturday, April 27th, 10 ~ 4pm  |   Greystone Mansion Vintage Kitchen  (Beverly Hills)

Sign up here.

Our full-day fest of all things fermented continues in spades by diving into a hands-on sauerkraut making session. You’ll make your own batch of sauerkraut and go home with a custom glass fermenting jar (included for each participant).

We’ll move on to a traditional Korean kimchi recipe using easy to find ingredients as well as a walkthrough of selected authentic Korean ingredients for those of you ambitious fermentors.

Lunch is included and will include delicious fermented ingredients and beverages.

The Fest continues with a fermented dark whole-grain rye bread recipe made with wild yeast starter. We’ll finish the day with a quick brine-based daikon radish fermented pickle and the signature Institute Flavor Bar™ packed full of spices and flavorings to make your pickle unique.

SPECIAL OFFER!  Purchase Together: Friday Evening Lecture + Full-Day Workshop for only $200 !

Erik Knutzen:  Co-author of The Urban Homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, co-founder of the Los Angeles Bead Bakers collective.

Hae Jung Cho: After recovering from a career in nonprofit management, Hae Jung has been working in the food industry since 2003 in high-end restaurants, catering and retail environments.  Driven by a passion for foods that require time and patience, she became a Master Food Preserver in 2011.

There Will Be Kraut–Lecture on Fermentation at the Historic Greystone Mansion

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I’ll be delivering a lecture on fermentation as part of a two day fermentation fest put on by the Institute for Domestic Technology. From the description on the IDT website:

Let the kraut begin!

Healthy, tasty, fermented foods are the new “health foods”. Though ages old, fermented foods are nature’s natural way of food preservation, with an added twist: they’re good for you! See why über chefs of the moment are pickling, curing and fermenting their menu items from scratch.

Our guide for for the weekend Fest will be Erik Knutzen, Urban Homesteader, author and one of our popular Institute instructors.

Friday, April 26th ~ Saturday, April 27th

Kickoff Evening Lecture and Kraut Tasting: $20 ($25 at the door)
Friday, April 26th, 6pm ~ 8pm  |   Greystone Mansion Historic Library (Beverly Hills)
For tickets see the website of the IDT.

If you have never witnessed one of Erik Knutzen’s trademark PowerPoint presentations, you are in for a thrill. Not only are they educational, they are entertaining, subversive and also hysterical. Who knew fermentation can be so many things?

Erik’s evening lecture, especially prepared for KrautFest is entitled:
“Fermenting Revolution: how fermented foods can change your diet, your life and the world”

In recent years, there’s been huge interest in fermented foods, everything from traditional sauerkraut to kombucha. Health food stores even dedicate entire refrigerator cabinets to pricy “pro-biotic” supplements. Erik Knutzen, co-author of The Urban Homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, will give an overview of the world’s fermented foods and discuss how you can make your own. He’ll cover everything from sauerkraut to pickles to sourdough bread to the great kombucha controversy to the health benefits of fermented foods. He may even discuss arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen’s untimely death from eating fermented auk meat. The evening will also feature a special sauerkraut tasting.

The evening includes a kraut tasting and book signing.

Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class With Kurt Gardella

Kurt Gardella measures the radius of the horno dome.

Kurt Gardella measures the radius of the horno dome.

Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class
March 8-10, 2013

Earthen ovens are inexpensive to build, fun to use, and provide baking environment impossible to recreate in the kitchen. This Spring, Kurt Gardella returns to California for three days to teach you how to make your own earthen oven. Kurt has built dozens of these ovens in New Mexico, and has great expertise in both adobe construction and earthen plasters and finishes. Attendees will leave the class with the knowledge necessary to built an oven of their own, with materials that you may already have in your yard.

The class is suitable for bakers, building professionals and do-it-your-selfers, and is a great introduction to adobe construction and earthen plasters covered in more depth in adobeisnotsoftware’s other classes.

Topics Include:

  • Local considerations and the siting your earthen oven
  • Soil and material selection, sourcing and testing
  • Foundations and oven base design and materials
  • Sizing
  • Sand Form and Oven Domes
  • Natural oven plasters and finishes
  • Firing and baking in your oven.

Instruction Type:
This is a hands-on class. Attendees will have the opportunity to get dirty and use tools and equipment typical of adobe construction and earthen finishing. Due to the course format, enrollment will be limited to 10 individuals. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, instruction will occur indoors.

Instructors: Kurt Gardella teaches adobe construction at Northern New Mexico College, is Director of Education for Adobe in Action, and is certified as an earth-building specialist by the German Dachverband Lehm.

Ben Loescher is a licensed architect, founder of adobeisnotsoftware and principal of golem|la, an architecture firm specializing in adobe construction.

Location:
The class will be conducted just outside Joshua Tree, California.  Coffee and nibbles will be provided at the beginning of the day; lunch is included.

Registration: Three day and Saturday/Sunday registrations completed before February 8th will be discounted. Groups of three or more are eligible for a 25% discount – please contact us for group registrations. Registration ends March 1st.

Click here to register

Questions?
Please do not hesitate to contact Ben by email at mud[at]adobeisnotsoftware.org or by phone at (760) 278-1134. Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class
March 8-10, 2013

Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton in Los Angeles

Institute for Urban Ecology Flyer

In honor of the upcoming SoCal Permaculture Convergence, the Institute for Urban Ecology is proud to be partnering with several Los Angeles based organizations to bring you this once-in-a-lifetime event. Come learn from some of LA’s leading urban ecology experts and from internationally recognized Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton.  To encourage everyone to come and learn, this event is ALMOST FREE!!!!  Sign up a big group and pay nearly nothing to attend.

Paul Wheaton of permies.com
10:30am
No Coop, No Run Chicken Raising
Why spend the money to build a chicken coop and run, when you can have healthier, happier chickens without them?  Paul explains his super simple backyard chicken raising techniques. [Editor's note: I know this idea sounds crazy, but read Wheaton's lengthy explanation here].

1pm to 2pm Lunch provided by Oh Happy Days! Natural Foods & Cafe

Marco Barrantes of La Loma Development Co
2pm
Permaculture in the Big City
How does Permaculture apply to life in the concrete jungle?  Hear this Permaculture designer and entrepreneur speak about healing our cities, creating jobs, and transforming LA’s food culture.

Darren Butler of EcoWorkshops.com
3:30pm to 5pm
Systems Gardening
Does gardening have to be such hard work? Learn how to work with Nature’s systems to make your garden easier to manage and more productive than ever before.

Paul Wheaton on Irrigation Free Gardening at Armory Center for the Arts
6pm to 8pm  
Paul will discuss Permaculture strategies to eliminate the need for irrigation in our gardens.  An especially relevant talk given our climate here in Southern California.

Day/Time
Sunday, March 3rd
10am to 8pm

Location

Daytime Events
@Institute of Urban Ecology
3896 N Fair Oaks Avenue,
Altadena , CA

Evening Paul Wheaton Lecture
@Armory Center for Arts
145 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

Registration (click here to register)
$5 for 1st ticket
$1 each add’tl ticket

Sponsoring Organizations
Institute of Urban Ecology
RIPE Altadena
La Loma Development
EcoWorkshops.com
Oh Happy Days Natural Foods Market
Whole Foods Market, Pasadena
Whittier Backyard Farms
Arroyo SECO Network of Time Banks
Root Simple

Forager and Humanurist Nancy Klehm in Los Angeles

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Nancy Klehm is coming to Los Angeles for two exciting events–one on foraging and the other on humanure:

Edible Urbanforage Walk Saturday February 16 4 to 6 pm.

February, is the ideal time to forage Los Angeles!

Nance Klehm will be leading this urbanforage. On this walk, we will learn to identify edible and medicinal plants, hear their botanical histories and stories of their use and share tastes of what we find.

The urbanforage will start with an herbal beverage and end with a simple herbal food shared over discussion of the experiences and questions generated by the walk.

Bring a notebook and a pen for sketching or note taking and a bag and a knife for collecting.

All ages welcome!
Adults 18+ years $20/person
Children 6-17 years $10/person
Children 5 years and under *free*

Reserve your space for this event by sending your PayPal payment to: [email protected]
There are no refunds. Registration closes February 15.

Mon. Feb 18 – Safe & Sound Human Manure Class

Can we use human waste in our gardens? Is it safe? Come to this incredible workshop by Nancy Klehm, a human manure expert, where we will explore these questions and more.  Learn about compost toilet design, and Nancy’s amazing previous work.

Nance Klehm is a steward of the earth. She is an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower, as well as an in demand consultant, speaker, and teacher. She is respected internationally for her work on land politics and growing for fertility.

Nancy has been featured in Time Magazine, the Utne Reader, the Chicago Tribune, Reuters news service, on the MSN Money website, and many other publications and media outlets. She has been interviewed extensively about her work including spots by American Public Media’s Weekend America program, KRCL in Salt Lake City, BBC Radio Canada, Chicago Public Radio, and KBOO in Portland, Oregon.

Date/Time

Monday, February 18
7 to 9pm

Location
Seventh-Day Adventist Church
1280 East Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104

Registration (click here to register)
Pre-register by 2/10: $15
Pre-register by 2/17: $20
At the Door: $25

Hosting Organizations
RIPE Altadena
Institute of Urban Ecology
More about Nance Klehm:

http://ecolutionist.com/q-a-with-radical-ecologist-nance-klehm-on-urban-foraging/
www.spontaneousvegetation.net

Erik on HuffPost Live Tonight

Just a quick note that I’ll be on HuffPost Live tonight at 6:30 PST to discuss, “Backyard Chicken Coops, greenhouses, beehives and compost bins show that back-to-the-land activities and sustainable living are back. Say Hello to Victory Gardens 2.0!”

You can watch here. Guests include:

  • Barbara Finnin Executive Director of City Slicker Farms
  • Erik Knutzen Author of “The Urban Homestead” and Founder of Root Simple
  • Rob Ludlow Owner of BackYardChickens.com

The show will be archived and I’ll post a link when it appears on the HuffPost website.

Feral House and Process Media Winter Soltice Party

Feral House and Process media, the publishers of our first book The Urban Homestead, will be holding their annual solstice party on Saturday December 8th from 7 to 10 pm at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, located within the Wacko gift store. Judging from the flyer, naked Shriners will frolic in the Griffith Park Fountain later on in the evening. Whatever happens, it’s a fun event not to be missed. Kelly and I will be there to hang out, chat and show off our emergency composting toilet. Perhaps we’ll get around to decorating it with blinking Christmas lights. Kill two birds with one stone and shop the Wacko aisles for Christmas gifts your young Goth and aging and ironic Gen X relatives! Then talk composting with us.

La Luz de Jesus/Wacko is located at:

4633 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Notes on Mark Bittman’s “Behind the Scenes of What We Eat”

Last week Erik and I went to see well-known food writer Mark Bittman speak on food policy. He spoke in a huge room in The California Endowment–and it was a full house. Afterward, Erik and I compared it to being in church. We were surrounded by people of the same faith, being told things we already know, and being reminded to be good. And I don’t mean that in a bad way! It never hurts to meditate on how to be better, to do more. Bittman is an engaging speaker and it was a great evening. I took notes, and will share a little of what I learned.

He spent a good deal of time describing how our national food system and food policy is depressing and screwed up. We all know this, right? Factory farms, fuel waste, massive environmental degradation, obesity crisis, etc. & etc.

(One quick scary fact from the roll of shame: Did you know that 80% of antibiotics used in the US are fed to farm animals? That number has been shooting up fast for the last 20 years. Why are they used on animals? Not so much for illness, but rather to prevent illness in animals living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, and to speed growth. They’re prophylactic. Lovely. Antibiotic failure happens to be one of my favorite doomsday scenarios.)

Bittman believes that in 50-100 years we will no longer be shipping food across country or across planet–we’ll be relying on local/regional agriculture systems, based on family farms. Whether this shift is a positive, pleasant transition or made in a state of dreadful calamity, is entirely a matter of how soon we begin working on the shift.

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