Learn to Spin!

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Want to learn how to use a drop spindle? Or how to spin? Our friend Anne Schwartz is teaching some classes this month at the Keystone Art Space on San Fernando Road.

In this fun two-hour class you will learn the basics of spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and will receive your own spindle and fiber to keep!

This is a great way to start spinning because you’ll learn the basics – drafting fiber, adding twist and plying yarn – in a way that can be easily controlled, and using an inexpensive tool! Even if your goal is to spin on a spining wheel, you will learn skills and principles that will also be used on your wheel!

In addition to drop spinning, Anne offers private one-on-one spinning lessons.

For more information, check out her website spinnerscircle.com.

Summer Solstice Celebration at Holy Nativity


Photo by Paul Morgan.

Come see the new adobe community oven and celebrate the summer solstice! Here’s a note from Joanne of Environmental Change-makers:

Want to learn about all the fun stuff that goes on at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity, and the Holy Nativity campus?

This Saturday, June 20, there will be a Summer Solstice Open House across the entire campus.

I will be speaking about saving water and greywater (three 15-minute talks, at 10, 11, 12)

The open house will feature garden tours, oven explanation (the oven mud is now drying), highlights from other campus organizations like Teri Roseman’s LiveYoga Wellness, Patricia Rose’s Fresh-food-in-a-flash cooking classes, the Food Forward gleaning program, art tours by Steve O’Laughlin, and much more.

Steve’s band will be performing 12-1, and pancakes will be served from 9-11. Come join us and see all the new goings-on!

Summer Solstice Open House
Sat Jun 20, 9am-1pm
Community Garden at Holy Nativity
6700 W. 83rd, Los Angeles, 90045
RSVP helpful

Cottage Food Operations Workshop Offered by UC Cooperative Extension

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For folks in Southern California who are thinking of starting a home based food business, UC Extension has a class coming up that will help you get started. UCCE assures me that the information provided will be of interest to anyone thinking about starting a Cottage Food operation, not just farmers. For more information contact: Rachel Surls, Sustainable Food Systems Advisor UC Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County (626) 586-1982 [email protected] Here’s the info:

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed especially for farmers of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and honey interested in making value-added products in home kitchens as Cottage Food Operations (CFOs). Workshop is open to everyone.

What is a Cottage Food Operation?

The California Homemade Food Act (AB1616) allows individuals to prepare and package certain non-potentially hazardous foods in private-home kitchens referred to as “Cottage Food Operations” (CFOs). Processed meat, dairy, fermented foods, and juices are NOT legally acceptable cottage foods.

Learn about:

• Cottage Food Law

• Food science and sanitation

• Information about processing jams/jellies, honey, nuts, dried fruit, baked goods

• Packaging and storage

• Business operations for CFOs

Please come join us for this one day event: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided.

UC Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County
700 W. Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801

Registration required: $25 with online payment by June 10 or Register online: http://ucanr.edu/cforegla

This project is funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

$40 at the door, space permitting

Cob Oven Workshop with Ben Loescher

cob oven

Don’t miss this chance to learn how to make your own cob oven! Ben led the class the built the oven in our backyard (pictured above). Here’s the 411:

Ben Loescher will conduct a 4-day hands-on workshop this June, to teach you how to make your own earthen oven. Ben has built dozens of these ovens, and has great expertise in both adobe construction and earthen plasters and finishes. You will leave the class with the knowledge necessary to build an oven of your own, with materials that you may already have in your yard.

What Will I Learn?

  • Local considerations and the siting for 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

4 Days: June 6, 7, 13, 14
Saturdays, 9am-4pm.
Sundays, 1pm-4pm.

Early-bird tuition $175

Register after May 15 $200

In Westchester/Los Angeles 90045 at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity:
6700 W. 83rd Street

Register at:

Ben Loescher is a licensed architect, principal of Loescher Meachem Architects, and founder of AdobeIsNotSoftware, an organization which was founded in 2009 to inform, enable and advance adobe construction in California, and educate the public in the building and conservation of adobe structures.

This will be a hands-on, get-dirty workshop. Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting really muddy, wear closed-toed shoes, and bring sun protection.

Coffee and nibbles will be provided at the beginning of each day. Please bring your own lunch.

Peter Kalmus Talk: Low-Energy Living is Fun!


On Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm climate scientist Peter Kalmus (our guest on episode 39 of the Root Simple Podcast) will share his experiences as he and his family journey toward a lower carbon footprint, focusing on how using less fossil fuels turned out not to be the burden one might expect . . . in fact, he’ll show how it has made life even better.

The second (optional) part of Peter’s presentation will guide the audience to calculate their carbon footprints, and discuss concrete ways to decrease their impact on the planet. Please bring a pencil, calculator, and information about your driving, flying, and consuming habits, including a gas and electric bill, to get the maximum from the workshop. If not available, Peter will show ways to guess-timate your usage. More info can be found at http://becycling.life.

The talk will take place at:
Throop Unitarian Universalist Church
300 S Los Robles Ave, Pasadena
Sponsored by Transition Pasadena