In 2016 we offered a variety of workshops throughout the summer at a cost of $10/person:
May 14 – Bio-Intensive Gardening
Instructor: Jeff Roessing, Eighth Day Farm
Bio-intensive gardening utilizes the best traditional farming techniques to operate truly sustainable gardens or mini-farms. The John Jeavons whole systems method incorporates 8 key concepts: double-dug raised beds; composting; intensive planting; companion planting; carbon farming; calorie farming; and open-pollinated seeds. This workshop will survey these key concepts and encourage gardeners of all ages to get their hands dirty.
June 4 – Holland Backyard Chicken Tour
Thinking about getting a new pet? Want something with a brain the size of a penny but with the amazing ability to pump out 4-5 eggs a week? Meet the chicken. Good news for urban dwellers, the City of Holland now permits their presence. Come scratch your itch for rural life in the city with a tour of five backyards where the chickens rule the roost.
August 6 – Bee-keeping Basics
Instructor: Andy Russcher and Aaron Schaap
Reciprocate the love shown to us by these little creatures by learning what it takes to co-steward their great work. Endlessly fascinating, you’ll learn everything from the importance of waggle dances to the crisis of colony collapse, and the fundamentals to keeping your own bees.
August 20 – Communal Canning 101
Instructor: Melissa Roessing
Location: Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church
14 W 14th St, Holland, MI 49423
Cost: Free, but please bring four pint jars with rings and new lids.
I’m writing this description as the snow is falling. It is gray and dreary-it is winter in West Michigan. However, as my wife commented last night, making meals is a breeze, because our shelves are stocked with the taste of summer, chopped up and neatly stored in glass jars. Canning and food preservation is an excellent practice to calibrate our eating to a more sustainable regional food system, and we believe the work to be rewarding. We also know that canning is a lost art and it can be a little intimidating to give it a shot on your own. If you want to try it out in a relaxed group setting please join us for this Communal Canning class.
September 17 – An introduction to Aquaponics
Instructor: Chris Linde
Maybe you have heard of hydroponics before-growing plants in a water based nutrient solution as opposed to regular soil. Often times this is done indoors with grow lights. But have you heard of aquaponics? Aquaponics eliminates the need for adding nutrients (often chemical based) to the water by incorporating some fish manure to fertilize those plants. In aquaponics a recirculating ecosystem is created where the fish waste becomes fodder for the plants and the plants in turn are filtering the water so it is fresh for the fish. Check out this innovative approach to year round food production.