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Workshops 2024

3rd Saturday of the Month

16 March 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Using Homegrown Herbs for Health and Vitality

Join herb farmer and herbalist Henrietta Cummings for a workshop on using the herbs you grow for health and vitality. We will learn how to process and use herbs you grow diving deep into time-honored preparation of herbs and ways to incorporate these herbs into your everyday life for your health and wellbeing. Recipes will be included for you to take home and we will sample various herbal preparations during the workshop.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Learning from Traditional Cultures: Outdoor Cooking Skills from Mexico & Africa

Using outdoor cooking techniques still used in Mexican and African Village, Learn traditional techniques and recipes for cooking directly on hot coals, in cast iron pots of varying sizes, and with grills and and simple accessories. Learn how to manage a fire for best results, what woods to use, how to gauge cooking times, and how to maximize flavors and tastes. Leticia Mendez grew up in a rural Mexican Village where most cooking was done outside and she still does a significant amount of her and her families cooking outside at her homesite in North Carolina. Nancy Harman lived for 5 years in a rural village in Southern Africa where she learned many techniques of outdoor cooking from her village neighbors.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Build (and Live in) Your Own Tiny House

They can be a primary residence, a guest house, a studio, a man cave, a she shed, an in-law cottage, a home for a grown family member, a workshop, a rental for additional income, a starter home, a get away cabin, a debt free living space, a movable home, and so much more. Tiny Homes can be built on a permanent foundation, on a trailer, or on skids. Learn from Nathan Huening, who lives full-time in a 200SF home with his wife and two dogs, and who also co-founded Cranmore Meadows, the Piedmont's first legal tiny home community. Learn also from Harvey Harman, tiny home builder and designer, who is also an expert on the building code and local zoning issues related to tiny Homes. The first half of the class covers basic information about building tiny homes and the second half of the class covers ideas for how to live tiny (like how to get along with less stuff, best ways to host visitors, how to find tiny home appropriate furniture and appliances, and so much more).

20 April 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

How to Design an Urban or Rural Permaculture Homestead for Long-term Sustainability

Join in a hands-on exploration using two real life sites (one for a small town lot and one for a larger rural homestead) of how to use Permaculture Principles to develop and design for long term sustainability. We will look at integrating food production, rainwater capture, energy production, buildings, landscape features, soils, topography, orientation, weather patterns and so much more to maximize outputs while minimizing inputs. This workshop is for anyone who wants to develop a more sustainable home or homesite and is taught by long time Permaculture Instructor Harvey Harman, who has applied these techniques is many different settings.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Growing and Harvesting Cultivated & Wild Herbs

We will walk together to a nearby large pollinator garden where the owner has lots of medicinal herbs growing as well as other native pollinator plants. We'll observe the herbs in their habitat and discuss how to grow and nurture, what parts to use for healthy benefits, when and how to harvest, ways to use the plant internally and externally and details for the particular herb. On the way we will look for edible and beneficial plants growing in the wild. This workshop will be taught by Henrietta Cummings, herbalist and herb farmer.

1:00 – 3:45PM

How to Install a Simple Off-Grid Solar PV Electric System

Learn the basic components and installation requirements for an Off-Grid Photovoltaic (PV) Electric System for regular or emergency use. Taught by Ed Witkin, who has been installing solar PV systems of all sizes and configurations for over 20 years, find out the best places to order components, get information, and develop additional skills. The class will also put together a basic home PV Electric System.

1:00 – 3:45PM

The Wonderful World of Gourds: Growing Them, Using Them, Crafting with Them & More

Gourds are one of the oldest cultivated plants on the planet. The have been used for centuries as food (when they are young and tender), as vessels to hold or carry liquids, for making dippers, as a container for food, for rattles to accompany singing, for a surface for artistic expression, and many other uses. They also are easy to grow being disease and insect resistant. Learn the many uses of this versatile plant and the various gourds to grow for different purposes. Workshop participants will also make a gourd dipper, one of the traditional uses for gourds.

🎟️ All Day Pass (April)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

18 May 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Growing and Producing Your Own Fiber From Animals & Plants

Led by fiber artist Grace McFetters and Courtney Lockemer. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, this workshop explores the age-old skills of producing your own fibers. The workshop focuses primarily on fibers from animals (wool, hair, ect.) but will also touch on fibers from plants (flax, cotton, hemp, nettles, etc.). The workshop also includes discussion about animal management and care.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Learning From Traditional Cultures: The Ancient Skill of Bark Basket Making

For thousands of years people have been making essential items from natural materials that surround them. Learn how to make functional and decorative bark baskets from the tulip tree ( Liriodendron tulipifera), a common tree in central North Carolina. Fuz Sanderson, a teacher of traditional earthskills, leads us in a fascinating hands-on experience connecting us with this easy to learn craft. Everyone will go home with at least one tulip bark basket, and also the skills to build more bark baskets.

1:00 – 3:45PM

The Art & Skill of Turning Locally Produced Fiber into Useful Products

Get an immersion into the many ways of turning locally harvested fibers into useful and artistic items. The workshop is led by fiber artist Grace McFetters. Learn about carding, cleaning, processing, dying, spinning, weaving, felting and much more through an afternoon of practical applications for locally produced fibers.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Homemade Soap & Candle Making: Traditional Important Crafts for the Home

18 May 2024

Candle and soap making are easy to do and provide important items for the home, or to give to loved ones as a gift. In this workshop we will make candles two different ways and also learn the basics of soap making, including suggestions for herbs or additional ingredients to add for specific benefits. This workshop on candle and soap making also touches on issues of aromatherapy and homemade skin, beauty, and hygiene products.

🎟️ All Day Pass (May)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

15 June 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Fermentation: Brewing Beers, Wines, Meade, & Other Traditional Beverages

Join food scientist, Ben Harman, and skilled homebrewer John Powell in this exciting exploration of creating your own home beverages. Save hundreds of $$$ by learning how to brew your favorite bubbly flavors in the comfort of your own home. Hone the finer points of craft brewing, control your brew's individual character, and express yourself through this traditional craft.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Temporary Shelters: Tents, Teepees, Tarps, Yurts, Cars, Vans, Buses, Campers, & Other Simple Shelters

Led by Harvey Harman, John and Sherri Powell, and Laurie Cone, learn the many options and examples for temporary and alternative structures. There are many reasons to know how to build temporary structures: natural or human caused emergencies, , financial setbacks, place to host visitors or relatives, play areas, shade and protection for outdoor work or meeting areas, spaces for reflection and time alone, portable shelters for remote locations, to be more connected to the natural world, or just to create fewer environmental impacts. Also, as housing costs in the U.S. continue to rise, some say that vans, campers, and RVs have become the new “affordable housing.” Van living/camping is the rage, and many people have also converted buses and panel trucks into living spaces. Learn some of the options, and skills involved, to convert or remodel vehicles or older campers/RVs into longer-term, viable living spaces. In this workshop, we will see examples of what people have done to create such spaces and also get experience figuring out how to take older campers/RVs and upgrade them for continued long-term use.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Producing Your Own Biochar for Soil Fertility & to Combat Climate Change

Join Biochar practitioner Gred Gross in a hands-on workshop on small-scale biochar production for the home, farm, or neighborhood. Biochar is an ancient technique that turns carbon rich materials like crop residues and wood debri through pyrolysis (heat at high temperatures in a low oxygen environment) into a multi-use, extremely beneficial stable carbon-rich material. Unlike burning crop residues and wood, or turning them into the soil, biochar locks up the carbon for the long-term and does not release the carbon back into the atmosphere as happens with burning or decomposition. The biochar then becomes a powerful tool in helping offset our carbon emissions from fossil fuel use. In addition biochar is a multi-purpose soil amendment helping soils to retain nutrients and store water. It has many other beneficial uses, such as an additive to animal feed, use as a building material, energy storage in batteries, and as a filter in sewage plants. Learn more about this potent resource that can help reverse carbon emissions while improving soil fertility and control of pollutants.

🎟️ All Day Pass (June)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

20 July 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Growing Sprouts & Microgreens: Fresh Food in Limited Space

Sprouts and microgreens require little space and are easy to grow. Enthusiast Hapi Auser shares the techniques and supplies needed to grow these important nutritionally power packed vegetables in your home or homestead and have predictable vegetables year round.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Building with Stone: All About Building Stone Walls

Learn the important basics of building with stone with landscape Architect and stone mason Dan Sundberg, who will cover the important elements of building with stone, including tools, basics of stone masonry, building drystack or with mortar, and most common landscape features built with stone. This workshop will especially focus on skills for building stone walls focusing on two popular methods.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Growing, Harvesting, and Processing Herbs for Teas, Tisanes, Infusions, and Decoctions

Natural and herbal tea preparations provide daily healing and wellness for the body and mind. In this workshop we will explore herbs we can grow in our climate and harvest for tasty and healthy herbal teas (known as tisanes). We will learn how to process the herbs for storage and prepare these herbs for their best flavor and benefits. As we sample herbal tisanes we will cover herbs that blend well together both for our tasting pleasure and for the health benefits they provide when combined. This workshop will be taught by herbalist and herb farmer, Henrietta Cummings.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Rainwater Harvesting: All About Tanks, Filters, Piping, Earthscaping, Swale Building, and Keyline Water Systems

Led by permaculturalist, plumber, and rainwater specialist Harvey Harman, this workshops uses hands-on activities to demonstrate the many different ways of capturing, slowing down, and using Rainwater for the home, landscape, garden, and farm. Learn the simple techniques and skills to make use of this essential natural resource to maximize its benefits and minimize its drawbacks.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Stories from a Food & Medicine Forest

Walk through a young food & medicine forest and learn about the native plants that are being established at Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm. While we walk, Linwood will share the importance of natural places and native plants to his Haliwa-Saponi tribe and the healing they provide body and soul. Mike will share how the plants are feeding and healing his family and the positive impact native plants are having on biodiversity the farm. When you leave you will be provided a link to download a 40 page Guide to Growing Food & Medicine Forest containing over 150 plants that grow at Ozark Akerz.

🎟️ All Day Pass (July)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

17 August 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Essential Oil & Alcohol Distillation

1:00 – 3:45PM

Responding to Climate Change: Alternative Transportation

In the U.S. about 28% of energy use is related to transportation. Learn steps all of us can take to utilize and create less energy intensive modes of transportation. This workshop focuses on options for bikes, ebikes, and renewable energy transportation alternatives. It will also touch on a wide variety of additional options both what we can do individually and collectively as well as on ways to save money for transportation in addition to saving energy and reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

1:00 – 3:45PM

All About Sewing: Mending, Altering, and Repurposing Cloth & Clothing

Homesteader and creative repurposer Sherri Powell and fiber artist Courtney Lockemer will help us think about clothing differently. The first half of the workshop covers basic hand sewing skills everyone should know, such as how to sew on buttons, how to make simple alterations, how to mend and patch rips and holes in clothing, what should be included in a basic sewing kit, how to easily thread a needle, etc. The second half of the workshop gets into more intermediate skills including a demonstration of what else is possible using a sewing machine, cutting out patterns (or sewing clothing without patterns), and how to take an existing piece of clothing or cloth and turn it into something completely different.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Aquaponics: Combining Growing Fish & Growing Vegetables

17 August 2024

In backyard Aquaponics practitioner Alex Maness and he shares his method of growing fish and vegetables in an interrelated system. Alex will cover the basics of the aquaponics system, best fish species to use, most common vegetables to grow in combination with the fish, system components, how to get started, and problems to avoid.

🎟️ All Day Pass (August)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

21 September 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Learning from Traditional Cultures: Introduction to Building with Cob & Using Natural Plasters

Led by master cob builder, Greg Allen of Mud Dauber School of Natural Building, experience the joys and possibilities of natural building. Cob, sometimes called "adobe for wet climates" has been a standard building material for centuries. Cob combines clay, straw, and sand or other grit to make a durable building component that dries into a breathable, flexible solid mass. Natural plasters are a complimentary and flexible material using clay, sand, and sometimes finely chopped straw to create a warm, colorful, and artistic finish.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Preserving the Harvest Through Fun & Fantastic Fermentation

1:00 – 3:45PM

Success at Fishing: Thinking Like a Fish

Whether you're interested in learning to fish just for fun or hoping to catch something to fry up on the grill, join fishing expert Auburn Staples for a fun-filled afternoon of instruction and practice. Auburn has been passionate about fishing from a young age and has fished in locations all over the world. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with others in the hopes that they may pass it on to future generations. Fishing involves choosing the appropriate equipment, learning to fish the conditions, studying the environment where fish thrive, understanding the natural patterns and habits during different times of the year, and connecting more to the natural world. This workshop is open to all ages. Youth under 18 need to be registered in the workshop with a sponsoring adult.

1:00 – 3:45PM

The Many Benefits of Raising Goats & Sheep

Raising goats and sheep provide many benefits and are a good fit for many situations. Learn from people who have raised goats and sheep the many benefits and uses and the basic needs of sheep and goats for feeding, grazing/browsing space, shelter, disease control, milking, and whether they would be a good fit for your home/homestead.

🎟️ All Day Pass (September)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

19 October 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

7 Essential Skills for Successful Outdoor Cooking

Led by natural chef Nancy Harman and food scientist Ben Harman learn essential skills for Outdoor Cooking that go way beyond just cooking on an outside grill. Lean ways to cook with no equipment, ways to roast over a fire, grilling techniques, dutch oven cooking, baking over an open fire, tasty one pot meals, and ways to impart important flavors. The workshop will also cover utensils, outdoor cooking pots, grills, accessories, and also makeshift solutions for camping situations.

9:00 – 11:45AM

Managing Your Forest or Woodlot for Food, Fun, Fodder, Craft Materials, Lumber, Recreation, Wildlife Habitat, Firewood, Medicine, and More

Led by permaculturalist/farmer Harvey Harman, along with others, explore the many uses of a woodlot or forest. Learn ways to better understand what resources are already present in your forest, how to sustainably manage and utilize them, ways to create additional diversity and expand the usefulness of the forest, and how to build an interactive and mutually beneficial relationship with the forest. We will also cover ways to turn forest products into income.

1:00 – 3:45PM

Making Your Own Herbal Syrups & Infused Vinegars

1:00 – 3:45PM

Learning from Traditional Cultures: Introduction to Green Woodworking

Come learn about the woodcraft that can be fashioned from the simple trees and woody shrubs that grow wild in our state. Led by local Food Scientist and part-time craftsman Ben Harman. Green Woodworking is a method of using mostly simple hand tools to create useful items of wood when it is recently harvested and easier to work. It uses tools to split the wood into the rough shape desired and then shaving or carving tools to further refine the wood into its final form.

🎟️ All Day Pass (October)

Morning & Afternoon sessions

16 November 2024

Purchase individual workshop tickets ($50) or an all-day pass for a discount at bottom ($80).

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9:00 – 11:45AM

Making Creams & Lotions for Hand-made Holiday Gifts

Join herb farmer and herbalist Henrietta Cummings for a hands-on workshop where we will make small batches of face and body creams. You’ll have cream to carry home and the experience to repeat at home for hand-made holiday gifts. We will cover various base oils and the benefits of each, some essential oil(s) to choose for the purpose of an individual cream. We will also cover two ways to make your own flower water other than the method of distilling to make hydrosols. You will learn Rosemary Gladstar’s “perfect cream” recipe that provides the right amounts of oils to waters to make a luscious cream every time from your choice of oils, hydrosols or flower waters, and essential oils.

9:00 – 11:45AM

11 Easy to Make Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

1:00 – 3:45PM

Wilderness Skills Day

Learn basic wilderness skills while bonding over a series of outdoor activities that build resilience and personal confidence. The day will focus on 4 areas of wilderness skill: Navigating in the Woods or Wilderness, Shelter and Staying Safe, Food Gathering/Harvesting, and Firebuilding/Outdoor Cooking.

🎟️ All Day Pass (November)

Morning & Afternoon sessions