Transition Sebastopol Reskilling Fair (full schedule listed)

Nov 6 2010 9:00 am
Nov 6 2010 5:00 pm

Please note location has changed to Laguna Farm! Details below! See you there!

Learn practical skills for resilient and sustainable living.
Workshops & Ongoing Demonstrations

Donation: $10-40 Sliding Scale (no one turned away for lack of funds).

Simple lunch of soup and salad will be available for $5, please bring bowl and utensils.
Kids program for the whole family & children are free.


The event wil be held at:

Laguna Farm
1764 Cooper Road

(NOT at St Stephen's Church)


Download a printable poster to share or pdf of the schedule here!

poster     schedule



9:30 am - 10:45 am
• Sheet Mulching
with Sara McCamant

Sheet Mulching is a great technique for transforming lawns or never used areas into rich lush plantable areas. The fall is a great time to lay it all down for perfect spring planting. Simple but good to see the first time and hear about the different methods.

Sara McCamant has been teaching gardening infused with permaculture for over 18 years. She works with iGROW, West County Community Seed Bank and Transition Sebastopol.

Tortilla Making
with Evelia Pacheco

In the tortilla making (nixtamalization) class we will bring the seed garden's blue oaxacan fresh corn through the process from whole grain to fresh made tortillas. All will have a chance to mill and press.

Evelia Pacheco has been making fresh tortillas since she was a small child and is delighted to share her knowledge with you.

Clay Paint
with Darryl Berlin

Make your Own Natural Paint- You can stop using toxic paint and make your own low cost, non toxic breathable clay paint. This class will teach how to make a simple clay based paint, how to prepare your walls, and discuss problems you can run into. Clay paints are the easiest way to bring natural building into every home.

Darryl Berlin has been building with clay and straw and teaching natural building for 14 years. As a professional builder he has worked in numerous situations and has a wealth of experience.

11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Water in Your Landscape
with Johan Niklasson

In this class we will discuss what types of water resources we have around our homes, how we best utilize these resources and what the local codes and regulations are in regards to water issues. Grey water recycling, rainwater harvesting, water storage and design techniques for better water conservation are some topics that will be covered during the class. Among other things you will learn; how to find contour lines in your landscape and how to use and make the necessary tool for that, what type of water is appropriate for what kind of use and how to tell if you have drainage issues. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Johan Niklasson lives in Sebastopol with his wife Courtney Breed and their two children Freja and Tindra. He teaches Sustainable Landscaping at College of Marin and has his own landscape design and construction business - Landscapes for a future. Johan Niklasson has a MS in Landscape Planning, is an active Master Gardener, certified permaculture designer and has 13 years of experience in horticulture and agriculture from around the world.

• Olive Curing
Steven Edholm


The olive provides a abundant fruit which is inedibly bitter off the tree, but nutritious and delicious when processed properly. Explore approaches to curing green and ripe olives in various styles, including water cured, dry salt, salt brine & lactofermentation. Some discussion of varieties, propagation and culture will also be included.

Steven Edholm has been studying various archaic and subsistence skills and technologies for the past 25ish years. He has been curing olives for personal use for the past 15 years. He currently lives in the coast ranges of Mendocino County. For more information about his projects, check out the Turkey Song blog at

Embroidery for Clothing Repair


Rather than tossing that favorite item because it's wearing out - especially denim clothing, thinning jeans, or something that can bear some embellishment - bring it to the Reskilling Fair and work with Alexandra Hart to discover how to mend it with embroidery stitches and/or patches. Remember - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Materials will be provided; you bring your item. Otherwise, just use our fabric and thread provided to learn stitches and start a sampler.
* Bring jeans or other clothing items in need of repair.

Alexandra is author of Native Funk & Flash, An Emerging Folk Art, 1974 (the local store is named after it).

Watershed Stewardship
the Atascadero/ Green Valley Watershed Council


What do the reskilling workshops for "Clothing Repair" and "Rainwater Harvesting" have in common? They both try to help you make the most of what you have. And that's what stewarding your watershed is all about. Everyone lives in a watershed. It's an area of the earth where all the water flows to the same place. In this workshop, the public is invited to observe and participate in the nuts and bolts of a watershed council in the AGVWC monthly board meeting. Learn how to form and/or maintain a watershed council, how to identify appropriate issues to address, and how to set and work toward appropriate goals.

The Atascadero / Green Valley Watershed Council is an unincorporated non-profit association. For ten years volunteers have worked through the AGVWC to bring together the people who live and work in the watershed to help each other in taking responsibility for our impact on the watershed through protection, restoration and education.

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Cover Crops for Healthier Soil
with Yeti, Heidi Herrmann and David Beazlie


Cover crops have long mimicked nature’s methods of building and maintaining healthy living soil. In this workshop you will learn about how cover crops prevent erosion, hold water in the soil longer, nurture healthy microbiological communities, and safely add nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. Cover crops help mitigate climate changes.

The workshop will include an overview on the topic and an informal panel with Yeti (wholistic farmer, orchardist and teacher), Heidi Herrmann, (SRJC instructor in sustainable agricultural practices) and David Beazlie (landscape designer, sustainability consultant and educator).

Acorn Processing with Tamara Wilder

Harvesting, Cracking, Pounding, Sifting, Leaching, Cooking and Eating. Each fall, the Oaks in our local environs provide an abundance of food. Try your hand at a few of the many steps utilized to transform acorns into a delicious and nutritious food (using both stone and metal tool techniques) and discuss harvesting and storing methods.

Tamara Wilder is a paleotechnologist who offers workshops and school programs in a variety of topics around Northern California. More info at PO Box 876 Boonville, CA 95415 707-391-8683

Chris L.S. Panym

Do People "KNOT" KNOW ? !! In this workshop you will learn three knots that can do everything! (with 2 variations "on a bight" and with a "slip") The best knots can be UN-TIED easily, yet hold reliably. Just try my simplest set of three knots, and see how easily you can apply them to everything! We may also get into related subjects such as principles and tips on applications and sample repairs. Take home samples to practice and enjoy securing the rest of your life.

Chris L.S. Panym has been a director on the Board of the Institute for the Study of Consciousness since 1994. A co-founder of Green Valley Village, Chris will be one of several Trustees perpetuating the benefactor's purpose of modeling a sensible economic system, and transforming the foremost formal cause of habitat destruction on Earth.

Tripod Building
with Michael Jacob


We will supply materials and direction so participants can set up and climb on a simple tripod climbing structure that was created for Burning Man 2010. All ages welcome. Bring a hammock to hang and you can rest after it's built.

Michael Jacob of Talia Developments Inc. is a local builder and Two Acre Wood Cohousing resident.

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Worm Composting
Nico Morris


Nico noticed a lot of misinformation being proliferated about what you "CAN AND CANNOT" feed worms, so please don't be "shocked" when he tells you you can feed your worms any food (nature does). Nico will teach you how to "do it right" so you can compost the high nitrogen ingredients correctly (meat, fish, eggs, dairy). Nico will also cover processes for making Worm Tea, and show how to set up a worm bin with practically any box you can find.

Nico Morris is a home composter gone wild, raising more than a million worms in the four years he has been in Sebastopol. His original inspiration to begin diverting food waste from the landfill came from meeting Bucky Fuller in the 70's and getting early info on Global Warming. Learning most of his composting techniques from old farmers at local farmers markets, he has honed his ongoing competition with rats and raccoons to a "fine art".

•  Mushroom Growing
with Blake Allen


Learn basic outdoor techniques for expanding mushroom spawn, innoculating logs, and creating mushroom beds. We will be working with shitake, king stropharia, and oyster mushrooms. Discussion about more intensive indoor techniques will also be covered. Take home cardboard spawn from the workshop to start your own mushroom bed.

Blake Allen, originally from Washington state, is a Sustainable Agriculture student at SRJC and works at Foxwhelp Farm. He has experience growing edible mushrooms in a variety of conditions.

Fermented Foods
with Elli Hilmer


Learn how to ferment vegetables. We will be discussing & demonstrating how to make sauerkraut and various other cabbage ferments, as well as fermented crock pickles made with seasonal vegetables. We will also cover some other fermented foods such as sourdough, kombucha, and yogurt. This will not be a science class! This is a practical how-to workshop to give you the tools and confidence to start the fun and simple process of fermentation. Go home with everything you need to know to bring some new cultures to your kitchen.

Elli Hilmer has been fermenting the seasonal abundance for three years from Wild Rose Ranch, her farm on Sonoma Mountain. For one year she has been selling her ferments, made with vegetables from small farms in Sonoma County, at farmers markets in Santa Rosa and Occidental.

Hand Tool Care
with Tom Danaher


Care of your tools is an essential part of the work of a gardener. Tom will take us through basic maintenance of your Felco pruners and sharpening and care of other common gardening tools.
* Bring your Felcos and a 7 and 8mm wrench, a crescent wrench and some rags if you want to go through it with him.

Tom Danaher is the tech guy at Harmony Farm Supply; he also likes to take work on bikes and can bring back your old Felcos from near death.


For more info contact Sara 829-5234 or Ingrid 396-8453.

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