Our short courses range from one day, weekend or week long classes on topics such as permaculture, wilderness survival, ethnobotany, hunter/gatherer lifestyle, wildlife tracking, bird language, homesteading and more. We're always adding new courses so check for updates either on this page or feel free to subscribe to our Facebook page, which is updated frequently. If you'd like to create a custom course for a small group, fill out the form here and we'll get right back to you.
In this two day course we will cover all of the short term survival essentials that can save your life if you're caught out in the wilderness. Topics include shelter building, friction fire, water purification, primitive trapping, and wild foraging. We'll talk about survival psychology, priorities and energy conservation. Our instructors go on regular staged survival trips and teach from personal experience. For a more detailed course description click here.
In this one day course, we will cover how to build a comprehensive herbal medicine cabinet using herbs that grow here in the Pacific Northwest. We'll go over not only how to make the medicines, but also when/where to harvest them, dosages and safety, how to grow them yourself and resources which will help you continue on your journey as an herbalist. Here are the medicines that we'll make and the topics which we'll cover:
- Medicines: Tinctures, salves, lotions, liniments, poultices, balms, eye washes, syrups, lozenges.
- Teas, infusions and decoctions and which herbs provide the most benefit.
- Safety: While herbal medicines are extremely powerful, they can also be dangerous if taken in high dosages.
- Harvesting: Where to find the herbs, how to harvest and doing it ethically.
- Harvest Schedule: A handy schedule as to when to harvest each herb at it's peak medicinal value.
- Growing your herbs at home within a permaculture system.
- Herbal medicine for kids.
- Herbal medicine for pets.
To find out more and register, click here.
Permaculture is essentially mimicking natural ecologies in your own garden. When you mimic nature, you'll find that you have to do significantly less work in the long run compared to using conventional methods. While western agriculture focuses mainly on annual crop production in a monoculture system (only one crop is grown), permaculture focuses on growing perennial crops in polyculture systems (many species instead of just 1). Perennial crops live 3+ years and have significantly larger rhizospheres (root zones) that annuals. This allows them tolerate stress caused from draughts, heavy rains and temperature extremes much better than annuals can. With climate change making weather patterns increasingly more unpredictable, I believe that relying on annual crops in our food production systems is a perilous mistake. Permaculture gardens also don't require the use of any pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides and have to be watered significantly less than annual gardens.
In this day long workshop, we'll cover a host of different permaculture techniques which you'll be able to apply at home. Lecture will be given out in the field and almost the entire class will be spent doing hands on activities on our permaculture farm.
Hypothermia is the number one killer in the backcountry and knowing how to get fire when you're wet and cold is one of the most critical survival skills that you can learn. Plus, fire allows you to cook your food, purify your water and gives you a psychological boost. If you can become proficient at friction fire here in northwestern Washington, then you can succeed at it almost anywhere else in the world. So we're hosting this class during the middle of the rain season to show you how to succeed at fire during the hardest of conditions.
Don't worry, you don't need to be a fire expert to take this course. You don't even have to have any friction fire experience for that matter. We keep this class small to provide plenty of individual instruction for all sorts of skill levels. The instructor to student ration will be 5:1 at the most.
To find out more and register, click here.
When you get a professional soil test done, you typically get back a report stating various nutrient levels, pH, structure, texture and ability to hold nutrients. But modern day tests are leaving out the most crucial component to soil health, and that is the biology living within it. When we till our soil, or apply inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, we wipe out the biology (the bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods etc) that the plants depend upon for survival.
The biology in the soil is responsible for keeping diseases and pests in check, holding nutrients within the root zone (so they're not lost to leaching), creating soil structure and converting insoluble nutrients into plant soluble forms. The biology also make it so that you never have to add any amendments to your soil....ever! All of the nutrients that plants require exist within the sands, clays and silts (mineral components of the soil). All that's required is a balanced soil food web to hold and convert them into plant soluble forms.
In this workshop, you'll all about how the soil biology cycles nutrients and how to maximize biological diversity in your gardens at home.
Find out more and register here.