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Mushroom Foraging and Cultivation Workshop - May 11, 2019 ($50)

Wild foraging is often quite intimidating to those who have never done it; especially when it comes to mushrooms, and rightfully so! If you want to begin foraging for wild mushrooms but don’t know where to start, or you would like to build upon your knowledge of fungi: this is the class for you. This workshop will give you a solid understanding of fungi and how to use them safely for food or medicine. 

The day will begin with a basic lesson on what mushrooms are and their roles in natural systems. We will familiarize you with the anatomy of common mushrooms so that you are able to properly distinguish identifying characteristics in the field; share foraging tips and tricks and cover harvesting ethics before taking the class on a tour of our property to explore the various wild and cultivated mushrooms on our land. The walk around the property will be focused on fungi, as well as how you can use naturalist skills to dramatically increase your ability to find the mushrooms you desire. It’s a sure thing that there will be edible or medicinal mushrooms to harvest! Nigel and Saide will show you mushroom cultivation techniques in use here which produce hundreds of pounds of food annually. If you are interested in growing mushrooms at home, we can give you the materials necessary to get started on a patch for yourself. Before you go, there will be a short demonstration on how to cook the fruiting bodies we have harvested; many people do not enjoy eating mushrooms because they have never had them properly prepared! Our instructors, Nigel and Saide are experienced foragers who are happy to let you pick their brains about how and when to find mushrooms. If you are lucky, they might even share some of their foraging spots with you!

Register here.


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Bird Language and Behavior - May 12, 2019 ($50)

When we walk down the street or through the park, caught up in our own little worlds, we are often disturbing the birds.  When we do this, the birds set off alarms to the other wildlife in the area, signaling our approach. This early warning system is the reason that most of us don't experience wildlife all that frequently. The animals are actually tipped off that we're coming long before we arrive because they're tuned in to the birds. They have to be, or else they won't survive. 

Birds just don't alarm humans, but other animals as well. Especially predators that threaten either them or their young. The neat thing is that they alarm different predators differently and the type of alarm is indicative of a certain species of animal. We'll teach you how to identify the different types of alarm and more importantly how not to set off alarms so that you experience more wildlife.

In this class we'll spend a day in a place where bird species are incredibly diverse (over 200 species are seen here over the course of a year). We'll learn not only the species that live at Union Bay and their behavior, but also how they interact with the other wildlife in the area. Your walks in nature will be forever changed after taking this class. There's a story always going on out there and you'll know how to read it.

Find out more and register here.


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Permaculture Gardening Workshop - June 1, 2019 ($50)

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. Find out more and register here.


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Natural Medicine Making Workshop - July 20, 2019 ($50)

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.


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Wild Cooking Class for Kids - July 20, 2019 ($25)

In this summer day camp, we will explore the bounty of wild edibles the Pacific Northwest has to offer and cook them into delicious dishes outdoors. We will learn to identify edible and medicinal plants in the area, how to forage sustainably, and how to use and eat them properly. As a group, we will work together to gather the natural materials we need to create and cook some dishes together outside, taking breaks with nature games and activities as needed. We will make sun tea together and complete one dish to finish and eat by the end of the day, as well as one to take home. The food we create together will depend on the interests of the group and availability of wild edibles at the time. Some options include: sun teas, jam, wild pizza, cobbler, baked goods, wild salad, kimchi, and more.

We will try some of the foods we made at 4:00pm. Parents and folks picking up are welcome to join in this end of day feast!

 Find out more and register here


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Wilderness Survival Class for Kids - July 27, 2019 ($25)

In this summer day camp, we will cover many short term survival essentials that can save your life if you're caught out in the wilderness. We will also practice sensory awareness through games and activities to tune into our surroundings. Wilderness survival topics covered include shelter building, an introduction to friction fire, how to safely and efficiently construct a fire, water purification, wild foraging, and primitive trapping. We will learn these skills together through hands-on practice, group challenges, observation, and activities.

In this class, we will:

  • Learn what our priorities are in a survival situation

  • Build a debris hut

  • View a bow drill demonstration and practice proper fire construction

  • Learn and try 2 methods of water purification

  • Learn to identify edible plants in the area and how to forage and eat them safely

  • Learn to identify and use some medicinal plants for basic first-aid

  • Learn how to make traps for fish, small game and birds
     

    Find out more and register here


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Permaculture Gardening Workshop - August 3, 2019 ($50)

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. Find out more and register here.


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Natural Medicine Making Workshop - August 17, 2019 ($50)

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.


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English Ivy Basket Making Workshop - September 14, 2019 ($50)

English ivy is a highly invasive vine and can completely take over an ecosystem. But instead of just pulling and disposing of it, what if we looked for practical uses for it instead? It has quickly become my favorite basket making material and you’ll look at the plant in an entirely different light after this class. We’ll learn how to use it to weave baskets of all kinds, especially larger ones (including baskets for live trapping fish). Raven’s Roots will provide all of the materials for this workshop and all students will go home with an English ivy basket of their own at the end of class.

Register here.


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Wilderness Survival Weekend Course - October 5-6, 2019 ($100)

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.


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Mushroom Identification and Foraging - October 12, 2019 ($50)

This one day course will take place at the Old Sauk River trail near Darrington, WA. We'll cover edible mushrooms, mushroom hunting tips and tricks, identification, medicinal uses and much more. Whether you're a forager or an aspiring naturalist, this class is one that you don't want to miss. We'll help you to understand the different habitats that mushrooms grow in and how to identify good locations to search. We'll also give you a good general harvest schedule to follow and give you tips on how to preserve certain species so that they can be consumed throughout the year. This class typically fills up fast so sign up as soon as you can. 

Register here.


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Natural Personal Care Products Workshop - November 9, 2019 ($50)

While we often talk about the the chemicals and genetic modifications made to our foods as being harmful, we rarely talk about the products that we put on our bodies. Our skin is not only our largest organ, but the most absorbent as well. Many of the store bought personal care products have significantly more harmful chemicals in them than our food, and this is an area that we need to start discussing more.

In this 4 hour workshop, we will cover how make your own personal care products using only natural ingredients. We'll learn how to make soap, hydrosol, lotion, tooth powder, deodorant and hair rinse. With the holidays coming up, the products that you'll learn to make will make great gifts. Hope to see you there. Register here.