Workshops subject to cancellation if minimum number of participates not met.
Participants will be notified at least ONE WEEK in advance if the workshop is cancelled.


Rainwater Catchment
With Jesse Froehlich
Rainwater vessels can be utilitarian and artful garden elements. With a blank canvass-we can design and spotlight the function and flow of water through a landscape. In a two-hour informational presentation, we will explore rainwater harvesting, beginning with a broad overview of passive and active rainwater harvesting techniques, its environmental benefits, and the general principles of system design including sizing, and siting. We will review potential permitting requirements, and the state of the draft California Plumbing Code on rainwater harvesting. In addition, using visual aides, the group will explore the anatomy of a rainwater catchment system, and working through a worksheet will consider their own site specifics, real or hypothetical. Click here for more information.

Canning and Drying the Summer Harvest, Saturday August 24
Rachel Kaplan, 3 hours, 10am-1pm: $45

Learn the simple canning technique for acid fruits and tomatoes. Learn first about safety issues, equipment, ingredients and theory—then jump in to learning the skills yourself. It so simple and easy, anyone can do it. We’ll cover water bath and steam canning, as well as flip kettle canning and make our own applesauce. We will briefly touch in on other forms of food preservation including solar drying and dehydration basics. Everyone will go home with a jar of food we’ve canned during the class.

Urban Homestead Design Lab, Sunday May 5
With Rachel Kaplan
3 Hours, 10am-1pm

Eager to start homesteading in your urban or suburban lot? Wondering how to begin and how to fit it all in? This workshop is an opportunity to learn about the different elements that make up an urban homestead and how to put them together in whatever space you have. Ask questions about the limitations and opportunities of both your land and your lifestyle, and start putting the design elements together. This workshop will offer some basics in permaculture design, as well as some common sense how-to projects for the urban homestead. Come with your questions and ideas and expect to experiment with a variety of homesteading options.

Gardening with Native Plants, Thursday May 30
With Rachel Kaplan
2 hours, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Beautiful and supremely adapted, landscaping with natives is good for the planet, good for your soil, good for backyard wildlife, and a feast for the eye. For every garden and every gardener, every situation and need, there is an eco-friendly native alternative to those box store generics. This workshop offers an overview of common landscaping natives for our region, their growth requirements, and how to incorporate them into your yard and garden.

Edible and Raised Container Garden, Saturday June 1
With Rachel Kaplan
3 Hours, 10am-1pm

Growing edible plants in containers and raised beds has a lot of benefits for urban and suburban gardeners growing in small spaces. If you have problems with poor soil, gophers or other pests, gardening in containers may be a good alternative to growing directly in the ground. Also, containers and raised beds conform to, and make the most use of small spaces, often a major concern for the urban and suburban garden. Explore the different types of containers and raised beds suitable for the place where you live. Learn about building your own containers, vertical gardening, the types of plants to grow where you live, including annual and perennial fruits and vegetables, as well as soil and amendments, and long-term care for plants and trees in containers.

Transforming our Relationship to Water, Thursday June 13th
With Christina Bertea
1.5 hours, 6:30pm-8pm

Learn how to manifest a greater appreciation for water and create a more sustainable lifestyle for yourself by reusing greywater, harvesting rainwater, and rethinking the (potable water) flush toilet.  Explore low tech to high tech (and flat out fun!) options from an artist/plumbers eye-view.  Come prepared to be inspired!

Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Bay Area: A Field Study
With Tellur Fenner
3 hours, 10am-1pm

From the mist shrouded sea cliffs to the sun-baked arid expanse of its eastern most regions, the San Francisco Bay area provides us with a chance to view a large variety of botanical specimens all within a relatively small geographical range. Join us as we discover together the diverse array of both edible and medicinal plants found growing within these contrasting yet closely interconnected micro-climates. Historical and modern medicinal applications will be covered along with any edible and/or utilitarian potential. Tips on basic plant identification will be offered, with an emphasis on how to differentiate poisonous look-alike plants from their beneficial counterparts. Plant family characteristics will be discussed as well.Instructor: Tellur Fenner (Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic & Education Center)Make sure to bring: Water, lunch, notebook, hat/sunscreen, rain gear, and a camera.All walks will occur RAIN OR SHINE! 🙂

About our Instructors:

Rachel Kaplan is the author of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. She works alternately as a somatic psychotherapist, educator and homesteader in the small Sonoma County city of Petaluma. She teaches homesteading skills at numerous gardens, farms, and community centers, and throughout the University of California system. You can learn more about Rachel’s work at

Kami McBride is the author of The Herbal Kitchen. She has developed and taught herbal curriculum for the Master’s program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing. For 24 years Kami has been teaching people to grow and use herbs in their daily lives for cooking, gardening, skin care and stress reduction. She works de-mystify the world of herbal medicine, and loves helping people learn how to use herbs in the home setting for prevention and every day common ailments. Kami can be reached at

Christina Bertea is an eco-artist who enjoys creating playful functional art having to do with water.  A union trained plumbing contractor, she has been on the team at Greywater Action (previously Greywater Guerrillas, before there was a reasonable state code) for 5 years, teaching folks to install their own systems. As a plumber she has helped install cutting edge high tech rain and greywater systems throughout the bay area. She also designed and built a permitted passive-solar rammed earth cottage as urban infill near downtown Oakland, and is an avid student of permaculture.

Jesse Froehlich, BlueBarrel founder, holds undergraduate degrees from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design from the Conway School. She has been designing and installing rainwater catchment systems in northern California since 2010, and earned her Professional Accreditation with ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) in 2012. Also a certified Permaculture Designer and graduate of the Ecosa Institute’s intensive semester in Sustainable Design, Jesse understands rainwater harvesting as one of many measures to help bring our households into balance with the earth’s capacity to meet our basic needs. Rainwater harvesting is an important component of maintaining hydrologic health in our urban and rural communities. You can learn more about Jesse’s work at

TELLUR FENNER is a clinical herbalist/educator and has traveled extensively throughout the U.S while studying, collecting, and using plant medicines from all the major bioregions. Tellur attended the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the California School of Herbal Studies, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Prescott College where he majored in Western Herbalism. As an herbalist of the “generalist” persuasion, he believes in the importance of an interdisciplinary practice which integrates the study of botany, ethnobotany, botanical pharmacy, human physiology, phytochemistry, and other biological sciences. He has taught classes and led trips for the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Bastyr University in WA, California Academy of Sciences, Merritt College, the Ecology Center in Berkeley, Regenerative Design Institute, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, San Francisco Green Festival, Pepperwood Preserve in Sonoma County, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, California School of Herbal Studies, as well as a number of other organizations. In addition to offering regular weekend workshops throughout the year, he also runs a comprehensive 12-month (240 hour) classroom/field based academic program titled: “Edible & Medicinal Plants of California: A Bioregional Exploration”. Tellur is an avid camper/hiker, a skilled and experienced outdoor trip leader, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. He is the owner/director of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic and Education Center located in Oakland, CA. For more information check out: Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic’s Facebook Page

Let it rain!

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s