Growing Skills Continuing Education and Workshops
but the lighting of a flame.”
– W.B. Yeats
Our education programs are designed to improve awareness, increase specific competencies and promote self-reliance. We offer various scheduled workshops and a formal internship program to a limited number of individuals throughout the year.
The Growing Skills internship program provides candidates with opportunities to gain specific skills and competencies by experiencing the daily rhythm of the farm. Interns work independently and in a group setting.
Growing Skills workshops are organized in the categories shown below. Specific offerings are listed in the calendar.
Individuals wishing to offer teachings in any one of the categories shown below are invited to contact us to discuss specific proposals.
Workshops focus on both individual and community health, safety and security issues and present a wide variety of special interest topics ranging from diet and nutrition, to emergency medicine and first aid, to developing effective personal and community emergency response plans to mitigate risks during times of uncertainty.
Apply natural resource and energy conservation concepts acquired in our workshops to solve real-world problems in our daily lives. Learn how to calculate and reduce your carbon foot-print, perform effective home energy audits, recycle and harvest water and much more.
How independent and self-reliant are you? Can you change a tire? Jump start a car? wire a Cook a meal? Build a budget? Use a saw? Sew a button? Remember names? Fix a faucet? Come enjoy learning how to accomplish some common yet basic tasks that should help put you on the road to becoming more self-reliant — now, in college and beyond.
Workshops cover a variety of topics ranging from from basic knife skills, to food conservation, to planning and maintaining successful kitchen gardens. Learn the nuances on how to organize a productive food pantry, build and maintain composting systems, create delicious home cooked meals using fresh picked ingredients or start a new hobby as a backyard beekeeper. These workshops are designed to improve competencies in the kitchen and garden.
Workshops will assist organizational leaders by helping them define and communicate clear vision statements and develop strategic plans for new and existing projects.
Through facilitated discussions participants will define how their respective project’s goals and objectives will be accomplished by showing the major activities, required resources, milestones, and deliverables which will lead to the development of an effective “road-map” to facilitate project execution and control.
These workshops are ideal for project leaders, entrepreneurs, and community advocates who are beginning new projects or interested in optimizing an existing project. Participants are encouraged to bring photographs and other project documentation to the workshops.
Permaculture is a complete design philosophy based on a set of established principles which encourages practitioners to work with and draw inspiration from nature when creating systems which provide for human needs. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainable living.
Our Introductory workshops will present permaculture design principles and review case-study examples of various permaculture installations worldwide. An advanced applied permaculture design workshop will also be offered to participants who wish to sharpen their skills by collaborating on solution to a real-world problem.
Workshops may be taught at Bluebird Canyon Farms in Orange County, California and at Blossom Ranch a conservation grazing ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills near Sequoia National Park.
Workshops will provide individuals from various backgrounds, such as design professionals, engineers, builders, and agricultural practitioners with practical knowledge required to incorporate alternative energy and resource conservation elements into residential, commercial or agricultural projects.
Participants will learn fundamentals, strengths and weaknesses of various systems including solar electric, solar hot water, micro scale hydro-power, small scale wind power, water harvesting, water recycling, and SMART irrigation systems.
Workshops are designed to expose participants to fundamental concepts and provide hands-on training including assembly of demonstration scale systems.
Provides beginning and intermediate beekeepers with a solid framework to help them plan, build, and maintain backyard and community scale apiaries. Coursework will focus on honeybee biology and lifecycle; colony management; diseases and pests; supplemental feeding and siting considerations.
Participants will gain hands-on experience working with honeybees in our Hobo Camp Apiary and leave with a solid understanding of techniques, equipment, tools, and supplies needed to establish and maintain a healthy and thriving apiary.
Participants will acquire skills needed to build, operate and maintain a closed loop aquaponic system. Workshop will provide hands-on training emphasizing aquaponic system design, construction, and operation and will include discussions on water chemistry, fish husbandry, systems monitoring and optimization.
Workshops will introduce various hydroponic growing methods and discuss their respective strengths and weaknesses. Participants will leave workshops with a practical understanding of aquaponic fundamentals that can be applied to their respective projects.
Practical, hands-on training offering participants opportunities to learn how to plan, build, operate, and sustain community scale agriculture projects.
Workshops will focus on soil management fundamentals, irrigation, composting, integrated pest management solutions, conventional and unconventional cropping techniques, greenhouse management, planning, permitting and essential business processes necessary to run a successful community agriculture project in both urban and rural settings.