Virtual Skillshare Series
Our Virtual Skillshare Series was a FREE offering made in the summer of 2020 to our community during the early months of the pandemic. We created this as an online adaptation of our Annual Frog Farm Skillshare Gathering. Featuring local Southern Oregon mentors and SLC Board Members, this series below includes a variety of homesteading, wilderness, and rural living skills. Thank you to all who helped produce this special series, which is available for streaming below or on Vimeo.
Making Comfrey Oil with Deb Lukas
Founder and Executive Director of Spiral Living Center, Deb Lukas, shows us how to prepare and make an herbal oil using Comfrey Root. Deb Lukas is an clinical herbalist and owner of Siskiyou Mountain Herbs in Southern Oregon. Siskiyou Mountain Herbs is a small family business offering organic and wild-harvested herbal products, custom herbal formulations, consultations, classes, apprenticeships, herb walks, herb nursery, and ecological landscape design. To find out more about Deb’s offerings visit siskiyouherbs.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicken Processing with Bobby & Meredith
Bobby and Meredith Snodgrass have been raising their own chickens in the Illinois Valley for the last 10 years. Each spring-summer, they raise and butcher two batches of 25-30 meat birds that last them until the following year. They have found this number to be a balance of what they can manage and what their space can hold. During their 12-week lifespan, the chickens are incorporated into various permaculture systems on the farm that benefit them and the landscape. A mobile chicken coop and temporary fencing allows the chickens to be rotated into large designated grazing areas, giving them nutritious grasses and insects to eat along with plenty of fresh air and sunshine. This type of grazing eliminates the need for a fossil-fuel powered mower, naturally keeping weeds down and reducing wildfire risk. Through scratching, chickens prep areas for planting seeds, and their manure fertilizes the soil beneath them or it can be used on surrounding vegetables and fruit trees. We hope that this informational film encourages you to consider adding animals on your homestead or farm. Or at the very least, support your local organic farms that have humane and holistic practices!
Simple Breads + Rolls with Roxanne
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein is a previous Board Member and is now a Stewardship Committee Member of Spiral Living Center. She is an avid gardener with 30+ years of experience and 12 years of permaculture study, with a special focus in Hugelkultur beds. Roxanne’s passions include food preservation, culinary instruction, and seed collecting/distributing. From coordinating events, seed swaps, catering, obtaining donations, and creating media, she bring an eclectic array of talents and experience to our community! During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order in March 2020, many of our local supermarkets co-ops were low on supplies, specifically pantry essentials like bread, beans, grains, flour, and sugar. Roxanne spearheaded a SLC Facebook fundraiser offering sliding scale “Bread Kits” to our Illinois Valley residents. Along with the kits, she made a short video outlining how to make a simple loaf of bread. You can view her preliminary video here: youtube.com/watch?v=b5y2JBUoBOc In Roxanne’s newest film here, she shows us how to create a few popular favorites, Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, and Monkey Bread!
Sauerkraut 101 with Caitlin Deane
Many cultures from around the world have been pickling or fermenting fresh vegetables since time immemorial, each having their own style. Sauerkraut specifically means “Sour Cabbage” in German and is one of the most economical and simplest types of fermented foods to make at home. Salt and finely chopped cabbage are broken down through the process of Lacto-Fermentation as air-borne bacteria on raw cabbage leaves are transformed into natural probiotics for a healthy microbiome. Sauerkraut is also rich in bioavailable vitamins, enzymes, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, helping us build a strong immune system starting from the gut.
In this video, Events/Admin Coordinator Caitlin Deane, shows us a straightforward recipe with easy and accessible kitchen tools. As our summer gardens are plentiful, we encourage you to get creative with your ingredients. Carrots, Beets, Onion, Radish, or Cucumbers make a nice addition along with various spices and seeds. We hope this inspires you to delve deeper into the vast world of fermentation and food preservation. We would like to extend a special thank-you to Frog Farm Volunteers Hunter and Ayla who assisted in the filming and production of this week’s video. All organic cabbages used were harvested through our Illinois Valley Gleaning Project, which assists our community in processing & sharing excess food.
Natural Fertilizers with Lion Waxman
Lion Waxman of Good Earth Gardens, discusses some Natural Farming basics and shows us how to make TWO different Fermented Natural Fertilizers using wild and cultivated plants around his property. By making your own soil amendments at home from what is readily available, you decrease your footprint and increase the potency of your food & medicines. To learn more about his permaculture consultation services and upcoming workshops, visit his website at www.goodearthgardens1.com.
Wildcraft Walk with Chell Fireheart
All allopathic medicine today started from plant based knowledge. The “pharmacy” our ancestors knew came from tending the landscape around them. Through wildcrafting or wildharvesting, we can tap into this ancient connection to the natural world and sustainably forage plants for our own health and wellness. Having lived in Southern Oregon most of her life, Chell has developed a deep awareness and appreciation of local native plants. Through the knowledge of her native elders and life experiences, she has cultivated a reverence for wild food and seeks to share that with others. She is the owner and founder of Sunhorse Apothecary, through which she provides quality herbal medicine to those seeking plant based products. Her other passions include organic farming, yoga, hiking, and bringing horses and people together for Equine Experiential Learning. In 2017 she started Sunhorse Wildcraft, where she led weekly “Wildcrafting Walks” around Southern Oregon. In this video, Chell gives us a mini-walk and discusses the basics and ethics of wildcrafting, and identifies 4 local plants that are right out our backdoors! We encourage you look up these plants to learn more about their full benefits and properties. To connect more with Chell, visit her website at www.sunhorseapothecary.com
Preserving Your Harvest with Kate Dwyer
There are many ways to preserve your food for the winter months, and we’ve already covered lacto-fermentation in our Sauerkraut 101 video. Canning is the process of making shelf-stable pantry goods by putting cooked food into jars to then be sealed via the application of high heat. This allows you to enjoy homegrown food anytime of year! In this video, Kate Dwyer shows us how to turn fresh garden grown tomatoes into a delicious marinara sauce with just 4 simple ingredients. This sauce can be used over pasta, pizza, lasagna, and more! She also discusses three different types of canning processes (Steam Canners, Water Bath Canning, Pressure Canning), and why you would choose one over the other for different foods.