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May, 2012:

Over 30 Awesome Sustainability Workshops at the Homestead Skillshare Festival

Miguel Elliott of Living Earth Structures, photo courtesy of Amanda Kovattana

Miguel Elliott’s cob birdhouse workshop was both educational and entertaining. He very clearly explained and demonstrated the steps. Miguel has found ways to make cobbing easier, such as making a sand mold in the dome shape you want, getting premixed loam and just adding straw and water, and lighting a fire in the damp shape after drying the outside in the sun and removing the sand, in order to dry the inside.

Of the books Miguel brought to share, one showed his bamboo and aviary wire form for a small home, meditation room or study, which looks like a great idea for using less cob and still having strength. He also designed innovative buttresses for larger structures, allowing them to have 10″ thick walls instead of 12″ to 24″ thick walls. Miguel also has a very good eye for design — both shape and color.

Miguel Elliot’s company is Living Earth Structures; do go to him if you need a natural building, oven, or other structure.

Herbal Medicine Making with the Ohlone Herbal Center,
photo courtesy of Amanda Kovattana

Ducks thanks to Gabriel Cole!
photo courtesy of Marie Jobling,
Community Living Campaign

The workshop on fermenting cabbage (sauerkraut) and other vegetables by Veena West & Adelaja Simon of Canticle Farm was also highly informative. They made batches on the spot, shared samples, answered questions, told stories about how they learned, and recommended work by other people.

Veena and Adelaja focused on what matters, from sanitation to being in a peaceful mental state to why the veggies must be totally covered with liquid (lactic acid is anaerobic). The overall atmosphere was grounded, friendly, interesting, and fun.

Hayes Valley Farm is a delightful experience itself, and it looks like lots of people work hard making it so.

-article by Mark Roest

Homestead Skillshare Festival – A Fundraiser for the BACE Timebank!

Alma Desnuda

Wine-making, Chicken Wrangling, Bee-keeping, Solar-Cooking,
Medicinal Herb Growing, Bike-Powered Machines, Rainwater
Catchment, Oyster Mushroom Cultivation, Cob Ovens, & more!

Over 40 Workshops, Live Music & Silent Auction!

Schedule of Events

Memorial Day Weekend: Over 30 Workshops on Sustainable Living & Urban Homesteading:

Soap-making * Bee-keeping & Pollination * Cheese-making * Soil Fertility * Cohousing * Backyard Livestock (with live chickens and ducks) * Worm Bins * Solar Ovens * Gift Circles * Qi Gong *  Bike-Powered Machines * Cob Ovens * Urban Composting * Urban Gardening in the Bay Area * Seed-saving * Food Preservation * Wine-making * Disaster Preparedness * Herbal Medicine * Herb Growing * Teas & Tincture-making *  Urban Power Foods *  Making Community Meetings Fun *  Mushroom Cultivation *  Candle-making * DIY green cleaning * Natural Health and Beauty * Activist Communication Skills * Water Catchment * Place-making and more!

Open space discussion from 5-6pm.

Translation: Habra traduccion en Espanol, limited Cantonese translation.


Please bring your own water bottle. This is a zero waste event.

Tickets at the Door:  $10-20 sliding scale
Advance Tickets Sales: Register on Eventbrite.

Advance Timebank Payment Options :  2 hours per person, paid to Hayes Valley Farm

Please submit hours to Hayes Valley Farm via the BACE Timebank  by Friday, May 25th!

Kids are free
Families welcome

Rain or shine.
No refunds.

CO-SPONSORS:  BACE Timebank, Hayes Valley Farm, SF Permaculture Guild, SF Urban Agriculture Alliance, PODER (SF), Occupy SF Sustainability Working Group, the Institute for Urban Homesteading, Transition SF, KitchenGarden SF, SF Bee-Cause, the Connection Action Project, SF Free School, Just One Tree, Ohlone Herbal Center, Planet Drum, Arizmendi on Valencia, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Bi-Rite Market.

Thanks to our media sponsor,
Please contact mira at for more info.

WORKSHOP PRESENTERS:   SF Permaculture Guild, Urban Permaculture Institute, Connection Action Project, Rock the Bike, Shoe Shine Wine, Briones Self-Sufficiency and Urban Homesteading Circle, Chong Kee Tan, Taproot Medicine, Mushroom Maestros, Canticle Farm, Tatiana Florentina Craft Almendral, Institute for Urban Homesteading, SF Bee-Cause, Cohousing California, Kitchen Garden SF, SF Seed Library, Hayes Valley Farm, Jason Mark of Alemany Farm, Living Earth Structures, Hayes Valley Farm,  Transition SF, Ohlone Herbal Center, Gabriel Cole, Jennifer Fernandez, Alpha Lo, Mira Luna, Tatiana Almendral

Full Workshop Schedule Here

LOCATION: Hayes Valley Farm 450 Laguna, SF (@ Octavia)
[Limited Neighborhood Parking]
MUSIC: Alma Desnuda, Fog City Banjo Brewers, Lea Grant and Nicco Tyson.

Lots of local businesses (more info to come)

Bay Area Community Exchange turns labor into cash-free currency

5.02.12  | Yael Chanoff| from the SF Bay Guardian

The economy had collapsed. Mira Luna became ill with Lyme disease, lost her job, and then gotten buried under a mountain of medical bills. She went into bankruptcy. But it wasn’t more money she longed for — it was community. Read more here.