Green 101: Upcoming Permaculture/Sustainability Classes pt 3

As I predicted, listing upcoming Permaculture/sustainability classes has become an ongoing series. Here goes the latest batch:

Upcoming Events with Sapsquatch Pure Maple Syrup

Sapsquatch is gearing up for the 2012 season earlier than expected
this year. Grade A syrup will be available soon, so reserve your
share today. To reserve a gallon, please send a check for $80 to:
Sapsquatch, 438 N. Geneva St., Ithaca, NY 14850. Please specify what
grade you would like. Check out membership options at our blog and
stay tuned for Sapsquatch’s upcoming campaign.

Feb 2, 6pm ­ Join us for our 1st boil of 2012 at the sugarhouse, 2247
Mecklenberg Rd. in Enfield, Please BYOB and some food for the

Feb 12, 12-5pm ­ Sapsquatch Work Party ­ We are expanding our maple
collection system and tapping more trees. Learn the ins and outs of
maple production using gravity lines, help with wood collection and
boiling if the weather has been cooperative.!/events/203028003127691/

Feb. 16, 12pm ­ CCE Tompkins, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca ­ Maple Syrup:
Past Present and Future with Sapsquatch
. Join Josh for this presentation on
maple production, it’s history, current methods and threats. There will be maple
syrup tasting and discussion to follow. A modest amount of syrup will also be available
or purchase. Note: feel free to bring your lunch and eat while you listen!  This presentation
is doubling as a CCE-staff brown bag lunch!

Check out Sapsquatch’s blog at
on facebook at
and twitter @sapsquatch7
You can also join our events list at

For additional information on the following, please contact Josh Dolan directly at

Josh Dolan
Sapsquatch Pure Maple Syrup
2247 Mecklenburg Rd., Enfield NY 14850

2/9 Intro to Fermentation – Bacteria, Yeasts and Molds –
Making Vinegar, Switchel and Shrub

When: Thursdays – 2/9, 2/23, 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, 4/19, 6:30 – 8 pm
Where: Downtown Ithaca (RSVP for location)
Cost: FREE and open to the public
Please bring: A small glass jar with a lid, if you have one.

What are fermented foods? In this class, we’ll talk about some of the organisms (bacteria, yeasts and molds) that culture foods, where they come from, and the various ways human beings have propagated them. We’ll also discuss cultured foods you can make “from scratch”- without already having a starter piece of the culture. We’ll conclude with a demonstration of how to make vinegar from scratch, and a few tasty beverages (shrub and switchel) that can be made with it.

RSVP to Rachel at or 440 242 9646 for location. This class is special diet/food allergy friendly; in your RSVP, please indicate any dietary restrictions you have.

This class is part of a six-part FreeSkool series on Fermented Beverages, held every other Thursday evening. Come to one or all of them!

Intro to Fermented Beverages: A six-part series
Learn how to make raw, living, plant-based fermented beverages! Fermented foods have been consumed for thousands of years and are healthful, delicious, inexpensive, simple, and fun. In this class we’ll meet twice a month to study and drink low/non-alcoholic vegan fermented beverages, from ferment celebrities (kombucha, ginger beer, nut milk) to more obscure characters (boza, amazake, and tibicos). We’ll also discuss fermented food safety and regulation, health benefits, and the current literature on B12 in fermented foods. Starter cultures will be provided. This class is special diet/food allergy friendly; RSVP with dietary needs.

Thursdays, February 9, 16 & 23 and March 1 & 8, 7:00-9:00pm
at First Unitarian Church of Ithaca Annex, 208 E. Buffalo St.(near Aurora), Ithaca NY

February 9: Earthships! A showing of the award-winning documentary, Garbage Warrior, will be followed by a discussion with one local couple who recently built an earthship and another who are working on one this year with Michael Reynolds (the leading earthship guru, featured in Garbage Warrior). For more about the film, visit:
February 16: Deep Energy Retrofits. What does it take to turn a typical home into a super-performer? Jon Harrod of Snug Planet and Ian Shapiro of Taitem Engineering will walk you through their process for making a home super energy-efficient and discuss the huge benefits that can result.

February 23: Rehabbing Old Windows. With a few simple repairs and improvements, you can make your old windows perform as well as new ones. Mark Pierce, Extension Associate with Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, is an expert in energy efficiency issues in residential buildings, and Shad Ryan is the Owner of On Balance Solutions, which specializes in vintage and historic sash rehabilitation. They will discuss the benefits of keeping your old windows and walk you through the process of fixing and tightening them up.

March 1: Affordable Green Building. Following up on last year’s popular seminar, we’ve invited two local experts to discuss different strategies for keeping your green building projects affordable, including the decision-making process that goes into incorporating green building practices and materials that are healthy, safe, resource-efficient, and durable but that don’t cost a premium. Scott Reynolds is the Director of Construction Services for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, and Joe Laquatra is the Hazel E. Reed Human Ecology Extension Professor in Family Policy at Cornell University, whose teaching and research efforts focus on sustainable aspects of housing.

March 8: High-Efficiency Heating Systems. So, you’ve made your home as energy-efficient as possible and now your old boiler isn’t just inefficient, it’s oversized. There are a lot of options these days. We’ll discuss high-efficiency biomass and fossil fuel-fired systems, mini-splits, geothermal, masonry heaters, and more, including how heat-recovery ventilation works as part of the system.

Admission: $8/seminar or $35/series. No need to preregister.
Please visit to check for changes or cancellations on the day of the seminar!
For more information, please contact Guillermo Metz at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (607) 272-2292 or email
Selection of speakers does not imply an endorsement of that person’s company or services by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.


NEWFIELD, NY — Work With Nature, LLC is pleased to announce a series of
Mushroom classes to be offered March through June in the Northeastern states
of New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

The classes all focus on different elements of mushroom cultivation and the
link of mushrooms to healthy forests, soils, and people. Host sites for the
eleven classes include Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, permaculture
demonstration sites, and a range of local farms.

Workshops are being supported by the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute
( and the Northeast Mushroom Growers Network

Dates and locations:

CCE Steuben County, Bath, NY: March 24
SUNY Ulster County, Kingston, NY: April 28
CCE Hamilton County, Piseco, NY: May 19

Brooks Bend Farm, Montague, MA: April 21
Three Sisters Farm, Sandy Lake, PA: May 12
Rochester Permaculture Center, Rochester NY: May 13

Anderson Farm, Mecklenburg, NY: May 5th & 6th

Little Farm of Paradise, Hampton NY: May 20
Shannon Brook Farm, Watkins Glen, NY: June 10

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT: June 2
Twin Ponds Retreat, Brookfield, VT: June 3

Mushroom cultivation and wild foraging have become increasingly popular in
recent years as growing interest in the organism has led to a range of
discoveries, from the compounds in shiitake mushrooms that prevent cancer to
the potential for oyster mushrooms to comsume oil from spills to the recent
discovery by a team of Yale students that the fungus Pestalotiopsis
microspora is able to decompose plastic trash. (see website for links)

Recently, work by researchers at Cornell University has demonstrated the economic
potential for farming Shiitake, which are  grown on hardwood logs and soaked to force
fruiting. Research has established the most suitable northern hardwood
species for cultivation (Oak, Sugar Maple, Beech, Ironwood), the proper
cultivation methods, and the estimated yields from a well managed operation.
A high value food and medicine crop, shittakes retail at $12 to 16 dollars a
pound if grown outside naturally on logs.

Workshops are facilitated by Steve Gabriel, who has been cultivating and
experimenting with forest grown mushrooms, maple sugaring, and other
agroforestry practices since 2006. Participants will learn several
cultivation methods for multiple species (shiitake, lions mane, oyster, and
stropharia) that are practical on both a home and small commercial scale and
appropriate for all experience levels.

For more full class descriptions and registration info visit or call (607) 342-2825. Visitors to the website
can also sign up for a weekly blog with mushroom stories, research, and

Steve Gabriel, Work With Nature LLC


Home-scale Biogas Workshop offers a Do-It-Yourself option for Energy Independence




When: Saturday March 31 – Sunday April 1, 2012


WHERE: Greenstar’s The Space; 700 W Buffalo St, Ithaca, NY


COST: Sliding scale $300 to 200, scholarships and groups discounts available


Contact: Sam Bosco;; (973) 951 0598 (cell)


 Have you ever wondered or dreamed about turning your discards into an energy resource? Looking to reduce costs or strengthen your environmental resolve by substituting your natural gas, propane, or oil use with a clean burning, biologically based renewable fuel? Excited to help kickstart a new enterprise in the budding green jobs sector? Interested in appropriate technology that you can build to contribute to your community’s energy security and transition to energy independence? The city of Ithaca will be host to a two-day workshop on using food and yard scraps, unmarketable produce, or manure to safely produce a biologically based energy source known as biogas.


Biogas is a naturally produced fuel, capable of powering stoves, heaters, lights, refrigerators, and anything that natural gas or propane can power. It is a gas composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide and methane produced by anaerobic digestion (a composting process where air is excluded). Almost any plant or animal material can be anaerobically digested to produce biogas. In NY, biogas is commonly found on large dairy farms, however this workshop is specifically designed for small-farm and home scale production of biogas.


Taught and facilitated by David House author of The Complete Biogas Handbook ( Mr. House has 10 years experience in bioenergy consultating, is the principle of Vahid Biogas (, and has led biogas workshops from Hawaii to Maine and in 20 countries worldwide.


Day one (3/31/12) of the workshop will provide comprehensive information on understanding the anaerobic digestion process to confidently and safely produce biogas at home. Day two (4/1/12) will be a hands-on workshop where participants will actually build their own small-scale digester. According to Mr. House, “The class takes participants from zero to practical in a handful of hours.”


Everyone who attends this class will leave with a small, 200 gallon, (0.75 cubic meter) digester kit, a copy of The Complete Biogas Handbook (which offers a much-praised view of everything concerning biogas), and a CD with a heap of wonderful information. The participant will be ready to go home and set up their small digester kit. Note: because of the temperature sensitivity of anaerobic microbes, the digester will only operate in warmer months, or will need to be set up in a semi-heated space like a greenhouse or shed.


This event is funded in part by the Sustainable Tompkins Mini-grant program (for more information please visit If your organization is interested in co-sponsoring, please contact Sam Bosco


For additional information and registration details please visit

The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute presents:


July 27 through August 12, 2012
in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York

Learn the permaculture design process during 15 engaging days in an off-grid
learning community. Since 2005, we have been training people of all
backgrounds, ages, experience and skill levels to design using natural
patterns based on ecological principles. Students bring a mix of skills and
experience that our teachers draw out to enrich the course for all
participants. Our graduates leave ready to design and create with a new
network of colleagues and friends to inspire and assist.

Steve Gabriel, Karryn Olson Ramanujan, Rafter Sass Ferguson, and Michael Burns
each offer years of practical knowledge gained through work on nationally
renowned projects, consulting with clients, and in their own communities.
Collectively they have taught thousands of hours of permaculture design

Our teachers design, coordinate and innovate their teaching every year to
deliver the traditional permaculture curriculum and include new ideas and
strategies developed by practitioners in northeastern North America. Design
skills are taught through hands-on and experiential activities developed over
seven years of the Institute’s courses.

$1200 tuition includes prepared meals and camping.

Register and pay in full by May 1 and save $200.

Work trade options for reducing tuition available. See our website for details.

Class size is limited. Learn more about the course and register at:

Other sites to continuously check for related classes:
Ithaca’s Food Web
Yestermorrow Design Build School
Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension

Photo from Work With Nature, LLC


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