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Elkstone Farm MasterClasses

Sharing knowledge is one of the most important and rewarding things we do at Elkstone Farm. Our farm-based masterclasses will help you deepen your relationship with the land, while providing practical skills that can be used to gain natural harmony and abundance in daily life. Our instructors, who are masters of their trades, will lead action-based classes and supply uncommon wisdom that will inspire you along your own journey with earth-based skills.

Elkstone Farm masterclasses are relevant to this beautiful area we call home, and most classes are accessible to curious people of all skill and knowledge levels. Some are one-off classes or weekend workshops, and some—like the Community Apothecary Program—are a series of classes that build on previous class material.

Farm Fresh Cooking Classes

Spend some time in our farm’s kitchen with Chef Russell Goodman and you’ll be inspired to raise your cooking game! The kitchen looks out onto Elkstone’s pond and flower gardens, making it an inspiring setting for our fresh food focused classes.

Throughout these classes, we will harvest, prepare, cook with, and preserve farm-grown produce, and learn some invaluable butchery techniques along the way. We’ll assimilate the history and life cycle of ingredients, as we practice skills that will improve your daily culinary experiences and let you realize more sustainability in the kitchen. Everyone will come away with an enhanced relationship to- and understanding of- that day’s ingredients and have the good fortune of eating or taking home a delicious dish.

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Community Apothecary Program 2021

While good food is one of the foundations of good health, our plant medicine allies—who grow in the wild and in our gardens—allow us to take care of many of the challenges that arise. Knowing plants as medicine and how to properly prepare them becomes a way of life and grounds us in a place the way few things do. When we walk through the fields and the woods and know the medicine that surrounds us, it changes our relationship to both our health and ecology.

Each time we meet during this twice-monthly series you'll gain knowledge, craft herbal remedies, and take home something special. You’ll learn to wildcraft herbs, create tinctures and salves, and use a steam still to make essential oils. Together we’ll engage in herbal self-care rituals, make teas, and discover how to use our natural medicines to support vibrant health. At the end of the summer, we’ll have our own home apothecary to draw upon and use with knowledgeable skill.

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Traditional Artistry Workshops

We are putting together some earth-based craftsmanship workshops that explore traditional forms of artistry and their applicability to intentional and self-sufficient lifestyles. Whether you’re interested in improving your physical space with traditional building techniques, exploring an age-old craft, or simply expanding your skill set, we’d love for you to join us as we explore form and function on the farm. This summer we are excited to host a Bee Guardianship Workshop and a Traditional Stone Masonry Workshop in which we will build a vaulted subterranean root cellar for the Farm.

Bee Guardianship Workshop

Calling all aspiring bee guardians! Please join us for a weekend course that will set your journey with bees in motion—giving you confidence in their care and understanding of their precious ecology. We’ll dive right in with practical knowledge of bees, hives, beekeeping, colony problems and their solutions—all organic, sustainable and bee-centric. We’ll examine hives and honeycombs, and observe a master bee guardian interacting with honeybees and their hive.

The course is taught by long-time bee guardian Corwin Bell and co-guardian Karen Sadenwater—both of whom have been capturing and re-homing wild swarms for decades. Together, they run BackYardHive.com. The wisdom that Corwin and Karen impart is of critical significance to the survival of bees and the greater natural world, and we are honored to receive it.

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Traditional Stone Masonry Workshop

In mid-July we will be joined by Lucas Koch, master of traditional stonemasonry from Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. Lucas will guide us as we collectively build a stone-vaulted subterranean root cellar. He will teach us masonry techniques passed down from older master masons—techniques, that when used properly, make stoneworks last for centuries; techniques that are in danger of being forgotten. Everyone who attends will leave with a greater span of practical knowledge and the shared satisfaction that this project will be used and treasured by the Elkstone community for years to come.
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Permaculture Gardeners' Club

Do you dream of using more organic gardening and permaculture design practices, but are seeking the competence to follow through? Or, perhaps you've already successfully implemented some regenerative agriculture methods, but are excited to sharpen your skills and learn in communion with others? Our Permaculture Gardeners’ Club will provide all members with specialized knowledge and hands-on practice as we share in the rewarding experience of growing food and medicine for our neighbors in this unique mountain ecology.

Gathering at the farm on Thursday mornings, you will have a chance to work alongside like-minded people in the gardens, hoop houses, and greenhouse—honing your skills as we discuss fresh ideas. Elkstone’s experienced farmers will happily attend to your questions as they teach the principles of permaculture that guide us to work with—rather than against—nature. Each week is different, so you will have a chance to learn everything from organic vegetable growing and orchard techniques to beekeeping and herbal medicine harvesting.

The Permaculture Gardeners’ Club will meet every Thursday morning from 8am to 11:30am, followed by a tasty farm-to-table lunch. It’s free for full-time Routt County Residents, and costs $20 for visitors from out of town, including lunch. Lunch is $20 for anyone who just wants to come for lunch or participate for a shorter time.

Please click here to select dates and RSVP at least 24 hours in advance

Why do we have a permaculture gardeners' club?

We have three trained Permaculture instructors at Elkstone Farm who can share seasonally appropriate skills used to grow and harvest food and medicine in our mountain ecology. We observe that many students—even those who have taken a permaculture design course—need support building hands-on skills to become capable land stewards. This club will certainly help with that!

What do I need to wear and bring with me?

Please click here to print and sign the waiver. You will need to bring this waiver with you the first time you join us. All participants are required to wear close-toed shoes. Bring anything you’ll need for working outdoors (hat, gloves, etc.). Please apply any sunscreen or bug spray before you reach the farm. Bring PLENTY OF WATER to drink!

What time should I arrive?

Our farmers start their day at 8:00am. Please meet them at the seedhouse. There we will line up the day’s work—determining what projects will be worked on and who will be doing what. Please let us know if you plan to arrive at a later time so that we can coordinate with you.

Can children come to the club?

Generally speaking, younger kids don’t do as well out in the fields unless a parent is almost literally on top of them watching their every move. It doesn’t take much to get off track and accidentally step on a plant or pull something that is not a weed. If you would like to explore the farm with your child, a better option may be our monthly farm tours.
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