Creative Homesteading Workshops – Summer 2016


Overhead view of workshop attendee sorting flowers for natural dyeingSummer 2016 urban homesteading workshops for adults (and teens) are open for registration. Click below to sign up for workshops and check back as new workshops are being added.

About our Workshops

All workshops are open to the public and designed for adults and mature teens (ages 14+). Advanced registration is required and enrollment is limited so we recommend reserving your spot soon. Most workshops begin promptly at 1 p.m. and run until 3 p.m. We invite you to take a tour of the farmhouse after your workshop.

All activities take place outdoors, rain-or-shine, so we recommend that you come dressed for the weather and eager to get your hands dirty. Workshops are hands-on and participants will go home with something they made, cooked, or planted. Learn more about the skilled artists, craftsmen, and urban gardeners who will be leading the workshops below.

Each workshop requires a materials fee ranging from $5 to $20. This fee must be paid in order to reserve your spot. We have a limited number of free slots reserved for residents who live in the following zip codes: 11203, 11236, 11234. If you qualify and have proof of residence, please contact us directly.

For more information, contact us at 718-629-5400, or email



Recent Workshops


Saturday, June 18, 2016 – 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Did you know your cupboards and refrigerator shelves contain a vast array of dyestuffs that can be used to naturally color you clothes? Onion skins! Purple cabbage! Black beans! Join us for this workshop where we’ll cover the basics of natural dyeing processes as well as learn how to make dye baths from spices, dry goods as well as fresh vegetables. Materials fee: $8.

Lisa Sikorski is an artist and educator who has been working with fiber for over 20 years. She started the urban homesteading project faux(h) at the farmhouse, teaching workshops on natural dyes, canning and simple medicinals. When she is not homesteading, she can be found chasing after tiny fiber superstars at the Textile Arts Center where she manages the Brooklyn Youth Education Program.


Medicinal Herbs

Saturday, July 2, 2016 – 1-3 p.m.

IMG_4424In this hands-on medicine making class we will focus on creating a home first aid kit for summer maladies. We will address the following conditions: cuts and scrapes, burns (sun and fire), bug bites, muscle aches, bleeding and bruises, and poison ivy and poison oak rash. We will talk about safety and effectiveness of various ingredients as well as child friendly dosages. Extensive handouts will be provided. Materials fee: $8.

Karen M. Rose is trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine and is personally dedicated to empowering individuals to make informed decisions with regards to their health and lives. As owner of Sacred Vibes Healing and the Sacred Vibes Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based, community herbal apothecary, Karen is connected to both the earth and the community in which she practices, consults and teaches herbal medicine. Learn more about Karen at

Spinning and Felting

July 16, 2016 – 1-3 p.m.

This workHand-felted and spun woolshop focuses on the process of cloth making from raw fleece and roving (cleaned, carded fleece) to yarn and felted fabrics. We will be spinning—both with a drop spindle as well as with a spinning wheel. We will be felting—both needle felting and water felting. We will be creating beads, patches, paintings, creatures. If you can imagine it, you can felt it! During the workshop there will be discussions of the methods used throughout the history of cloth-making. Take home some homespun yarn or a felted charm. Materials fee: $8.

Miranda Knutson is a Historical Cloth-making instructor, Licensed New York City tour guide, Stage Combat choreographer, and Event Coordinator, with a Medieval History Masters from London focused on the weaving laws and technology of England. And that is only what she does in her spare time. She is passionate about creating intellectually stimulating and exciting conversations between the public and sites in innovative hands-on ways.

Seasonal Ferments

August 6, 2016 – 1-3 p.m.

 Smell, taste, discuss and make a few simple seasonal ferments. In this workshop we’ll explore and craft two delicious types of ferments that are easily made at home without any special ingredients or equipment: a sauerkraut (and its cousins) as well as various styles of sour cream. Depending on what’s in season there may be additional ferments to explore. Materials fee: $5.

Cheryl Paswater is an Certified Fermentationist, Educator, and Health Coach who, after a near-death experience, turned to holistic medicine for help. After radical diet and lifestyle changes, she started teaching on fermentation, old world food preservation, healthy eating, sustainable food, and holistic health. Cheryl runs a popular fermentation project and CSA called Contraband Ferments.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY



Plant a Fall Garden

August 20, 2016 – 1-3 p.m.

6000_49That’s right! It’s not too late to start gardening. There are many vegetables and herbs that do well in cooler temperatures — kale, collards, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, rosemary and cilantro, to name a few. There are also other advantages besides having fresh produce after the summer — fewer pests to contend with, less watering required, and much less work…guaranteed. Come plan and plant with us — and take home a few transplants for your own garden. Materials fee: $5.

Sheryll Durrant is an urban farmer, educator and food justice advocate. She is currently the Garden Manager at Kelly Street Garden, and Farm Coordinator for New Roots Community Farm managed by International Rescue Committee (IRC,) both in the Bronx. For the past 7 years her work has included developing community-based urban agricultural projects, and providing expertise and technical assistance for supportive housing gardening programs while serving as the director of the urban farm and garden program for Sustainable Flatbush in Brooklyn. She is also responsible for communications and outreach for Farming Concrete, a data collection platform that helps urban farmers and gardeners measure the impact of their work. She is a parent founder and former board President of Brooklyn Free School, and served as committee co-chair and budget delegate for Participatory Budgeting in the 45th Council District since its inception in 2011.


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