Creative Homesteading Workshops – Summer 2015


Overhead view of workshop attendee sorting flowers for natural dyeingGet your hands dirty in the garden, experiment with natural dyes, learn about herbal medicine, preserve your harvest, and more at the oldest house in New York!

The 2015 summer workshops series for adults (and teens) has finished for the season. Read about our recent workshop below. To be alerted to upcoming workshops and events, join our mailing list. 

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Recent Workshops




June 20, 2015 – 1-3 p.m.

This workshop covers all the information you need to get going in the garden. From site selection, soil preparation, crop planning, seed starting, pest management and harvesting — you will learn all the basic tools to plan your garden space for optimal production and enjoyment. There will not only be discussion, but practical hands on activities as well! This class is designed for brand new gardeners and anyone who wants to know more about gardening.

Sheryll Durrant is an urban farmer, educator and food justice advocate. She is the director of the urban farm and garden program for Sustainable Flatbush and is currently a 2014 certificate student in Urban Agriculture at Farm School NYC. Sheryll is a certified master composter through the NYC  Compost Project, a 2013 WAAB Fellow, and in 2012 she received a Certificate of Achievement in Community Organizing from Citizens Committee For NYC Neighborhood Leadership Institute. As a 2014/15 Outreach Fellow for Five Borough Farms/Farming Concrete she helped to measure the impact of urban agriculture in NYC.




July 11, 2015 – 1-3 p.m.

In 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.

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



July 18, 2015 – 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. Be prepared to leave this class with something wonderful that you’ve made.

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.




August 1, 2015 – 1-3 p.m.

Participants in this outdoor soap making workshop will create their own soaps using a combination of ingredients including essential oils and a variety of herbs, flowers, and miscellany from the Wyckoff House grounds. Traditional soap making recipes will be discussed and updated. No lye.

Sophy Naess is a painter, printmaker, writer, and teacher working across media including soap and weaving. Read about her soap pieces on




August 8, 2015 – 1-3 p.m.

Did you know your garden is already growing a wealth of materials that you can use to beautify other things? Come IMG_8829learn how to take the otherwise inedible plants in your garden and dye various fibers. We will use plant materials grown specifically for dyeing as well as less commonly used dye plants. This workshop will be an exploration of the potential and uses of natural materials.

Lisa Sikorski is a lady who is interested in all aspects of craft and artistic production. She holds a formal degree in studio art but is also interested in the creative process as a means of building community and a medicament for the ills of modernity. She’s been investigating the process of dyeing with source plants at the Wyckoff House Museum for several years now and is constantly amazed at the wealth of materials and colors that grow right here on the property.



August 29, 2015 – 1-3 p.m.

Learn the basics of preserving foodPhoto of home-canned foods in the Wyckoff cellar through canning and pickling. Workshop participants will practice canning techniques and prepare a simple fruit preserve and a freezer pickle from seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Chris Gollmar is the Wyckoff House Museum’s Education and Development Coordinator. He looks forward to the late summer and fall harvest seasons, when he can frequently be found in the kitchen all day, preparing and canning whatever is in season.



September 12, 2015 – 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.

Cheryl Paswater is an Artist, Certified Fermentationist and Educator, who after a near-death experience seven years ago, turned to holistic medicine for help. After radical diet and lifestyle changes, she started teaching on healthy eating, organiz/local/sustinable food, holistic health, fermentation, and food preservation. She teaches workshops in and around New York City, works as a sous chef, runs a Fermentation CSA in Brooklyn through her company Contraband Ferments. Check them out here!


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