Classes and Events 2014

To register for classes, email us at soulflowerfarm@gmail.com.  

March

Intro To Natural Beekeeping
Instructor: Yasir Cross
Date: Saturday, March 29, 2014 FULL
Second Date: Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Time 10am-3pm
Location: Soul Flower Farm
Cost: $75 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Join Yasir as he leads you through the basics of bee-friendly, natural, organic, small-scale beekeeping. You will leave this class with a competent knowledge of the fundamentals of natural beekeeping, and be ready to set up your own backyard beehive.  The course will focus on a style of apiculture that is exclusively designed for the small-scale beekeeper.
This bee-friendly method aims to care for the bees, allow them to control their own environment, and is a gentler approach than conventional beekeeping, resulting in healthy 

contented bees, and superb raw honey! 

Topics to be covered in class:
-The history of beehives
-Beekeeping in Bay area climate
-Biology of the honey bee
-Natural comb vs. manufactured comb
-The People's Hive (text included with class)
-Buying bees hives and equipment
-Building your natural hive
-Permaculture and biodynamic beekeeping strategies
-Urban beekeeping
-Harvesting honey and comb
-Homemade extractor
-Medicinal honey use

We provide tea and snacks.  






April


DIY Natural Body Products
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Saturday, April 19th, 2014
Time: 3-5pm
Location: Hercules Library
Cost: free 
Register here.

Do you ever wonder what all the ingredients are in the products you use?  Or are you fed up with the long list of unknown synthetics in your soaps and lotions?  In this class we will let our creative juices flow as we explore the world of DIY natural bath and body care.  We will make from scratch a luscious herbal body cream, an exfoliating scrub, a wonderfully minty tooth powder and the best natural deodorant you ever tried!  You will walk away with a bounty of treats, as well as a handful of wonderful recipes and some basic knowledge of aromatherapy.    


*Please bring a basket to transport your homemade goodies and a notebook and pencil.  




Herbal Spring Cleansing for Women

Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, April 27th, 2014
Time: 12-3pm
Location: Soul Flower Farm
Cost: $60
Materials Fee: $10 

Join Maya for a magical afternoon playing with medicinal plants.  We will learn about several green allies for spring cleansing that we can incorporate into our everyday lives.  In this practical class we will mix some special tea blends, learn how to make our own herbal glycerin tinctures, and create a healing salve from local organic ingredients.  You will get an introduction to herbal medicine making, some basic recipes, and a handful of medicines to initiate your spring cleansing regimen. Young women age 10 and up are welcome.   (Mother-daughter discount, $90)  Tea and snack included.



May


Albany Arts and Green Festival

Come visit our booth and learn more about our farm!!
We will have products from our seasonal Handcrafted Herbalism CSA, as well as pastured eggs, local honey, and other homegrown treats.

Date: Sunday May 4, 2014 
Time: 11 - 4 pm 
Location: Albany's Memorial Park, Albany CA.  




Build Your Own Natural Bee Hive:
Including an Overview of the Warre Method
Instructor: Yasir Cross
Date: Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Time: 10-2pm
Cost: $100 (Scholarship/work trade available)
Materials Fee: $75

Come learn the dynamics and benefits of a natural beekeeping method while learning to build your own Warre hive. You will get an overview of how this bee-friendly method aims to care for the bees, allows them to control their own environment and is a gentler approach than conventional beekeeping.  You will leave with a complete Warre hive including two hive bodies, a roof, quilt and floor. In addition, you will have a working understanding of how to implement this holistic beekeeping method.


Pre-cut building materials, as well as tea and snacks are provided.




Native American Medicine Wheel
photo by Lori Eanes
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, May 25th, 2014
Time: 10-12
Cost: $40

The Native American medicine wheel symbolizes life's cycles.  Each cycle is honored in a sacred way, giving us a way to see the value of each step of our path and a new understanding of our growth patterns.  Native Americans believe the medicine wheel is a circle of lessons each person must pass through to complete their journey.
This morning together will be more of a gathering than a class where we can share what we have learned about how to create the medicine wheel, which useful medicinals grow well in our area, how to use them as medicine, and what ailments they can be used for.  Please join us in deepening our connection to the land, for some nourishing food, and good company.


June

Wild Medicine: Natural Remedies from Local Weeds


Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Time: 1-4pm
Location: TBA
Cost: $35-65 sliding scale, plus $15 supply fee paid in cash on day of class.  Register here.  

Many of our most common garden weeds contain highly valuable medicinal properties that can heal you "on the fly" when you get a bee sting, cut your thumb, get a headache or have achy feet.  These wayside weeds living all around us posses special nutritional and healing powers that often surpass cultivated plants.  In this class we will spend the afternoon identifying some of these green allies in the field and learn how to use simple, age old remedies.  We'll make our own herbal glycerin and vinegar tinctures and learn simple first aid tricks using plants we find along the way.  This class will be geared toward beginners, so come with all your questions and we'll dive in!  


Beginning Herbal Medicine Making

Instructor: Maya Blow
Date June 8th, 2014
Time: 1-3:30 pm
Location: Pollinate Farm and Garden, Oakland CA. 
Cost: TBA
Materials Fee: $10
Register here.

In this hands on class we will learn the basic techniques of herbal medicine making, creating several types of tinctures, a healing salve, and hand crafted tea blend.  All of the combinations we create will be appropriate for the summer season to help keep us in optimal health. We'll discuss how to incorporate medicinal herbs into our everyday cooking.  You will leave the class with samples of our creations, as well as recipes you can make at home.  Bring a notebook, pen, and a basket to take home all your medicines!



Greywater Re-use: Laundry to Landscape

Instructor: Yasir Cross
Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014
Time 3:30-6pm
Location: Soul Flower Farm
Cost: $35-70 sliding scale

This is part of the Institute of Urban Homesteading Urban Permaculture Skills Weekend and can be taken as a stand alone or as part of that weekend.  Register here.  

In this time of drought it is more important than ever to appreciate our access to clean water and to consider using it twice when it is safe and legal to do so.  In this introductory class you will learn how easy it is to create a branched drain irrigation system that flows directly from your washing machine into the landscape using the laundry pump to facilitate delivery to the garden.  We'll start with an introduction to grey water and what it is, including information on safety, health, legality and greywater-safe detergents for your washing machine.  Then we'll look at a functioning laundry-to-landscape system and learn how to construct one.  We will learn about the tools and parts needed including information on creating a branched drain system, the importance of three-way valves and where to get them and how to create mulch basins to catch greywater effectively in the landscape.  You will take home a list of parts and tools that might be needed and some ideas on specific design issues depending on where your laundry is located in relation to your garden and how much water you use.  



July


Homemade Natural Body Products
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Time: 1-4pm
Cost: $60
Materials Fee: $20
What To Bring:  a basket to transport your homemade goodies as well as a notebook and pencil.

In this class we will let our creative juices flow as we explore the world of home-made natural bath and body care.  We will make from scratch a luscious herbal body cream, an exfoliating scrub, a wonderfully minty tooth powder and the best natural deodorant you ever tried!  You will walk away with a bounty of treats, a handful of tried and true recipes and some basic knowledge of aromatherapy.  Young women age 10 and up are welcome.   (Mother-daughter discount, $90) 
Tea and snack included. 




August


Creating an Herbal Apothecary
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, August 24th, 2014
Time:12-4pm
Cost: $60
Materials fee: $20

As we get ready for the coming change of seasons, now is the time to focus on some preventative health measures to ensure that we are fortified and ready to face the oncoming autumn and winter months. In this class we will prepare handcrafted formulas to stock our medicine chests. Come learn about plants that support the respiratory system, boost immunity and act as tonics to the system.  We'll discuss adaptogens and make a tasty syrup for coughs and sore throats. Bring a notebook, pen, and a basket to take home all your concoctions!  Join us for an herbal medicine making marathon!


*Herbal tea and snacks provided.





September

Local Medicine: Tinctures & Teas for Winter Health
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, September 28
Time 1-4pm
Location Soul Flower Farm
Cost: $35-65 sliding scale, plus $15 supply fee in cash day of class.  Register here.  

Along with re-learning vital skills such as growing and preserving food, it is also time to take health care back into our own hands.  Everyone can learn basic preventative care and how to make a few natural remedies to care for themselves, their family and community.  In this class you will learn to create "local medicine" from native, culinary and horticultural herbs right out of the garden! We we'll learn about tinctures, decoctions, infusions and salves, how to make them, how to use them and the benefits of each.  Working with seasonally available herbs that will tonify the body as we head into the winter season, each student will prepare a tincture, salve, and hand blended tea to take home.  You will also receive handouts on herbal medicine making, a list of easily identifiable local plants which can be used for your health and resources for further study.  




October

Classes TBA


November 


Handmade Herbal Holiday Gift Making
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
Time: 12-4
Cost: $50
Materials Fee: $25

This class is the perfect opportunity to learn how to make an abundance of natural body care and herbal products at once.  Imagine a big basket of handmade herbal salves, lip balms, bath salts, herbal honey, facial scrub, dream pillows, and mulling spices.  Join us for this fun and extremely creative day of elving and go home with a load of treasures plus the knowledge of how to re-create them all for friends and family.  Your loved ones will adore these unique gifts!  We scheduled this class in November so there will be plenty of time for busy hands to make more home made treats.


*Tea and vegetarian lunch included




December

Working with Wool
Instructor: Maya Blow
Date: Sunday, December 7th, 2014
Time: 1-4
Cost: $60
Materials Fee: $10

Revel in the kinesthetic experience of playing with all natural, carded wool roving!  You will fall in love with the textures and colors of hand dyed raw wool.  Join us as we explore the dry felting technique of needle felting in which we will decorate a colorful felted bag.  We will also learn the wonderful art of making wet felted soaps.  Both of our projects make amazing holiday gifts which are fast and easy to replicate.

*Herbal Tea and snack provided. 



Soul Flower Farm Owners/Instructors


Maya Blow is an herbalist and classical homeopath practicing in the East SF Bay Area. Besides her passion for holistic and alternative medicine she is also an artist, mother of two, aspiring farmer, and avid crafter. Maya has been studying, practicing, and teaching art for two decades and continues to draw her inspiration from her love of nature. Her specialties are working with oil and acrylic paint though she frequently works with wood, wool, yarn, textiles, and found materials.  Some of her hobbies are gardening, animal husbandry, foraging for wild food, fermenting and canning, making herbal medicine, and dying with plants. Maya lives on an urban farm with her husband, sons, goats, chickens, bees and jersey milk cow.


Yasir Cross has been studying and keeping bees successfully for several years.  He follows the natural beekeeping methods of Abbe Warre.  Yasir is also a builder, crafter, and artist who loves to work with his hands.  He has a natural gift for fixing just about anything and as a new farmer is putting that gift to good use.  A student of the biodynamic farming methodology, Yasir is using, learning, and teaching his experience.  Sustainable building, grafting fruit trees, composting, double digging, building soil, permaculture design, and beekeeping are some of his interests.  Hobbies also include hiking, drawing, mountain biking, and wrestling.  Yasir lives on an urban farm with his wife, sons, goats, chickens, bees and jersey milk cow.
 
 
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