October 6, 2012
Time: 10 am - 4 pm
Cost: Free, open to the public, but please RSVP
Host Location: Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and Farm, Browntown, Wisconsin (about a 14 minute drive southwest of Monroe, Wisconsin; for directions, see Driving Instructions or Google Maps for Inn Serendipity
Rediscover Wisconsin's farmstead roots of self-reliance and community collaboration with a diversity of seasoned mentors sharing their inspiring skills and talents. From food preservation techniques to renewable energy, come learn about how we can rebuild our interdependence and support sustainability by connecting with knowledgeable neighbors. The Speed Skilling workshops aim to help beginners get started with introductory information and provide resources for action. The Inn Serendipity Farm Tour will provide an overview of many renewable energy options, green building, organic food systems and the green businesses that make it possible. This event is held in conjunction with the National Tour of Solar Homes that is organized in Wisconsin by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. If visitors arrive outside the times when the guided tours are offered, they are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the property (with the exception of touring the inside of the farmhouse).
The event is free and open to the public. However, please pre-register for the event by e-mailing "lisa (AT) innserendipity (DOT) com" or 608-329-7056 and please bring a dish to pass for the potluck lunch. Children are welcome to attend the workshop with you, but they must be under your supervision at all times; feel free to bring books or other quiet activities for them to occupy themselves. Also, please do NOT bring pets. The event will proceed, rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for the weather since the majority of the activities will be held outside. Farmstead Chef as well as Rural Renaissance, ECOpreneuring and other books by the host-authors will be available for sale in additional to fresh organic produce from Inn Serendipity Farm.
Speed Skilling Schedule (subject to change):
9:30 am: Arrival of visitors; enjoy Equal Exchange organic, Fair-trade certified coffee and muffins made with a recipe from Farmstead Chef
10 am - 10:30 am: Tour of Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast (John Ivanko)
10:30 am - 11 am: Speed Skilling: Sustainable & Local Blooms
Whether you love flowers for gifts, for church altars, for table decorations, or just for their aroma and sense of elegance, it's about time we insist on local sourcing for our flowers. Join Marilee Backstrand for ideas and options for more local blooms: from sustainable greenhouse setups for winter blooms to increasing our dried flower selection? How can locally produced flowers improve our vegetable production?
11 am - 11:30 am: Speed Skilling: Fementation Basics
Introduce yourself to the century-old art of fermentation with an overview of the general process and techniques. From beets to sauerkraut, fermentation offers both easy-food preservation options along with the health benefits of naturally fermented foods. Join April Prusia of April's Garden in Blanchardville for her favorite tips, tastes and techniques.
11:30 am - 12 noon: Speed Skilling: Local Meat 101
Learn about how to keep your meat local though beef-buying options such as ordering a 1/4 or side, preparation ideas and free-range chicken basics. Understand what "happy animals" means through the eyes and experience of Jen and Bryce Riemer of Riemer Family Farm (www.Riemerfamilyfarm.blogspot.com) in Brodhead, Wisconsin, a local meat operation servicing southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
12 pm - 1 pm: Potluck picnic lunch in the "Cantina" (outdoor covered picnic shelter)
1 pm - 1:30 pm: Speed Skilling: EWE HOO!
Linda Dee Derrickson of Hillspring Eco-Farm, Blanchardville has been raising heritage breeds of sheep organically for 15 years. Her 154 acre farm is home to 3 distinct breeds: Tunis, Jacobs, and CVM/Romeldale. She started spinning wool into yarn 8 years ago and since then has evolved a fiber business that includes both teaching classes and selling yarn, socks, roving, raw fleeces, pelts and meat. If you're thinking about raising sheep, already have sheep, or just want to sing along with Linda Dee, you'll enjoy her "speedy introduction" to all things "sheepy" ... preceded by lamb treats for lunch.
1:30 pm - 2 pm: Speed Skilling: Introduction to Electric Cars
Join solar pioneers Phil and Judy Welty for a detailed tour of the electric CitiCar at Inn Serendipity (thanks to their mentoring and restoration help!) as well as discussion on various DIY options and ideas for electric vehicles.
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm: Repeat tour of Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast (John Ivanko)
2 pm - 2:30 pm: Speed Skilling: Grow More Longer - Ideas to Extend the Gardening Season
Don't stop eating fresh after the first fall frost or wait till summer fully rolls in to savor the garden. Peg Sheaffer of Sandhill Organics (www.sandhillorganics.com), an organic farm and CSA serving Chicago, shares some of her tips, techniques and crop recommendations for both early spring and late fall garden harvests.
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Speed Skilling: Speed Mead
A simple homemade honey fermentation with endless possibilities. We will cover basic ingredients, equipment and processes. Small taste samples may be available and bring your home brewing questions. Eric and Erika Jones are avid homebrewers, mead-makers and beer judges.
3:30 pm - 4 pm: Speed Skilling: Greening a farmhouse, an indoor tour of Inn Serendipity
Join Lisa Kivirist on a detailed tour of the interior of Inn Serendipity Farmhouse and B&B, a classic 1920s style Wisconsin farmhouse that Lisa and John have greened in various ways, from wood heat to no-VOC paints to lots of creative, frugal recycling or re-use.