Spring 2017 Bootcamp – Food production and more

ducksSat/Sun March 25-26 2017, 9 – 5, at Sycamore Commons (Townsite Anglican Church) in Powell River, and at other local sites on Sunday morning.

Improve your household resilience by learning how to raise small livestock, grow food, cook with the harvest, and build your homestead infrastructure. Socialise and share with others who have similar goals, and get inspired by those who are already doing what you want to do!

This full weekend of workshops, classes and field trips will take your urban homesteading to the next level, whether you’re just starting or have been doing it for years. Many sessions are hands-on and all are taught by local experts. You can attend the whole weekend, just one day, or specific sessions, as you wish.


Here’s the schedule as we know it so far: there may be some changes before the actual event. See below for more details of the individual sessions.

9:00 – 9:30 am Check-in and coffee
9:30 – 11 am Kombucha Introduction to Home-Scale Permaculture
11:15 – 12:45 Mushroom ID 101 Home-Scale Permaculture (cont)
Lunch 12:45 – 1:30 With local ingredients & vegan option: catered by Katie McLean
1:30 – 3:00 pm Small Batch Dandelion Blossom Wine CANCELLED Composting 101 FULL
3:15 – 4:45 Dandelion wine (cont) Understanding Soil Amendments FULL
9:30 – 11:30 Drip Irrigation and Rain Barrels Wild Edibles ID Walk Where do Old Chickens Go?
12:00 – 1:15 Lunch at Edie Rae’s Cafe
1:30 – 3:00 pm Seed Starting Made Simple FULL Small Space Gardening
3:15 – 4:45 Mushroom cultivation  Year-Round Food Production

This weekend aims to be zero waste and support local producers. Please help us reduce our carbon footprint by carpooling, biking, walking or using the bus to get to and from the site.


Sycamore Commons at the Townsite Anglican Church, 6310 Sycamore St. Please enter through the rear basement doors. Bus route 1 stops right outside, or across from, the church.


Full Weekend: Early bird price $99 till Mar 12th
Full Weekend: Regular price $135 from Mar 13 to 25
Special deal: 15-18 year-olds only $40 for the whole weekend!
Single Day: $75
Single workshop: $30 per standard-length session, $45 for double-length

Deposit $20 on registration, remainder due by Mar 19
You can pay up to 50% in Powell River Dollars PR$

Click here to register

Work trades are welcomed and needed!
Skookum members: Skookum scholarships may be available.
Part scholarships are available – contact Kevin directly: 604 483 9052 or uhspr@fiddlersfarm.com

Cancellation policy
50% refund up to 2 weeks before (Mar 11)
No refund after that but you are welcome to send a substitute

Workshop Details

Kitty Clemens will show you how to make kombucha, and show how to flavour it. She will talk about what kombucha is, explain some of the benefits of drinking kombucha and give you the chance to taste a few different flavours. There is an opportunity to buy a scoby and starter liquid (extra cost: $15) to get you started on your own batch.
Instructor: Kitty Clemens
Materials fee: $2

Mushroom ID 101
This class will cover the basics of mushroom identification and foraging. Participants can look forward to engaging with a variety of live and dried specimens, as well as a hands-on spore print component. We will be discussing a wealth of mushroom-related resources, including field guides and mycological keys. Participants are welcome to bring photos or mushroom specimens for ID/discussion after the session.
Instructor: Ionatan Waisgluss

Intro to Home-Scale Permaculture
Permaculture is designing human systems that function like ecosystems. This session will introduce the basic concepts of Permaculture design and how we use them at the home scale.
Instructor: Erin Innes

Saturday Lunch
Optional lunch available at Sycamore Commons, catered by Katie McLean. There will be vegan options, and as many ingredients as possible will be local.
Lunch cost: $FREE if you buy a full weekend or day pass

Small Batch Dandelion Blossom Wine CANCELLED
Spring’s bounty! This workshop for the novice or experienced winemaker goes over the ingredients and equipment needed in making Dandelion Blossom Wine.
The steps of this process from picking the perfect blossom, to enjoying the fermenting aroma of a bubbling batch, to final bottling, if it lasts that long!. Tasting pre-bottling is encouraged!
Instructor: Donna Moseanko

Composting 101 FULL
This session will give you the basics on making and using great compost. We’ll get our hands dirty making a hot compost, and checking out Sycamore Commons’ community composting system
Instructor: Erin Innes

Understanding Soil Amendments FULL
There are so many different soil amendments, so how do you know which ones you need, and when? This overview will give you some of the science behind the soil, and help you determine what amendments your garden needs – or doesn’t need – and how to use them well.
Instructor: Erin Innes

Drip Irrigation and Rain Barrels
Kevin’s drip irrigation system has been growing and changing since 2004. See the many different types of watering devices you can use in these systems, and get hands-on experience installing a new section. We will also look at the early stages of installing water barrels: choosing locations, diverting downspouts, and getting a spigot into a barrel.
Instructor: Kevin Wilson
Location: 5865 Mowat Ave in Cranberry

Wild Edibles ID Walk
Join ethnobotanist Ionatan Waisgluss (Ioni Wais) in exploring the wild plants and fungi of our local forests.  Learn about plant families, biochemistry, invasive species, and folklore while gaining the skills and knowledge involved in foraging your own food, medicine, dyes and fibres. Meet at the Beach Hut (Willingdon Beach Park): dress for the weather
Instructor: Ionatan Waisgluss
Location: Meet at the Beach Hut, Willingdon Beach

Where do old chickens go? (or: backyard slaughtering 101)
Sooner or later your hobby flock is going to stop laying, and what then? Learn the basics of chicken processing for personal use (not for sale). Expect a thorough explanation of the tricks to slaughtering your own chickens, ducks, and other poultry safely and without too much difficulty, with an already prepared chicken as an example. Bring your questions too!
Instructor: Simon Nattrass
Location: The Farmer’s Gate, 2440 Hwy 101 (towards Lund)

Sunday Lunch
Optional group lunch at Edie Rae’s Cafe, 5 mins walk from Sycamore Commons. A flat rate package will be available:TBA. Or you can order off the menu instead if you like.

Seed Starting Made Simple  FULL
Have you wanted to start your own seeds but felt intimidated or overwhelmed by the task? This workshop will provide a straightforward, easy to follow method to starting a wide range of vegetable and herb seeds for as much space as you can possibly garden! Topics will include: soil mixes, trays and containers, seeding schedules, maintenance and care, light needs, watering and more. Most of the class will be hands on and all students will go home with many seed starts.Materials fee provides soil, trays, labels and seeds (participants are also welcome to bring any of their own favourite seeds)
Instructor: Ron Berezan
Materials Fee: $7

Mushroom Cultivation
Humans have been growing fungi for thousands of years. In the last few decades, a handful of simple technologies have made it easier than ever to cultivate certain mushrooms, using simple tools and a variety of substrates. This workshop will provide an overview of the many ways mushrooms are commonly grown, and will examine critical parameters for home-scale cultivation.
Instructor: Ionatan Waisgluss

Small Space Gardening
You can grow a lot of food in a little space, and do it sustainably, with a few good design tricks.
Instructor: Erin Innes

Year-Round Food Production
This session will walk us through the gardening year for our region and talk about annual and perennial food crops and management strategies for fresh food from your garden, all the year round.
Instructor: Erin Innes