Archive for December 8th, 2008

Book Drawing and Class Info

Sharon December 8th, 2008

Ok, the winners are….  Wait a minute, did she say…winners?  Yup, I know I offered one signed copy of Kathy Harrison’s wonderful _Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens_ but it occurred to me as I was doing the drawing with the boys that 1. Kathy kindly sent me a copy for me, too, which means I no longer need the copy that I bought this summer and 2. The kids really wanted to keep on pulling names out of a hat so, I actually have two copies to give away (actually, shortly afterwards Asher dumped the whole hatful out, but I ran out of copies, so that doesn’t count).  The winnah gets the autographed and pristinely perfect copy.  The runner-up gets my own, very lightly used copy, which is not signed and has only a little wear and tear.  If you won the second copy and don’t want it, because it is used and not autographed, that’s fine, just email and I’ll draw another name until I find someone who wants it. 

 Ok, the winners are…The Screaming Sardine and Dalene!  Send me an email at [email protected] with your address and I’ll get those right out in the mail to you.  Congratulations - and thanks everyone for participating. 

Second, I want to update you all on our class situation. I’m finally opening all three classes for registration. Just so you know, all classes are offered entirely online, and primarily (on my end, and Aaron’s end for the joint classes) two days a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  But you are free to read at your own pace and participate at your own pace - that’s when Aaron and/or I will be devoting ourselves full time to the class, not when you need to participate.

To register for each class, send me an email at [email protected].  Registration is complete when we receive payment.  We have some free spots available for low income participants, but there are always more requests for those than there are spots.  We apologize if we can’t take everyone.  In the past, some kind people have allowed me to offer more spots by donating a scholarship to one class or another - if you’d like to do so, let me know.  If you can’t join us, remember, as always, a portion of the class material will be posted on the blog so that everyone can follow along.

FYI, we have lowered the previously mentioned cost of our classes.  Both Aaron and I know that times are tough, and that money is tight.  We want people to be able to afford these classes, and we don’t want anyone to struggle.  We’re trying to balance our need to make a living with the desire to make this as affordable as possible.  So we’ve decided that we’re going to reduce the cost, in the hopes that more people will be able to afford them.  I apologize if you were told a different figure than this - we have just sat down and run the numbers.  If you have already sent payment at a different price, we’ll refund you ASAP.  These are the correct figures:

For the food storage class: $100 per household (ie, you can have as many members of your household participating as you’d like). 

For the Garden Planning and Adapting In Place Classes (taught jointly with Aaron and including a host of new design elements), $150 per household. 

Both AIP and Garden Planning: $250 

Food storage plus one of the other classes: $ 225

All three classes together: $360

To register, send me an email at [email protected] to confirm that there’s still space in the class(es) you want, and then payment can be sent to me by paypal to [email protected] or by check to Sharon Astyk PO Box 342 Delanson, NY 12053.  Registration is complete upon receipt of payment (or upon confirmation for those receiving scholarship spots).

All classes include online materials, one on one help with designing your own program or projects, and one in-person phone call to connect and discuss any issues you don’t want to talk about in a group.  Our goal is to have you come out with a plan and a sense that you are ready to move forward with each project.

In January, I’ll be teaching Food Preservation and Storage with a new emphasis on community level food storage.  I’ll include all the info I’ve included in previous food storage classes, plus more of a discussion on how you can bring localized food security to your community.  We’ll cover all the major methods of food preservation, how to build up a reserve of stored food, how to organize and manage it,  food storage for infants, children, the elderly and people with special medical conditions, dealing with medications, storing non-food items, garden planning for canners and other preservers as well as ways to get community reserves built up, coops, community kitchens, and I’ll be offering some models for sample talks and classes you can teach in your own community. 

In February, Aaron and I will teach Garden Design and Planning - we’ll help you sit down with the space you have - whether it be balcony and containers or a 50 acre farm, and help you figure out what to grow, how to get maximum food security out of your space, how to plan a landscape for the long term, how to set up your site so that you require minimum inputs, can adapt to local challenges and can manage the site even as your circumstances change.  Aaron is landscape architect by training, so he’ll bring his skills to the table, while I bring my own farming experience.  I think it will be a truly exciting course.

In March, Aaron and I are going to teach together the most challenging single class I’ve ever taught - Adapting In Place.  For those who for whatever reason are staying where they are, the goal is to transform the sense that you are stuck or trapped, into an ability to optimize your situation, to live well and securely where you were.  Teaching the first AIP class was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done - it really felt as though people were transforming their lives and finding a great deal of hope.  I’m hoping that with Aaron’s architectural and design skills to bring to the table, we can make the next class even better and more productive. 

I hope you’ll be able to join us!