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To get more info or
to enroll please call
413 528-4262

 

 

THE LIVING LEARNING COLLABORATIVE

The Living Learning Collaborative at Four Winds Farm is a pioneering educational initiative in Great Barrington, MA.  It's focus is to provide a dynamic and responsive atmosphere of cooperative and experiential learning.  We invite you to discover which programs suit your interests. Please call 413-528-4262 and speak with MaryBeth or ....


call Gianni about FarmAssist at 518-392-8545. Gianni's email is gianni@gianniortiz.com

Current Offerings

  •     

    FarmAssist Productions

    We are a small, independent farm and food advocacy, teaching, celebration and networking organization. Currently we are functioning under the fiscal sponsorship of Four Winds Inc., a fully accredited 501(3)c nonprofit. We work toward the inter and independence of our farmer and non-farmer neighbors as we strive for increased Bioregional Foodshed Security in the Greater Hudson Valley and the metropolitan areas we serve. All donations to support and expand our work are tax deductible to the full extent of state and federal law.

    Hello Everyone,

    We are constantly adding workshops and events, the following is the latest schedule.

    We are super pleased to have Chef David Wurth costarring with Moscovy Ducks at our first Celebrity Chef Guerilla Dinner in a gorgeous private home in Great Barrington (see end of listings). Details, registration and locations can be found at the links at the end of each short description.

    Best,

    Gianni

    518.392.8545

    Sorry for any repeats!

    COMING RIGHT UP, NOT TO BE MISSED

    10.17.10 Sourdough Baking With Matt Funiciello of Rock Hill Bake House

    Back by popular demand! 

    Mat t Funiciello is the master baker/owner of Rock Hill Bake House and has been a life long food activist. He is a spirited and deeply knowledgeable teacher. This workshop is suitable for you if you have never baked a frozen bun and also if you are an advanced baker. This man understands the true nature of grains and the alchemy of sour dough like no one else. This is a particularly exciting time to take up or expand your baking, as we are seeing the re-emergence of heirloom, non GMO varietals in our region. http://farmassistbread.eventbrite.com

    NEW:

    11.10.10 Slow Money 101, What You Need To Know When Looking For Investors, John K. Freidman, Esq.

    Farmers and small food producers are increasingly savvy about marketing their own products and very often need investors to help move their business to the next level. John's experience in this niche is exceptional and he will introduce the basic concepts necessary when approaching potential funders. All class attendees will receive a free copy of the Slow Money Primer , authored by John. Location to be announced. http://farmassistslowmoney.eventbrite.com/

    CONFIRMED, ALSO NOT TO BE MISSED:

    11.5.10 Radical Homemaking, Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture, Shannon Hayes It is our extreme pleasure to bring Shannon Hayes to our area. The Hayes family has a long history of farming, education and activism and Shannon 's book has truly captured this transitional moment in small farming, homesteading, post peak consumerism and the reclamation of the kitchen table. Her message speaks to the work many are doing to recapture the independence of the individual household from the 'To-Go' corporate culture, while restoring community, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and democracy through small but profound measures of individual action. This is the next step in the maturation of a movement that our region is the poster child for. She has not only written the bible and is a major voice of this movement, she is one of our own. http://radicalhomemakers.eventbrite.com/

    Celebrity Chef Guerilla Dinners

    These dinners will be held in private homes and are fundraisers for FarmAssist Productions.

    Twelve to fifteen guests will enjoy a butchering demo (a very teachable moment),

    cook alongside one of our Celebrity Chefs and then sit down at a communal table for a fabulous candle lit meal filled with brilliant conversation and awe inspiring story telling.

    Main courses will include veal, goat, lamb, rabbit, young pig and a

      pan-Asian (vegan – butchering noodles?) theme. Plenty of wine, of course…

    What happens in the kitchen – stays in the kitchen!

    We fully guarantee truly memorable evenings for all!

    We are SUPER pleased that our first dinner will be cheffed by Locavore Chef David Wurth , will be held in a gorgeous private home in Great Barrington , Massachusetts on Sunday, November 7 th . Menu details forthcoming. Location disclosed upon registration.

    http://farmassistguerilladinners.eventbrite.com/

      Thank You!

    Kitchen Culture Workshops, Fall 2010

    Entire Schedule: http://farmassistproductionsfall2010.eventbrite.com/

    Hi Everyone! We are very proud to bring you this group of teachers, workshops, lectures and events. Early registration is highly advisable as we intentionally keep these small, so that everyone has a practical, hands on experience and can then go forth and share the information with their family and neighbors. If you would like to conduct a workshop or just have a good idea to share, please contact FarmAssist Productions. Please use the links at the end of each class description for further information and to register. A complete listing of all events offered by FarmAssist can be found using the link to right of any registration page.

    Please check back as we are constantly adding workshops and events.. November thru January will be fun filled and delicious with Celebrity Chef Guerilla Dinners . To be automatically apprised of new workshops and events, you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Much more to come...

    My Very Best,

    Gianni

    10.17.10 Sourdough Baking With Matt Funiciello of Rock Hill Bake House

    Back by popular demand! 

    Mat t Funiciello is the master baker/owner of Rock Hill Bake House and has been a life long food activist. He is a spirited and deeply knowledgeable teacher. This workshop is suitable for you if you have never baked a frozen bun and also if you are an advanced baker. This man understands the true nature of grains and the alchemy of sour dough like no one else. This is a particularly exciting time to take up or expand your baking, as we are seeing the re-emergence of heirloom, non GMO varietals in our region. http://farmassistbread.eventbrite.com

    10.24.10 Seed Saving Secrets With Chris Kemnah of Otter Hook Farm

    Chris and Samantha Kemnah of Otter Hook Farm CSA are part of the young, smart and committed wave of farmers who are literally changing our shared landscape. Hudson Valley natives and experienced growers, they know what varieties do well in our soils and climate, Chris is a geologist and has a unique love and understanding of our soils and growing environment. This year in addition to offering a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, they grew over 60 varieties of tomatoes, Freedom Ranger broiler chickens, are milking a family cow (spectacular milk!) and raising two beautiful little boys, Alex and Benjamin, in the family farm tradition - and saving seeds for next year http://farmassistseeds.eventbrite.co m

    10.30.10 Mushroomology With Skotty Kellogg

    Mushrooms are not just delicious and medicinal, they are a very low maintenance perennial crop, a mushroom log can produce for up to five years with minimum care. We will learn several growing techniques and everyone will go home with their own logs. Dress warm, bring a bagged lunch and snacks and be prepared to do some work. http://farmassistmushroomology.eventbrite.com

    10.31.10 Cider Vinegar, Lactofermentation & Acorn Flour Delicacies with Gianni Ortiz & David DeLozier

    Used for hundreds of years as a daily tonic, apple cider vinegar is easy to make and provides many benefits. Often referred to as the Original Gatorade, it also offers many natural protective properties against viral and bacterial infections. Come learn how to make your own in addition lacto-fermented veggies and how to cook with the lost ( and delicious!) native staple White Oak Acorn - used in puddings, ‘corn’ molasses and ginger bread, pie crusts, chili, etc... For Native Americans having an ample store of acorns was the equivalent of having an insurance policy to get through the winter and this year there was a bumper crop. http://farmassistvinegaracorn.eventbrite.com/

    11.5.10 Radical Homemaking, Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture, Shannon Hayes It is our extreme pleasure to bring Shannon Hayes to our area. The Hayes family has a long history of farming, education and activism and Shannon 's book has truly captured this transitional moment in small farming, homesteading, post peak consumerism and the reclamation of the kitchen table. Her message speaks to the work many are doing to recapture the independence of the individual household from the 'To-Go' corporate culture, while restoring community, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and democracy through small but profound measures of individual action. This is the next step in the maturation of a movement that our region is the poster child for. She has not only written the bible and is a major voice of this movement, she is one of our own. http://radicalhomemakers.eventbrite.com/

    11.10.10 Slow Money 101, What You Need To Know When Looking For Investors, John K. Freidman, Esq.

    Farmers and small food producers are increasingly savvy about marketing their own products and very often need investors to help move their business to the next level. John's experience in this niche is exceptional and he will introduce the basic concepts necessary when approaching potential funders. All class attendees will receive a free copy of the Slow Money Primer , authored by John. Location to be announced. http://farmassistslowmoney.eventbrite.com/

    11.13.10 Homemade Soap, Tallow to Lather – Laundry Detergent to Facial Soaps With Wanda Halten

    We will take tallow and turn it into a basic soap product that can be used for laundry, dish and finely milled facial soaps through traditional methods. We will take this basic product and bring it through the first phase of milling, using essential oils, algaes and herbals. They make for very special and treasured Christmas gifts. This workshop will definitely sell out, so please register early. http://farmassistsoap.eventbrite.com

    11.14.10 The Art & Science of Root Cellaring with Jack Kittredge

    Back by popular demand! 

    Have you ever wondered how food was preserved before refrigeration and cryovacking? Enough was preserved to get whole families through the winter and not one drop of electricity was used. In the Hudson Valley we have many root cellars and experienced keepers but many of these valuable structures have fallen into disrepair. There has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in natural, low energy over winter storage of fresh and preserved produce - come learn how the many affordable ways to do it in your own home, basement or yard. http://farmassistrootcellaring.eventbrite.com

    11.20.10 Nutrient Dense Winter Microgreens & Kombucha Cocktails with Deborah Doyle

    Missing your garden greens? OK, so you are into local and seasonal food, or want to be - what do you do during the winter? Learn to sprout and grow trays of microgreens that do not require lots of light that are super nutrient dense, fresh and affordable. There are many ways to create perfectly delicious versions of Kombucha - sweet, savory, specifically medicinal. Take starter trays and 'the kombucha mother' home with you. Please bring your own sterilized jars or purchase beautiful bottles appropriate for fermentation and storage. http://farmassistndmicrogreens.eventbrite.com

    11.21.10 Medicinal Herbals To Get You Through The Winter with Stacy Pettigrew

    Mother, Journalist, Permaculturist, Activist and Herbalist Stacy Pettigrew will share her great depth of knowledge and well researched formulas with us just in time for winter cold and flu season. We will also discuss medicine-making. Hands-on activities will include pressing a tincture, and making both an Arnica salve for aches and pains and an anti-viral Elderberry syrup to take home.: http://farmassistherbals.eventbrite.com/

    *****************************************************************

    We are VERY proud to present

    A BETTER world Lecture Series

    Radical Homemaking

    Reclaiming Domesticity From A Consumer Culture

    Shannon Hayes

    November 5, 7:00pm, Saint Mary's, Hudson , NY

    http://radicalhomemakers.eventbrite.com/

    RADICAL HOMEMAKERS:

    RECLAIMING DOMESTICITY FROM A CONSUMER CULTURE

    Mother Nature has shown her hand. Faced with climate change, dwindling resources, and species extinctions, most Americans understand the fundamental steps necessary to solve our global crises - drive less, consume less, increase self-reliance, buy locally, eat locally, rebuild our local communities.

    In essence, the great work we face requires rekindling the home fires.

    Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.

    Radical Homemakers nationwide speak about empowerment, transformation, happiness, and casting aside the pressures of a consumer culture to live in a world where money loses its power to relationships, independent thought, and creativity. If you ever considered quitting a job to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, can green beans and heal the planet, this is your book.

    A suggested donation of $10 and a food pantry item at the door.

    No one will be turned away.

    *****************************************************************

     

    *****************************************************************

  • Workshops are deliberately designed to be low tech, home and small farm -scale and emphasize hands-on-learning so that you can easily incorporate these skills into your routine. All demonstrations will send you home with lots of skills, information and samples, (when possible). Please peruse the entire schedule - you may want to take more than one! Please bring your lunch, beverages and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Also, continue to check the website , as we are constantly adding workshops, lectures and events.

    ..........................and more from 4Winds:

  • SPARK!FIRE: Tools for Change is a program of individual consultation and group playshops that utilizes the principles of EFT and Brain Gym as well as research in psycho-neuro biology and other brainscience as it pertains to learning.  Check out www.emofree.com  and www.braingym.org 
  • JourneyYear is our exciting concept to make learning real -- imagine meeting life on your own terms and finding out what is important to you, how to make a difference, what matters, how to live creatively and make yourself happy... these and other possible ways to engage are the foundation for  a learning adventure.  Not just any learning and not just any adventure, but one that inspires you to grab life and make the most of it while recognizing your unique capacities to make a difference, to contribute, to be daring and break the mold!

 

 

 

"Emphasizing hands-on real world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to the community, enhances students' appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens."

from  Place-Based Education by David Sobel,
Director of Teacher Certification program at
Antioch New England Graduate School.

Part of the Nature Literacy Series from The Orion Society

 

Background

Living Learning is a term coined to describe a process of engaging with the world in a dynamic and natural way that supports an individual's inherent drive to make meaning, while recognizing that there is no "end" to this learning, just an unfolding of the truth in ever widening and deepening aspects.  It requires a collaborative and dialogic approach and an open inquisitiveness that fosters "right relationship" with the world around us. 

The idea for a Living Learning Collaborative grew from the observation that the education we provide our young can perpetuate the conditions that are present and contributing to the world crises that we are experiencing.  It is important to be accountable for how we all have contributed to "the system" and not blame, but resolve to pursue more life-affirming ways of living and learning.  The Living Learning Collaborative is a response to a world that does not see what's really real! Rather than focusing on small definitions of success like test scores, it is preferred to expand the definition of success to be one of "becoming all that one is capable of" in other words, to find one's greatness in the fullest sense possible and then, SHARE THAT WITH THE WORLD.   This requires a shift to a "partnership model", one that celebrates and values life and learning in all of its diversities and interconnections.  Additional thoughts are contained in the GATE document.

   "The inquiry method is not designed to do what older environments try to do.  It works you over in entirely different ways.  It activates different senses, attitudes, and perceptions; it generates a different, bolder, and more potent kind of intelligence… it will cause everything about education to change." -

             ---Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner

 

Real Learning = Student Engagement

 

Our programs are designed to engage the head, heart and hands - the whole person- for an integrated and purposeful learning experience. The programs are reflective of the developmental needs of students-- be they youth or adult, and the needs of the community, locally and globally.  We are also ever mindful of what Nature has to teach us.

 

L


NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY 

The Living Learning Collaborative at Four Winds Farm admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students in the Collaborative.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other collaborative-administered programs