Category Archives: Sessions

The Work That Reconnects: Practices of Joanna Macy

earthAll of us are impacted by the “long emergency” as we face the challenges of finite natural resources, economic instability, and climate change. How can we live with this awareness without feeling overwhelmed? How can we find resilience and courage? In this session, we will share what is in our hearts about the state of our planet in simple paired conversations. After a brief introduction to Joanna Macy’s “work that reconnects,” we’ll explore ways to overcome psychic numbing and release energy for creative action.

Jeanne Mackey

JeanneMackey60aJeanne Mackey, MSW, is a lifelong musician, community-builder, and change-maker. She was on the organizing team of the first ReSkilling Festival in 2009 and has taken part in every festival since then.  Jeanne is also leading the session Singing in Circle.


Book and Online Resource Recommendations

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How to Make Saurkraut and Kimchi in Your Own Kitchen

Long before refrigeration or modern canning methods were commonplace, people all over the world were preserving their vegetables by fermentation… and they were doing it in their own kitchens!  Saurkraut and Kimchi are two of the most well-known fermented foods.  We’ll show you how to make them in the traditional ways with a step-by-step demonstration on how to make a crock of each kind of kraut.  Sharing will be encouraged, and there will also be samples!  Class participants with prior kraut-making experience will be given the chance to talk about tips and techniques they’ve learned along the way.)

Linda Wan“I am very happy to have made Ann Arbor home these past 20 years.  I make my living as a photographer and for pleasure, I garden and cook.  I’m also very passionate about sustainable living. Being able to finally give something back to the ReSkilling Festival this year is a real pleasure for me. I’ve attended the past two times, and have enjoyed myself very much.  I also enjoy pickles!  Some time ago last year, I received a copy of Sandor Katz’s masterpiece “Wild Fermentation.”  Sandor makes the pickling process so easy and fun.  In this class, I’d love to share what I’ve learned from the master.  I also look forward to learning from my fellow class participants.)”

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Make Your Own Soil Block Transplants

Soil blocks make great transplants for your vegetable garden. Soil blocks offer more nutrients to sustain your plants through the growing season, create a more vigorous root system and it is possible to use no plastic. We will be preparing the soil mix, pressing out the blocks and explaining how to take care of your seedlings. The class is $12 for the soil mix and a tray that holds at least 45 blocks ready for seeding. Participants will learn how to make a soil mix following the recipe of the farmer Eliot Coleman. Pressing out soil blocks and caring for transplants is fun but there are some tricks. We will take the mystery out of the whole process and folks will be on their way to a healthy garden.

This session will have some products available for purchase:

  • $5 for potting mix for 45 soil block transplants using all organic inputs.
  •  $3.50 for each tray type. The two trays nestle together to make one unit
  • $7 for the trays that hold 45 soil blocks.

However, someone may have use for only one type of tray or can bring their own trays. For example, bring a couple of study plastic lids or a couple glass cake pans and they will work fine as seed starting trays. The two tray system we are offering is versatile, reusable and convenient but not necessary.

Ginny Golembiewski – Early Bird

Ginny GGinny has an edible landscaping business, check out her site at She has a degree in Organic and Sustainable Horticulture from MSU. Ginny is a farmer, orchardist, landscaper and a member of Transition Ypsi and the Ypsi Grower’s Coop. Her company offers free consulting and is deeply committed to helping this community be more sustainable, self reliant, and beautiful.

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Cordage From Wild Plants

cordageIn this session, Jason Hogans will teach you how to process dry stalks of the dogbane plant, using their strong fibers to make cordage such as twine, string and rope. Participants will be learn how to identify and harvest eligible wild plants and use their fibers to make cordage.

Jason Hogans – New Culture Earthskills

jasonwilderness“I love wild nature. I love the idea of living in balance with the natural world and teaching wilderness living skills makes me happy. I have been into wilderness living in a hands-on way since about 2006 and have taught at group events like birthday parties and festivals, as well as private tutoring sessions in the setting of my client’s choice.”

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Winter Botany

winter botanyThe natural world is still alive in winter. In this session, we will examine and identify some common plants and look for signs of insect life in the winter season.  Participants will learn what to look for to appreciate nature in winter, and about local groups that they can join to learn more.  Remember, this is an outdoor session, so bring warm clothing!

Ruth Hart – Michigan Botanical Club

“Observing the natural world first hand and being with other people who appreciate the wonder of nature locally delight and inspire me. I continue to learn so much from people in various voluntary organizations such as the Michigan Botanical Club. I want to pass some of it on to others.”


Evidence of Insect Life

Local Organizations Offering Nature Field Trips

Twig Diagram

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Firemaking Without Matches

You don’t need matches to build a fire.  In this hands-on session, we will make fire with an ice lens, batteries and steel wool, flint and steel, a water bottle, a hand drill, and, if time allows, some cellophane and perhaps even more.  Remember, this is an outdoor session, so don’t forget to bring warm clothing!

Nathan Czuba

Cooking over an open fire every day can get pretty tiresome, so Nathan has played with making fire in bizarre ways.  Nathan will also be teaching a session on Mushroom Logs.

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Homemade Nut Milks

Almond_MilkIt is so easy to make your own milks made from nuts and seeds, and way healthy and fun. In this session, Amanda Klain will demonstrate how to make almond milk, hazelnut milk and a surprise milk, then turn them into an even more delectable creation…. Participants will have the opportunity to taste the deliciousness of the ones made in class and will also receive a hand-out with recipes and basic info.

Amanda Klain – Love Fresh

Amanda KlainIf Amanda’s not outside, she’s in the kitchen. Always always always eating, drinking or making beautiful food. Inspired by nature, both wild and cultivated, she brings creativity and inspiration to food preparation, with the emphasis on live, fresh, simple food. Drinks are her passion.


Nut&Seed Milk Info

Nut&Seed Milk Recipes

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