December 2017 Newsletter

Click anywhere on the newsletter below to see a copy with interactive links!

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December 20, 2017 · 10:39 am

Eco-Challenge Potluck & The Work That Reconnects Workshop plus Co-counseling

December 8th 5:308:30pm
1979 Mckinley, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(Parking along the street and in the driveway)

Arrive at 5:30-6pm for the potluck. Bring your own dish to pass and the recipe for our community recipe book.

We will invite you to get food at 6pm. Until then, we’ll talk amongst ourselves about the Food Eco-Challenge. What conscious decisions do you make in your life to make low-impact, sustainable food choices? Did you try anything new since the last potluck?

We will reveal the next Eco-challenge topic before we transition to the workshop at 6:30pm.

**This is a family-friendly event – kid’s activity available during workshop.**

Workshop Description:

The Work That Reconnects – An intro to co-counseling and the practices of Joanna Macy.

How can we find the resilience and courage to face the challenges of these times? In this session, we will practice ways of releasing fear and anger and reconnecting to what sustains us. The first hour will be an introduction to co-counseling–a peer process for two or more people to heal past and present hurts, celebrate growth, and make intentional change.  The second hour starts with a brief introduction to eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and her “work that reconnects.” In simple paired conversations, we will share what is in our hearts about the state of our world.

Facilitator Bios:

  • Jeanne Mackey, MSW, is a lifelong musician, community-builder, and change-maker. She was on the organizing team of the first ReSkilling Festival in 2009.
  • Edi Estey is an Herbalist, educator, avid Co-counselor, nature enthusiast, and on the Ann Arbor Reskilling organizing team.

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Thanks for a great October event!

Thank you to all who made it out to the October Eco-challenge potluck and Earth-plastering skill-share!

This was the first event held in several months and it was wonderful to see so much interest in building the Reskilling community. Guests at the potluck learned about Reskilling’s origins from the Transition Movement and how Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling promotes resilience and builds community.

Guests also learned about the Eco-Challenge and how Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling will be using the challenge as a platform for fueling discussions about how we can make greener choices in our daily lives. (See more about the Eco-Challenge below!)

Basic earth-plastering using clay and straw was taught by Jacob Gnath, an intern of Deanne Bednar at the Strawbale Studio in Oxford, MI. He showed how to sift clay, what the correct ratios of sand-clay are for plastering, and how to apply the plaster over an existing surface.  Guests had a great time getting their hands dirty by helping transform a community space!
We look forward to seeing everyone on December 8th at our next event!


Strawbale Studio

Come learn sustainable living skills!   248-236-5432  Located outside Oxford, MI  ~1 hr N of Detroit. Enchanting thatched & living roofs, strawbale cottage, Hobbit Sauna, Earth Oven, Rocket Stoves  +  Group Discounts & some scholarships available. Hands-on Classes below!  Details at website.

Internship / Worktrade – April thru October & January

Come for a few weeks, or more. Live and work on site, participating in NATURAL BUILDING, sustainable activities & workshops during your stay.

December 9 & December 10, 2017  same class offered 2x! 
CANDLE-MAKING & Holiday Gift Class Enjoy the season by making dipped beeswax candles + other natural gifts. $30 early bird special*/$40 thereafter. Limit of 12. Register soon. 


**SCHEDULE a wksp / tour for your group

Ypsilanti Everything Is Free Faire

Ypsilanti Everything Is Free Faire joined us at our October event to share what they have been working on and how it pairs well with Reskilling!

Learn more about their human-directory project and their ambition to connect community members to share skills and services.

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Join Ann Arbor-Ypsi in the Eco-Challenge! – Oct. 11-25

Hi All,

You are invited and encouraged to join the Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling Eco-Challenge team!

The Eco-Challenge is a two-week challenge that gives you the opportunity to work on one or more specific actions that will reduce your impact on the environment. The Eco-Challenge has categorized nine different areas of our lifestyles (see categories below), each of which has several specific actions to choose from. You pick your Challenge and set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes a difference for you, your community, and the planet. You can even “Create Your Own” challenge if you have a specific action in mind you’d like to work on to reduce your environmental impact!



Often times we might feel that our individual actions are so small they don’t make much of a difference. Join our team and see how just one group of committed individual’s collective action can make a huge difference!


How to join our team:

  1. Follow this link to the Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling team page!

  2. Near the top of the page on the right, click on “JOIN THIS TEAM”

  3. Fill out form with your information to make your own profile.

  4. Once registered, browse the 9 categories & choose one or more actions to work on!

The Eco-Challenge kicks off on October 11th and lasts for 2 weeks. Be sure to log into your account each day of the challenge to track progress and accrue points!

Interested in the Eco-Challenge but unable to participate in the two-week October challenge? You’re in luck! We will be using the Eco-Challenge as a springboard for discussion and personal endeavors at our monthly potlucks.

All our best,
Ann Arbor-Ypsi Reskilling Organizing Team

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Ann Arbor – Ypsi ReSkilling: Eco-Challenge Potluck & Earth Plastering Basics

That’s right, we changed our name! We feel this new name reflects our view that community knows no borders.

Come learn more about how we plan to move forward in our community, enjoy good food and company, and participate in a natural building skill share workshop!

October 19th, 2017, 5:30pm-8:30pm
1979 Mckinley, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(parking available on street or in the drive)

Families welcome!

* Please bring a dish to pass (don’t forget your serving spoon) and your own plate, eating utensils, and napkin.

** If you can, bring: Your dish’s recipe (we plan to compile a communal recipe book) & a musical instrument for a bonfire after the event.

Earth Plastering and Cob Basics

Get your hands dirty and help transform a community space by learning basic earth plastering using clay and straw. This two-hour workshop will be the start to transforming a garage into an eco-friendly community work and play space. Learn correct ratios of sand-clay for plastering, how to sift clay, and how to apply over an existing structure.

About the teacher: Jacob Gnath was an intern of Deanne Bednar at the Stawbale Studio in Oxford, MI.  He has 3 months of hands on experience working with natural building. He also loves to play music and wants to teach guitar.

(The event is being put on in cooperation with and featuring Ypsilanti Everything is Free Faire.)

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Nature and Nurture Farm Harvest Festival

Join friends of Reskilling at the 2017 Nature and Nurture Farm Harvest Festival!

When: Saturday, Aug 19th, 4:00pm-12am and beyond

Where: 7100 Marshall Rd, Dexter, MI 48130

Mike Levine and Erica Kempter are past presenters for Reskilling and, now, are eager to share their farm with you! Their personal invitation follows:

You are cordially invited to our beautiful certified organic heirloom seed farm for an evening full of tasty fun with heirloom food tastings, farm tours, potluck, live music, and community!


4:30-6:00pm Kids Activities: Face painting, frisbee, cornhole, croquet, and other outdoor fun!

4:305:30, & 6:30 Guided farm tours

5:00 Tasting of heirloom tomatoes and other yummy stuff

6:00 Potluck dinner

7:00 Live Music – Seth Torkelson-Regan

9:00 Live Music – Dave Levy (of Dead Again, the People Movers, Deep Space Six, & Covert) and Friends

10:00 Bonfire

10:30pm More Live Music TBA

Suggested Donation of $10 is appreciated and will go to supporting the cool things we are doing here at Nature and Nurture Farm.
Children, Students, Seniors, Farmers and other financially challenged get in free, but donations are always welcome.
Volunteering in lieu of donation is also an option, there will be sign up sheets at the event!

Like and Share our Facebook Event page Nature & Nurture Farm Harvest Festival

We hope you can join us!

Erica, Mike, and the team at Nature and Nurture Farm

Nature and Nurture, LLC – our gardening service  – our seed catalog
734-929-0802 office


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How to Make a Basic Pant that Fits!

6 – 8:30pm, Saturday, November 12th  2016

Northside Community Center 

809 Taylor St., Ann Arbor, MI 48105

6pm ~ Potluck ~ Bring a dish to pass (seasonal and local foods highly encouraged!) & washable plate/cup/fork.  The potluck is open to everyone, even those not attending the workshop!

7pm ~ Skill Share ~

In this workshop, Kari Lewis, B.A. in Fashion Design, will help you create a pattern for a basic pair of pants from scratch!basicpant You will also be advised on the best materials to make your pants from and receive a step-by-step tutorial on how to construct, hem and put the finishing touches on your pants at home!

Supplies to bring with you: pencil, measuring tape, a see-through sewing ruler ($4 at Joann Fabrics), and two rectangular disposable tablecloths in white or off-white (something the pencil will show up on).

Space is limited for the workshop, please pre-register so we can ensure everyone has enough room to work. 

Pre-register at

Free, but donations greatly appreciated to help us cover our costs!

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