Inspiration Farm on Laurel Road is working in conjunction with Transition Whatcom to offer training in a variety of skills. Their listing of upcoming offerings can be found here.
There are some interesting workshops coming up in the next year: grafting, U-bar building, portable animal shelters, biodynamics, permaculture, scything, water, natural building, low tech energy systems, small homestead dairying, poultry processing.
I just learned about this place. However, it’s been there for awhile. This is a brief description of the place from a 1997 magazine article:
In a world where competition often replaces passion, it is refreshing to find a place where differences are collaborated, on the behalf of the students, in order to further creativity and imagination. A glassblowing studio, a jewelry company, an art gallery, an organic farm, a green house, a beautiful garden, a guest cabin, a pond, a house, and a family. It’s any artists wonderland all rolled into nine acres of land called Inspiration Farm. Located 10 miles from downtown Bellingham, Washington, Inspiration Farm is owned and creatively crafted by husband-and-wife team, Brian Kerkvliet and Alexandra King.
I’ve been experimenting with biodynamics in the garden so will try and make that event. It would also be fun to build a U-bar and learn something about dairying. Good stuff.
David McLeod of Transition Whatcom attended one of the U-bar workshops and wrote the following:
I observed Brian Kerkvliet demonstrate the splendiforous wonders of the broadfork, and how superior it is to spading forks for loosening soil – “a spading fork on steroids!” This tool, otherwise known as a “U-Bar,” is a tool built for standing on, as the tines sink into the soil. You lean back and pull the handles toward you to leverage up the soil in a fairly effortless manner with no strain on your back. According to Brian, “Once you get a rhythm you can loosen a 100 square feet of garden bed in a matter of ten to fifteen minutes, all with low stress!” A very cool feature of this workshop, was that all the materials used for constructing these U-Bars came from Z’s Recyclers or other similar sources – all repurposed materials. Nothing new required, and more products saved from the landfill. ! Finding a powerfully effective tool not requiring fossil fuels was another big bonus!