You don’t have to be a farmer or gardener to reap the benefits of the harvest. Local farmers can teach you how to live off the earth and develop new (old-school) skills.
In Boulder County, you can find a range of interesting workshops and classes at local farms to teach you everything, from how to make your own herbal medicines to how to make goat cheese from scratch.
For example, the Lyons Farmette can teach you about bee-keeping, flower-arranging, bitters and cocktails, knitting, edible flowers, flower-growing, vermicomposting and how to keep chickens.
The Cure Organic Farm occasionally offers how-tos on fiber art and farm-fresh botanical dyeing.
Growing Gardens can teach you about pasta-making, bee-keeping, farm-to-table cooking and canning and preserving.
And the Three Leaf Farm has workshops about the tarot, making jams and jellies and folklore surrounding old trees.
Here’s a closer peek at some of the education opportunities at local farms.
Medicine-Making: Three Leaf Farm offers regular workshops on how to make your own herbal medicines. For example, Aug. 5 features a class on Oils and Salves. The farm owner works with a certified herbalist to teach you how to use fresh and dried plants to improve your health. Participants will walk around the farm and learn about useful plants, watch a demo on how to make oils and then make their own oil to take home.
Cheese-Making: Mmm, cheese. Learn to make your own at the Mountain Flower Dairy in Longmont. The hands-on Art of Cheese classes are led by a dairy goat farmer in a special Cheese Education Center in the Haystack Mountain Creamery, or at the dairy goat farm near Longmont. Find the full list of classes on The Art of Cheese’s website. Offerings include cheese-making paired with wines, cheese-making date nights, quick and easy cheeses and cheese-making with a farm tour and baby goats. That last one tends to sell out quickly. Because baby goats.
Woodland-Style Centerpieces: Whether you’re planning a wedding or just want a way to spruce up your table, the Lyons Farmette offers a class mid-August on centerpiece-making. Learn how to arrange dried and fresh elements; how to prepare and process flowers; and design basics. Participants can pick a container and various colored flowers to match their own style.
Folklore and Witchcraft: Curious about (the truth of) witchcraft (not just the legends about flying broomsticks)? You can learn more at Three Leaf Farms in its Folklore and Witchcraft workshop. Right in time for Halloween on Oct. 28, you can educate yourself on how people have used herbs, roots and flowers for medicinal and spiritual purposes for centuries.
The class will include learning about herbs and related history and folklore, a guided meditation and the chance to make a personal Herbal Spirit Charm, such as a dream pillow, prayer bottle or medicine bag.
Soap-Making: Various farms offer classes on making your own soap. Mountain Flower Dairy’s class pairs its soap classes with baby goats. A farmhand and herbalist will teach participants how to make goat milk from scratch, plus provide a farm tour so you can meet the goats who provided the milk for the soap. Everyone leaves with their own soap bar, which can be personalized with essential oils and dried flowers.