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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Herbal Mini-Course: Wild Herbs for Women's Health

Upcoming Classes:
Herbal Mini-Course: Wild Herbs For Women's Health (Motherwort / Raspberry Leaf / Rose) - 3 part series
Dates: Wednesdays August 8, August 15, August 22 (pre-registration required) REGISTER HERE
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Facilitator: Karin Kliewer, traditional herbalist
Location: Little City Farm

Join this short 3 part herbal mini-series to learn about 3 wild foraged plants used for women's health, that we can find in abundance all around us. In this women's health series we will cover one healing plant per session: motherwort (Leaonurus cardiaca), raspberry leaf (Rhubus ideaus) and rose (Rosa spp.), which are all common wild plants in our city that are not easily over-harvested.

In this hands-on series we will invite you to build a relationship with these plants, by introducing their plant profiles, learning about their historical use and folklore, observing how they grow, harvesting them, and creating healing products together with these plants (with samples to take home). Each participant will also work on a personalized botanical sketch book/journal, where you can keep notes about the history and uses of these plants.

Motherwort - we will an herbal-infused medicinal vinegar
Raspberry leaf - we will make raspberry leaf medicinal tea blend & rasp leaf lemonade
Rose - we will make a rose facial toner/after sun spray & learn about making hydrosols

Please inform us of any allergies at time of registration. We may be using olive oil, cocoa butter, local beeswax, honey,and certain essential oils in our classes.

More info & registration here.

Herbal Mini-Course: Wild Herbs for First Aid



Upcoming Workshops:
Herbal Mini-Course: Wild Herbs for First Aid (Plantain / Yarrow / Comfrey) - 3 part series
Dates: Wednesdays July 11, July 18, July 25 (pre-registration required) REGISTER HERE
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Facilitator: Karin Kliewer, traditional herbalist
Location: Little City Farm

Join this short 3 part herbal mini-series to learn about 3 wild foraged first aid plants we can find in abundance all around us. In this first aid series we will cover one healing plant per session: plantain (Plantago major), yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and comfrey (Symphytum officinalis), which are all common wild plants in our city that are not easily over-harvested.

In this hands-on series we will invite you to build a relationship with these plants, by introducing their plant profiles, learning about their historical use and folklore, observing how they grow, harvesting them, and creating healing products together with these plants (with samples to take home). Each participant will also work on a personalized botanical sketch book/journal, where you can keep notes about the history and uses of these plants.

Plantain - we will make an after bug bite bath blend & nourishing plantain smoothie
Yarrow - we will make a wound oil & first aid liniment
Comfrey - we will make a healing salve

Please inform us of any allergies at time of registration. We may be using olive oil, cocoa butter, local beeswax, and certain essential oils in our classes.

More info & registration here.

Calendula Workshop! Learn to make 12 healing projects with this wonderful healing plant



Upcoming Workshop:
Calendula! 12 healing projects, and learn to grow, harvest, dry & use this healing plant
Date: Sat, July 21 (pre-registration required)  REGISTER HERE
Time: 1-3 pm
Facilitator: Karin Kliewer, traditional herbalist
Location: Little City Farm

Join this hands-on herbal class focusing on the well-known and loved healing plant ally Calendula. This anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, skin soothing plant has been used for hundreds of years around the world as a healing herb. It is so revered that it has been considered a sacred flower in several cultures, including India, Mexico, and by the ancient Mayan and Aztec. We will cover all you need to know for growing, harvesting, drying and using this gorgeous flower.

We will share our 12+ favourite uses for the treasured calendula: from daily skin and lip care; to first aid remedies for cuts & scrapes; healing salve for rashes; homemade calendula hydrosol (aka. flower water); soothing bath blend; uplifting tea blend; stomach soothing food plant; traditional dye plant; & more.

During the class you will learn how to prepare calendula oil, salve, tincture, tea, and bath blend, and when/how to use them. We will also talk about how to make homemade high quality hydrosols (healing flower waters). Each participant will make and take home:
  • a calendula tea blend
  • a calendula healing salve / lipbalm
  • plant a small container garden with calendula seeds to take home and grow
  • small sample of calendula hydrosol (if we complete this during our class)
Calendula grows quickly and you don't need a large garden for calendula, it can be grown in any sunny location such as a patio, balcony, driveway, small yard, community garden plot, etc.

Please inform us of any allergies at time of registration. We will be using olive oil, cocoa butter, local beeswax, and certain essential oils in our class.

More info & registration here.

Healing Herbal Summer Drinks Workshop! Making Herbal Sun Teas, Syrups, Shrubs, Lacto-Fermented Sodas

Upcoming Workshop:
Healing Herbal Summer Drinks! Making Herbal Sun Teas, Herbal Syrups, Herb-Fruit Shrubs & Lacto-Fermented Sodas

Date: Sat, July 7 (pre-registration required)  REGISTER HERE
Time: 1-3 pm
Facilitator: Karin Kliewer, traditional herbalist
Location: at Little City Farm

Herbal summer drinks are a delicious way to beat the heat AND get nourishing, creative flavours (without refined sugar) made right from your garden.

All of these herbal drinks, which were once common and popular, are again seeing a revival. And for good reason! These drinks are flavourful, healthful, and endlessly creative in the combinations you can come up with, Many of these drinks (syrups, shrubs and sodas) also have a fairly lengthy shelf-life, allowing your to make larger batches that can last all summer long for your drink mixing.

In this hands-on class we will introduce you to 4 types of wonderful herbal-based drinks you can easily make at home:
  • herbal sun tea,
  • herbal syrups,
  • herbal shrubs (raw apple cider vinegar infused fruit-herb combinations),
  • lacto-fermented sodas (and lacto-fermented ginger-ale)

You will get the chance to taste a wide variety of the amazing flavour combinations, and participate in making your own ginger bug and personalized herbal shrub to take home.

More info & registration here.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Sourdough, beautiful sourdough

We love sourdough.  We use our starter several times a week, for breads but also other sourdough treats like pancakes and cookies.  We've basically converted all our baking to sourdough now, because we love the process, the flavours, the forgiving nature of timing when baking with sourdough, and most importantly the fact that the baked goods are more healthful and digestable for us.  Here are some photos from our recent sourdough class.  And a spring wood-fired cob oven baking class is coming up in May, for those of you who wish to learn to bake with FIRE!






Next Fermentation Class April 14! and NEW, The Seasonal Spread fermentation gatherings at Little City Farm

Make kraut!  It's so simple, so healthful, so delicious, and so affordable when you make it at home!  Take part in the next Fermentation Workshop, on Sat April 14 at Little City Farm.  More details here.

And join us at Little City Farm for The Seasonal Spread: Grow, Forage, Ferment, monthly fermentation demos featuring seasonal produce and wild edibles.  May 2 (SOLD OUT), and June 6 registration available now.


Black Walnut Syrup - our 4th season!

We've been busy tapping our trees the past weeks.  It's the black walnuts (Juglans nigra) that we tap, as we don't have any sugar maples or other substantially sized maples in our yard.   There are only 3
large black walnuts on this property, but enough to get a real taste for the whole tapping process. 

This year we set up some of our taps at 2-year old height, so our little guy could easily check the buckets by himself.   Both kids eagerly added this to the daily chore routine, getting tastes of fresh sap every day.  We boiled down over a fire using shallow pans, then finished the syrup indoors on the stove.  It was a 2-day boiling down process, but worth it!

Once the trees start to bud the tapping season is over, and it can last from a few days to a few weeks (this year it was a few weeks for us, but the weather this spring has been sooo unpredictable - it is snowing again right now!).   4 litres of delicious sweet syrup were accomplished in the end, plus lots of sampling of the "sweet water" along the way and some black walnut taffy - yummm!







Saturday, January 27, 2018

2 Fermentation Classes next weekend - sign up soon!

Strengthen your health, boost your immune system, and build overall vitality this winter with delicious lacto-fermented vegetable krauts, pickles, and kimchi.  Join us for one of our hands-on fermentation classes, to learn all you need to know to confidently make your own ferments at home, brimming with healthy microbes to boost your gut health and build immunity through the cold and flu season (and all year round!).  We'll be tasting various veggie ferments so you can experience the range of complex flavours and tastes.  Then we'll be making root veggie krauts with local organic vegetables, plus herbs and spices to round out your choices of flavour - topping up with the all important sea salt brine.  Participants each take home a large jar of kraut!  Read more, or register for our Feb 3 or Feb 4 classes here.

Classes are held at Little City Farm - spots are still open so sign up soon!  Here are some photos from our previous kraut-making workshop. 




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Organic Gardening Course at Little City Farm - 6 part series starting Jan 17!




Dates: 6 Wednesday evenings, Jan 17, 24, 31, Feb 14, 21, 28 (NO CLASS on Feb 7)
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm on each evening
Facilitator: Angie Koch, from Fertile Ground Farm
Class Location: Little City Farm, 508 Duke St W, Kitchener

REGISTER HERE NOW!

Are you serious about gaining more knowledge for developing a productive organic garden? Join us this winter for this very exciting 6 part intensive organic gardening course. 10 participants will have the opportunity to take part in this series, which will include 6 guided workshops, with opportunity for each participant to develop and complete an individual garden plan.


These classes will be facilitated by local organic farmer Angie Koch, from Fertile Ground Farm (located just west of Waterloo, near St. Agatha).  Angie has operated a market garden, CSA (community supported agriculture), for the past 10 years.  Her farm has grown to include a number of seasonal staff, interns, volunteers, as well as chickens, herb gardens, pollinator gardens, beehives, seed saving gardens, a greenhouse for seedlings, and more!  Angie is involved in Canadian Organic Growers, and the Ecological Farmers Association, as well as a part-time staff member at Seeds of Diversity.  This is a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from Angie's 10 years of organic farming experience!  Bring your notebook, your garden ideas, and your questions. 

View this short video to see Angie's beautiful organic farm!

Organic Gardening Course Outline:
Week 1: Seed and Seedling Starting - including basic plant botany
Week 2: Garden Planning Part One - succession planting for continuous harvest
Week 3: Garden Planning Part Two - using space effectively
Week 4: Soil Biology & Fertility - using organic methods
Week 5: Pest Management, Seed Saving, and Attracting Beneficial Insects
Week 6: Overflow, Q&A & Individual Garden Plans Wrap-Up - final developing, feedback and completion of individual garden plans

Please note: we need a minimum of 7 participants in order to offer this course.  We will notify you one week prior to the first class, to confirm details and what to bring along.

For more information about this course, and to register visit our course page here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Plant-inspired Solstice lanterns!

Happy soon-to-be longest night everyone! 

We are preparing for the winter Solstice with our herbal mother-daughter group this week, by making plant-inspired lanterns.  The simplest form is leaf and flower shapes punched into tin cans; the next is pressed leaves modge-podged onto glass mason jars - lovely!  The last is seen here, a slightly more elaborate lantern made with a twig frame (in our case grape vine) and pressed leaf "window" panes to let the candlelight through.  So beautiful!  There are many easy DIY lantern ideas out there, the best I think is using materials you already have around the garden or home.  Happy Solstice!






Sunday, December 03, 2017

GRATITUDE2017: 25% off SALE at Homestead Herbals this month

We are offering a special sale at Homestead Herbals this month, in gratitude for the support we have seen from our friends, family and customers this year.  Thank you for supporting the work of Little City Farm and our herbal project Homestead Herbals (where we make natural soaps, herbal remedies, salves, bitters and more using organic and wild-harvested herbs, many from our own property!)

We are offering 25% off everything in the Homestead Herbals shop, until December 23!  This sale applies to Canadian customers only (sorry, right now we are only able to ship in Canada).

Use the coupon code: GRATITUDE2017
to receive 25% off your entire purchase
(AND for local orders we will refund you shipping charges if you wish to pick up in person)!

This is the time to stock up on our popular calendula salve, calendula soap, post-partum bath herbs, baby bath herbs, healing balms, and other natural soaps.  Also, in our shop you'll find new varieties of soaps, new salves, elderberry syrup, elixirs, herbal chai blend, unscented herbal deodorants, herbal first aid kits, digestive bitters, shrubs (sipping vinegars), tea blends, and more!











Mother-Daughter Herbal Immersion wrap-up







Can we believe that these flowers were picked only a few weeks ago?  This fall has extended itself on and on this year.  

These photos were from one of our final sessions in the Mother-Daughter Herbal Immersion group, where each family created their own botanical artwork by "framing" herbs and flowers from the garden which we had been using in our classes.  The group met once a week through the fall to explore herbs, learning plant history and folklore, medicine-making, wild-harvesting, documentation, and building relationships with these beautiful healing plants through story, botanical journalling, and hands-on projects.  

This Mother-Daughter group is wrapping up now for the winter, but will be offered again in Spring 2018 (starting in April).  We'll be working with one herb/wild plant each week including violet, chickweed, nettle, mallow and dandelion!  The group is small, 4-5 families can participate, with the girls being aged 7+.  More information will be posted here.