Explore & Discover: 2017 Classes

From carving and scything, to basket weaving, preserving and much more, the Nana Cardoon 2017 class schedule offers a great way to slow down and learn new skills, crafts, preserving, and food preparation. Plus spent the day at the farm with others interested in farm culture and traditions, too.
Join instructors who have honed their craft over a lifetime and use their talent and experience each day to create foods, tools, gardens and other useful products. Bring your curiosity. Get ready to explore. Sign up for a class and take home new skills and friendships from a day on the farm.
Take a look at the class list, and contact Charlene, charlene@nanacardoon.com or 503-357-4992, with questions or to sign up for a session.

2016 classes open for discovery!

Learn how to carve your own wooden spoon, or create a plan for building your own nutritious food forest. Become well versed in the art of basic garment construction, natural dyes, or weaving a traditional foraging basket. Paint, prepare and eat a Cuban meal. Plus gain the knowledge and skills to preserve seasonal foods in the new Larder & Pantry Sessions. These are just a few of the class topics in the Nana Cardoon 2016 educational series.

Kiko helping a student with his spoon

Kiko helping a student with his spoon

Taught by working practitioners and experts in their subject, the classes offer community members, farmers, gardeners, and teachers an in-depth experience in a wide variety of traditional food and craft subjects.

Each class offers a wealth of information through hands-on projects, presentations, and discussion. A wood-fired oven shares the classroom space and bicycles build to grind grain wait for the willing rider nearby. The ever-changing orchards, rich garden beds and sown fields surround you. All classes include a farm fresh meal and rich conversation at the long community table.

Marcella making salsa

Marcella and student making Salsa

Don’t wait long to sign up, space is limited to ensure the best experience for all.

eating lunch

Sharing a meal at the community tab

 

 

 

 

To register for a class, or for more information, contact Charlene at 503-357-4992 or at charlene@nanacardoon.com and save your place in the classroom and at the table!

Sala Painting, Creating & Eating

A day of creativity awaits 12 students as artist and teacher Marcella Kriebel guides the class through painting vegetables and making salsa. Turning farm-raised corn into tortillas is Charlene’s focus, and with Richard at the grill brunch is in good hands!

Marcella provides guidance for beginners and advanced painters alike — everyone is creative!

Charlene shares a peek at the farm-grown corn to be made into tortillas. The molino does the trick and soon tortillas are ready for the grill.

Marcella and class are busy making salsa – with fresh picked peppers and other ingredients from the farm.

Brunch tastes fantastic, right down to the last slurp – south of the border style!

This is too much fun!

Missed this event? Don’t wait to sign up for Margarita Shake Up: An Evening of Painting & Dining on the Farm! — October 2nd. Marcella will be back with another creative class — check it out and save your seat at the table.

The Value of a Spoon

Artist and teacher Kiko Denzer shares his thoughts on spoons, and so much more.

Everybody eats, everybody uses a spoon. Many people have favorite spoons. What makes one spoon different than the rest? Why does he like this one, and she like that one?

A handmade wooden spoon from Haiti

A handmade wooden spoon from Haiti.

In our first workshop Greg Kreibel described a favorite cooking spoon (see photo) that he’d bought cheap from an “import plaza,” w/a tag that said “made in Haiti.” He said (roughly) that “it’s our favorite spoon: we’ve had it forever, it was cheap, handmade, and we use it for everything.”

An offhand comment? Perhaps, but it means so much: “our favorite spoon” says (to me) “our most valuable spoon.” Where does such value come from? Does it come from a famous name artist? A sky-high price tag? Exceptional rarity? NO! In fact, it comes from exactly the opposites of those things: it’s cheap and common — just another spoon in an import store, hand-made, yes, but by an anonymous person just trying to make a living — someone probably more like us than different. Second, it’s useful for everything; it doesn’t just hang on the wall. And everyone likes it. It was a completely spontaneous comment about what constitutes value, which is not dollars, but love, longevity, and connection.

These basic values underly all value; without them — without spoons to eat with, and things to eat; without flowers and the bees that pollinate the fruit; without worms to feed the roots of the grass that feeds the cow, that feeds us —  without such small, daily beauty — we would live lives of terrible poverty. Or we would not live at all…

We understand this only by participating in it — by growing and eating food, building our houses, and carving our spoons and bowls — for ourselves, and for others — because one can’t participate alone — because beauty, skill, and knowledge must all be passed on, from eye to hand, from hand to heart, to anothers’ hand — from parent to child and from teacher to student. And while we may all eat with our own individual, private spoons, we all ultimately take our nourishment from one vessel, shaped out of earth, cooked by the heat of the sun, cooled by the breezes, and celebrated as part of a shared story…

These are the roots of culture. So a spoon begins with a tree, and the tree takes us back into a garden that we share with all creation.

Kiko Denzer

Charlene and Kiko at the recent spoon carving class

Charlene and Kiko at the spoon carving class.

Richard and I first met Kiko at an earth oven workshop he was leading in the Corvallis area 12 years ago.  A year after that, Kiko led a Slow Food Workshop here at Nana Cardoon, where we built our earth oven.

Since then Kiko and I usually attend The Grain Gathering Conference, held annually at the Mount Vernon Extension of WSU.  It was there we started talking about presenting a spoon carving class here on the farm as part of our focus on traditional and artisan cooking tools.

Kiko is an artist above all, in philosophy, in sculpture, and in how he lives life.  We have enjoyed being with him and his family on several occasions.

He is a treasure on so many levels, and the opportunity to work with him personally is a true gift.

Charlene

 

Carving Your Own Wooden Spoon

This spring eleven students enjoyed a day of hands-on learning at Nana Cardoon. Check out their journey from beginning with an applewood log, to ending with their own wooden spoon.

With hatchets ready, logs neatly piled, and examples of the spoon in various stages of making, artist and instructor Kiko Denzer explains the process and craft of designing and making a wooden spoon.

Each spoon begins with finding the perfect log, and getting it to the right length, too!

Working together to split the log.

Kiko demonstrates the many stages of spoon making, from the shape of a spoon to how each tool is used.

Students use hatchets and knifes to begin carving out the spoon shape.

Yes, that’s a cow with real cream. What else comes with a coffee break?

Then there is the spoon carving knife! Each knife is hand-made, beautifully crafted, and very sharp. The knife is included with the class, so students take the knife home to make more spoons for family and friends . Kiko mentions everyone should give away the spoons they make today, so they’ll make another one. (Everyone seems attached to their spoon at the end of the day – not sure how many were given away.)

The class doesn’t bother the local resident birds. This bird continues to feed its young just a few feet above all the action.

Mid-day break happens over a farm-fresh lunch. Everyone enjoys just-picked greens, farm-grown polenta, cardoons in a tomato sauce, farm-made cheeses, and the first strawberries of the season topped with Charlene’s own kefir-fermented creme fraiche for dessert.

More instruction, more carving – and the afternoon passes quickly.

“I didn’t believe I’d really make a spoon out of that log today,” a student states. Yet everyone crafts a beautiful and unique wooden spoon to take home.

Because the class was so popular another session has been added on August 15th. For more information or to reserve your seat contact Charlene at 503-357-4992 or at charlene@nanacardoon.com