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.

Hands-On Learning on the Farm

Charlene and Richard began developing Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and Learning Center long before the 3rd grade through high school students that came to visit last month were even born. Yet having the 76 girls from the Chicas Youth Development Program explore, discover, and learn from this land was just what they had in mind over thirty years ago. Back in the 80’s they began to build organic soil, plant a diverse orchard, develop an infrastructure to support an urban farm, and focus on how they could help neighbors and community members of all ages learn about sustainable and healthy food and farming.

Join the 3rd through 5th grade members of the Chicas Youth Development Program, a Adelante Mujeres program, as they spend the day on the farm.

(clockwise from left) Kathy Alvares explores the taste of freshly ground flour; Abigail Grande inspects a water feature; Andrea Tellez seasons the garden salsa she helped make.

(clockwise from left) The table is set and ready for the Chicas lunch; signs throughout the garden stand ready to guide students in learning; Charlene talks with volunteers about the various work stations for the day; onions lay in wait, ready to harvest for salsa-making.

Plenty of preparation takes place before the Chicas visit. Charlene and Richard, the co-farmers at Nana Cardoon, worked with Eden Acres, an environmental literacy organization, to design an activity-packed day filled with hands-on learning. Over 10 volunteers also participate during the program — from setting up the learning stations to manning the grill, from leading projects to washing dishes.

(clockwise from left) Cytlalli Najera grinds wheat on the bicycle  grinder; Richard talks about how wheat is harvested and the process to prepare it for use with (l to r) Leticia Guiterrez, Yuliana Garfias and Andrea Tellez; Kathy Alvarez (l) and Natalia Martinez (r) sift the freshly ground wheat.

A focus on the cycle of soil to seeds, planting, tending, and harvest is always present at Nana Cardoon. Also, how the harvest comes to table plays an important role, and was highlighted for the young students as they ground freshly harvested wheat using the bicycle-powered grinder.

(clockwise from top left) Janette Santiago grinds corn as Charlene looks on; the molino; Charlene helps Natalia Martinez  grind corn; a handful of the organic corn to be ground and used for tortillas.

Grinding the organic corn that was made into tortillas, cooked on the outdoor grill, and then tasted by the girls, opened up a discussion about various ways our food is produced and processed. The hands-on activity helped make the concept of good, clean and healthy ingredients and foods more understandable.

(clockwise from top left) all salsa ingredients, except lime, were harvested at Nana Cardoon; Amalia Guzman uses a stone mortar and pestle; (l to r) Itzel Ortiz, Yuliana Garfias, Leticia Guiterrez work together to make salsa; Moncerrat Villanueva crushes the vegetables for the salsa. 

“Going to Nana Cardoon offered the participants the experience to link cultural traditions with food in a fun and interactive way. Physically making their own salsa and picking their fresh salad ingredients made them feel special and important to be part of old and new traditions.” Andrea Chunga-Celis, Chicas Program Site Facilitator

(clockwise from top left) (l to r) Hatziri Mandujano, Kathy Alvarez, Yamil Gaona and Natalia Martinez help Richard harvest potatoes; volunteer Elena Rasmussen at the grill; potato harvest

One of the morning projects got the girls out in the garden digging potatoes that were then later served at lunch.

“Knowing where their food comes from really gives kids something to think about. They start to make the connections and it’s like a light goes off. That’s a joy to see!” Richard

(clockwise from top) Lunch of garden greens, potatoes; fresh salsa, beans, and tortillas; the Chicas enjoy the meal they just helped to make; a plate of the freshly made tortillas; Charlene and Leticia Aguilar, Chicas Program Coordinator, serve up the plates.

“An important part of food and culture is the lost art of sitting together at table and enjoying food and conversation. The long table, the relaxed outdoor setting, and inviting the girls to sit and be served, offers the Chicas time to focus on their food and each other during their lunch.” Charlene

(clockwise from top left) (l to r) Daniela Garcia, Brianna Garcia and Emma Aguilar spread mulch on the bush beans; Janette Santiago with Richard working in the field: discussion time for one of the groups; exploring soil and worms!

After lunch the Chicas helped mulch some of the crops as they learned about water conservation. Then they got a look, and feel, of composted soil complete with the worms. Nana Cardoon gets all the senses involved in the learning process.

(clockwise from top left) Charlene and Elena Rasmussen after a happy day with the Chicas; a thank you signed by all; 3rd-5th graders from the Chicas Program with Charlene, Richard, Adelante Mujeres program staff, and volunteers.

The many smiles express the delight of all!

“Can I come back to Nana Cardoon?” Chicas comment after farm visit.

Thank you to our partners: Adelante Mujeres Chicas Youth Development Program and EdenAcres

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

Classes at Nana Cardoon

Nana Cardoon 2015 classes are open for discovery!

Learn how to carve your own wooden spoon. Explore the importance of water in our food. Investigate nutrient density, seed saving, homesteading , and building composts. These are just a few of the class topics in the Nana Cardoon 2015 educational series.

Our instructors, working practitioners and experts in their subject, offer community members, farmers, gardeners, and teachers an in-depth experience in a wide variety of food and farming 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 long table fills with a farm fresh lunch at midday. The ever-changing orchards, rich garden beds and sown fields surround you.

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

Check out the full list of classes, then contact Charlene to save your place in the classroom and at the table!