Autumn…Season of mists and… learning new skills (apparently!)

photo P1000600 (1)  patchwork 1

Early September can be a magical time of the year with cool bright mornings, butterflies and bees busy making the most of the nectar, dew covered blooms, blackberries ripening in the sunshine and mists of course! It seems that the end of the summer also marks a clear change in our consciousness to start learning some new skills again.

Here at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre we are trying to keep up with this insatiable demand by providing a diverse range of short courses and workshops. From conservation and habitat management to sustainable living and natural crafts we aim to cater for all of your interests and needs.

The following list offers a flavour of what’s in store over the next few months. Now really is a good time to take stock, make decisions and grasp opportunities for new learning. For those of you who fancy a complete break for a few days we also provide great value self-catering accommodation in the Eco Lodge or shared dormitories. We hope you are with us.

Ferns

Sat 21st September – Gain the knowledge and skills to appreciate and confidently identify British ferns. An accessible introduction to this fascinating plant group.  Tutor: Margaret Howells

Breadmaking

Sun 22nd September – WEA Essential skills course contextualised into a bread making workshop. Free workshop for working people who live in Ceredigion & Carmarthen. Tutor: Luke

Lacto-Fermentation: Making Sauerkraut and cultured Pickles

Wed 25th September – In this hands-on workshop, we will learn about the science, method and magic of “wild fermentation,” as we transform local, seasonal gluts into delicious treats with global flavours. Tutor: Annie Levy

The Call of the Earth – Nourishment for the Autumn

Thurs 26th September – An experimental cooking workshop exploring how food affects the body on an energetic level; centering and sustaining your energy. Tutor: Linda Davey

“Add at least one more level to your appreciation of why it makes so much sense to create delicious meals, using the ingredients and methods that best unleash the tastes and goodness our bodies need as the season changes! I have been on a couple of courses led by Linda Davey and can thoroughly recommend her approach!” Linda Winn

Ultimate Up-Cycling – Patchwork Quilts

Three part workshop: Thurs 10th, 24th Oct & 7th Nov – Make a beautiful and unique patchwork quilt, for yourself or as a special gift for a loved one, from design to completion. Tutor: Kate Murray

Reading the Landscape

Fri 18th – Sun 20th October – Learning to ‘read’ and understand the landscape is both an important part of designing sustainable land use and a fascinating pastime. It enables you to understand what makes a particular landscape the way it is, how it works and how it changes through time. This unique course will include how to identify & learn from trees, what wild plants can tell us about the soil, the effect of microclimates and how landscapes change through natural succession. Much of the course takes place out on the land, exploring the landscape at first hand with additional examples through informative slide shows. This course is based on Patrick’s recent book, The Living Landscape, itself the result of a lifetime spent in the countryside and twenty years of careful observations. Tutor: Patrick Whitefield

“If landscape reading is your thing, this is the best course you can do – I highly recommend it. Even more so if you’ve read his book first.” Bruce Stanley

Biomass Crops and Biodiversity

Fri 25th – Sun 27th October – This new course will begin with a review for the need for renewable energy crops, and what options are available in Wales and worldwide. It will discuss cultivation of short rotation crops, compare them with more conventional crops and examine how agricultural management can influence biodiversity. The biodiversity values of each crop will be examined and supplemented by a visit to a crop site. Tutor: Fred Slater

Phase 1 Habitat Survey

Mon 4th – Tues 5th Nov – This two-day course introduces the standard UK method of habitat survey, known as Phase 1. It has a wide range of applications, including nature conservation, habitat assessment and development planning. Tutor: Jan Martin

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