2014 Workshops - Preliminary

The capture and transformation of energy lies at the heart of the modern village. Creating technologies that are in support of community is a task worthy of the most agile minds and skilled hands.

Biomass Gasification

In a world with rapidly diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, we need to learn how to live using just the energy we receive from the sun each year. One way to capture that energy is by growing woody biomass. Learn about how to convert that biomass into a form that can cook our food, power an electric generator, or fuel a tractor. Watch a hands-on demonstration of this technology using the GEK (Gasifier's Experimenter's Kit) developed by All Power Labs in Berkeley, CA, including upgrades and improvements since last year that allow the unit to operate without compressed air or grid electricity.

Workshop led by Opalyn Brenger and Walt Patrick of the Windward Community

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Mastering the art and science of transforming nature's raw materials into products that improve our standard of living is at the core of what distinguishes us as human. However, too many of these essential crafts are being forgotten and its time to get back to our nature.

Fiber Arts

Windward is home to a small flock of fiber sheep, and the wool from the spring shearing will be available for those who are interested in learning to work with this versatile material. Learn how to prepare raw wool to be carded or felted. There will also be the opportunity to learn about these remarkable animals, who give so much and ask so little. Learn the ancient crafts of spinning, and weaving, as well as lots of other fun and useful facts about turning fiber into clothing!

Workshop led by Opalyn Brenger of the Windward Community

Natural Tanning: From harvest to hide

From clothing to footwear, bags to shelter, animal hides provide a reliable and versatile raw material for the post fossil-fuel village.

By popular demand, this year we will be going from a hands on demonstration of ethical killing of a rabbit, and use that hide in the natural tanning demonstrations using wood-ash and smoke. This method is also suitable for preserving skins from deer, sheep, goat, squirrel and other small mammals.

Workshop led by Andrew Schreiber of the Windward Community


Learn about the sustainable forestry for timber production, and see a demonstration on our sawmill of how you can can a log and turn it into valuable lumber.

Workshop led by Ruben Schaer of the Windward Community

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From planting to harvesting, preparation to celebration, food systems both evolve around and require the community. Creating an abundance that deeply nourishes and can be sustained requires keen observation, diligence, long-term thinking, and a touch of lunacy.


A two part workshop focusing on the raising and care of dairy goats, and the creation of several types of cheese from the milk. Bring your pad and paper, and prepare to learn the ancient art of the dairy herd.

Workshop led by Andrew Schreiber and Faun Naso

Ecological Agriculture

The future of food production lies in the creation and cultivation of efficient, ecologically balanced living systems that provide for our physical needs close to home, without comprimising the needs of the rest of the web of life.

In this workshop, we'll be exploring some of the big-picture, practical Permacultural food/forage/fiber/fuel systems we are working with and developing for our semi-arid temperate climate.

Since there is so much to cover, topics will be somewhat dependent on interest. Topics can include perenial/annual gardening, mycology, food forestry, multi-functonal hedgerows, integrating grazing animals into permaculture system, and the theory and design of productive resilient systems.

Workshop led by Lindsay Hagamen and Andrew Schreiber of the Windward Community

Raising Rabbits 101

Rabbits are an easy and efficient way to generate meat for food, fur and leasther for clothing, and compost for gardens. They are small and easy to handle and thus are great for kids. Learn about the care for, and benefits of, raising rabbits on a small-scale. Following thise workshop will be the first part of the natural taning workshop where we will show people how to cleanly and compassionately kill, skin and butcher a rabbit. The rabbit will then be incorporated into that days dinner, and we will work with the hide that after noon.

Workshop led by Ruben Schaer of the Windward Community

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Humans are a tribal species; living together is how we learned how to survive. Today, many of us live lives far from our roots of inter-connection and inter-dependence. Yet the success of the modern village requires that we once again learn not just how to survive together but learn how to thrive together.

Love-based Living Circle

Compassion and trust create the foundation for the successful working of community. Participate in this simple and effective method for building close-knit relationships with the people with whom you live, laugh, love, work and play. To read a description of how a love-based living circle works, click here.

Workshop led by Karen Hery of the Windward Community

Community Round Table Discussion

By popular demand, we will be gathering in a more formalized manner to allow folks the opportunity to ask Windward members questions about our history, mission, programs and projects, and the joys and rewards of community living.

The membership of Windward will be there.

Natural Burial: Life After Community

One of Windward's big-picture projects is Herland Forest Natural Burial Cemetery, a non-profit community cemetery that will allow Windward members to be buried onsite, and give friends of the community a way to make on final contirbution.

We see the Cemetery as a mixture of quiet natural space, and a permacultural food forest - where our bodies go on nourishing the mind, body and spirit for decades to come. Join us for a sunday afternoon conversation about about life death and regeneration in Herland Forest, and how you can get involved in this historic project.

workshop led by Andrew Schreiber

For Kids

There will be a variety of activities for children to partake in, including meeting all the furry friends of Windward, building natural forts, exploring the forest and campfire tales. Activities will be facilitated by outdoor educator and Windward member Oana Ivan.

For parents with small children, we will have an enclosed play area set up full of child-friendly toys

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