2015 Workshops

Community Biomass Energy Systems

Opalyn with the biomass gasifier (left), the gaseous fuel compressor (center), Walt showing the automated valve control assembly for the compressor (right).

The capture and transformation of energy lies at the heart of any sustainable community. Creating technologies that can function in support of community, and not to it's ultimate destruction, is a task worthy of the most agile minds and skilled hands.

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 the open source Gasifier's and gas compression technology behind Windward's flag-ship energy project Biomass2Methanol.

Come see all the new developments coming online over the past year!

Workshop led by B2M lead Walt Patrick and Steward Opalyn Brenger

Rabbit Harvest

Opalyn and Kari will be harvesting one of Windward's meat rabbits for the Saturday night dinner of the Helix. Animal harvest and butcher is an integral part of life here at Windward, and we'd like to take you through the process from beginning to end, including: slaughter, skinning, butchering, a bit of anatomy, and of course rabbit stew!

Workshop led by Kari Rankin and Opalyn Brenger of the Windward Community

A Walk Through Windward's Permaculture Systems

The future of our human economy lies in the creation and cultivation of ecologically sound, economically productive, and energy efficient living systems that provide for our physical needs.

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 cold-temperate climate.

Since there is so much to cover, topics will be somewhat dependent on interest. Topics may include agroforestry methods, woodland gardens, water harvesting earth works, hugelkultur gardens, silvo pasture, multifunctional hedgerows, natural establishment and succession, integrating animals with plant systems, and the theory and design of resilient living systems.

Workshop led by Andrew Schreiber of the Windward Community

Living In Harmony With the Cycles Of Nature

Everything that exists in the vast external universe (macrocosm), also appears in the internal cosmos of the human body (microcosm). By learning how to harmonize with the cycles of nature we develop health, wealth, and wisdom. We will learn how to deepen this connection in our daily lives by exploring the teachings of Ayurveda. Based on the 5,000 year old health care system of India, Ayurveda gives us practical, flexible, and tangible techniques for improving our overall health and well-being for the benefit of ourselves, our communities, and the World.

Workshop led by Jonah Lee of the Windward Community

Practicing Permaculture: Build a Hugelkultur Nurselog Bed

Come prepared to get your hands dirty as we mimic one of Nature's favorite techniques for transforming old life into new life. Together, we'll create a Hugelkultur (Raised Beds) and further grow Windward's permaculture gardens. Hugelkultur is a permaculture technique that reduces the need for irrigation, creates a diversity of niches and microclimates, and promotes perennial agriculture.

Workshop led by Lindsay Hagamen of Windward

From Field to Bottle: Principles of Brewing

Brewing and wine-making have been major influences on the development of entire civilizations. For the self sufficient farmer fermentation can be an important, and delightful, way to preserve valuable foods. For many it is a small act of freedom from a world of mass production.

Our ancestors made Wine from grapes, Cider from apples, and Barley and Wheat made beer. But how do we turn Barley and Wheat, the seeds of grasses, into one of the most popular drinks in the world?

Join us for discussions about Beer, Wines, Ciders, Malting, Yeast, and more. See how we Malt and Brew our locally sourced grains, and taste some of our past homebrews. Cheers!

Workshop led by Edward of Windward

Death Cafe

Our hopes and fears around death have long stood silent -- having been put on the back burner of an increasingly youth obsessed culture. This has lead to extreme and expensive (financially and ecologically) measures to keep the elderly alive, a needlessly wasteful death care industry, and a cultural malaise around the sacred process of dying.

A "Death Cafe" is one way that conscious individuals and death care practitioners have begun taking back the conversation around death with a group directed discussion about death.

A Death Cafe has no particular agenda objectives or themes other than to get people taking about Death. A Cafe is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session, and intended to take to unneeded burden off of talking about death, and to facilitate a more open conversation about transforming the culture around death.

Rev. Teri Ciacchi of Living Love Revolution will be hosting the Cafe in Windward's Herland Forest Natural Burial Cemetery.

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, friends, regional allies and neighbors to make a final contribution to the communities land base.

We see Herland evoling as a mixture of quiet natural space, a research platform exploring the tranformation of body into forest, and a diverse agroecological forest modeling what is possible in our marginal environment.

And more than anything, a place where Guardians of Herland 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, Windward Steward, President and cemetery manager of Herland Forest.

For The Kids

There will be a variety of activities for children to partake in, including nature walks, plant identification, basket making, animal husbandry, spinning yarn, felting, and building forts and feary houses. All ages welcome! Adults, too!

Activities will be facilitated by outdoor educator and Windward member Claire Kerwin.