Land of Milk & Honey
December 18th, 2013
Pre-capstone Master's Degree
"In today’s society, many people have lost the homescale food production knowledge that humans used for thousands of years both to connect with nature and feed themselves. This hands-on workshop is an introduction to and celebration of the farmstead arts," reads the introduction to a course that I teach at Esalen Institute each spring. This OP documents this workshop functioning both as a living document of the experience and a practical guide for cheesemaking and beekeeping. In the farmstead arts tradition and in the theme of cultures, I include a page on microbiology and fermentation that is a large aspect of the workshop as well. I would like people to go away from this workshop or OP with a respect for the unseen microorganisms all around and within us, and a sense of knowing how to make cheese and keep bees. I hope many are inspired that these microorganism and bee cultures provide wonderful nourishment for both our personal and global health.
• Document the teachings and information for bees/cheese/ferments appropriate for a beginners class on farmstead arts.
• Encourage students/readers to start beehives.
• Gather documentation that eases my teaching of this or similar material in the future.
• Pull together recipes, information and resources that feel appropriate for both myself and the students.
• Have good information/commentary as to thoughts/information to facilitate this program in the future (including needs from Esalen kitchen, shopping needs, gallons of milk, bee supplies needed, needs from john armor, schedule for the workshop, helpers expectations).
• Shine a light on cultures (microbial and bee) that vast amounts of unappreciated work for humans.
⁃ Glorify microbial cultures including bacteria and fungus that weave the fabric of our existence and create opportunity for assimilation and growth through their process of decay. These microbes are essential to breaking down the soil, the food inside our intestines and food we are intentionally fermenting.
⁃ Herald the bees as the messengers of life and vitality acting as/with the sexual gametes of flowers.
▪ feel empowered to start a bee hive, know where, when and how to gather necessary equipment and source a nucleus for bees or catch a swarm
▪ leave confident that they can make at the very least an acidulated cheese, hopefully a soft fresh cheese and a feta and an understanding of the complexity when making hard cheeses and mold ripened cheeses.
▪ feel comfortable beginning home fermentation, most notably a sauerkraut.
Creative Commons license
Guidelines for Reader
The Table of Contents offers a navigation bar to choose different pages from this packet. This first page offers a short summary for this Output Packet and in addition the goals I hope to accomplish and the design methodology that I used. The next four pages 3.2 - 3.5 are the meat of the project and include information on microbes, fermenting, bees, beekeeping, cheese, and cheesemaking. Page 3.7 offers 2 videos on cheesemaking (camembert and feta) and 2 videos on beekeeping (starting a hive and catching a swarm). Page 3.8 offers journal entries during my process of working on this project. Page 3.9 is a mixture of un/learnings, outcomes, reflections, and my musings on why i chose this project. 3.10 is supplemental material that contains notes about how the mechanics of the workshop at esalen play out (ingredient lists, itineraries, etc).
OBREDIMET is the design tool I chose to Observe my Boundaries and Resources preparing myself to Evaluate for Designing an Implementable sytem that I will Maintain as i Evaluate and Tweak as life flows on.
O -- Localizing our food production system is an empowering tool for individuals and what our earth needs now to heal herself. Inspiring people to keep bees will help mother gaia and local plants and secure our future food supply by increasing pollinators.
B -- Access to information and inspiration that time exists to nourish ourselves in a culture where it's easier to buy produced goods than create our own. Some of the information is much easier to experience than to read (i.e. cheesemaking, working with bees, fermenting foods)
R -- Charlie is a master cheesemaker and an excellent beekeeper, Fruitless Fall, Into the Hive (Nova), Queen of the Sun
websites for cheesesupplies, websites for bee supplies
E -- Documenting in a single place the information that i have collected seems indispensable. Having video and slideshow presentations of material on bees and cheese feels great
D -- Pull together in Mahara all of the information from this workshop.
--Consider where the workshop could be improved either with timing or my own presence
Create vidoes and slideshows presenting this material for the web and available for the workshop in the future.
I -- videos are a helpful tool to see how i present information. Improve my ability to create these videos.
M -- The world keeps changing so information on bees will continue to shift. Beekeeping, cheesemaking and fermentation are ancient arts that people can rely on tradition. Probably won't teach a lot of workshops exactly in this vein so some tweaking of material will always be necessary
E -- I am evaluating near the end of the process and I see that I get caught up in providing more content tangentially connected to my goals.
T -- Stay true to inspiring people to return to their food traditions and keeping bees.