Sustain ABILITY Workshop Ideas for Jan – March 2013

September 21, 2012 in Blog


As part of the weekly challenge for BONUS points this time round, I would love to hear of workshop suggestions you all have for next year’s program. Contributing to this blog will entitle you to 250 BONUS points.

79 comments to 'Sustain ABILITY Workshop Ideas for Jan – March 2013'

  1. @ecoaction I think we need a workshop on aeroponics! The little I’ve read so far tells me it’s a great solution to getting your production to a better level for sustainability! Would love to hear more from an expert (if there is one around)!!!

  2. Oh, and another thing that has been raised in recent discussions is aquaponics, perhaps we could have a workshop on that too @ecoaction? :-)

  3. @ecoaction what about a workshop on organic pest control. I really have a problem with codling moth and all the organic methods I have used have not worked.

  4. @ecoaction I would love to go to an aquaponics workshop also. What about installing one at the environment centre as a display. The one that was featured on gardening Australia would be great.

  5. beekeeping, soap-making, mushroom growing, seed saving, grow your own herbal remedies

  6. Here are some ideas I’d be interested in: uses for herbs, eco health and beauty products, more practical ideas for permaculture (I have only been able to go to one of these workshops – maybe lots of practical ideas are being covered in the other two), eco furniture and clothing.

  7. Perhaps some wood work worshops so we can better make things for ourselves/ upcycle things we find second hand/ at Tiny’s to fit our purposes better. Would also be good to learn about what wood to use if you are purchasing new, whether plantation timber really is the best option (because of transportation costs) or if there are better, more locally sourced options for us in the ACT.

    And it might be a bit ‘out there’ but I would love to see workshops on sustainable building – things like straw bale houses, earth ships, etc. I wonder if there might even be someone willing to come and share their knowledge on planning implications for that kind of building in the ACT?

    • @Taryn That sounds great. The only workshops I went to before I started planning our house were industry organised and they really only wanted to sell their services and products.

    • @Taryn I would also be interested in earth ships in suburbia, what we can and can’t do, and who builds them in this area?

    • @Taryn Not out there at all – I would love this too! What I would find really useful is a presentation of the different kinds of natural building methods and their suitability to this climate – and regulatory environment. Also pros and cons of the different approaches to help decide what might be most appropriate. (And when I say this climate I mean Canberra and SE NSW – we plan to build closer to the coast).

      I’ve been a bit obsessed with earthships ever since I was lucky enough to work on one in Spain (for a day!) a few years back. But pounding tyres is seriously physical work and my husband is keen on strawbale. I’d really like to understand more about the many options out there.

    • Sorry @ecoaction we’re not exactly making your job easy here are we?! :-)

    • If we could build earthships here in Canberra I’d be sold!!! I know it’s lots of work, but hey that’s life… and so many people are keen to come and help just to learn more about it! I’d far rather a mortgage on a truly sustainable home than what we have now!!!

      • @ecoaction, it’d be great if we could get someone in gov’t planning dept (or whatever it’s called) to help us understand the planning/ building laws as applicable to truly sustainable homes! I have this crazy idea in my head that they might become a bit of a champion for the cause and work out some way to allocate decent sized blocks to those of us who want to build a truly sustainable home!!! :-) I love the dream!!!

  8. How about a workshop on yogurt and cheesemaking. I make my own yoghurt, but I would love to be able to make cheese.

    • I have been to a cheese making course and it was great fun. I now make my own yoghurt and ricotta on a regular bases. We also learnt how to make cream cheese, feta and camembert.

    • @Wombat01 how do you make your yoghurt? A colleague of my husbands said everything needed to be sterilised so I had to turff my first go (was in the slow cooker from a recipe I found online). Do you know if the sterilisation is required?

      • @Taryn I have used a couple of methods. The Easiyo from the supermarket I find a bit sloppy so I only use a 1/4 – 1/3 of a packet and bulk it out with skim milk powder. I also use the traditional method with blood warm milk and a spoon of starter yoghurt placed in a heated wide mouthed thermos. Both methods take 12-24 hours depending on the air temp. I don’t sterilise anything just wash well and air dry everything.

        • Awesome, good to know @Wombat01 will tell hubby it’s fine to do! :-)

        • @Wombat01 do you find yogurt making economical as well as better for your health than processed stuff?

          • @Tracey it’s much cheaper and we use a lot of yoghurt with Indian, middle eastern and Mexican food instead of sour cream and coconut milk. For dessert I have it with fruit sometimes add a little bit of home made jam as a sweetener. I find the commercial fruit yoghurts too sweet. Unfortunately my kids don’t like it. I don’t think they trust me. Maybe one day they will see the light.

        • I used to live in Paraguay, South America, which was very hot and humid. I used to make fresh yoghurt with a little yoghurt and a fair bit of milk mixed together in a jug, covered with a plate, and left outside in the sun. Perfect yoghurt!

    • I’ve been looking for a good cheese making course! My interest is in the hard cheeses though. Ill have to check the Batemans Bay one out. There is one at CIT but it is a bit beyond my budget at the moment.

  9. @ecoaction I would like to see a workshop on how to retro fit your house for using grey water.

  10. @ecoaction I would like a course on making art work or garden gates out of scrap metal

    • @Stanwix Sounds great but would have to get someone handier to do the technical side of things. My dad made me bird baths out of old scalloped plough dishes – they look great and are tough.

    • @Stanwix did you see the brilliant sculptures at the hand made markets. Pears made out of rusty barbed wire and some made using horse shoes. There were also some great garden furniture made of old metal bed frames. The fellow that makes them was in the paper today. It would be great if he could run a course.

  11. @ecoaction. as we have a small garden I would like to cram as many trees as I can in to it. How about a workshop on growing fruit trees and espalier so I can learn to prune my fruit trees flat.

    • @Wombat01 what is espalier? And what size block to do guys have to work with there?

      • @Taryn Espalier is the art of training trees flat against walls or in orchard to improve productivity or so that you can fit more trees into a small space. It can be very beautiful and also adds diversity to your garden. My garden is quite small about 200 square metres of usable ground. I have a few fruit trees along the fence but I would like more. About a third of the garden is lawn which we have to have for the dogs. But I want to surround the property with trees eventually.

      • @Taryn if you are interested I am just reading a very interesting book on espalier by Allan Gilbert . It is brilliant. Looks like you can grow nearly any fruit tree flat. I am going to train a lime tree in a pot as well as a dwarf cherry and persimmon I planted bare rooted in winter. Hope it works.

  12. A few more ideas: a workshop on re-upholstering old furniture. And propagating plants. And looking after citrus.

  13. Building a solar cooker. Building a solar food dehydrator.

  14. @ecoaction How about a workshop on weaving. In particular weaving canes for baskets etc. I am interested in using my prunings to make plant supports and screens.

  15. Thanks to everyone who’s responded to this blog. You’ve certainly given us a lot of ideas for courses – our only problem will be squeezing all the good ones in!
    As you may have seen, for this week’s bonus point offer we’re asking you to share more of your wisdom by letting everyone know which workshops most inspired you, and which ones you would most like to see repeated.
    Keep up the good work – the planet is very appreciative!

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