AIWFC: A DIY Education

Today is Day Two of my holiday blogathon, entitled All I Want For Christmas. This is where I scour the town looking for cool food-related presents that secretly, I would really like to get, but that I’m also pretty sure you and yours would love too. If you missed Friday’s inaugural installment, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Few Good Dates,” click here.

For today’s “All I Want For Christmas,” I implore you to give someone the gift of knowledge. Not just any old quickly-scanned-and-forgotten knowledge, that’s what wiki is for, but more specifically, Do It Yourself Knowledge from Sellwood’s Portland Homestead Supply Co, bona fide den of delectable DIY endowments.

See, besides a quick scan of US Weekly while in line at New Seasons to buy chocolate, Champagne and pomegranates (the three major winter food groups), I try to ignore any source of current world news, but sometimes a snippet or two sneaks in from a stray NPR radiowave and from what I’ve gathered, the world is basically going to heck in a handbasket. Since we are all probably going to end up living in bunkers or caves or crude shelters in the scary end of Forest Park, it would be wise to learn some basic DIY skills. Because if a person possesses valuable talents like the ability to make sausage, cheese, beer, marmalade, and dog food (see below), I think it’s safe to say they will have their pick of the bunker tribes litter, or at the very least, be less likely to be eaten.

Not only can you find all the materials and equipment you’ll need to perfect these socially-elevating skills at Portland Homestead Supply Co, you can also obtain personalized instruction in potentially-profitable and life-enhancing/saving pursuits such as canning, chicken butchering, and backyard farming. I’ve posted their January class lineup below, and they fill up fast so I suggest you secure spots in them immediately, as a thoughtful Christmas gift to your friends and family members who a)could use a fun educational experience that teaches them something new and valuable, or b)possess very few skills that will be useful to a bunker tribe and are thus most likely to be eaten during the post-apolcalypse. Merry Christmas!

portlandhomesteadsupplyJanuary Class Offerings

Basic Soapmaking: January 4
Learn the art of soapmaking in this hands-on class and take home a small batch (5 or 6 bars) of soap and a mold. All supplies are provided.
Class is Wednesday, January 4 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and costs $30

Healing Salves and Plant Walk: January 7
Join April Blair for a walk through Sellwood to discover common healing plants. After the walk, gather back at the shop to make a batch of healing salve good for cuts, scrapes, and all kinds of skin conditions. Go home with two tins of healing salve, a recipe, and the confidence and knowledge to make you own healing salves at home. Please dress for the weather. All materials provided.
Class is Saturday, January 7 from 2:00 – 4:00 and costs $25
Please register by Thursday, January 5.

The Pig Butchery Class: January 8 or January 28
Butcher Ethan Bisagne will demonstrate the techniques of pig butchery with an all natural Carlton Farm’s pig. You’ll learn all the different cuts of meat and get tips on how to prepare them from one of Portland’s premier butchers. On top of that, you get to take home a package of an assortment of different cuts from the pig, some of which will be tied into roasts as well as made into sausages during the class. Participants will get the opportunity to have a hands-on lesson in sausage making and tying roasts. During class, enjoy drinks and an array of Feastworks’ charcuterie. Cooking tips and recipes will be given at each class, so you will be well prepared to show off your new found skills with your take home goodies.
Classes are Sunday, January 8 or Saturday, January 28 from 2:00 – 4:00 and cost $100
Please register by Wednesday, Jan 4 for the Jan 8 class, or Tuesday, Jan 24 for the Jan 28 class.

Clean Up Your Laundry Routine: January 10
Making greener, DIY choices when it comes to your laundry can have beneficial consequences for your health and the planet. In this class we’ll explore strategies for developing an eco-friendly laundry routine and options for avoiding conventional fabric softeners and laundry detergents. Each attendee will go home with a batch of natural laundry soap they craft in class and the beginnings of a set of homemade dryer balls.
Class is Tuesday, January 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and cost $35
Please register by Saturday, January 7.

Backyard Farmers – Timing is Everything: January 11
Come learn the proper timing and techniques to starting your own transplants – when to sow for various vegetables, appropriate soil(s) to use, germination conditions, care after seedlings emerge, and good transplanting techniques. Selecting seeds that perform well in your area is a necessity for successful growing. When do I plant what? To get the best production from vegetables, you need to plant them at the right time. By the time you go home, you will know when to plant and what their particular needs are! In this class we will be creating a seasonal vegetable-planting calendar.
Class is Wednesday, January 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and costs $15

Bath Bombs: January 12 or January 21
Learn to make Bath Bombs – those wonderful, fizzy balls of lavishness that turn an ordinary bath into a real luxury! Amber Arpin has been making Bath Bombs for years, and will share her recipes and hints for making an endless supply of your own customized bombs. You will make a batch of bombs you can use yourself or give as gifts. A great class for all ages! Participants need to bring a muffin tin or something to use as bath bomb forms.
Classes are Thursday, January 12 from 6:30 – 8:00pm or Saturday, January 21from 2:00 – 4:00 and cost $20.
Please register by Tuesday, Jan 10 for the Jan 12 class, or Thursday, Jan 19 for the Jan 21 class.

Make Your Own Dog Food: January 15
Feed your best friend better. Many of us would like to feed our dogs more nutritious and tastier meals, but how do pet owners know what foods are safe and which amounts are appropriate? Rick Woodford knows and he’ll be sharing his knowledge of pet nutrition and easy, practical recipes. Woodford, the Dog Food Dude, will explain how to ensure that meals are nutritionally balanced and provided in the correct serving size. He will also demonstrate five recipes and send samples home as well as serve students his Salmon Cakes that can be altered for people.
Class is Sunday, January 15 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and costs $15.
Please register by Thursday, January 12.

Keeping City Chickens: January 18
Interested in keeping chickens in your backyard? Besides providing delicious fresh eggs, hens are a wonderful addition to the gardenscape. Come learn all the necessary steps to keep your flock healthy & happy – from diet to dwellings, finding suitable breeds for your set-up, and some nifty husbandry know-how. (This workshop will feature live chickens). Michelle Koeppe, owner and operator of Phasian Farms, a heritage poultry and vegetable farm, has raised over 75 breeds of poultry and focuses on holistic methods for raising chickens.
Class is Wednesday, January 18 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and cost is $10.
Please register by Sunday, January 15.

Making Fresh Cheeses: January 19
Oh, the wonderful things you can do with milk and cream, like making fresh ricotta, chevre, and mascarpone. Learn the basics in this fresh cheese making class and take home some goodies.
Class is Thursday, January 19 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and costs $25

The Chicken Butchering Class: January 22 or January 29
Participants will each get a hands-on lesson in trussing and breaking down chicken. The class includes one all natural chicken that the participants will take home ready to cook for dinner that night. Be ready to cook for your guests or simply break down a chicken with ease for everyday cooking. During class, participants will enjoy drinks and an array of Feastworks’ charcuterie. Cooking tips and recipes will be given at each class, so you will be well prepared to show off your new found skills with your take home goodies.
Class is Sunday, January 22 or Sunday, January 29 from 2:00 to 4:00pm and cost $50.
Please register by Thursday, Jan 19 for the Jan 22 class and Thursday, Jan 26 for the Jan 29 class.

Marmalades: January 24
Winter doesn’t have to mean the end of canning season. Join Cara Haskey from Modern Preserves as she demonstrates the wonderful world of marmalades. From the classic orange, to mixed fruit, marmalade is a treat for all seasons. Class participants will leave with a jar of marmalade and recipes. All materials are provided.
Class is Tuesday, January 24 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and costs $35
Please register by Saturday, January 21.

Making Fresh Pasta: January 26
Winter is a wonderful time of year for making homemade pasta… spaghetti, lemon pepper papparadelle, lasagna… Susan Bivens will teach you how to make them all. Susan will also cover equipment, ingredients, drying and cooking times, and suggestions for what to mix with your pasta. So join us for an evening of fun, food and learning. All materials are provided.
Class is Thursday, January 26 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm and costs $25
Please register by Tuesday, January 24.

Backyard Farmer Garden Series: Beginning Saturday, January 14
We are excited to announce that Donna and Robyn of Your Backyard Farmer will be teaching a monthly gardening series. Beginning with the Timing is Everything topic on January 14, each second Saturday of the month will bring another timely gardening topic. The classes will continue throughout the gardening season and into next fall. Each class is a two hour in-depth look at one aspect of gardening. The cost of each class is $25 and includes all materials. At the end of the 11 month series, you will have all the information you need to have your own backyard farm. For a list of the topics and to sign up for the series, please call or come by the shop.

Portland Homestead Supply Co.
8012 SE 13th Avenue
phone: 503-233-8691

Class Policies: Please call or come in to pay for classes. Space in the class is not guaranteed until full payment is made. In order to receive a full refund or store credit, cancellation must be made at least 48 hours prior the time of the class. Unfortunately, we do not have child care facilites, so unless children are enrolled and participating in the class, please make other arrangements for child care.