Take a stroll through the woods and you may find berries for your smoothie, mushrooms for your stir fry, syrup for your pancakes, and bark for a medicinal tea—all in your own backyard.
Walking the aisles of nature’s supermarket isn’t as easy as going to the grocery store, but you can learn how to harvest and grow a range of trees, plants, and mushrooms right outside your door to supplement your diet and support your health.
Guided by Steve Gabriel, coauthor of Farming the Woods, we learn to observe the forest and find natural patterns to replicate in our own farms, gardens, or yards. We walk the woods to explore trees, plants, and mushrooms and how they support both human and forest health. We learn proper planting techniques, how to inoculate logs that can easily grow shitake mushrooms at home, and how to make medicinal tinctures.
As we connect more deeply with the place we call home, we can regenerate the forest ecosystem of which we’re all a part.
This in-person weekend course includes access to a 6-week self-directed online program in forest ecology and stewardship. The online course can be taken before or after the in-person workshop, with an option of live webinar sessions with Steve Gabriel April 2-May 7, 2018.
Things To Bring
Faculty asks that you bring:
- Outdoor clothing
- Closed-toe shoes
- A notebook
- Work gloves
|4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.||Check In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m.)|
|7:30 p.m.–7:50 p.m.||Welcome & Orientation|
|8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.||Workshop|
|8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.||Commuter check-in (if not checked-in the previous evening)|
|2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.||Workshop|
|Noon–1:00 p.m.||Check Out|
The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.
The Children's Program will not be available for this workshop and is not available on the Rhinebeck Campus until May 18, 2018.
Dining Hall Hours (Meals begin with dinner on arrival day and end with lunch on departure day.):
Breakfast: 7:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.
Lunch: Noon–2:00 p.m.
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.
Daily Open Classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, or movement (subject to availability):
7:00–8:00 a.m., 12:15–1:00 p.m., 5:30–6:15 p.m., 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Meet the Teachers
Steve Gabriel is an ecologist, educator, forest farmer, and coauthor of Farming the Woods: An ...
Tuition & Fees
Gifts From the Forest
|Tier Name||Tier Price|
This is the price of your workshop. Choosing this price helps Omega continue to retain world-class teachers and sustain classroom facilities.
Tier 1 Donor-Supported
This is our partially subsidized price for those with temporary or minor financial need.
Tier 2 Donor-Supported
This is our fully subsidized price for those in need of deeper financial assistance.
Tuition covers your workshop costs and time spent in class with the faculty. Please see Stay With Us below for accommodation choices—which include meals and other amenities for those who wish to stay with us. Or see Commute for those who will not be staying on campus overnight.
Accommodations cover your room, all meals, and use of amenities and facilities—which includes optional classes, evening performances, sampler classes (during the week), the lake, walking trails, parking, and all other guest services. A list of local hotels and inns is available for those who wish to stay off-campus and commute (see Commute below).
Omega reserves the right to cancel a program at any time. If Omega cancels a program, you will receive a full refund. Some programs may have special cancellation policies; see individual workshop descriptions or the more detailed Omega Cancellations & Refund Policies page.
Refunds are available (less a $50 processing fee) up to eight days before your program or stay.
Nonrefundable credit toward a future Omega program or stay (less a $50 processing fee) is available if you give notice between seven and one day(s) before your program or stay. Credit may be applied to any Omega program or stay for one year following date of issue.
No credit or refund is available if you cancel on the arrival day; if you do not show up; or if you leave an event early for any reason. No refund will be available if you attend a program and are dissatisfied with its presentation or content.
For more cancellation policies, see individual workshops or the more detailed Omega Cancellations & Refund Policies page.
Program Insurance is available through TravMark's A+ Program Protection Plans. Get a free quote today.
Certificate of Attendance $ 25.00
6-Week Online Course
Foundations of Forest Stewardship
This course is included as preparation for Steve Gabriel's weekend course at Omega, or can be accessed after the in-person weekend with him. It is offered live once per year in the spring, and otherwise available online as a self-directed opportunity.
Forests are the foundation of the ecosystem we call home in much of North America. This course explores the ecology of woodlands and exposes participants to the wide range of opportunities to engage in both responsible management and productive use including mushroom cultivation, tapping trees for saps, and raising livestock amongst the trees.
Each lesson features video lectures, readings, resources, and skill building activities for you to practice locally in your own woods or a local park or preserve nearby.
Lesson 1 - Knowing our Roots: History & Indigenous Forestry
Lesson 2 - Thinking Like the Forest: Perspectives & Ways of Knowing
Lesson 3 - Patterns and Principles in Forest Ecology
Lesson 4 - Managing the Trees: Planning, Selection, and Felling
Lessons 5 - Finding the Bounty: Wild Crafting and Foraging Ethics
Lessons 6 - Growing Abundance: Cultivating Food & Medicine in the Woods
While the content is presented in the context of the Northeastern North American woodland, the patterns and approach will benefit forest dwellers anywhere who want to learn more about the woods around them and how they can be active stewards of the forested landscape.
Live Webinars are Monday evenings April 2 – May 7. If you miss a webinar you can access a recording at a later date.