BioFuel Oasis is excited to announce its urban farm class series for Winter 2019! We specialize in hands-on, seasonally appropriate classes designed to empower people.

We have a comprehensive Beekeeping Education Program. Click here for a description.

Refund policy



Sunday, Jan. 6th, 1-4pm
Location: Instructor's backyard in Berkeley
Cost: $40

This class will be taught in a large Berkeley garden with over 20 different fruit trees to practice on. We will cover which varieties do well in the area, as well as purchasing good trees, pruning in youth, on-going pruning, and natural approaches to common disease and insect issues. Our goal will be to gain confidence in our ability to take care of productive, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing trees. This is a hands on class, and participants will have an opportunity to make some cuts with instructor supervision.
Instructor: Sequoiah Wachenheim started tending vegetables in the Bay Area at age 6 and hasn’t stopped yet! She has been sole proprietor of Earthly Arts, a consulting landscape design business for the last 20 years, and is extremely passionate about growing her own food.

Sunday, Jan. 13th, 1-3pm
Location: Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, 2515 Hillegass Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Cost: $35

Mending is a meditative and slow-paced activity to soothe our often-busy lives. This workshop will allow mending beginners to learn the basics and continuing menders to hone their skills and add new embroidery stitches to their repertoire. We will work with the Japanese techniques of visible mending and patching to repair worn clothing and make it ever more personal.

We will provide a variety of fabrics and threads to use for your work during the hands-on portion of the workshop. We will also cover repair of buttonholes, replacement of buttons, darning of socks, and begin to repair knits. You are welcome to bring a beloved item of clothing that needs to be mended to lengthen its life. If you have a sewing kit, do bring it: scissors, needles, pins, cloth scraps welcome as well.
Instructor: Judith has taught handwork for many years, both at the East Bay Waldorf School and independently. She teaches pine needle basketry, tapestry weaving, and the art of Boro.

Sunday, Jan. 27th, 10am-1pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

Honeybees are a joy to keep in the backyard simply for their buzzing presence and, on hot days, the smell of honey, wafting through the air within ten feet of the hive. They increase pollination in your yard and therefore increase your yields from fruit trees and vegetables. You may also harvest honey from the hive. Learn what you need to know to feel ready to have a Langstroth backyard beehive – how to get bees, what equipment you need, where to put the hive, what the bees need, and what you need to learn/do to keep your bees healthy. There will be local honey to try.

We recommend that if you do get bees, that you also take our hive inspection class and year round varroa mite management.
Instructor: Brenda McCormick has been keeping bees for several years on the East Coast and in the Bay Area. She is an active member of the East Bay beekeeping community.

Sunday, Jan. 27th, 2pm-4:30pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $45

Tinctures are potent plant extracts and one of the most portable and accessible forms of herbal medicine. In this workshop you will learn the basics of how to make tinctures at home- from the process of harvesting or sourcing plants- to creating a finished herbal formula for acute or preventative care. And we will be focusing on medicine making with herbs for building immunity in this cold and flu season. Together will be creating tinctures using both dried and fresh plants, and you will have the option to bring a tincture home. This hands-on class is a great introduction to herbal medicine as well as a useful skill share for those who want to build their home apothecary.
Instructor: Finn Oakes is a writer, educator and clinical herbalist who studies energetic herbalism with Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes at the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine. Finn is also co-owner of Steadfast Herbs, a local medicine growing project that provides an herbal CSA and a line of herbal remedies for preventative and holistic care. Learning to be in relationship with plants has had a profound impact on Finn's life and health and they currently live across from the Redwoods in Pescadero, CA.

Sunday, Feb. 10th, 10am-1pm
Location: Backyard with chickens in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

From setting up a brooder for baby chicks to the essentials of water, feed, and coop requirements for a thriving backyard flock, this class will prepare you for what you need to know! Having chickens is very rewarding, but it can feel daunting to get started. We will go over many topics for setting up and keeping your chickens happy and healthy including: planning your coop, protecting against predators, winter time care, best breeds, nutrition, and optimum egg production.
Instructor: Jacquelyn Frost has been raising and training animals of all shapes and sizes for over 20 years, with chickens being her latest adventure. She has been known to direct unsuspecting conversation partners into talking about backyard chicken keeping.

Sunday, Feb. 10th, 2-5pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $50

Make mead that is drinkable in one month! Traditional meads take a year (or more) to age and be drinkable, but meads can be made much faster. This process allows you to experiment with small batches, get results quickly, and repeat with a big batch of a particularly tasty recipe or honey. You will learn about yeast, what equipment you need, how to prepare must (unfermented mead), what flavors work well together, fermentation, sanitation, and bottling. You will learn how to use a hydrometer. There will be a tasting of some of Jim’s meads along the way. We will then make batches of mead in class to take home to ferment, if you choose! Be warned that making meads faster requires a more complicated recipe than traditional mead and more cooking science understanding, but this class is still accessible for beginners! The quick, reliable results are well worth the effort.

OPTION TO TAKE A BATCH OF MEAD HOME: If you want to make 1 gallon of mead in class to take home, bring 1 quart of liquid honey (not crystallized, but runny/smooth). The instructor will supply other materials: 1-gallon glass carboy, airlock and hydrometer for an optional $18 fee. Yeast (WY1388) (choice of yeast is critical to not needing to age your mead) is an extra $8 fee per 1-gallon lot. Let us know in advance that you would like materials and bring the optional $26 fee in cash to the class. You can also assist and observe others making mead if you don’t want to make any for yourself in class.

PLEASE LET US KNOW ASAP, BY RESPONDING TO YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL, IF YOU WOULD LIKE SUPPLIES. If you missed the deadline and you want materials, bring cash just in case, and if there aren't enough supplies you can group with other participants who have materials to make mead.

What can I bring to the event?
one quart of honey (optional)
$18 - $26 for equipment and yeast to take home your own mead (optional, bring cash).
Deadline to let us know you would like supplies is Friday, 2/8. Thanks!

When will the mead be ready?
About a month after the class - so early December! In time for holiday dinners.

Instructor: Jim Veitch is a Berkeley beekeeper who has been making fast mead for the last two years and experimenting with different delicious recipes, including ginger, galangal, dry wine mead, and more.

You can sign up by clicking on the link to register, by calling BioFuel Oasis (510.665.5509), or coming in during business hours.

Our classes often fill up 1-2 weeks before class date, we strongly recommend you sign up early!

We have low-income and work-trade spots available. Please inquire if you would like to apply for one.

Class Refund Policy
Cancellations must be made seven days in advance in order to receive a full refund. Refunds are not given for classes canceled less than seven days ahead; however, you can always send a friend in your place.

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