Adult Education: Sustainable Living Short Courses


Our Workshop Series and Demonstrations work with the Garden Program’s growing spaces and gardeners to educate and empower new gardeners and community leaders. Experiential learning opportunities for adults build ecological gardening knowledge, improve nutrition and health, and develop food preparation and preservations skills. Internships and professional development opportunities cultivate new leaders in the local food movement.  We enhance the dignity and joy of growing, preparing, sharing, and eating fresh, locally grown food, as well as life-skills initiatives that can make our lives more sustainable.


Does your thumb look a bit brown instead of green? Have you ever struggled growing food in our harsh climate? Do you have a desire to learn more about organic agriculture or sustainable living?  Mountain Roots is hosting a new series of Sustainable Living Short Courses throughout the 2014 growing season. These 2-hour long  interactive workshops are taught by local and visiting experts and cover a variety of topics - from native pollinators and chicken care to permaculture design, organic gardening, and cooking.  Whether you are a beginning gardener, professional landscaper, or a seasoned grower looking to learn some new techniques, the Mountain Roots Sustainable Living Short Courses will provide experiential learning that will expand your knowledge and help you develop new skills. We have educational opportunities for gardeners of all levels. Short courses are offered select Sunday afternoons from June through November, there is $10 suggested donation, but everyone is welcome to attend.  If you have suggestions of workshops you would like to take or teach, please email

Download the 2015 Sustainable Living Short Course Schedule >

$10 suggested donation

(except homebrewing)

Register  / RSVP

Flying Wild & Schoolyard Habitats

Tuesday, June 9    9:00 a.m to 4:00 pm

Location:  Gunnison Community School  | Instructor Jamie Weiss and Dustin,  Audubon of the Rockies

A  FREE  2-part teacher training for formal and non-formal educators. Flying WILD offers a whole-school approach to environmental education using birds as the focus. We will also be discussing bird banding, setting up mist nets, and catching and releasing live birds.  In the Schoolyard Habitats & Habitat Heroes program, you’ll learn how to facilitate the planting of wildflowers and native plants to attract insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles to the ‘wild’ schoolyard.  Lunch is included.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

All About Herbs: Growing a Kitchen Garden

Sunday, June 28   4-6 p.m.

Location: Elk Avenue Garden, Crested Butte   |   Instructor: Diane Bober

Come join us as we explore the fragrant, delicious, nutritious, and rewarding experience of gardening and cooking with herbs.  We will talk about growing many different kinds of herbs in both the garden and in pots, and you will even take home a little container garden that you plant yourself.  Learn how to incorporate the herbs you grow into delicious and nutritious food, and sample some herbal delights to inspire you.     Register  / RSVP for this course >

Beekeeping  101

Sunday, July 12  2:00-4:00  p.m.

Location: Headwaters Farm, Van Tuyl Ranch, Gunnison   |   Annette & Anna Guerriere

Interested in harvesting your own honey? Come to see Headwaters Farm and the Mountain Roots Beehives with Bee expert Anna Guerriere! Learn everything from how to maintain hives, how to keep your bees through the winter, how to extract honey, and much more!    Register  / RSVP for this course >

Backyard Chickens Bicycle Tour

Sunday, July 26   2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location:  Starts at 421 N Boulevard, Gunnison   |  Instructor: Jonathan Houck, County Commissioner & Chicken Enthusiast

Backyard Chickens are an easy, meaningful, and fun step toward sustainability on the personal level. How much work is it? What do you need to know? How can you meet the town codes? What does it cost? All of these questions and more will be addressed so meet us for an informative hands on experience. Bring a Bicycle for the tour around town and meet others who are taking the plunge.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

Introduction to Permaculture Design

Saturday, August 1     9:00 a.m.  - 5:00  p.m.

Location: 202 E Georgia, Gunnison   |  Instructors: Kris Holstrom & Ian Oster, Southwest Permaculture Team

Interested in learning about permaculture gardening but don’t know where to start? Hear the word permaculture and still do not know what it means? In this teaser course, learn everything from garden design to maintenance and harvesting from permaculture experts. Whether a novice gardener or aspiring permaculturist, this course will prepare you to efficiently design your garden or become a permaculture expert with a permaculture certification course.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

Spring Cleaning, Green Cleaning

Sunday, Aug 16    4-6 p.m.

Location: Gunnison Rec Center   |   Instructor:  Tim Szurgot & Cassie Pence, Organic Housekeepers of Vail

Learn the best natural basic home products to use for cleaning your entire house. Better for your family, your house, your watershed, your environment, and the world. You will discover safe, natural and affordable cleaning products, and learn how to make your own, very effective, green cleaners with only a few simple ingredients. After this workshop, you will know how to simplify your cleaning routine, as well as how to save money using safe and effective natural cleaning methods. This is a hands-on program. Expect to roll up your sleeves and mix up cleaners to take home with you. You’ll leave equipped with an all-purpose cleaner and other natural cleaning recipes and tricks to try at home.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

Meet Some Fungi: Identifying Edible Mushrooms

Sunday, August 30  2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Elk Avenue garden, Crested Butte, with hike   |  Instructor:  Kira Taylor, Mycologist

Are you curious about the mushrooms you stumble across in the woods?  Do you want to know if that thing growing on your lawn is edible? Do you want some pointers on how to grow mushrooms yourself? Join local mycologist Kira Taylor in a quick lesson and an afternoon hike to discover the variety and wonder of Colorado fungi.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

Project Wet! And Project Wild!  

Double Workshop &  FREE teacher training

Teacher: Presented by Audubon of the Rockies

Location: TBD

Date :TBD

Register  / RSVP for this course >

Preserving the Fruits of our Labor

Sunday, Sept 10th or 14th   4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Location: TBD     |   Instructor:  Valerie Jaquith

Come learn how to make your summer fruit bounty last well into the winter. In this class, you will learn how to prepare jams, pickles, preserves, compotes, syrup from your favorite summer fruits and vegetables. What ingredients and supplies will you need? What recipes can you use at high altitude? How long do your preserves last? Find out while you make your own tasty preserves with our local teachers.  Register  / RSVP for this course >

Winterizing Your Garden

Sunday, October 11   2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location:  Giving Garden at Bill’s Park (Georgia & 14th, Gunnison)   |   Instructors:  Sasha Legere & Melanie Yemma

Come learn the best techniques to put your garden into hibernation for winter. From mulching your garden to cleaning out your irrigation, learn the best ways to ensure that your garden will be in great shape for the next growing season. Want to keep growing? Learn how to build makeshift cold frames to grow cold-climate crops after the frost comes.

Register  / RSVP for this course >

The Art of Homebrewing (2-Part Series)

This month’s workshop will be a hands-on, two-part series to learn the entire process of homebrewing beer from the science of brewing, the fermentation process, and the bottling process. Come learn about all that goes into creating different types of beer, as well as about the new Gunnison brewery that will be opening in town. Brewing Starter Kits will be available for purchase.

Teacher: Scott Cline, Brewmaster at the new Gunnison Brewery

Location: TBD

Date: TBD

Register  / RSVP for this course >

The Journey of Local Meat

November, TBD

Location:  Sunflower (Crested Butte)    |   Instructors:  Eric McPhail & Chef Kalon Wall

One of the most valued resources in our valley is the land and its ability to raise quality meat products.  However, once the animals are raised, it can be very difficult to get that meat to your plate.  This class will explore and give knowledge to the consumer so that they have a better understanding of our meat processing systems and why local meat can be a precious commodity.  Come learn about grass-fed meat, conventional meat, USDA regulations, mobile slaughter facilities, quarters, halves and wholes, and the facts about getting meat from the farm to your freezer.


Do you have a SUSTAINABLE LIVING SKILL you’d like to share with the community ?  We welcome local knowledge and invite you to teach a short course with us.  Please contact   if you’re interested.        PO Box 323 Gunnison, CO 81230

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