2023 Kent Workshops

Event Schedule

10:00 am Registration open
10:30 am – Noon Workshop 1
Noon – 12:30 pm All-Community Circle 
12:30 – 2 pm Lunch
2 – 3:30 pm Workshop 2 
3:30 – 4 pm Break
4 – 5::30 pm Workshop 3
5:30 – 7 pm  Dinner
6:45 pm Closing Circle
7 – 8:30 pm Community Song Circle
8:30 – 10:30 pm Campfire/Music


Workshop 1 (10:30am – noon):

  • Culinary Wildcrafting of Black Walnut (Shelter 2 – Red Shelter)
  • Fermenting with honey – 3 ways! (Shelter 3- Blue Shelter)
  • Small Scale Beekeeping (Shelter 5 – Yellow Shelter)
  • Touch and Consent (Old Jail)
  • Getting from A to B with the least impact (Main Stage)

Workshop 2 (2 – 3:30pm):

  • (NEO) Earth Restoration Community and Collaborative (Shelter 1 – Purple Shelter)
  • Backyard Potions your Plants Will Love (Shelter 2 – Red Shelter)
  • Herbal Medicine: Doctrine of signatures! (Shelter 3- Blue Shelter)
  • Solar applications for home, farm, and business (Shelter 5 – Yellow Shelter)
  • Handmaking Paper from your Junkmail (Old Jail (booth ongoing))
  • Fox-Walking (Main Stage)
  • Build Something with Uncle Mud (Main Stage)
  • Foraging for Nutrition and Survival (Small Stage)

Workshop 3 (4 – 5:30pm):

  • Low-Impact Preservation of Food & Herbs (Shelter 1 – Purple Shelter)
  • Hand stitching for creation and repair (Shelter 2 – Red Shelter)
  • Cultivating Native Forest Medicinals (Shelter 3- Blue Shelter)
  • Moving Heavy Things (Shelter 4 – Green Shelter)
  • Survival in the 21st century (Shelter 5 – Yellow Shelter))
  • Fire making (Main Stage)
  • Wild Mushroom Identification (Small Stage)

Ongoing tables/demonstrations:

  • Portage parks
  • Intro to Citizen Science
  • Education Program Coordinator
  • Humanuer
  • Seeing the world around us: the joy of tracking, trailing, and mapping 
  • Kent Free Library: Seed Library info table

Backyard Potions your Plants Will Love
Jim Matalik and Melissa Celko, Fennel and Frog

With just a few simple recipes and a little effort you can create beautiful rich soil, healthy pest resistant plants and high yields – inexpensively.

Survival in the 21st Century
Kofi Khemet (Blackfacts.org)

Our lives and lifestyles are changing rapidly and not always for the better. The 20th century was an era of experimentation, in particular on Black communities with horrific results. Today we are part of wholesale experimentation that we are also paying for, vis a vis cellphones, GMO foods, GPS tracking of our every movement, etc. As The Last Poets said, “ . . . the machine is killing us and we’re paying the machine to die.” These experiments call into question our ability to survive in the 21st century. It’s time for us to step out of our virtual worlds, examine our “lifestyles” and their impact on our natural world. The time is now. If we wait too much longer it may be too late to save ourselves and our families. The focus of this workshop will be on seeds, the plants they grow and ways we can prepare ourselves for a future that looks very different from what we have seen in our virtual realities.

Kent Free Library: Seed Library Info Table

For 8 years, the Kent Free Library has offered a successful Seed Library, distributing over 1,500 seed packets to gardeners and replenishing the collection with donations. Through the Seed Library, The Kent Free Library hopes to encourage the tradition of seed saving, nurture locally-adapted plant varieties, and foster a community culture of sharing.  Meet the Seed Library coordinator and experienced gardener, Kristen Pool, ask questions about seed saving, pick up donation forms, and see examples of how to save different types of seeds.


Build Something with Uncle Mud

Hey Kids of All Ages: Your body is Nature’s very own 3D printer. No need to buy expensive equipment. The materials are also completely
recyclable, cheap and easy to get. You might say they are directly under foot. Join Uncle Mud for a small group session where you will learn and practice all the steps required to go
home and build something fun for yourself out of sandy clay and straw. 

Julia Fouty

Continuous composting of human manure on a small scale.  

The zero-waste, off-grid, regenerative and organic solution to the problem of polluting drinking water with our poop. 

Small-Scale Beekeeping
Jen Hillman

How to get started and bee successful keeping honeybees. Upfront costs, basic honeybee biology, health issues, and hive product overview.

Gavriel (Gabe) Goldman

An ancient aboriginal way of walking silently that greatly enhances awareness of surroundings — and eases many back pains.

Moving Heavy Things
Pete Betchik

Permaculture living often requires one to move heavy objects. Whether it be a log, a rock, a stuck vehicle etc., there are better ways and worst ways to accomplish these actions. I will cover the 9 precepts of moving heavy things, I will demonstrate the use of simple tools used to move things, including a high lift jack, wedges, Spanish windlass, and come-along.
Foraging for Nutrition and Survival
Tom Lacerda

Join us as we hike the trails at Fred Fuller Park. We will check out common edible plants that grow here and near where you live. Learn and share tips for time and labor saving ways to prepare food. The class will have an eye towards plant identification, nutrition, avoiding poisonous plants, understanding scientific papers on edible plants, and getting the greatest return on time invested.

Wild Mushroom Identification
Don King (The Mushroom Hunter)

Learn how to find, identify, prepare, and preserve the many different edible wild mushrooms we have here in NE Ohio.

Hand Stitching for Creation and Repair ($5 materials fee)
Frederic Vigne, Vigne Leather Studio
Based on my leather crafting work, we can transfer hand stitching techniques to any material, from duck canvas to reusable shopping bags and repurpose items we thought we would discard. It’s also handy to fix stuff in the field or even create something Japanese call boro, a happy medium between art and necessity.

Touch and Consent (adults only)

Touch is a basic human need. And yet increasingly, we are more and more afraid to touch each other for fear it may not be consensual or may cause harm. In this playshop, we will examine the art of saying no and explore how we do or don’t ask for what we want. All activities will be optional. Join us to strengthen your understanding of consent both conceptually and practically. This workshop is influenced and inspired by the Wheel of Consent® as developed by Dr. Betty Martin. Rabbi Lee has trained with Betty Martin and others in the School of Consent, but she is not a certified facilitator. For more information visit www.schoolofconsent.org.

Handmade Paper from Junk Mail
Gaille Ruhl

Kindergarteners through adults can learn to turn junk mail into handmade paper. Make a piece of paper to take home with you!

Cultivating Native Forest Medicinals
Brenna Dobos

This class will focus on plant history and cultivation information of a few very important native medicinal herbs in our region. If you have a shaded yard or own woodlands, this class will give you the tools to start forest farming or gardening these special plants contributing to their conservation. Plants we will talk about: American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Ramps, and more.

Fermenting with Honey – 3 Ways!
Kelly Clark (Kelly’s Working Well Farm)

In this workshop we will learn how to ferment with honey to create 3 different products: short mead (low alcohol and quick), carbonated soda using fruit, herbs of flowers, and honey fermented fruit or garlic (very medicinal). Each participant will have the opportunity to make and take their own fermented fruit.

Low-Impact Preservation of Food & Herbs
Leah Wolfe (Trillium Center)

In 1810, Nicolas Appert was awarded 12000 francs by the French government for learning how to preserve food in containers for the military. That same year, Peter Durand patented the tin can for use in food preservation. Thus, highly processed foods became the norm. Take a step back in time, with herbalist Leah Wolfe. After homesteading for more than 10 years, Leah’s learned many lessons in low-impact food preservation. Enjoy a lively discussion about food preservation, watch a demonstration, and take home a resource guide with free access to an online course through Leah’s educational project, the Trillium Center.
Austin Cannon
We will begin with a challenge to see where your skills are, then we will all come together and share different ways of how to improve our proficiency in the craft. This Fire making class will be for all skill levels.

Solar Applications for Home, Farm, or Business
Tom Rapini and Valerie Garrett (A’s and O’s Farm)

From lighting a path, to powering your entire house, there are all levels of ways you can bring solar generated electricity into your life. Doing so will not only save you money in the long run, it can provide you with measures of energy independence while also helping the environment and the planet!
This workshop will give you ideas and knowledge that you can take home and apply to energy-demanding tasks around your home or farm. Need to light a shed? Power a remote water pump? Open a door on a hot greenhouse? Automatically turn on a fan to cool the garage? Or how about installing (or having a professional install !) an array large enough to power your entire home, farm or business? All these will be discussed conceptually and practically.
Most importantly, you will have a chance to go hands-on, wiring up solar panels yourself so that you can learn enough electricity fundamentals to possibly tackle a do-it-yourself solar project, or at the least converse intelligently with a solar installer.

American Solar Energy Society
 Ohio “ Wish You Were Here TOUR ”

      October 6th, 7th, and 8th      www.nationalsolartour.org

SOLAR, WIND, Electric Cars      
Learn how your neighbors find energy independence and lower their fuel bills by harnessing solar, wind, and geothermal energy to power their homes and cars !! 

Electric Vehicle Rally, Guided Bus Tours, Open Houses

Culinary Wildcrafting of Black Walnut
Carla and Chris Kirtley

In this workshop you will learn simple recipes using the only all-wild nut tree grown in the United States, and one quite prolific in Ohio. Cooking with black walnuts dates back to the late 1700’s. Recipes and sampling of condiments and beverages using black walnuts will be discussed.
Getting from A to B with the least impact
Tim Herda

This Workshop will cover how we can reduce our carbon footprint while traveling. Touching on alternative vehicles, alternative fuels, and habits and modifications that anyone can do to reduce fuel consumption.
Herbal Medicine: Doctrine of signatures
Erin Adams

Learn to read the language of the medicinal plants. All plants have qualities that match what they are able to do in the body. Some plants are cooling, moistening, or activating. We can learn a lot about the healing properties of a plant just by looking, tasting, touching and paying attention to how it grows. In this class, we will learn about several medicinal plants and the ways the plant is communicating its healing properties through its unique qualities and ways of growing.

(NEO) Earth Restoration Community and Collaborative

The mission of the Northeast Ohio Earth Restoration Community is to strengthen and widen participation in regional networks of folks engaged in regenerative projects/initiatives/education/skillbuilding, to support the growth of communities of practice, and to catalyze the emergence of new modes of being in right relationship with each other, our non-human relations and the world around us. The (NEO)ER Collaborative is a group of permaculture practitioners combining efforts to educate/design and implement regenerative projects while developing a model for right livelihood for its members. Come to this session to learn more about these initiatives and how you can get involved.

Seeing the world around us: the joy of tracking, trailing, and mapping 
Rytz Bowman

We aren’t going to set out to trail an animal through the woods, but we will share the joy of questioning and gather some tools to better help ourselves to answer the questions who, what, where, when and why. We will look at our own tracks, the landscape around us and start training the eye to see some things that are often overlooked. Tracking is a fun way to learn and develop a better awareness or understanding of the world we interact with. We will talk about the language of the birds, peer into their lives and answer the question “how can listening to the birds tell me about what the people and animals are doing”. There will be some mapping, some time spent crouched or on hands and knees and hopefully a spark of passion for all. So please come out and join me to look at some tracks, learn a new skill or if you’re already tracking, hone your skills and keep on the trail.

Portage Park District

The mission of Portage Park District is to conserve the natural heritage of Portage County and provide opportunities for its appreciation and enjoyment. Formed in 1991, we offer 6 parks and 3 multi-purpose trails, educational programming, and recreational opportunities. We have conserved over 2,700 acres of land, which protects habitats and watersheds throughout the county. Stop by our table to learn more about all the ways you can enjoy Your Portage Parks.