IUH Founder & Headmistress
K.Ruby Blume www.rogueruby.com
|Headmistress in Training|
Becca Wetherby is an urban homesteader, veterinary technician and artist who maximizes every square inch of her small northwest Oakland lot, home to gardens, chickens, bunnies, and bees. Passionate about sustainability and empowering people to make informed choices about their food sources, she believes that we don't have to be limited by space, economics, or an urban environment if we want to grow delicious healthy food at home. Becca holds bachelor's degrees in biology and studio art, and has completed graduate level coursework in veterinary science. She has worked in the veterinary field for over a decade in a wide range of settings including veterinary emergency rooms, small animal general practices, internal medicine and specialty practice, animal shelters and zoos. She has worked with dogs, cats, parrots, farm animals, wildlife, and birds of prey. When she's not working with animals, she can be found gardening, fermenting, sneaking healthy homemade food into her family's diet, designing clothing and textiles, performing with her fire dancing troupe, or enjoying the beautiful Bay Area nature with her dogs.
|Teachers (alphabetical by last name)|
Field to Table: Spring Foraging & Feast
Farm To Table: Work Party & Lunch
Maya Blow is an herbalist and classical homeopath practicing in the East SF Bay Area. She studied herbal medicine at the California School of Herbal Studies and also completed four years of homeopathic medical school at the Institute of Classical Homoeopathy in San Francisco. Besides her passion for holistic and alternative medicine, Maya is an artist, mother of two, aspiring farmer, and avid crafter. She has been studying, practicing, and teaching art for two decades and continues to draw her inspiration from her love of nature. Some of her hobbies are gardening, animal husbandry, foraging for wild food, fermenting and canning, making herbal medicine and dying with plants. She currently runs a handcrafted herbalism CSA from her urban farm in El Sobrante where she lives with her husband and sons, goats, chickens, bees and jersey milk cow.
The Bee's Medicine Cabinet
Making Hydrosols From the Garden
Alice is an innovative cosmetic designer who helps people develop their own eco-friendly product lines. She has been teaching in the Bay area for the past 9 years and has developed curriculums in the domains of Botanical extraction and distillation, bee products, natural cosmetic emulsification and preserving systems. She studied ethno-botany at the Paris Sorbonne and subsequently created an “open house” laboratory in Brazil, where she taught and collaborated with indigenous people and university leaders in the field. Alice was motivated by her own experience of adult acne, where she found relief from botanicals, hydrosols, colloidal minerals and nutrients. This opened her heart to a passion for organic cosmetology, botanical extraction techniques and foods for beauty.
|Kathleen Elliot & The Hillcrest Ranch
Olive Picking & Brining
Kathleen Elliot is the owner of the Hillcrest Ranch, where she produces organic extra-virgin olive oil, brined olives and olive oil soaps. The ranch is historic, part of a huge planting of olive tress dating back to the 19th century and its 6 acres now sits as an island atop Sunol's Pleasanton Ridge Park. Kathleen has a lifelong involvement in animal husbandry and plant sciences. She was a beekeeper for 30 years starting when she worked at the Bee Biology Center while a student of plant sciences at UC Davis. As well as her work on the ranch, Kathleen currently works as horticulturalist and landscape designer at Regan Nursery, where she regularly teaches pruning, edible landscaping and plant propagation. Further teaching experience includes teaching beekeeping, chicken husbandry and dairy goat management, cheese making and cooking to people of all ages through diverse organizations, from 4-H, to senior centers, to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens.
Home Cider Making
Jarrod is a home cook and fermenter that runs his own cooking school for kids. When not teaching food science and kitchen skills to kids, he is working on various fermentation projects at home. Jarrod makes cider, kombucha, sauerkraut, charcuterie, and any other thing he can get to ferment. Cider has been a passion for Jarrod for the last two years, initially starting as an avenue to cider vinegar. While playing with the flavors for his vinegars, Jarrod discovered a passion for making ciders to drink as well.
Urban Goat Dairy
Jeannie lives on a half acre homestead in Montclair that was the neighborhood's first chicken farm. She has been gradually reviving the old farmstead which now includes chickens, bees, and goats, an organic garden and many fruit trees. Jeannie is a circus artist, dancer, musician and teacher. She currently teaches music in a few elementary schools and plays with several bands around town. Jeannie has been involved in many aspects of homesteading and she’s excited to share her growing knowledge of and passion for backyard chicken farming.
Wielding the Knife
The Whole Pig
The Whole Lamb
Made With Masa
Seth Peterson's passions are teaching and cooking. As a second generation urban gardener living in the heart of Berkeley, his love of gardening is a natural extension of his love of food, cooking, and eating in community passed on from his mother. His passion for teaching is fueled by fourteen years in Latin America, where he taught English and business. Since returning five years ago he has dedicated himself to working in East Bay restaurants and exploring the local foodshed. He enjoys combining his twin passions and experience to bring real local food to the people,giving them knowledge and skills to prepare it using traditional cooking techniques that are healthy and delicious.
|Kitty Sharkey www.havenscourthomestead.com
Container & Raised Bed Gardening
Kitty is an urban homesteader, consultant, and educator who believes that “You don’t have to move to change the place you live.” After purchasing a foreclosed home in East Oakland, she began the process of transforming an empty yard into an urban oasis. She has since become a master of small space design and utilization, packing an entire urban farm into her 2,000 square foot back and side yards. Focusing on livestock, Kitty raises goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, quail, and honeybees. She practices raised bed and container gardening with an emphasis on utilizing vertical space and water conservation. Aside from typical homesteading activities like gardening, preserving, cheese making, baking and brewing, Kitty also enjoys fishing and foraging for mushrooms and other wild edibles. With a degree in graphic arts, she has been in print production management for 34 years.
The Bitter Truth:
Making and Mixing Homemade Bitters
Tanya Stiller learned to make preserves, fruit leather and wine growing up on a small family farm in Eastern Oregon with her mother. She received her herbalism certificate in 1994 from The Oregon School of Herbal Medicine, ran a tincture and lotion-making company called Pixie Plants and has been teaching herbalism classes in Oregon and the Bay Area for the last 15 years. Tanya is passionate about studying and teaching permaculture, nutrition, and ethnobotany. She works as the Nutrition and Garden Coordinator at Rosa Parks Elementary School and lives at an intentional community house called Brigid Collective in West Berkeley.
|Paul Taylor bio-charbooks.com
Biochar for Urban Gardeners
Paul Taylor, author of The Biochar Revolution: Transforming Agriculture and the Environment, graduated with the University Medal in physics from the University of NSW, received a PhD from University of Colorado, and worked at Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Oak Ridge National Labs, Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, NASA and MIT. He now lives in both Australia and the US, researching and presenting on biochar and climate change. Paul has presented papers in several international biochar conferences in Australia, US and Brazil and is a presenter for Beyond Zero Emissions, an exciting blueprint to provide 100% Renewable Energy for Australia within 10 years.