The Sustainable Food Center has released the spring schedule for its cooking and gardening classes, and will host a free preview night on March 25 from 5-7 p.m. in its teaching kitchen and community room, 2921 E. 17th Street, Bldg. C.
From making your own baby food with Jessica Burleson (founder of Austin’s Baby Food Network), to cooking quick, healthy Asian-inspired weeknight meals with Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen and integrative medicine specialist Dr. Shelly Sethi, SFC’s spring programming covers a broad range of food growing and preparation methods with something for every skill level—from beginner to master gardener or chef.
SFC’s The Happy Kitchen cooking class schedule:
Essential Knife Skills — March 31, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Learn how to chop, julienne, dice, and chiffonade like a pro and how to properly select, sharpen, care for, and store your knives so they last a lifetime. Plus, go home with a chopped vegetable bounty ready to make dinner. ($35)
Cutting Up a Whole Chicken — April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn to cut up a whole pasture-raised chicken including deboning, making stock, and grinding meat. Attendees get to take home the chicken and also receive (and get to sample) recipes using leftover chicken and chicken stock. ($40)
* Cooking with Herbs — April 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Explore the wonderful world of cooking with herbs and spices from your own garden through preparing several seasonal dishes and discussing handling, storing, and drying fresh herbs for later use. ($35) *Second class in two-part series; part one is Growing Herbs (an SFC Grow Local gardening class) on 4/8
Homemade Sauerkraut — April 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Taught by SFC Farmers’ Market vendor Hat Creek Pickle Company, learn how to make sauerkraut as well as the stages of fermentation, troubleshooting common problems, and how to store your pickles when they are ready. ($40)
* Brewing Probiotic Beverages — April 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
In this hands-on class, learn how to make safe, healthy, and delicious beverages full of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms including kombucha as well as other fizzy, fruity probiotic drinks. ($35) * Second class in two-part series; part one is Composting: Microbial Magic (SFC’s Grow Local gardening class) on 4/25
Essential Knife Skills — May 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (description above)
Making Homemade Baby Food — May 16, 9-11 a.m.
Taught by SFC staff member and founder of Austin’s Baby Food Network, Jessica Burleson, learn how to begin making your own quick, easy and nutritious foods for babies or toddlers. Parents will also make a healthy weeknight recipe for themselves, using the same ingredients to save time in the kitchen. ($35)
Seasonal, Healthy Indian Fusion — May 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn to make quick, healthy weeknight recipes that fuse traditional Asian flavors with seasonal Central Texas ingredients. Led by guest instructors Dr. Shelly Sethi, an integrative medicine specialist, and Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen. ($35)
Yes, We Can: Tomatoes — June 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn how to safely can tomatoes three ways—whole, crushed, and roasted—so you can enjoy them throughout the entire year. ($40)
Fermented Dill Pickles— June 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Taught by SFC Farmers’ Market vendor Hat Creek Pickle Company, learn how to make fermented dill pickles including the stages of fermentation, troubleshooting common problems, and how to store your pickles when they are ready ($40)
SFC’s Grow Local gardening class schedule:
Bees and Beekeeping — April 4, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Learn about bees with SFC and Austin Bees in this interactive workshop including beekeeping basics, the importance of honeybees and native pollinators, and how to attract bees to your garden and support their local pollination. ($20)
* Growing Herbs — April 8, 6-7:30 p.m.
This class teaches attendees how to create their own in-ground or potted herb garden as well as how to keep it healthy year-round and harvest herbs for culinary uses. ($12) * First class in two-part series; part two is Cooking with Herbs (SFC’s The Happy Kitchen cooking class) on 4/15
Citizen Gardener — April 11, 15, and 18 (times vary)
Three-part series provides participants with the knowledge and skills needed to start and maintain an organic food garden from choosing a garden site and building a raised bed to composting, pest management, and rainwater harvesting. Students volunteer 10 hours of service at school and community gardens, and a local food potluck celebrates the accomplishments of Citizen Gardener course graduates at the close of each planting season. ($45)
* Composting: Microbial Magic — April 25, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Get your hands dirty in the garden while learning the basics of compost— what it is, what it’s made of (microbes), how to make it, and how to use it. ($20) * First class in two-part series; part two is Brewing Probiotic Beverages class (SFC’s The Happy Kitchen cooking class) on 4/29
Water Conservation in the Garden — May 13, 6-7:30 p.m.
Learn appropriate plant choice and watering techniques for Central Texas’ hot, dry climate including how to deliver water directly to the plants’ roots using olla pots, wicking beds, drip irrigation, and other water-efficient techniques. ($12)
Community Garden Leadership Training — May 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Learn about community gardening in Austin including community organizing, securing land, garden organization structures, and fundraising and outreach. (FREE)
Surviving Summer in the Garden— June 3, 6-7:30 p.m.
Learn which vegetables are able to tolerate the Central Texas heat, how to maximize water usage in the garden, and how to create shade during those long summer days. ($12)
The class preview night on Wednesday, March 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. is FREE, but you must register to attend. The preview night will include demonstrations on growing herbs, knife skills, square foot gardening, and cooking with herbs. SFC will also have different booths showcasing several of its other classes including Indian cooking, brewing probiotic beverages, water conservation in the garden, and composting.
For more information, visit www.sustainablefoodcenter.org or call 512-236-0074.