Classes by the School of Self-Reliance
January Class Schedule
Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m.
USEFUL PLANT WALK AND NATURE APPRECIATION, $25.
Join us in this higher elevation environment in a mountain canyon to study the flora and fungi of the area. We’ll discuss some of the unique history, and geology, of the area. Along the stream are oaks, willows, alders, and mulefat, and there is much diversity along the banks. Bring a bowl for eating in case we find enough wild foods. Switzers Camp in the Angeles National Forest. From the 210 Freeway in La Canada, drive 10 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway to Switzers Camp. Drive down the road and park in the parking lot. Location 3.
Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m.
WILD FOOD OUTING, $25
We’ll take a leisurely walk and learn how to recognize the common native plants, and the many annuals that are now sprouting up after our rains. You’ll learn details of identification, and you’ll learn some details about how to recognize botanical Families. We’ll be exploring in the Upper Arroyo, and so we might encounter some mushrooms as well. As we walk, some of the local history will also be shared. Upper Arroyo Seco, Location 1. Meet at the west end of Altadena Drive in Altadena.
Sunday, January 13, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
ANIMAL TRACKING I, $20.
This class will cover the basics of tracking to include print identification, gaits and their corresponding patterns, and animal sign such as scat, trails, homes, and other evidence. Then we’ll take a short walk to practice our newly learned skills. Of course, we’ll look at plants and their uses (to both people and animals). This is an information-packed class with hands-on experience. Led by tracker Rob Remedi. Location 2, Hahamongna Watershed Park.
Friday, January 18, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WILDERNESS SURVIVAL SKILLS Class, Five Weeks, $60.
Sponsored by Pasadena City College, taught by Christopher Nyerges. Call (626) 585-7608 for information and registration. Class topics include uses of wild plants for food and medicine, storing food and water, purifying and finding water, primitive and modern fire-making, emergency shelters, tools and weapons, some first aid. This is taught in Room R115. Class includes lecture, hands-on, some film, and some work just outside the classroom. This is an excellent way to get a full spectrum of valuable information in a very condensed format. We suggest that you supplement this class with the field trips conducted by Nyerges and staff.
Saturday, January 26, 10 a.m.
WILD FOOD AND USEFUL PLANTS BY THE SEASON
This will be a new series of workshops, one per season, so you can learn to see nature through the seasons, from a forager’s perspective. The essence of this class is to develop seasonal knowledge and observational skills: How to look, where to look, what to look for. Plus, we will also focus on responsible and sustainable gathering methods, including collection of seeds and cuttings so you can grow plants in your own backyard. See web site for details.
WINTER – This is the time when we get our rains, and we can begin to see the hillsides and valleys greening-up. Learn to identify young seedlings and sprouts, and which are already edible. Learn to identify those locations where you can come back to later. Some medicinal barks are best collected now, such as willow. Some fruits occur in early spring, and we’ll discover those. This would also be the time to collect cuttings for sprouting, so you can grow these plants at your own home.
Meet at Location 1, the west end of Altadena Drive in Altadena.
Christopher Nyerges is the manager of the Old L.A. Farmers Market in Highland Park.