Monday, February 24, 2014

Grow your own mushrooms!

Michael Judd of Ecologia, Edible and Ecological Landscapes, and author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, is offering exciting new workshops this spring and summer. All workshop details at:


It is easier to grow mushrooms at home than you think. You can grow delicious and nutritious culinary and medicinal mushrooms in your own garden or home. 

March 30th, 1-4 p.m. - registration is via the Common Market tel:(301)663-3416
April 6th 1-4 p.m.  - registration is via

Costs $55. Class limit 20. Rain or shine. Early registration recommended. E-mail


Are you a hands-on learner looking for an opportunity to learn natural building skills? Join Michael and Ashley Judd to help build their strawbale home in Frederick, Maryland, and learn various natural building skills in the process.  We will cover the following topics:

Strawbale Infill Construction - April 12, 13 & 19 $95 (2-day)/$125 (all 3 days)
Clay plaster - 1st coat on straw May 3 $45
Clay plaster - 2nd sculpting coat  May 17/18 $95
Lime plaster - 1st (brown) coat June 14/15 $125
Lime plaster - 2nd (scratch) coat June 28/29  $125
Adobe floor - base layer July 19/20 $95
Each workshop day begins at 8:30 AM with instructions and demonstrations, followed by ample hands-on learning through 5:30 PM.

The Judd's home is the center piece of their budding permaculture homestead on 24 acres of mixed woodland at the entrance to Gambrill State Park. The circular house is round wood framed using poplar, cherry and locust from the land. The walls are to be strawbale infill with earthen plasters on the interior and lime plaster on the exterior. The two roof lines are living roof design for drought tolerant plantings of sedums.

A vegetarian lunch of soup, salad and fruit will be provided during workshop days. BYOB if you want to bring beer etc.

All of the workshops are taught by regional natural building expert, Sigi Koko, who has helped design & build over 20 strawbale homes. You can expect to learn how to detail appropriately for our wet & humid climate, the benefits and challenges of various natural materials, specifics for getting a building permit, as well as plenty of guided hands-on experience.

TO REGISTER: Please contact Ashley Judd by email at or by phone at 240.381.6001 to confirm that there is still space in the workshops. Directions and details on what to bring will be emailed to those who register. Full workshop payment reserves your place. Cancelations up to two weeks before the workshop are fully refunded, between two weeks and the day of the workshop 50%.

There is one work exchange possibility for help prepping and cleaning up after lunch, approx. 2.5 hours each day.
Please see the following link for additional information about workshops taught by Down to Earth Design

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bay Day at Robinson Nature Center

Come out to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay with Robinson Nature Center this Sunday, February 23rd from 1 – 4 PM. 

Many Bay-themed activities, speakers, animals, food, and more will be spread throughout the whole nature center for you to enjoy.  All activities are free with a Robinson annual pass or daily admission to the nature center.  More description of the event, and specific scheduling details below.

Howard County is connected to the Chesapeake Bay via the Middle Patuxent River.  Come out and enjoy this celebration of Chesapeake Bay food, restoration efforts, and fun.  This year, we are focusing on the oyster whose harvesting season in the Bay is from November 2013 until the end of February 2014.  Come enjoy some local seafood from Salerno’s Restaurant- one of the finest seafood eateries in the area- that will be selling freshly made dishes amongst the speakers and activities.  Learn how to recycle your oyster shells at the center so that they can become substrate on which the young oysters can grow.  Meet “touch-tank” animals in our discovery room and take part in fun, Chesapeake-themed activities throughout our exhibits.  No registration necessary.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Info: 410-313-0400 or visit the event website at or check out the Facebook event page at!/events/291719087648886/