Nature Studies & Outdoor Skills



Introduction to Beekeeping

David Wood

If you've been thinking about honeybees, this "hands on" class is for you. You will learn how to buy and assemble equipment, where to place your hives, how to acquire bees, how to care for your growing colonies and how to prevent, identify and treat diseases. Though the first summer's honey is mainly left for the bees to get through their first winter, harvesting will be touched on briefly. Also how to capture a swarm, how to collect and use the "other" hive products: pollen and propolis, learn about bee friendly flowers, queen rearing, bee stings and much more! The class will include an open hive demonstration. The goal of this class is to help you begin beekeeping more confidently than if you were on your own.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $215
         Non-members: $265
  • Materials: $40
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $255 (members)         $305 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 2 ½ Days

Sessions:

1270-0427    This session has been cancelled

      Fri April 27, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat April 28, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sun April 29, 2018 9:00 am - 1:00 pm




Seasonal Attunement - Walking the Wheel

Margo (Nelson) Mullein

Experience the seasons in a deeper way as we follow nature's journey through spring, summer, fall and winter. Using the sustainable blueprint of the Native American Medicine Wheel as our guide, we will create a Medicine Wheel from natural objects. Then walking the wheel, we'll stop at each segment for an in-depth look at: purpose of season, relationship of direction to season, animal totems, the elements, season to body organ relationship, and the life cycle and energy of plants. Then we'll return to the course room for the hands-on portion of our class where each of us will create our own seasonally attuned herbal preparation: Spring - Plant Infused Oils, Vinegars & Butters; Summer - Best Dressed Salads & You; Fall - Botanical Scrubs for Face and Body; Winter - Breathe Deep Salve. A seasonally inspired lunch is included with your materials fee!

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Dress for the outdoors, as we will be spending time with nature. What we make during the first class, will be weaved into the herbal preparations for additional offerings. A seasonally inspired lunch will be prepared for you, so please let us know of any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Sessions:

1249-0422    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun May 6, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1249-0722    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun July 22, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1249-0923    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun September 23, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1249-1216    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun December 16, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Bird Language: Interpreting Calls and Movement

Dave Muska

Our fields and forests have a "news service" signaling to all who are aware. Birds report everything and understanding this language is an amazing way to deepen your outdoor experience. Interpreting bird language is an effective, fun, and exciting tool for observing the relationships of the natural world. Join Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures in this interactive workshop as he introduces bird language and how to develop this amazing awareness and skill. This class does not require any prior knowledge of bird species or their calls.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a notebook and writing utensil to this class, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a portion of the day will be spent outdoors. *Photo credit: Marcy Herrick

Sessions:

1252-0520    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun May 20, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Tinder Conk Fungus: The Many Uses of Fomes fomentarius

Dave Muska

The Tinder Conk Fungus has been used for tens of thousands of years for both utility and medicine across the globe. Join us as we explore the uses of this incredible and useful fungus native to the Adirondacks. In this class you will learn how to use this fungus for survival, medicine, fire craft, and more.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife.

Sessions:

1253-0602    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat June 2, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




The World of Mushroom Foraging in the Adirondacks: Spring, Summer or Fall

Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt

This course will familiarize students with mushroom science, and the fun of mushroom hunting culture, with an emphasis on the mushroom species of the Adirondacks that are considered "safe for beginners". But experienced mushroom hunters will also be pleased with how much can be learned from this course. Students in this class will go beyond the beginner level, learning how to observe and describe the finer details of fungi in the way a mycologist does, and how to track down certain mushroom species by knowing the kinds of trees found in the region. This knowledge will allow the students to increase the number of species they can identify and appreciate (and even eat, in some cases). We will study techniques for mushroom photography, collections, storage...and yes, delicious wild mushroom COOKING. Using wild mushrooms of the Adirondacks, we will demonstrate (and enjoy) various mushroom cooking concepts from around the world, as well as original wild mushroom cooking ideas from Ryan and Emily. Ryan's book: Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast will be available for $20 at the class.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $330
         Non-members: $360
  • Course Length: 3 Days

Students should wear weather appropriate clothing, suitable for hiking. Students may wish to bring with them a notebook and writing utensil, pocket knife, and camera (or phone with the ringer off).

Sessions:

1258-0615    Add registration to shopping cart

      Fri June 15, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat June 16, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sun June 17, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1258-0803    Add registration to shopping cart

      Fri August 3, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat August 4, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sun August 5, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1258-0928    Add registration to shopping cart

      Fri September 28, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat September 29, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sun September 30, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Introduction to Scything

Emmet Van Driesche

Learn how to use a scythe! A little knowledge is crucial for successful mowing with a scythe. Come learn how to adjust your handle, repair, peen and sharpen your blade, and sage honing and mowing habits. A variety of blades will be available to try so you can determine the right size and make for your needs.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Students are required to wear closed toe shoes, and to bring a notebook and writing utensil. Students may also bring any scythe or scything equipment they may have.

Sessions:

1257-0623    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat June 23, 2018 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm




Inspiring Herb Gardens

Margo (Nelson) Mullein

Get your Plant Passport ready! We'll start our journey by looking at Inspiring Herb Gardens which have been planted around the world, discussing the various plants and their associated stories along the way. Then, after a grounding, guided meditation, you will make an Inspiring Herb Garden of your own. Using an eclectic collection of containers, a variety of herbs, a bit of dirt, and a sprinkle of imagination you will create a garden to enhance your very own locale!

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $10
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $55 (members)         $65 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

We will have dirt time in this class, so dress accordingly. Feel free to bring a container of your own to make an additional garden.

Sessions:

1309-0629    Add registration to shopping cart
      Fri June 29, 2018 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm




Wilderness & Backcountry Safety

Dave Muska

Join us as we explore fundamental skills and tools of wilderness survival. In this course you will be introduced to the skills necessary in keeping yourself and loved ones safe in the forest and off trail. We will cover fire making including friction fire, emergency shelter construction, water allocation and purification, as well as seasonal wild edibles. This is a great course for hikers, backpackers, and outdoors people alike. All skill levels are welcome.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Participants are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife for carving, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a good portion of the day will be spent outdoors.

Sessions:

1254-0714    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat July 14, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Sacred Union of Plant & Water

Margo (Nelson) Mullein

Herbalist Margo Mullein will prepare for you a delightful journey for the senses! Explore the differences between a "polite cup of tea" and an infusion of plants made with the purpose of increasing and aligning wholeness and balance. This is a touch and taste workshop! We'll take a walk outdoors for a simple harvest. Then we'll come into the class room for a hands-on infusion making experience. As we sip the prepared infusions, we'll discuss the many roles which tea, and plant infusions have played throughout history and the benefits of inviting them into your life.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $15
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $60 (members)         $70 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1286-0826    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun August 26, 2018 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm




Art of Friction Fire

Dave Muska

In this class you will learn time-tested techniques to starting fire with friction. Yes, you can do that! We will cover the local species of plants that provide the greatest success along with the fundamental components of friction kits, how they work and why they sometimes don't. You will leave this class with a new appreciation for the gift of fire along with the tools and knowledge to create fire on your own. Subjects covered will include tinder bundle collection and construction, strap drill (2 person), bow drill (1 person) and hand drill. All participants will build their own friction kits to take home.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Materials: $10
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $155 (members)         $165 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife for carving, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a good portion of the day will be spent outdoors.

Sessions:

1255-0922    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat September 22, 2018 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Introduction to Fly Tying

Paul Sinicki

What better way to appreciate the Adirondacks than through fly fishing and fly tying, with their long and rich local traditions. Fly fishing leads us to learn more about our environment and natural resources and increases the time we spend outdoors appreciating nature and living a healthier life. Most fly fishers become strong stewards of our resources as they learn to fish. Come learn the basics of tying your own flies with an expert instructor.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $15
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $60 (members)         $70 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1144-0210 This offering has already met      Sat February 10, 2018 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

1144-0414 This offering has already met      Sat April 14, 2018 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

1144-1006    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat October 6, 2018 9:00 am - 12:00 pm