BioFuel Oasis

Classes

URBAN FARMING CLASSES AT BIOFUEL OASIS

BioFuel Oasis is excited to announce its urban farm class series for Winter & Spring 2016! We specialize in hands-on, seasonally appropriate classes designed to empower people.

We have a comprehensive Beekeeping Education Program. Click here for a description.

Classes are not held at the BioFuel Oasis. They are held in Oakland/Berkeley backyards or at Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee) in Berkeley

Refund policy

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Short List of Non-Bee Classes – Click on Class for Full Description and to Register!
Feb. 28th – Everything You Need to Know About Backyard Chickens
Mar. 6th – Aquaponics
Mar. 20th – Greywater: Laundry to Landscape
Mar. 20th – Mushroom Cultivation
Apr. 3rd – Creating a Summer Vegetable Garden
May 1st – How to Build a Simple Composting Toilet in Your Garden

Short List of Beekeeping Classes – Click on Date for Full Description and to Register!
Backyard Beekeeping: Jan. 24th, Jan. 31th, Feb. 28th, Apr. 10th, May 15th
Hive Inspection Classes: Mar. 13th, Apr. 23rd, May 22nd
Honey Harvesting Classes: Apr. 10th, May 22nd
Varroa Mite Classes: Mar. 26th, Apr. 24th, June 5th
Swarm Prevention: March 6th
Splits/Nucs: Apr. 3rd, May 1st


FULL DESCRIPTIONS OF ALL CLASSES IN ORDER BY DATE

Everything You Need to Know About Backyard Chickens
Sunday, February 28th, 10am-1pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

From setting up a brooder for baby chicks to the essentials of water, feed, and coop requirements for a thriving backyard flock, this class will prepare you for what you need to know! Having chickens is very rewarding, but it can feel daunting to get started. We will go over many topics for setting up and keeping your chickens happy and healthy including: planning your coop, protecting against predators, winter time care, best breeds, nutrition, and optimum egg production.
Instructor: Instructor: When Rebecca Daun-Widner started chickening with her family in 2008 in Asheville, NC, she never imagined she’d eventually have an urban flock in Oakland. Enjoying the benefits of backyard chickens – eggs! shenanigans! poultry problem solving!- keeps her happy and grounded.

Backyard Beekeeping
Sunday, February 28th, 2-5pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

Honeybees are a joy to keep in the backyard simply for their buzzing presence and, on hot days, the smell of honey, wafting through the air within ten feet of the hive. They increase pollination in your yard and therefore increase your yields from fruit trees and vegetables. You may also harvest honey (gallons per year), beeswax, pollen, and propolis from the hive. We’ll cover what you need to know to feel ready to have a Langstroth backyard beehive – how to get bees, what equipment you need, where to put the hive, how to extract honey and upkeep the hive. There will be local honey to try.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Aquaponics
Sunday, March 6th, 10am-1pm
Location: Backyard in Oakland
Cost: $40

Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish wastes to plant nutrients. This is a natural food growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or add chemical fertilizers. Aquaponics uses 90% less water than conventional gardening, making it a great technique for growing food during a drought.
Come learn the fundamentals of aquaponics in this 3-hour introductory workshop. The class will be held at a backyard system for hands-on instruction and demonstration. Subjects covered will include; design and building, fish species, bacteria and the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, maintenance, and fish food. Aquaponics might possibly be the most efficient, innovative and sustainable gardening technique available today, come learn what it’s all about!
Instructor: Gantt Charping is a professional gardener who splits his time between teaching children organic gardening and running Demeter Aquaponics, an aquaponic design and installation business. Gantt strongly believes in creating sustainable systems for both the land and the communities living on them through education, community building and vital food.

Swarm Prevention
Sunday, March 6th, 1-4pm
Location: Backyard hives in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

If you master how to manage swarms and varroa mites, your beehives will live long and stay healthy. This class focuses on early spring management–how to prevent your bees from swarming and instead focus their energy on honey production. It will also cover what signs to look out for that your bees might swarm soon, and, if they do swarm, how to catch them gracefully and efficiently with the proper equipment and technique. This is a good class to take in tandem with the April 3rd class on Making Splits & Nucs.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

How to Do a Hive Inspection – CLASS FULL! Call/Email to be put on Waitlist or sign up for April class!
Sunday, March 13th, 1-3pm
Location: Backyard hive in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $30

Learn how simple it is to do a thorough hive inspection! Whether you’ve never gone down into your brood boxes before or are a new beekeeper this year, this is a great class to learn what everything looks like in your hive and how to use all the tools properly to least upset the bees (read: not get stung). We will go into a hive and show what everything looks like: eggs, larvae, capped worker/drone brood, capped honey, and pollen. You’ll learn how to assess if your hive is the right size for the amount of bees and if you have a fertile, laying queen. This is a great second class to take (after Backyard Beekeeping) to get real experience with the bees present.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Greywater: Laundry to Landscape
Sunday, March 20th, 10am-1pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

When you wash your clothes, do you know where that water goes? Rather than letting this abundant resource go “down the drain” you can tap into it to sustainably irrigate your fruit trees and other larger landscape plants. Recycle the washing machine water to irrigate your yard with this permit-free legal method of greywater reuse. In this class participants will learn about the basics of greywater and guidelines on how to install their own “Laundry to Landscape” greywater system by doing hands-on assembly of the L2L hardware parts . This class will include a power-point presentation and handouts related to greywater design to help you further setup up your own system.
Instructor: Christina Bertea is a union trained licensed Plumbing Contractor whose pipework veered toward sustainability about 8 years ago when she started working with the (then) Greywater Guerrilas,
teaching “pre-legal” systems. The codes caught up with them in 2009 (they were in Sacramento helping craft them) so they morphed into the respectable Greywater Action, still teaching folks to install their own simple lo-cost, lo-tech greywater systems, rainwater systems, and encouraging the use of composting toilets and urine harvesting for fertilizer. Christina also makes eco-art related to water, is on the board of Women Eco Artists Dialog (WEAD), built a passive solar rammed earth house in Oakland in ’94. She is currently enchanted with all things permaculture– and vortexes!

Mushroom Cultivation
Sunday, March 20th, 2-5pm
Location: The Mushroom Maestros, 732 26th Street, Oakland, CA 95457
Cost: $40

Growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. They decompose toxic wastes, enhance garden/plant health, and have medicinal properties. In this class, we’ll focus on learning how to cultivate edible mushrooms! We’ll cover growing both Oyster and King Stropharia mushrooms on cardboard (to transfer to wood chips in your garden) and straw. Everyone goes home with two mushroom kits and some woodchips!
Note: For better demonstration purposes and hands-on work, the class with be outside.
Instructors: Patty and Ray Lanier of the Mushroom Maestros, seasoned mushroom farmers in Lake County by way of Oakland.

Outsmarting Varroa Mites: How to Keep Mite/Virus Levels Low and Your Hive Healthy
Saturday, March 26th, noon – 3pm
Location: Backyard hives in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

Varroa mites are likely the primary cause of colony collapse disorder and bee population decline. If their level gets too high, your hive can die within 2 months from the many different viruses that they transmit. The instructor will share her year-round plan for mite management. We’ll open up a live bee hive and demonstrate detection and preventative measures (including the sugar roll test and drone comb frames), so you will be prepared to do it in your own hive in the next couple months. We will cover organic treatment methods like drone comb frames, oxalic & formic acid treatment, and caging the queen. Everyone, from new beekeepers to those with years of experience, will find this class invaluable.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard in Oakland for 10 years. After her hives died in 2010/2011 from varroa mites, she has been tracking and managing mite levels and successfully overwintering hives multiple years.

Creating a Summer Vegetable Garden
Sunday, April 3rd, 10am-2pm
Location: Backyard in Berkeley
Cost: $50

In this class, students with little experience growing food will learn about many approaches and techniques they can put to immediate use. We will touch on basic soil science, soil testing, composting, sheet mulching, double digging, tools, propagation from seeds, and what to look for in purchased plants from nurseries. Students will learn about how to plant and care for the growing garden. We will cover types and varieties of annual and perennial veggies/ berries that do well in the East Bay, and a bit about nutrition and harvesting as well. The class will take place in the instructor’s backyard so students can see a full vegetable garden in action.
Instructor: Sequoiah Wachenheim started tending vegetables in the Bay Area at age 6 and hasn’t stopped yet! She has been sole proprietor of Earthly Arts, a consulting landscape design business for the last 16 years, and is extremely passionate about growing her own food.

Making Splits & Nucs
Sunday, April 3rd, 1-4pm
Location: Backyard hives in Oakland (Laurel District)
Cost: $40

It’s helpful to have two (or more) hives in your backyard; you can help out a weaker hive with resources from a stronger hive and you learn a lot more seeing the differences between the hives. Bees multiple easily in the spring when given the chance. Splitting a hive in spring is the number one thing you can do to reduce varroa mites in your hive. It also is a great way to prevent your hive from swarming. We’ll teach you how to successfully 1) split an overwintered hive and 2) make a nuc (small 5-frame hive) from an overwintered hive. Part of the class will be hands-on where we make the split/nuc with backyard bees, and inspect a split/nuc that was made beforehand for a capped queen cell or virgin queen.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Honey Harvesting
Sunday, April 10, 10am– Noon
Location: Backyard hive in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $35

Interested in learning how honey gets from hive to jar? In this hands-on class, participants will uncap frames of honeycomb and hand spin them in an extractor to expel the honey. The instructor will explain and show a video of how she removed the frames of honeycomb from her hive. Beekeepers will also learn tips and tricks for successful harvesting. Go home with a small sample of this delicious honey you help harvest. This class is for beekeepers, but honey-lovers and the bee-curious are welcome as well!
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard in Oakland for 10 years. She loves the different flavors in East Bay honey from blackberries to fennel to eucalyptus, and will bring samples of honeys from her hives.

Backyard Beekeeping
Sunday, April 10, 2-5pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

Honeybees are a joy to keep in the backyard simply for their buzzing presence and, on hot days, the smell of honey, wafting through the air within ten feet of the hive. They increase pollination in your yard and therefore increase your yields from fruit trees and vegetables. You may also harvest honey (gallons per year), beeswax, pollen, and propolis from the hive. We’ll cover what you need to know to feel ready to have a Langstroth backyard beehive – how to get bees, what equipment you need, where to put the hive, how to extract honey and upkeep the hive. There will be local honey to try.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

How to Do a Hive Inspection
Saturday, April 23rd, 1-3pm
Location: Backyard hive in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $30

Learn how simple it is to do a thorough hive inspection! Whether you’ve never gone down into your brood boxes before or are a new beekeeper this year, this is a great class to learn what everything looks like in your hive and how to use all the tools properly to least upset the bees (read: not get stung). We will go into a hive and show what everything looks like: eggs, larvae, capped worker/drone brood, capped honey, and pollen. You’ll learn how to assess if your hive is the right size for the amount of bees and if you have a fertile, laying queen. This is a great second class to take (after Backyard Beekeeping) to get real experience with the bees present.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Outsmarting Varroa Mites: How to Keep Mite/Virus Levels Low and Your Hive Healthy
Sunday, April 24, 1-4pm
Location: Backyard hives in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

Varroa mites are likely the primary cause of colony collapse disorder and bee population decline. If their level gets too high, your hive can die within 2 months from the many different viruses that they transmit. The instructor will share her year-round plan for mite management. We’ll open up a live bee hive and demonstrate detection and preventative measures (including the sugar roll test and drone comb frames), so you will be prepared to do it in your own hive in the next couple months. We will cover organic treatment methods like drone comb frames, oxalic & formic acid treatment, and caging the queen. Everyone, from new beekeepers to those with years of experience, will find this class invaluable.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard in Oakland for 10 years. After her hives died in 2010/2011 from varroa mites, she has been tracking and managing mite levels and successfully overwintering hives multiple years.

How to Build a Simple Composting Toilet in Your Garden
Sunday, May 1, 11am-3pm
Location: Backyard in Berkeley
Cost: $50

In this class you will learn how to build a simple, rustic, outdoor composting toilet out of a 5 gallon bucket and old fence boards. The appeal of these toilets is that they take no water, are outdoors (no stinky bathrooms or lines to use the ONE bathroom most of us have…) and of course, the amazing byproduct of compost. These toilets require dumping the 5 gallon bucket of deposits into a large compost bin made of fence boards and welded wire mesh. Sequoiah has been using composting toilets for the last 7 years and is very excited to share this information with others. You will get to see her complete system. Her carpentry skills are basic so this is NOT going to be about fine carpentry, but about practicality and ecology.
Instructor: Sequoiah Wachenheim started tending vegetables in the Bay Area at age 6 and hasn’t stopped yet! She has been sole proprietor of Earthly Arts, a consulting landscape design business for the last 16 years, and is extremely passionate about growing her own food.

Making Splits & Nucs
Sunday, May 1, 1-4pm
Location: Backyard hives in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

It’s helpful to have two (or more) hives in your backyard; you can help out a weaker hive with resources from a stronger hive and you learn a lot more seeing the differences between the hives. Bees multiple easily in the spring when given the chance. Splitting a hive in spring is the number one thing you can do to reduce varroa mites in your hive. It also is a great way to prevent your hive from swarming. We’ll teach you how to successfully 1) split an overwintered hive and 2) make a nuc (small 5-frame hive) from an overwintered hive. Part of the class will be hands-on where we make the split/nuc with backyard bees, and inspect a split/nuc that was made beforehand for a capped queen cell or virgin queen.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Backyard Beekeeping
Sunday, May 15, 10am-1pm
Location: Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkeley
Cost: $40

Honeybees are a joy to keep in the backyard simply for their buzzing presence and, on hot days, the smell of honey, wafting through the air within ten feet of the hive. They increase pollination in your yard and therefore increase your yields from fruit trees and vegetables. You may also harvest honey (gallons per year), beeswax, pollen, and propolis from the hive. We’ll cover what you need to know to feel ready to have a Langstroth backyard beehive – how to get bees, what equipment you need, where to put the hive, how to extract honey and upkeep the hive. There will be local honey to try.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

How to Do a Hive Inspection
Sunday, May 15, 2-4pm
Location: Backyard hive in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $30

Learn how simple it is to do a thorough hive inspection! Whether you’ve never gone down into your brood boxes before or are a new beekeeper this year, this is a great class to learn what everything looks like in your hive and how to use all the tools properly to least upset the bees (read: not get stung). We will go into a hive and show what everything looks like: eggs, larvae, capped worker/drone brood, capped honey, and pollen. You’ll learn how to assess if your hive is the right size for the amount of bees and if you have a fertile, laying queen. This is a great second class to take (after Backyard Beekeeping) to get real experience with the bees present.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard for 10 years, and has developed the beekeeping education program at the Oasis. She is vice-president of the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association.

Honey Harvesting
Sunday, May 22nd, 10am– Noon
Location: Backyard hive in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $35

Interested in learning how honey gets from hive to jar? In this hands-on class, participants will uncap frames of honeycomb and hand spin them in an extractor to expel the honey. The instructor will explain and show a video of how she removed the frames of honeycomb from her hive. Beekeepers will also learn tips and tricks for successful harvesting. Go home with a small sample of this delicious honey you help harvest. This class is for beekeepers, but honey-lovers and the bee-curious are welcome as well!
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard in Oakland for 10 years. She loves the different flavors in East Bay honey from blackberries to fennel to eucalyptus, and will bring samples of honeys from her hives.

Outsmarting Varroa Mites: How to Keep Mite/Virus Levels Low and Your Hive Healthy
Sunday, June 5, 2-5pm
Location: Backyard hives in Berkeley/Oakland
Cost: $40

Varroa mites are likely the primary cause of colony collapse disorder and bee population decline. If their level gets too high, your hive can die within 2 months from the many different viruses that they transmit. The instructor will share her year-round plan for mite management. We’ll open up a live bee hive and demonstrate detection and preventative measures (including the sugar roll test and drone comb frames), so you will be prepared to do it in your own hive in the next couple months. We will cover organic treatment methods like drone comb frames, oxalic & formic acid treatment, and caging the queen. Everyone, from new beekeepers to those with years of experience, will find this class invaluable.
Instructor: Jennifer Radtke has been keeping bees in her backyard in Oakland for 10 years. After her hives died in 2010/2011 from varroa mites, she has been tracking and managing mite levels and successfully overwintering hives multiple years.

How to Enroll
Please click the “Pay Now” button below the class description to reserve your spot in the class via credit card or debit card. (You don’t need a PayPal account – just click “Continue” next to where it says “Don’t have a PayPal account?”)

You can also sign up by calling BioFuel Oasis (510.665.5509) or coming in during business hours.

Our classes often fill up 1-2 weeks before class date, we strongly recommend you sign up early!

Work-Trade

We have low-income and work-trade spots available. Please inquire if you would like to apply for one.

Class Refund Policy

Cancellations must be made seven days in advance in order to receive a full refund. Refunds are not given for classes canceled less than seven days ahead; however, you can always send a friend in your place.