BioFuel Oasis

Classes

URBAN FARMING CLASSES AT BIOFUEL OASIS

BioFuel Oasis is excited to announce its urban farm class series for 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!
June 5th – Fruit Tree Pruning
September – Mushroom Cultivation

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: Apr. 2nd, Apr. 16th, Apr. 23rd, May 15th
Honey Harvesting Classes: 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

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 11 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 at 550 Valle Vista Ave. in 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 11 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: Cottage behind 126 Glen Eden Ave., 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 11 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 the Laurel District, 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 11 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.

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
Sunday, June 5th, 2-5pm
Location: Berkeley backyard
Cost: $40

This class will teach you how to follow up on your winter pruning and to prune for less reactive growth then you might get from winter pruning. In a large Berkeley garden with over 20 different fruit trees to practice on, we will cover which varieties do well in the area, purchasing good trees, pruning in youth, on-going pruning, and natural approaches to common disease and insect issues. Our goal will be to gain confidence in our ability to take care of productive, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing trees. The class will be tailored to the interests of the participants, and we will cover as many types of trees as we have time and interest in. These could include: pears, apples, apricots, plums, citrus, persimmons, figs, asian pears, cherries, peaches, and mulberries.
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 15 years, and is extremely passionate about growing her own food.

Mushroom Cultivation
Sunday in September to be announced.
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.

How to Build a Simple Composting Toilet in Your Garden
Postponed till September, Date to be Announced.
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.

Aquaponics – POSTPONED!
Date to be announced.
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.

How to Build a Simple Composting Toilet in Your Garden
Postponed till September 2016
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.

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.