Class Schedule

~ 2021 SCHEDULE ~

2021 Earth Knack Experiences for the 21st Century

Independent Living Skills … More Important Now Than Ever
Hands- On, In- Person Instruction … More Important Now Than Ever
Lighthearted Positive Teachings … More Important Now Than Ever
Top Quality Instruction … Our Specialty Since 1990!

2021 Earth Knack Classes and Programs

June

Earth Centered Living

3 days ​ ​June 4, 5, 6​ (Fri evening – Sun afternoon)
Co instructed by Ann Drucker, Mike Foltmer, Robin Blankenship
This description written by Anne Drucker and Program designed by Ann and Mike
We invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature in Crestone CO. Come delight in wild foods, experience fire hearth cooking and make earth remedies that really work. Create your own personal deerskin pouch.

The beauty and strength of ‘Bear Medicine’ will be one focus for this program. Open to women, men and children, ages 10 and up.

We welcome LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community!

Details​: Please arrive Friday between 1 – 3pm to settle in.

Our weekend together begins at 5!

$195 includes camping and ​Friday and Saturday night dinner provided
Bring your own breakfast, lunch, and snack foods and use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen.

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans.

There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

Want to stay an extra night? $30 more for Sunday dinner and camping.

For teepee or cabin lodging for the Earth Centered Living Program, contact Robin directly at ​earthknackschool@gmail.com
Check out Robin’s super comfy Crestone CO Airbnb options!(first come, first serve) The Earth Knack Garden House; A unique, artful home
https://airbnb.com/h/earthknackgardenhouse

The Godfather Creekside Cottage at Earth Knack
https://airbnb.com/h/godfathercreeksidecottage

The Wild Woods Rock House at Earth Knack
https://airbnb.com/h/wildwoodsrockhouse

“Ride the Range” Equestrian Amish Off Grid Cabin
https://airbnb.com/h/ridetherangecabins


Into the Heart of the Buffalo

American Bison Processing Class

5 days ​June7-11 (mon -fri)

Co instructed by Kevin Off, Daniel Blea, Ken Wee, Robin Blankenship
You will participate in the entire processing of a Bison!

5th generation rancher Kevin Off will introduce us to his philosophy of the cycle of life and circle of gratitude before he shoots one of his herd of “spiritually correct, one happy herd” animals, as printed on the Grande Island Bison Ranch business card!

Then we gut, skin, debone, learn butcher cuts, grind, package, preserve, jerk, can, make bone marrow paste, broth, sausage, pemmican and rendered fat.

Learn traditional hide tanning methods, buffalo bone tool making, hoof & hide glue. We are hosted at Grande Island Bison Ranch in Del Norte for the 1st two days, while we harvest and process.

Our night camp will be at the historic Burro Creek cabin in the Mountains above the ranch. We return to Earth Knack to learn traditional methods of bison food preparation, “hair on” hide tanning using brain tan method, tool, glue, sinew thread and bowstring making. It really IS a process!! Come learn how!

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek. Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks. Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

$315 per person​ includes camping, all classes, use of Earth Knack and Burro Creek kitchen and bath facilities, and some bison meat, jerky and canned broth.


Natural Fibers Fantastic Class

Co instructed by Bill Oliphant and  Robin Blankenship

5 days     June 13-17  (sun  – thursday)

Learn to work with Yucca, Nettle, Milkweed and  Dogbane plant fibers as well as Alpaca and Llama fleece and Sheep and Buffalo wool.

You will learn to harvest, prepare, spin, weave, and cord a variety of natural fibers. Methods and techniques from the pre stone age will be shown, and creating dyes from natural materials will also be taught (and tested on some cotton or wool things you bring along to transform!)

You will make and build a few different simple loom structures, learn drop spindle and wheel spinning techniques, and make a card woven belt using the very old tablet, or card technique. 

Bill always gets knotted up in a knot class as well, when least expected.

Depending on summer weather conditions and luck, you may be able to participate in shearing day when we fleece Iron, Arnold and Tiafore, our alpacas. 

Keep your fingers crossed!

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek.

Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks. 

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. 

There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include  composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure. 

$195 per person includes camping, classes and materials, use of kitchen and bath facilities


Paleo Bread Baking with Natural Leavening 

Wild Plants Uses 

Personal Health Care Plant Preparations

And Solstice Feast and Celebration!

Co instructed by Alma Carel, Cattail Bob Seebeck and Robin Blankenship

3 days June 18, 19, 20 (fri – sun)

This celebratory program begins with an in depth plant walk on Friday with nationally renowned Medicinal and Survival plant expert Cattail Bob Seebeck. Next we identify and harvest with Alma and harvest, 3 main plants abundant and vigorous in our south western, high altitude climate: Yucca, Pine and Prickly Pear Cactus.

Some look out and see nothing to eat or use. You won’t be one of those after you prepare, enjoy and process these plants in a multitude of edible and useful ways.  Wild blooms salad garnish, Nettle and Pinon Nut Pesto, yummy Nopal recipes,  cambium flour!, wild teas, cactus compresses and medicinal salves, body washes, and shampoos! For the Summer Solstice feast Alma will “reconstruct” the Stone Age bread making process with you, and we will bake in the Adobe mud oven and in several ways over, and in, the fire. Robin will prepare buffalo, elk and squirrel dishes for the feast and everyone will contribute something to the feast table. 

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek.

Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to  prepare your meals and snacks. 

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. 

There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include  composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure. 

$165 per person includes camping, classes and materials, use of kitchen and bath facilities


Archery Camp for Families

5 days June 21 -25 (mon – fri)

Co instructed by Jim Langell and Robin Blankenship

Spend time in the outdoors learning fun and useful skills with your child! This program includes parent / child ​(working together)​ bow making classes, shooting range instruction, quiver, arm guard, finger tab construction, shooting competitions and scavenger hunts, field shooting techniques, campfire discussions on bow hunting and hunter safety.

Morning bird walks, night time astronomy programs, jumping in the swimming hole and fishing in the creek are all available.

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek. Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks. Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

$275 adult $175 kids ​ includes camping, classes, use of kitchen and bath facilities, 1st bow and 3 arrows, arm guard and finger tab materials. If you choose to make a quiver, the cost is not included in tuition. The quiver is $25, fur trim $15 and up, paid to Mister Jim at class.


Teen Survival and Primitive Skills Adventure Camp

7 days ​June 24-30 (thur – wed)

Co instructed by Clark Patton and Robin Blankenship ​ Get the full Earth Knack experience!
Build your own shelter and live in it all week! Cook your meals over the fire.
Make buffalo and wild veggie pizza in the adobe horno!
Harvest those wild veggies yourself, learning more about wild medicine & food.
Make your own rabbit stick and traps to hunt small game.
Prepare your catch with an obsidian knife you make yourself.

Expand your awareness in the wild landscape while you refine movement and stalking techniques and become invisible on the landscape using only natural pigments.

Make natural torches with bear fat & pitch, lighting the way as we explore a late night landscape under a gazillion stars.

Can you find your way back by those stars!

Ride on the buggy with Trigger! Try hitchin’ up a wagon!
Use natural building materials on a “service day” project on Earth Knack property.
What else? Fishing in the creek, jumping in the swimmin’ hole and crazy wild camouflage hide and seek! Late night shenanigans around the campfire expected.

You will camp in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek. Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your breakfast and lunch meals and snacks. (participants supply their own food for these meals, and all dinners are provided including Horno Pizza Night, wild picked salads, dutch oven desserts each night, and other yuminess!

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

$345 per person​ includes camping, classes and materials, use of kitchen and bath facilities Scholarships available through the Jerry LaVelle Scholarship Fund.*** to apply, see below


July

Horse and Buggy Hitching and….

“A ​Trigger​ a day” (​a Dojo Turnbull quote)
1 day July 2 Friday
Join Trigger and Robin to discover the joy and methods of olde tyme transportation! Trigger loves to teach folks to hitch up, and then take them for a ride! He’ll give you just the right backwards glance if you miss part of the harnessing process! Robin will step in as head “mule skinner” (buggy driver) so you can roll and rumble down the wide open roads surrounded in spectacular views of the Great National Sand Dunes and the 14,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. All the aspects of horse care and equipment for driving will be shared, as well as how to get started on your own horse powered transportation.

$45 per person for the class – the ride is free!


Ancestral Fire Making Techniques

instructed by Robin Blankenship

1 day July 3 Saturday $45

 Learn several methods of making fire using natural materials, how to make a good tinder bundle to catch the ember you create, and build and maintain a righteous fire! Then walk into the woods along Cottonwood Creek and gather your own raw materials to make your personal fire set. 

Some pioneer style and survival fire making will also be shown.                                                                                                                    $45 per person  If you are traveling and choose to camp at Earth Knack the night before or after this class, add the daily camp fee of $15 per person, paid on arrival. 


Stone Tools Flintknapping 101

instructed by Robin Blankenship

 1 day   July 5  Monday   

Rocks as tools: very old tech!  Find out how it started and evolved. Learn to work with different stone and several flint knapping techniques  to make effective “stone age” tools. Learn “one blow” technique to make a razor edge knife blade. Haft that obsidian blade onto a handle with pitch glue and sinew.                     

 $45 per person  If you are traveling and choose to camp at EarthKnack the night before or after this class, add the daily camp fee of $15 per person, paid on arrival.


Throwing Tomahawk and Knife Making Class

3 days ​July 9, 10, 11 (Fri – Sun)

Metallurgy, Blacksmithing, Welding

Co instructed by  Papa Dean Smith, (a 4th generation blacksmith), Ivan lakish, (our local knife maker extraordinaire),  Mike Stewart, Kevin Off, Robin Blankenship

Out of arrows? No worries! Throw that hawk or knife and still put meat in the pot!
First torch cut metal stock to get your tomahawk head.
Second, practice lighting up and managing a pioneer style forge.

Next, get some basic principles of metallurgy and blacksmithing techniques to shape
your tomahawk head and sharpen the edge. Then beat and shape your handle / tang, and finally get the hang of welding to join your head and handle!!

And a whole lot more awesome learning in between those steps!

Finally, learn to handle and throw your new favorite thing!

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek. Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks. Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

$195 per person​ includes camping, classes and materials, use of kitchen and bath facilities.


Pioneer Style and Natural Process Soap Making

Co instructed by Mattie Belle Lakish and Robin Blankenship

3 days   July 16, 17, 18    (fri – sun)                                                                          You will learn several ways to make your own soap:
Pioneer style, over the fire, kettle cooked, hot process soap making,
Cold process methods to use in your modern kitchen at home,
Glycerin melt and pour method demonstration by Matie Belle.
Learn the Science!  Guided to understand the chemical process,
you will be able to make up your own recipe.

Robin will  show Yucca Root harvest, pound, and soak method, and the use of other saponin plants, like Clematis and Bouncing Bet. Learn to make lye from ashes!

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek.

Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks.

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans.

There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include  composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure.

$165 per person includes camping, classes and materials, kitchen and bath facilities


Buckskin and Fur Sewing and Design

instructed by Robin Blankenship 1 day instructed by Robin Blankenship

2 days   July 24 and 25      sat and sun 

Learn how to work with natural leather to make lovely garments and accessories. Use stone age tools to mark and cut patterns in hide and leather. Make lacing or sinew sewing material. Hides don’t work like cloth. How do you get the right fit?

Learn the secrets of fur sewing. Several stitching techniques will be shown. 

Set your camp up in the woods along the banks of pristine Cottonwood Creek.

Use our fully equipped large outdoor kitchen to prepare your meals and snacks. 

Oils, spices, and teas are also provided, along with all the cooking pots and pans. 

There is an adobe “horno” baking oven, several solar ovens, and dutch ovens. Facilities include  composting toilets and a lovely solar shower structure. 

$95  per person includes camping, classes and materials, use of kitchen and bath facilities


August

Green River Canoe

Set Adrift on the Green and Travel into Deep Time

guided and instructed by Robin Blankenship

7 days   August 1- 7  (sun – sat)

A cold water geyser, sandy beach camping, hikes into the canyonlands wilderness, cliff jumps, stunning geologic architecture towering 700 feet above you as you float the cool currents of a river that has run before time remembered.  For me, it has never really been summer until I jump into the Green and float, arms akimbo, watching the walls of Labyrinth Canyon squeeze a small strip of impossible blue sky above me. We will dig river bank clay and make pottery, collect agate and make stone tools, harvest Tamarisk and Willow to make baskets, and learn to identify the canyonlands bio region flora and fauna. Join in the true spirit of adventure. Participants bring their own food and cooler, tents, sleeping gear, dry bags, 5 gallon water container, camp chairs. Cooking stoves and gear, kitchen table, spices and oils will be supplied. The tuition includes canoe rental. (Have your own canoe? Take $100 off tuition if so.) We will meet at green river state park by 1pm August 1st, load canoes, do a shuttle run, put a few miles on down river and camp at the Crystal Geyser. On Friday night we will camp at Mineral bottom, and pack out the next day. A final dinner celebration, included in your tuition, at Ray’s in Green River is a fun trip tradition. $345 per person ($245 if you bring your own canoe with 3 paddles & extra life jacket.) 


June – August

Outdoor Living Immersion / Work Trade June 1-30 July 1-30 August 1-30

You can choose 1 , 2 or 3 months

If you say yes, you will ​arrive June 1st​ for our first session. Arriving on time is important so you can get in the groove of living in the out- of- doors 24 / 7, feeling “at home” and be able to help around Earth Knack to prepare for the first class of our summer season ​Earth Centered Living. ​ You will participate in the agriculture, natural building and primitive resource preparations that go along with daily routine here at Earth Knack. Meals are prepared together, however, due to the current world situation, everyone will provide their own food. You can choose to participate in the Earth Knack courses available to students. You will pay $65 tuition for any course you participate in. You will also still have daily routine support chores around Earth Knack to be responsible for during the class, like helping keep the outdoor kitchen clean, helping maintain the soilets in great condition, helping with horse care chores, working on keeping firewood piles full, and hosting class students to their campsite on arrival days, etc As you gather skills and familiarity with the tools and techniques of primitive skills, you will have access to the facilities to engage in your own primitive skills projects. Throughout the season, you may be exposed to many different skills and learning. Read through all the class descriptions to see the kinds of things we do here at Earth knack. When there is not a class happening, we will spend Saturday mornings heading down to the Earth Knack community garden near town (driving the horse and cart to get there!) and work in the garden and enjoy the town market. On Fridays we all work together on site at Earth Knack to progress on the current alternative building project underway. I provide direct instruction these 2 days for a wealth of learning in sustainable / natural agriculture and building.

Everyone will work together on these two days and time off will be scheduled for other days of the week. The program thrives when good, solid folks who manage themselves well, are easy with the rest of us, have a great attitude, are respectful of the land and are motivated stewards. I am inviting you into my home and lifestyle and the activities I engage in to provide service and livelihood. If you can cooperatively support all this, join us in 2021 for an amazing experience.

Please send me a one page essay :
Why I Want to Participate in the Earth Knack
Outdoor Living Immersion/ Work Trade.

I will then contact you by phone for a more in depth conversation about the realities of being here, questions you might have about what to expect and your personal goals for learning.
Send to: Robin at Earth Knack PO # 508 Crestone Colorado 81131
Please Note: No alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or pets on Earth Knack property.

Primitive living skills for the 21st century