Learn variety of skills during weekend workshop
EVERETT - Learn skills that will save you money and let you live more sustainably all in one sitting at a skills fair this weekend.
SnoCo Together happens Saturday, March 31 from noon to 5 p.m. at Evergreen Elementary School in Everett, 7621 Beverly Lane. The event is free, but advance registration is requested. You can register through the website www.snocotogether.eventbrite.com/.
The event features presentations and demonstrations throughout the day. The 14 workshop topics include preserving your own food, beekeeping, energy-saving projects and landlord/tenant rights.
David Korten, who co-founded the nonprofit, ad-free “YES! Magazine,” will be the keynote speaker.
Most of the workshops focus on learning skills such as making your own nontoxic cleaning products, fixing your own clothing and preparing meals on a budget.
Marilene Richardson of Snohomish’s SongCroft Farm will teach people how to preserve food in an hour-long presentation. Richardson’s been preserving food for 34 years, she said.
Her top tip is paying attention to detail when preserving food and trusting your ability to do it. She’s never heard of anyone dying from preserved foods, unlike mass-produced foods, she said.
Pickling and fermenting food takes just 10 to 15 minutes to do, and the food is healthier than what is at the grocery store, Richardson said. Just about any vegetable can be preserved through pickling, she wrote in an article.
To save time, she uses a food dehydrator. Her kids see the dehydrator as “the snack shop,” Richardson said.
A 2006 federal Environmental Protection Agency study found the average American throws out 14 percent of the food they buy each year. A second survey suggests the average American family tosses between $500 and $2,000 worth of food annually. Meats and vegetables are tossed out most often.
“That is so sad,” Richardson said. Food waste makes her upset.
Vanessa Edwards from the Sno-Isle Food Co-Op will teach people how to make their own cleaning products to save money and avoid exposure to harsh chemicals.
Edwards’ “triple threat arsenal for nontoxic cleaning are vinegar, borax and baking soda,” she said. “These three are versatile, easy to use and most of us have at least two of these products in our home.”
Most stains and messes can be cleaned with solutions that include these basic household items.
Edwards also will teach people how to eat healthy meals on a budget.
There also will be presentations on the effective use of rain barrels, urban chickenkeeping and making your own emergency kit.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published March 28, 2012