The Meaning of Things (ST)

The Meaning of Things will be a 400-level seminar that explores how we give meaning to material objects–individually, culturally, and historically. It will be both theoretical and practical, looking at how these ideas play out specifically through museums (how things are displayed, what meaning is given to them, how choices are made about what to display, etc.). It will be a writing-intensive course (and also reading intensive!). There will be a number of field trips to local museums. Each student will curate an exhibition of their own design on campus (in response to an assigned topic) as a final project.

Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time

Surviving the Future:

Conversations for Our Time

 

April 6 – May 31, 2020

An eight-week online gathering for curated conversations. On your own time, in your own home, with a new international community.

Facilitators: Shaun Chamberlin & Philip Ackerman-Leist

Featuring interactive webinars with internationally-renowned guests each week!

 

Have a question about this course?

Email Us

 

Most of human history was bred, fed, and watered by another sort of economy. But the market has replaced, as far as possible, the social capital of reciprocal obligation, loyalties, culture and traditions with exchange, price, and the impersonal principles of economics.

—David Fleming, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It

These are frightening and confusing days. As we rearrange our daily lives in response to the coronavirus pandemic, other interlocking crises continue to quietly worsen, from biodiversity collapse to food security to climate catastrophe.

In these tumultuous times, we will take a long moment to pull back and think together — to share conversation — curated by experts and in the company of some of the most compelling people who have been thinking about these issues for a long time.

The late David Fleming called this convergence of crises “the Climacteric,” and he held out a tantalizing cultural vision of how we might respond.  Now is our opportunity to reforge Fleming’s principles in the context of the diverse realities we are facing today in each of our own home communities.

This timely online, interactive course is designed to create and foster an online community of citizens around the world who are committed to helping their localities seek out new insights that offer the promise of Surviving the Future. Some may choose to pursue the possibilities unveiled in Fleming’s works, while others might use these as a springboard for finding their own unique pathways to confronting the Climacteric.

As we open up conversations for and about people and communities facing profound change, we increase our capacity to share and discover solutions, making our own localities more resilient in their diverse circumstances while also supporting global understanding and shared priorities. 


Testimonials

As I’m catching up with the material since I engaged slowly at the start, it has become abundantly clear how much careful thought and care Phil and Shaun have put into the course design and content. The videos are highly-relevant, thought-provoking and interesting. Your communication style with course participants is friendly, inviting and engaging. I’m looking forward to continuing to the readings, more videos and the high-quality presentations. Thank you so much!

-Jennifer Wilkins

I am deeply appreciating the effort and love that Philip and Shaun, along with everyone else at Sterling College, and the class participants, are bringing to this course. The twice-weekly live webinars are crucial for my sense of belonging. My hard copies of Lean Logic and Surviving the Future arrived last week, and I’m getting a great deal out of reading and re-reading, related to the group discussions.

-Carolyn Schmidt

We hope it will be repeated, not just for myself and my wife but so that this dialogue may spread and engage others in envisioning, learning and preparing for the uncertainties ahead.

-Gary Piazzon

Very thoughtful, full of important ideas and information.

-Catherine Lowther


The Program Includes

  • Week 1- Communities in the Climacteric: What is a Citizen to do?
  • Weeks 2 & 3- Framework for Community
  • Weeks 4 & 5- Rediscovering a Life of Place & Play
  • Weeks 6 & 7- The Path from Here to There
  • Week 8- A Conclusion That Isn’t Guaranteed

 


Why Online?

Low-carbon education that allows course participants to remain rooted in their home communities makes perfect sense for individuals and communities looking for strategies that offer the promise of “Surviving the Future.” Of course, none of us can go it alone, as individuals or communities, so the international online dialog offered by this course offers a unique opportunity to engage in solutions-oriented discussions, led by a diverse array of leading-edge thinkers from across the globe.

The online format includes:

  • A complimetary e-book copy of Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy
  • Select readings from Surviving the Future & Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It
  • Selected videos from our Surviving the Future symposium and the Fleming archives
  • Facilitated Discussion Forums
  • Discussion Forum Reflection & Response Webinars
  • Roundtable Discussion Webinars with special guests
  • Final Projects
  • Concluding with a convivial Carnival Webinar!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How does this course work?

This course is designed to offer a balance of flexibility and interactive opportunities for participants. Broken down into weekly content, with weeks running from Monday-Sunday, each week will contain a mix of readings, videos, audio recordings, discussion forums, and live webinars.

How often will there be live webinars?

The course features two webinars per week–one with Shaun and Philip and another with different internationally-recognized experts each week.

Who are the internationally recognized experts?

We are thrilled to be joined by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Rob Hopkins, Kate Raworth, Martin Kirk, Lucy Neal, Nate Hagens, Richard Heinberg, and Vandana Shiva as special guests in our live webinars.

When will the live webinars be scheduled?

In an effort to accommodate participants from as many time zones as possible and to work within reason for the instructors (Philip/Eastern US and Shaun/Western Europe) most live webinars are scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning at 12PM Eastern US/5PM Western Europe. There are some exceptions to those times, and all webinars will be recorded and available to course participants.


About your Facilitators

Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He was also one of Extinction Rebellion’s first arrestees, chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course, he has written and edited diverse publications, including drawing together Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy from the work of his late mentor David Fleming. He is also executive producer of the new film The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? His website is www.darkoptimism.org.

Philip Ackerman-Leist is the Dean of Professional Education and The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College, featuring onsite and online courses that inspire artisan skills and lifelong environmental stewardship for adult students of all ages. Philip is also the author of A Precautionary Tale, Rebuilding the Foodshed, and Up Tunket Road, all published by Chelsea Green Publishing. He farmed and taught at Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum in the Italian Alps before going to Green Mountain College in Vermont, where he was Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College and established the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the U.S. He manages a grass-based herd of rare breed cattle, American Milking Devons, on his home farm in Pawlet, Vermont.


Subscribe for updates on courses like this:


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Controversial Issues in Outdoor Education

Controversial Issues in Outdoor Education will introduce students to current major challenges faced by the Outdoor Education field.  Course topics will reflect current issues but include the following themes: user groups, qualifications, interactions with the natural world, effectiveness of goals and outcomes. Two sample guiding topic questions are: Do the benefits of Outdoor Education outweigh the risk? Should individuals with disabilities be included in all outdoor programming? All topics will be supported by academic literature and contemporary sources like newspapers and magazines. Students will engage in deeper level discussion, often in the form of debate or presentation. This course will help students of all majors develop their voice in informed debate and how to become more understanding of viewpoints we don’t identify with. Each issue will culminate in next steps and how current students will address the issue as they enter the profession.  

Affinage: The Art & Science of Maturing Cheese

Affinage: The Art & Science

of Maturing Cheese

Faculty: Eric Meredith

Upcoming Sessions:

August 5-8, 2020

Register for August session

October 7-10, 2020

Register for October session

The art and science of affinage is a complex alchemy that can take a few hours or last several years. When making aged cheeses, the French consider that milk undergoes two transformations:  first, liquid milk is transformed into fresh curd and second, the curd is transformed into aged cheese. This course covers the second transformation in all aspects, while adding tips for clear lines of communication with the cheesemaker and developing profitable relationships with your customers.

Two comprehensive tastings have been designed to hone your palate and expand your knowledge of sensory evaluation in respect to age profiles as well as defects. Classroom sessions will dive deep into the microbiology behind affinage. Later in the week the class will apply classroom theory by working directly with cheeses at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. This day long experiential part of the course will include a soft and hard cheese practical skills workshop. The exercises planned will give you hands on practice to applying in your own endeavors.

Students will be introduced to various methods of maintaining and monitoring the ripening environment. Design ideas for affinage spaces, cheesemaking facilities and distribution areas will be shared and scrutinized to maximize flow, reduce food safety challenges, comply with ergonomic principles and keep quality at its highest levels. Students will leave the course confident in their ability to make decisions concerning cheese ripening room design elements, refrigeration styles, room volumes needed, best materials for function and developing a food safety plan for an affinage facility.

The curriculum is designed in cooperation with Academie MonS. In the US, Maison MonS was a key consultant in the development of the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont’s famed affinage center located 15 minutes from Sterling College, and more recently, Crown Finish Caves in Brooklyn NY.

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS and made possible with the support of The Cellars at Jasper Hill.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill

 


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

Cheesemongers interested in:

  • Understanding the development of their cheeses
  • Improving marketability and value added through affinage

  • Expanding their product offerings
  • Developing affinage skills or working with professional affineurs to handle their cheeses

Affineurs interested in:

  • Creating/expanding/enhancing their caves and services
  • Improving their skills
  • Working with different cheeses
  • Understanding and identifying surface flora

  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points for cheese
  • Managing caves for optimum performance
  • Maturing cheeses for outstanding taste, texture, and marketability

Cheese distribution professionals interested in:

  • Improving their ability to care for cheese in transit from producer to retailer
  • Reducing loss and product returns

  • Accurately identifying and understanding changes that happen to cheeses in their care
  • Adding an affinage component to their service package

Cheese Retailers interested in:

  • Reducing returns
  • Distinguishing spoilage from appropriate evolution in cheese
  • Understanding cheese and conveying that understanding to customers

  • Offering an affinage aspect to their business
  • Learning to troubleshoot cheeses in receiving, backstock, and the display case

Cheese professionals interested in:

  • Preparing for the ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ exam

  • Judging for cheese competitions


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Topics:

  • Cheese make processes and their effects on aging
  • Characteristics of cheese paste and implications for affinage
  • Glycolsis, Proteolysis, Lypolysis
  • Microbes present in cheese: natural and additive
  • Environmental factors and how they influence rind development and affinage
  • Identifying surface flora: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly
  • Infrastructure, tools, materials and gestures required for proper affinage
  • Organoleptic appreciation of the effects of various ripening techniques on cheese

Methodologies:

  • Classroom theory and discussion
  • Hands-on practice in the Cellars at Jasper Hill
  • Daily cheese tastings
  • Comparative experiments in affinage
  • Daily review of questions and issues encountered in hands-on work
  • Students train directly with practicing professionals
  • Visits to deepen your understanding of affinage’s role in the life of cheese and environmental controls


Course Details

 

Level

Intermediate to Advanced.  This course is suitable for confident home cheesemakers and those who have experience in commercial cheesemaking. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the cheese industry.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this class. Cheesemaking 101 and 201 are highly recommended prerequisite courses for this class but not required. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should have solid cheese-making experience and should come with a general understanding of the biology and chemistry associated with milk, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and microbes along with basic algebra. Eric will commonly use metric units and degrees Celsius; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this course is $3100.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 6. A minimum of 3 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 30 days before the course start date. A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 30 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

Upcoming Sessions:

August 5-8, 2020

Register for August session

October 7-10, 2020

Register for October session


Testimonials

“I was worried it might be an experiential ‘vacation’ vs. a real class. No problem there! Great technical and background info. Good to be around peers with similar challenges. This will help me interpret mold development in caves, and help solidify new cave design.”

-Jon Gougar, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

 

“I learned enough at the end of Day 1 that justified my investment. The rest was a well received bonus. The entire course was incredibly inspiring.”

-Jeremy Little, Sweet Grass Dairy​


 

Want updates on this and similar courses?

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains: From the Iceman Forward

Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains: From the Iceman Forward

at Brunnenburg Castle & Museum

June 19-26, 2020

Faculty: Richard MiscovichPhilip Ackerman-Leist

 

Have a question about this course? Email Us

 

Join authors and experts Richard Miscovich and Philip Ackerman-Leist for a unique international study tour focused on the ancient grains and foodways of the Alps and the history of wood-fired baking, from the time of the Ice Man to the present. Based at Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum (weblink), students will explore the bread-related treasures of the museum and transform lessons learned into guided milling and baking experimentation in the castle’s teaching kitchen and hand-built bread oven.

Richard Miscovich is not only an assistant professor and department chair of The International Baking & Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University and author of From the Wood-Fired Oven (weblink), he is also an acclaimed instructor for King Arthur Flour, Bluprint (formerly “Craftsy”), and baking workshops around the US, including courses at Sterling College’s School of the New American Farmstead. Richard began baking European hearth breads in 1996 after graduating in the first class taught at the San Francisco Baking Institute. During that same trip, he visited Alan Scott and was introduced to the Scott brick oven design. This happened just as interest in artisan baking and wood-fired ovens increased dramatically. He immediately began construction of a wood-fired oven in coastal North Carolina, and opened an organic micro-bakery, One Acre Garden and Bakery, specializing in organic artisan hearth breads. Miscovich serves on the Board of Directors of The Bread Bakers Guild of America.

Philip Ackerman-Leist is the Dean of Professional Studies at Sterling College and has lived, farmed, and taught at Brunnenburg Castle at different points since his first experience as a student there in 1983. Steeped in the agricultural history of the South Tirol region of the Italian Alps, he revels in co-facilitating study tours that introduce students to a place where foodways can be traced at least as far back as the Ice Man, a 5300 year-old glacial mummy discovered in 1993, not far from Brunnenburg. His most recent book, A Precautionary Tale, features the heritage grain farmers and bakers in the South Tirol who stood up for a pesticide-free future when their fields and foodways were threatened by an influx of apple farmers.

With an onsite traditional wood-fired masonry oven and a museum featuring all facets of traditional grain growing, milling, and baking, Brunnenburg Castle is the ideal location for exploring the rich range of breadbaking traditions in the South Tirol–all based on the heritage grains, spices, nuts, and special sweeteners known and revered in this region for millenia. The course will commence with a focus on the five ancient grains found with the famous “Ice Man,” a glacial mummy frozen in a glacier near Brunnenburg 5300 years ago and discovered in 1993: spelt, emmer, einkorn, millet, and barley.

From there, the course will explore the traditional sourdough rye breads of the region and some of the wheat breads that gradually made their way into the local diet from further South in Italy and north in Bavaria. We will examine the bread baking process with an emphasis on natural leavening, controlled fermentation and the use of whole grains. Masonry ovens will be explored, including firing techniques, heat management and simple wood-fired cuisine. Included in the course will be visits to grain farmers, mills, bakers, and marketplaces where traditional breads are made and also transformed into contemporary heritage food products.

Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum is located in the village of Dorf Tirol and features organically-managed vineyards, orchards, gardens, and livestock. The castle is a renowned international study center, featuring an agricultural museum dedicated to conserving the tools, practices, and wisdom of Alpine farming methods.

This study tour provides two (2) Sterling College continuing education credits (CEUs), which translates to thirty (30) CPE units for registered dietitians.



The Program Includes:

 

Lodging & Transport

  • All transportation during the tour, including group travel to and from the Munich airport, is included.
  • Tour guides for all aspects of the tour.
  • Educational materials delivered prior to the tour.
  • 7 night stay at the Brunnenburg Castle farmhouse lodge. Please note that the 17th century farmhouse lodge is rustic, with shared bedrooms, bathrooms and showers.

 

Food & Dining

  • All meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are included, with the exception of two lunches that will be on your own, as you tour local villages. Many meals will be hosted in a community setting, with all attendees cooking together in the charming Brunnenburg farm kitchen.
  • 1 “Ötzi the Iceman” Dinner at Brunnenburg Castle, featuring historic, traditional, local foods and ingredients from the Copper Age.
  • An evening wine-tasting featuring Brunnenburg Castle’s pioneering pesticide-free wines.

 

Fun Stuff!

  • Hands-on wood-fired baking classes on the castle’s panoramic outdoor terrace and in the gothic-style teaching kitchen
  • Local farm tours, including herb, grain, and seed-saving farms
  • Bakery tours
  • Meals in historic South Tirolean restaurants
  • Tastings of Brunnenburg wines and distilled spirits



Course Details

 

Level

Beginner to Advanced. This course is suitable for students with a range of experience levels. No prior culinary or baking experience required. Home cooks with more passion than experience will learn the fundamentals. Aspiring and professional chefs/bakers who want to make bread with natural leaven and bake in a wood-fired oven will walk away with new knowledge and skills. Small class size and individual attention make this possible.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course. Students should come with a basic knowledge of bread making and an eagerness to get their hands into some dough!

Registration

  • Tuition for this course is $2950.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 14.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 60 days before the course start date.
  • A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 60 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

The tour is open to anyone, ages 18 and above, and geared primarily to adult learners, although consideration will be given to applicants interested in sharing this experience with a younger participant. More details available upon request.

Soon after registration, you will be furnished with a reading and study guide in order to delve into the food history and culture for this trip, as well as a preparation and packing guide.

Important Note: Participants must document personal international health coverage in order to participate in the program. Participants must be in moderate physical condition in order to participate in group activities that will involve some moderate hiking and elevation changes, as well as light work on the castle farm.

 


Trip Logistics

 

Arrival

Participants must book flights that arrive at the Munich airport no later than 1 pm on June 19, 2020. Your tour leaders will meet you at the airport and transport you to Brunnenburg Castle.

Departure

Group transportation from Brunnenburg to the Munich airport on June 26 will depart at 8:00am, with an estimated arrival at Munich airport 5 hours later (ETA: 1:00pm), depending upon traffic. Return flights should be scheduled for no earlier than 3pm on June 26, 2020 or preferably for the following day. Participants can also opt to be dropped off in Innsbruck.


Subscribe for updates on courses like this:

Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Affinage: The Art & Science of Maturing Cheese, October 2020

Affinage: The Art & Science

of Maturing Cheese

October 7-10, 2020

Faculty: Eric Meredith

 

Have a question about this course? Email Us

This course is also offered from August 5-8, 2020. Click here to view the details.

The art and science of affinage is a complex alchemy that can take a few hours or last several years. When making aged cheeses, the French consider that milk undergoes two transformations:  first, liquid milk is transformed into fresh curd and second, the curd is transformed into aged cheese. This course covers the second transformation in all aspects, while adding tips for clear lines of communication with the cheesemaker and developing profitable relationships with your customers.

Two comprehensive tastings have been designed to hone your palate and expand your knowledge of sensory evaluation in respect to age profiles as well as defects. Classroom sessions will dive deep into the microbiology behind affinage. Later in the week the class will apply classroom theory by working directly with cheeses at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. This day long experiential part of the course will include a soft and hard cheese practical skills workshop. The exercises planned will give you hands on practice to applying in your own endeavors.

Students will be introduced to various methods of maintaining and monitoring the ripening environment. Design ideas for affinage spaces, cheesemaking facilities and distribution areas will be shared and scrutinized to maximize flow, reduce food safety challenges, comply with ergonomic principles and keep quality at its highest levels. Students will leave the course confident in their ability to make decisions concerning cheese ripening room design elements, refrigeration styles, room volumes needed, best materials for function and developing a food safety plan for an affinage facility.

The curriculum is designed in cooperation with Academie MonS. In the US, Maison MonS was a key consultant in the development of the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont’s famed affinage center located 15 minutes from Sterling College, and more recently, Crown Finish Caves in Brooklyn NY.

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS and made possible with the support of The Cellars at Jasper Hill.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill

 


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

Cheesemongers interested in:

  • Understanding the development of their cheeses
  • Improving marketability and value added through affinage

  • Expanding their product offerings
  • Developing affinage skills or working with professional affineurs to handle their cheeses

Affineurs interested in:

  • Creating/expanding/enhancing their caves and services
  • Improving their skills
  • Working with different cheeses
  • Understanding and identifying surface flora

  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points for cheese
  • Managing caves for optimum performance
  • Maturing cheeses for outstanding taste, texture, and marketability

Cheese distribution professionals interested in:

  • Improving their ability to care for cheese in transit from producer to retailer
  • Reducing loss and product returns

  • Accurately identifying and understanding changes that happen to cheeses in their care
  • Adding an affinage component to their service package

Cheese Retailers interested in:

  • Reducing returns
  • Distinguishing spoilage from appropriate evolution in cheese
  • Understanding cheese and conveying that understanding to customers

  • Offering an affinage aspect to their business
  • Learning to troubleshoot cheeses in receiving, backstock, and the display case

Cheese professionals interested in:

  • Preparing for the ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ exam

  • Judging for cheese competitions


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Topics:

  • Cheese make processes and their effects on aging
  • Characteristics of cheese paste and implications for affinage
  • Glycolsis, Proteolysis, Lypolysis
  • Microbes present in cheese: natural and additive
  • Environmental factors and how they influence rind development and affinage
  • Identifying surface flora: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly
  • Infrastructure, tools, materials and gestures required for proper affinage
  • Organoleptic appreciation of the effects of various ripening techniques on cheese

Methodologies:

  • Classroom theory and discussion
  • Hands-on practice in the Cellars at Jasper Hill
  • Daily cheese tastings
  • Comparative experiments in affinage
  • Daily review of questions and issues encountered in hands-on work
  • Students train directly with practicing professionals
  • Visits to deepen your understanding of affinage’s role in the life of cheese and environmental controls


Course Details

 

Level

Intermediate to Advanced.  This course is suitable for confident home cheesemakers and those who have experience in commercial cheesemaking. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the cheese industry.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this class. Cheesemaking 101 and 201 are highly recommended prerequisite courses for this class but not required. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should have solid cheese-making experience and should come with a general understanding of the biology and chemistry associated with milk, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and microbes along with basic algebra. Eric will commonly use metric units and degrees Celsius; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this course is $3100.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 6. A minimum of 3 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 30 days before the course start date. A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 30 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

Testimonials

“I was worried it might be an experiential ‘vacation’ vs. a real class. No problem there! Great technical and background info. Good to be around peers with similar challenges. This will help me interpret mold development in caves, and help solidify new cave design.”

-Jon Gougar, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

 

“I learned enough at the end of Day 1 that justified my investment. The rest was a well received bonus. The entire course was incredibly inspiring.”

-Jeremy Little, Sweet Grass Dairy​

 


Subscribe for updates on courses like this:

Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Wildcrafting for Everyone

Wildcrafting for Everyone

June 26, 2020

Faculty: Nova Kim & Les Hook

 

Have a question about this course? Email Us

 

Discover what the woods, fields, wild, and not-so-wild places around us have to offer!

The day will begin with a walking discussion on the ethics of collecting the season’s most common, as well as those not-so-sought after, wild plants and mushrooms. Particular attention will be given on how to recognize and identify choice edible wild plants and fungi and their less choice or inedible look a-likes. You will learn not only how to identify choice edibles, but also the appropriate habitat to ethically collect from, how much to collect, and how to harvest while minimizing impact on the growing body.

This will be a hands-on exploration of the diverse and plentiful wild edibles found growing all around  the Sterling campus and surrounding area. You will learn how to recognize various habitat factors, heightening your understanding of the interdependence of plants, fungi, animals, and weather. This will be an opportunity for reflection on our role in our immediate and broader ecosystems.

Finally, the day will end with a demonstration and discussion of the proper culinary preparations of the edibles we have gathered and enjoyment of the day’s harvest.

 

Who is this class for?

Students interested in natural resources, environmental impacts and sustainability will benefit from this course.

Wild foods are in abundant supply within their natural habitats and serve as an integral and necessary part of the health of those habitats. Learning to recognize and enjoy them in their season adds important nutrients to our diets while helping everyone understand the importance of protecting their habitat for future generations.

 

The Program Includes:

Topics:

  • Historical and Present Context of Collecting Wild Foods
  • Habitat and Environmental Impact of Wildcrafting
  • Current Federal Food Code and State Regulations
  • Botanical Identification vs Nomenclature
  • Collection Techniques & Equipment
  • Harvesting and Land Use (Private vs Public, Permissions, Storage, Transportation)
  • Edibility, Health Benefits and Concerns
  • Tracking, Documentation, Safe Food Handling, Preparation

Methodologies:

  • Hands-On Identification in the field
  • Technical Referencing in the field and home
  • Review of Available Area & Topical Field Guides
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Sampling of choice wild edibles


Course Details

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

This course is suitable for anyone, novice to seasoned observer, interested in food biodiversity, natural resources, sustainability and conservation of wild foods and the places where they occur.

Prerequisites: Interest and appreciation of your surroundings combined with the ability and desire to observe and study your environment…and a willingness to try new foods!

Certificate: This course can be applied to the Sustainable Food Craft Professional Certificate.

Tuition & Fees:  $250 covers the cost of the instruction, course materials, a copy of Nova Kim & Les Hook’s “Guide to Wild Harvesting & Ethics,” lunch from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and a wildcrafted cooking demo and dinner. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these. Scholarships are available, learn more and apply here.

Schedule:

Check-in & Refreshments- 8:00-8:30

Morning Session- 8:30-11:45

Lunch- 11:45-1:00

Afternoon Session- 1:00-4:30

Wildcrafted Cooking Demo & Dinner- 4:30-6:30

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. Please see our accommodations page for local recommendations. Airbnb is also a great local resource with many affordable housing options. We recommend that you book as soon as you are able as there are other events in the area occurring at the time of this course and rooms will fill up quickly. Please contact Caroline Kimball at ckimball@sterlingcollege.edu if you have any questions.

 


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Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Sensory Evaluation

Sensory Evaluation

with Eric Meredith

 

Registration opening soon!

 

Sensory Evaluation is a course for current or aspiring professional cheesemakers, cheesemongers, affineurs, retailers, and distributors seeking to develop their ability to identify and describe the unique characteristics of individual cheeses.

This one-day intensive course will introduce you to the methods of sensory analysis, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, that help you distinguish between characteristics of varying intensities. This will further develop your understanding of how the cheesemaking process ultimately produces specific cheese qualities that are appealing to consumers.

This course combines lectures with hands-on practical exercises, offering a depth of information and skills that will aid you in your daily work.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheeseCheesemakers are invited to bring their cheeses for evaluation by the instructor. This course is an excellent resource for those considering the Certified Cheese Professional Exam (CCPE).

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS.


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

While this course is designed primarily for cheese professionals (including cheesemakers, cheesemongers, affineurs, and retailers), the sensory principles apply broadly to a spectrum of food professions and would benefit chefs, bakers, sommeliers, and more.

THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

This course begins by establishing your sensory vocabulary and clarifying definitions for terms used in evaluation. You will then utilize food and non-food references to train your senses to identify and describe cheese characteristics. Finally, you will assess cheeses on a full spectrum of sensory analysis to evaluate their consumer appeal.

 


Course Details

 

Level

Beginner to Intermediate. This course is appropriate for those with no sensory evaluation experience while also holding value for those who want to hone their sensory skills.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this class. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should come with a general understanding of the five essential tastes.


Registration opening soon!

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Organic Wine & Spirits Production Residency

Organic Wine & Spirits Production Residency

August 14 – September 6, 2020

Faculty: Nik de Rachewiltz

 

Have a question about this course? Email Us

 

Featuring three weeks of onsite coursework at Brunnenburg Castle in the Italian Alps during the early stages of their annual fruit harvest, this onsite experience will be complemented by one month of online preparatory coursework.

Where else could you find a leading-edge expert managing pesticide-free vineyards and organic orchards, a wine and beer cellar, a distillery, and an agricultural museum in a 13th century castle? This rare opportunity offers you the chance to work with Nik de Rachewiltz, who, for the past decade, has been transitioning all fruit production on the Brunnenburg Castle farm to be pesticide-free, primarily through the use of newly-available “fungal resistant varieties” (also known as “PIWI” varieties in German-speaking regions). Using the castle farm and agricultural museum as your cohort’s living laboratory and classroom, Nik will guide you through the lessons learned from several millennia of fruit and grain production in the South Tirol region.While the primary focus will be on grape-derived products, the farm at Brunnenburg Castle is highly diversified and includes a number of fermented and distilled products featuring everything from pears, nuts, quinces, and apples to wildcrafted herbs.

 


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

This course is designed especially for persons establishing or transitioning to pesticide-free vineyards and orchards as well as beverage-industry professionals. Marketing professionals, sommeliers, distributors, bartenders, culinary professionals, and agritourism specialists will benefit from this in-depth exploration of organic wine and spirits, from soil to bottle.


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

In the month prior to your onsite residency, the coursework will begin with online readings, webinars, and cohort-interaction to maximize your on-site experience. Several interactive webinars and an online Beverage Sensory Evaluation will serve as your primer for red wine, white wine, and distilled spirits.

Once on-site, be prepared to roll up your sleeves, as your learning will take place in the vineyards, orchards, cellars, and museum. Sessions include interactive presentations by Nik and other experts, and half-days dedicated to hands-on farmwork sessions designed to transform theory into practical skills and knowledge. Field trips,evening seminars, and ample tastings will ensure a broad perspective on techniques used in the field, cellar, and distillery to produce high-quality wine and spirits from organically-managed farms. All activities are designed to guide you through the opportunities and challenges of producing organic wine and spirits.

 


Testimonial

“Nik’s hands-on wine education begins with learning about the history of wine-making in this special wine region of the world in the Italian Alps. This is followed by an opportunity to get your hands into the soil, tend to Nik’s disease-resistant vines, and aid in the process of making his award-winning wines. Best of all, tasting the wines allows you to experience the culmination of the deeply caring way that winemaker and farmer Nik de Rachewiltz cares for the land and traditions at Brunnenburg Castle.”

 

—Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, author, writer, sustainable diets expert

 


Course Details

 

Level

Intermediate to Advanced.  This course is suitable for confident home winemakers to those who have experience in commercial wine and spirits. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the wine & spirits industry.

Prerequisites

There is no formal prerequisite required for this course. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should come with a general understanding of the biology and chemistry of organic wine & spirits production along with basic algebra. Nik will commonly use metric units and degrees Celsius; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this certificate is $7,500.00. This comprehensive fee includes coursework (both online and onsite), hands-on workshops, professional portfolio assessment, lodging during the course, transportation to and from the Munich airport, and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 14. A minimum of 6 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course. See the deposit minimum in the registration portal.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 60 days before the course start date.
  • A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 60 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

 

 


Trip Logistics

 

Arrival

Participants must book flights that arrive at the Munich airport no later than 1 pm on August 14, 2020. Your tour leaders will meet you at the airport and transport you to Brunnenburg Castle.

Departure

Group transportation from Brunnenburg to the Munich airport on September 6, 2020 will depart at 8:00am, with an estimated arrival at Munich airport 5 hours later (ETA: 1:00pm), depending upon traffic. Return flights should be scheduled for no earlier than 3pm on that day or preferably for the following day. Participants can also opt to be dropped off in Innsbruck.

 


Subscribe for updates on courses like this:

Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Professional Cheesemaking 201

Professional Cheesemaking 201

with Ivan Larcher

 

Registration opening soon!

 

This course builds upon the foundation laid in Professional Cheesemaking 101. Join us as we dive into an in-depth study on the production of specific cheese styles with Professional Cheesemaking 201. This unique course is offered in partnership with the Cellars at Jasper Hill, an American Cheese Society-certified cheese professional educator and producer of award-winning, perfectly ripened, single-source cheeses from the verdant working landscape of Vermont.

This course provides experienced students with the practical and scientific knowledge needed to perfect exquisite small-scale artisanal cheeses. In classroom lecture sessions as well as hands-on and observational cheese making, particular attention is paid to the artisanal production of two cheeses that will be selected with each edition of the course.

After learning to make this array of cheeses, focus shifts to affinage, with attention to ripening cultures, climate control, rind treatment, and handling throughout the aging process. Because great cheesemaking cannot be reduced to rote, recipe-driven work, sensory and tasting skills are developed. A session on defects and troubleshooting provides invaluable tools for managing production and working through the challenges of the inherently variable ecological processes of cheesemaking and aging.

In sessions offered on the Sterling College campus and at The Cellars at Jasper Hill, students also learn about the business of cheesemaking, sales and distribution, and content-based marketing. Attention to critical food safety concerns, an on-site food sanitation workshop, and an overview of plant design round out the curriculum.

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS and made possible with the support of The Cellars at Jasper Hill.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

Cheesemakers interested in:

  • Developing new recipes
  • Perfecting existing recipes
  • Improving their craft
  • Expanding their product line

  • Troubleshooting problems in milk production
  • Establishing their own herd of dairy animals

Dairy farmers interested in:

  • Creating value-added product lines to their liquid milk production

  • Converting to a pasture-based grazing system

Affineurs interested in:

  • Understanding the challenges facing cheesemakers
  • Gaining a full understanding of cheese before it arrives for aging

  • Better identifying quality issues in affinage that stem from production issues
  • Working with cheesemakers to improve quality


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Topics:

  • Specific chemistry for cheesemaking styles according to the theme of the course
  • Desired milk components for best results
  • Cheese recipes with sample make sheets
  • Specific equipment and tools needed for each style according to the theme of the course
  • Packaging issues for each style according to the theme of the course
  • Notions of affinage for each style, according to the theme of the course

Methodologies:

  • Classroom theory and discussion
  • Hands-on work in all aspects of farming and dairy production
  • One-on-one work on individual objectives
  • Daily review of questions and issues encountered in hands-on work
  • Students train directly with practicing professionals

 


Course Details

 

Level

Intermediate to Advanced.  This course is suitable for confident home cheesemakers and those who have experience in commercial cheesemaking. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the cheese industry.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this class. Professional Cheesemaking 101 is a highly recommended prerequisite course for this class but not required. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should have solid cheese-making experience and should come with a general understanding of the biology and chemistry associated with milk, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and microbes along with basic algebra. Metric units and degrees Celsius are commonly used in cheesemaking; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this course is $3100.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 6. A minimum of 3 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 30 days before the course start date. A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 30 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

Registration opening soon!

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Professional Cheesemaking 101

Professional Cheesemaking 101

with Ivan Larcher

 

Registration opening soon!

 

Professional Cheesemaking 101 is a course for current or aspiring professional cheesemakers who wish to understand the principles and best practices for the cheese make room and milk barn. ​ This course offers a whole-system perspective on cheesemaking, which begins on the farm and requires careful attention to animal husbandry and welfare, forage and feed, dairy production, and milk quality. After covering the production of premium quality milk, the course dives deep into both the science and art of cheesemaking by exploring raw and pasteurized milk theory, cheese microbiology, coagulants, curdling mechanisms, and starters.

The course covers several different styles of cheese making techniques. Students work with milk from local farms and learn aspects of animal husbandry and milk production. Students have ample time to work one-on-one with the instructor to perfect new cheese make recipes, troubleshoot problems, and improve make room design and sanitation practices.

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS and made possible with the support of The Cellars at Jasper Hill.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill

 


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

Cheesemakers interested in:

  • Developing new recipes
  • Perfecting existing recipes
  • Improving their craft
  • Expanding their product line

  • Troubleshooting problems in milk production
  • Establishing their own herd of dairy animals

Dairy farmers interested in:

  • Creating value-added product lines to their liquid milk production

  • Converting to a pasture-based grazing system

Affineurs interested in:

  • Understanding the challenges facing cheesemakers
  • Gaining a full understanding of cheese before it arrives for aging

  • Better identifying quality issues in affinage that stem from production issues
  • Working with cheesemakers to improve quality


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Topics:

  • Animal husbandry
  • Pasture management & fencing
  • Milking & milk quality
  • Cheese microbiology
  • Cheese recipe development
  • Fresh dairy products, including yogurts, butter, and cream
  • Production of lactic cheeses, soft washed rind, semi-hard, and hard cooked cheeses
  • Production management & make room design
  • Traceability and maintaining HACCP records
  • Working with retailers and distributors

Methodologies:

  • Classroom theory and discussion
  • Hands-on work in all aspects of farming and dairy production
  • One-on-one work on individual objectives
  • Daily review of questions and issues encountered in hands-on work
  • Students train directly with practicing professionals

 


Course Details

 

Level

Intermediate to Advanced.  This course is suitable for confident home cheesemakers and those who have experience in commercial cheesemaking. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the cheese industry.

Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this class. In order to gain the full value of the class, students should come with cheese-making experience and a general understanding of the biology and chemistry associated with milk, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, and microbes along with basic algebra. Metric units and degrees Celsius are commonly used in cheesemaking; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this course is $3100.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 6. A minimum of 3 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 30 days before the course start date. A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 30 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

Registration opening soon!

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

The Big Cheese: A Manager’s Toolkit

The Big Cheese:

A Manager’s Toolkit

with Laurent Mons

 

Registration opening soon!

 

Exclusively for cheese shop owners and managers, this course combines practical information that managers need to run their business and train and manage staff, as well as provide outstanding customer service and keep the cheese in their care in perfect condition. The intimate class size encourages networking and exchange of ideas and best practices among peers, thus enhancing the classroom experience.

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheeseThis course is taught by the renowned cheese expert, Laurent Mons, and builds upon the expertise of two generations of the family-run cheese retailer, Mons Fromager-Affineur, that now encompasses 15 shops in three countries.

This course is produced and instructed by the experts at Academie MonS.

 


WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?

Designed primarily for cheese shop owners and managers, this course is appropriate for persons focused on the retailing aspects of the cheese business.


THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Business essentials including:

  • Cheese selection
  • Inventory management
  • Cost and profit margin calculations

  • Understanding & selecting refrigeration equipment
  • Paper selection, and labelling

Staff training in:

  • Sensory analysis
  • Cheese sales

  • Nutrition and fat content

Client services:

  • Cheese recipe development, including costing out, prep planning, food safety, and presentation

  • Cheese board presentations

Cheese care:

  • Receiving, evaluating, storing, inventorying, and case setting

Class Sessions include:

  • 5 days of training, including a balance of theory and experiential learning

  • Alternating hands-on work and lecture sessions

 


Course Details

 

Level

Advanced.  This course is suitable for those in the cheese industry who are seeking to or currently manage a cheese business, be it production, affinage, sales, or a combination of all three.

Prerequisites

Appropriate experience and/or completion of “Cheesemonger Essentials” course (formerly named Essential Foundations for Cheese Professionals). You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your experience in the registration portal.

Registration Details 

  • Tuition for this course is $3300.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
  • Class size is limited to 6. A minimum of 3 enrollments are required for the course to be held.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
  • Tuition is due to be paid in full 30 days before the course start date. A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
  • In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 30 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.

Registration opening soon!

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.