Blacksmithing Essentials for the Beginner

Blacksmithing Essentials for the Beginner

August 26-30, 2019

Faculty: Lucian Avery

 

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This class will introduce you to the ancient art of blacksmithing through a series of small projects. We will start with fire tending and safety, then we will jump right into shaping hot iron with a hammer. Filing, basic metallurgy, heat treating, tool and material selection will also be covered as they are encountered in projects, as well as using both coal and propane forges. This class is suitable for beginners and for students who have done some smithing but want to brush up on their fundamentals.

 


Course Details

Prerequisites:  There are no formal prerequisites for this course. In order to take full advantage of this course students should have a general understanding of blacksmithing weather in practice, readings or videos.

Tuition & Fees:  $400 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.   Please visit our accommodations page for more options.

 

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Lucien AveryLucian Avery started blacksmithing in 1992, captivated by the idea of making his own tools for gardening, woodworking and eventually tools for blacksmithing. He soon developed a broader interest in smithing and started taking on commissions. Since then, he has forged a wide array of custom pieces, working with designers, builders, and homeowners from across the country. His work has ranged from thumb latches for historic buildings to stair railings, fire tools, and garden gates. Lately he has come to especially enjoy making early American door latches and hinges. And,of course, he continues to be fascinated with toolmaking. In this era of high tech, he has chosen to continue emphasizing old-fashioned craftsmanship and handwork. Avery works solely in his studio in Northern Vermont while teaching classes and demonstrating blacksmithing to the public and blacksmith associations across the United States.


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 and Science of Maturing Cheese

Affinage: The Art and Science

of Maturing Cheese

September 25 – 28, 2019

Faculty: Eric Meredith

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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 (first transformation) 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 the 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.

 

 

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

This course is co-sponsored by The Cellars at Jasper Hill 

Curriculum designed in cooperation with Mons Academie

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Want some more information before you register?  Let us know!


Course Details

Level: Intermediate – 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. The Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese course is a highly recommended prerequisite for this class but not required.

In order to gain the full value of the class, students should have confident 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.

Tuition & Fees: Price: $2700. This covers tuition, a printed text, and ground transportation between all course locations. Also provided are three meals per day prepared by the Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. We recommend the Highland Lodge in Greensboro, VT which offers breakfast and a daily shuttle to and from. For other recommendations please see our accommodations page.


Eric Meredith stepped into the food world as a dishwasher in a hospital kitchen in Lynn, Massachusetts at the age of 14. He then attended Johnson & Wales University to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition.  He furthered his food-focused education by becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in New York City. Eric later worked for Herve Mons in France for as his right-hand man helping him design his tunnel in Ambierle and running the day-to-day operations at the caves in St. Haon le Chatel. During his 6 years in France, Eric learned cheese making from the best artisans in France and affinage from Herve’s network of affineurs. Eric’s next big project was with Wegmans in Rochester, NY where he designed, built and managed their affinage facility. Eric then went on to work with Neal’s Yard Dairy as the project manager facilitating the design and move to their new aging and distribution facility in London. He also volunteers his time on the education committee for the American Cheese Society, where he stretches the boundaries and strives for excellence in artisan stewardship. Eric now runs a consulting business helping cheese makers, affineurs and retailers all over the world design, troubleshoot and fine tune cheese making and affinage programs and facilities.


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.

Ecology: Concepts and Applications

This course will provide an overview of core ecological concepts and their application in studying the natural world. This course will help students understand the cycles and interconnectedness of living things and their environments, and how to study these systems. Successful completion of this course will also prepare students for further study in the environmental field.

Natural History of California (ST)

California is the most topographically, geographically, ecologically and biologically diverse place in temperate North America. This course is a field-based exploration of the flora and fauna of California and the physical factors such as climate and geologic history that shape the region. Emphasis is placed on the ecological interplay amongst desert, montane forest, alpine, grassland and coastal chaparral vegetation types and the climatic and physiographic factors that determine community distribution. Students build on foundational principles of natural history and ecology through development and practice of observation, identification, and interpretation skills and the keeping of a refined naturalist field journal. Topics include a botanical survey of plant families and representative species, introduction to major groups of animals including insects,herps, mammals and birds, plant and animal adaptations, natural community composition and structure, biogeographic concepts, geologic history, geomorphic processes and related landforms, and California weather and climate. Students gain skills in identification, classification and interpretation of organisms, field journaling, species accounts and systematic species lists, and reading the California landscape. Course format includes lectures, discussions, and a significant field component.

Global Environmental Literature (ST)

Global Environmental Literature is a cross-cultural exploration of fiction that examines the intersections of culture and ecology. Questions we will consider include: What does literature reveal about differing cultural perceptions of the relationship between culture and ecology? How does literature help challenge dominant narratives of the role of humans in relation to other species?

This course counts as one of the required two 400-level seminars. This course counts toward the writing-intensive requirement.

Posthumanism: Exploring the Margin between Human and Non-human

This course challenges participants to consider the relationship between human and non-human worlds as ever more permeable and malleable. Through dialogue and writing, we will investigate a paradigm in which humans are not the center of our experience in this universe. By reading widely in the literature of posthumanities, ecopsychology, ecophenomenology, deep ecology, and art/science, we will explore issues ranging from the permeability of the self to the challenges of binary thinking, to biomimicry and ecological modeling. We will read from a range of texts and look at visual and performative approaches to posthumanities thinking. Assignments will include short responses and complete a final project designed to empower each of us to meaningfully apply the concepts we explore in class.

Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains

Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains

July 22-26, 2019

Faculty:  Richard Miscovich

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Connecting to the origins of sustenance, students in Sterling College’s Artisan Bread Baking course will practice the art of breadmaking using both domestic and wild yeasts with an emphasis on baking with retained heat in a wood-fired oven. Baking in commercial and home ovens will also be covered. This journey starts with bread baking fundamentals but also explores diverse concepts such as long-fermented naturally leavened breads and sprouted grains and sprouted grain flours. Along the way, we’ll discuss the history, significance and community-building power of bread.  

Sterling’s location in a regional grain system allows us the opportunity to experiment with a variety of locally grown and milled grains.  Our production of hand-crafted hearth breads will be interspersed with visits to artisan bakers with community-based approaches to the ancient crafts of milling and breadmaking.

 

  • Day 1 – Course Introduction (pita, pan di mie, sourdough starter)
  • Day 2 – Naturally Leavened Breads & Sprouted Grains (bulk retarded pita, pain rustique variations, focaccia)
  • Day 3 – Baking Naturally Leavened Breads (pain au levain variations, fougasse, rejuvelac)
  • Day 4 – In Class Milling, Rye Breads (rugbrod, rye, power bars)
  • Day 5 – Field Trip

 

Please email us if you have any questions about this course:  newamericanfarmstead@sterlingcollege.edu


Course Details

Level:  Beginner

Prerequisites:   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 woodfired oven will walk away with new knowledge and skills. Small class size and individual attention make this possible.

Tuition & Fees:  $1300 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and three meals daily from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or housing accommodations.

Housing Availability & Fees:  Housing availability is limited for this course and room requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. On-campus housing is $60 per night for a room with a private bath, and $50 per night for a room with a shared bath. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic/vintage/farmhouse style accommodations that are clean and safe but not luxurious. If you prefer to stay off-campus please see our accommodations page for local recommendations.

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Please email us if you have any questions about this course or others:  newamericanfarmstead@sterlingcollege.edu


Richard Miscovich

Richard Miscovich 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. Currently, Richard is assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and a Department Chair for The International Baking & Pastry Institute. In addition to teaching culinary students, Richard is also a popular instructor for home bakers and brick oven hobbyists, and is a regular guest at venues around the country where he teaches artisan bread-baking techniques, wood-fired baking, and oven-building classes. In 2007, Richard organized and helped teach the first three-day wood-fired oven class track to be offered at The Bread Bakers Guild of America’s bi-annual educational conference, Camp Bread. He served two terms on the Board of The Bread Bakers Guild of America. He is the author of From the Woodfired Oven (Chelsea Green Publishing) and instructs the online Craftsy courses, ‘Handmade sourdough, from starter to baked loaf’ and ‘King Arthur Flour’s best sandwich breads.’


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. Some aspects of course content may be weather-dependent.

Natural Cheesemaking: Specialty Goat & Sheep Cheeses

Specialty Goat & Sheep Cheeses

May 13-17, 2019

Faculty: David Asher

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To begin the course, students will learn about the nuances of goat and sheep milk. We will ferment the milk to see it evolve its community of native microorganisms, and learn how this culture can be used for cheesemaking.  Our cheese makes will begin with soft lactic cheeses, including fresh cheeses like chevre and brebis, and aged ones like valencay and saint maure, learning how goat milk is specifically suited to this simple cheesemaking technique. We will move on to blue goats and sheep cheeses, preparing a roquefort from fresh raw sheep milk. Finally we will prepare a tomme de chevre in parallel with a pecorino; and with its whey some fine ricotta. Traditional methods of producing goat and sheep rennet will also be explored. And we will visit farms to witness milkings, and learn about aspects of their husbandry as well.

Goat and sheep milk are remarkable milks with incredible cheesemaking potential. This course will show the nuances of these fine milks, and show how best to work with them.

This class compliments the learning of David Asher’s other class – “Natural Cheesemaking – Raw Milk Cheeses,” but can also stand alone.

 

 

 


Course Details

Level:  200 / Beginner to Intermediate

Prerequisites:  None

Tuition & Fees:  $1300 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and three meals daily from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or housing accommodations.

Housing Availability & Fees: Housing availability is limited for this course and room requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. On-campus housing is $60 per night for a room with a private bath, and $50 per night for a room with a shared bath. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic/vintage/farmhouse style accommodations that are clean and safe but not luxurious. If you prefer to stay off-campus please see our accommodations page for local recommendations.

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David Asher is an organic farmer, farmstead cheese maker, and cheese educator based on the gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. A guerrilla cheesemaker, David does not make cheese according to standard industrial philosophies—he explores traditionally cultured, non-corporate methods of cheesemaking. David offers cheese outreach to communities near and far with the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking. Through workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations, he shares his distinct cheesemaking style. His courses teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to the home kitchen or artisanal production. He is the author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking (Chelsea Green Publications).


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 Art & Science of Brewing

Dates TBD

Faculty: Jan Paul & Anders Kissmeyer

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Take your brewing to the next level!  The mix of cold, hard science, brewing artistry, and wild tales from Danish brewmasters Anders Kissmeyer and Jan Paul’s brewing careers are sure to up your brewing game.  This one-week intensive class features fun filled lectures covering raw materials, brewing practices, yeast, aging, packaging, tasting techniques, beer styles, equipment design and more. We also have a number of hands-on activities including basic microscopy that anyone with a microscope can do at home, malting and fermentation.

Although we will not be brewing beer in class, key concepts of all stages of brewing will be covered in detail to help you troubleshoot at home or at the brewery. This course prepares both experienced home-brewers and aspiring beverage entrepreneurs with the skills and inspiration needed to join the craft beer revolution and produce beer that is as artful and sustainable as it is delicious. While your here… visit Vermont’s award winning Hill Farmstead Brewery, Lost Nation Brewing or any of the other more than 50 craft breweries in the state!

Specific topics covered include: malting; brewing; yeast & microorganisms; fermentation & maturation; filtration, pasteurization, carbonization & packaging; barrel aging, bottle conditioning, cold hopping & cask ales; quality management; microscopy & microbiological techniques; hygiene, cleaning & sanitation.

Level:  This class is appropriate for experienced homebrewers as well as those with some work experience related to brewing. It may be too technical for craft beer aficionados and enthusiasts who have no or very limited prior brewing experience. The course provides the theory, knowledge, and skills needed to hone the student’s craft, troubleshoot brews, and take brewing to the next level. You will want to brush up on biology and chemistry basics related to:  carbohydrates, proteins, water, yeasts and enzymes before class begins in order to gain the full value of the class.

Tuition & Fees:  $1250 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and lunch daily from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.  Work at a brewery?  You’re eligible for a 10% discount on this course.

Housing Availability & Fees:  On-campus housing is not available for this course. We recommend the Highland Lodge in Greensboro, VT which offers breakfast and a daily shuttle to and from. For other recommendations please see our accommodations page.

If you have questions about this course, click here.


 

Faculty Bios:

AndersKissmeyerAnders Kissmeyer has more than 30 years of experience in the brewing business. After a 16- year run in Quality Management and International Brewing at Carlsberg, Anders founded the acclaimed Danish craft brewery, Nørrebro Bryghus, which brought the craft brewing revolution to Denmark and pioneered a range of beers with distinct Nordic accents. Since 2010, Anders has been at the helm of his own brewing, consulting, and communications company, Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing. Kissmeyer expresses an uncompromising brewing philosophy: he creates innovative beers with distinct character that are brewed to an exemplary degree of technical quality.  His beers are inspired by and often brewed in collaboration with his world class brewer friends around the world.  Thanks to the second-to-none network that Anders has built amongst the greatest brewers on the planet, Kissmeyer Beer has been brewed at exceptional breweries in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lebanon, Australia, Ontario, Quebec and the United States.  Anders currently teaches at the Scandinavian School of Brewing, judges beer competitions (including the World Beer Cup, GABF, IBA, AIBA, Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival, IBC Japan and the Mondial de la Biére), and serves as the Technical Editor of the Scandinavian Brewer’s Review.  In the past, he has served on the Council of the European Brewing Convention and Danish Brewer’s Association. Anders was named Best Still-Active Master Brewer in the World (August 2011, peer nomination through the Scandinavian School of Brewing) and Honorary Beer Sommelier(September 2013, the British Beer Academy).

Jan PaulJan Paul is the Brewmaster at Svaneke Bryghus, one of the first micro-breweries in Denmark.  On the remote, ruggedly beautiful island of Bornholm, Jan exclusively produces prize-winning, unfiltered beer under the name of Bornholmer Bryg (Bornholm Brew), using a bottom-fermenting yeast strain that has been going strong since January 2012 and recently reached its 200th generation. In line with traditional practice, Jan brews four seasonal beers each year, capturing the essence of each season. By eschewing the filtering process, Jan creates character beers that maintain all of their flavor and aromatic nuances born from exceptional raw ingredients, pristine water, and the magic of fermentation. Core values of honesty and authenticity, an uncompromising emphasis on quality, and a strong environmental ethic ground Jan’s work.  He brews in a facility that uses some of the most advanced environmentally and energy efficient technologies; his beers are free of additives, stabilizers or any other unnatural products.  At the same time, his irrepressibly creative spirit also inspires him to experiment with unexpected ingredient additions like bladder-wrack and liquorice, and push the boundaries of what is traditionally considered beer. In May 2015, after six months of intensive research and development with a special yeast strain and fermentation process, Jan launched an innovative beverage called Greenlight, Denmark’s first organic and alcohol free beer.  Greenlight provided stiff competition to the “regular” beers at the Copenhagen Beer Festival, where it was considered by many to be the best beer, even without alcohol.  Jan is currently perfecting a beer/cider hybrid with a secondary malolactic fermentation.   Jan is the youngest recipient of the Danish Brewers Association Anniversary Scholarship, which is awarded to recognize and nurture especially innovative and brewing. In addition to being an acclaimed brewer, Jan is also an experienced educator who has taught at the Scandinavian School of Brewing since 2006.  Jan holds a degree in Brewing Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (Weihenstephan).

 

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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. Some aspects of course content may be weather-dependent.

 

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Performance Ecology: Myths, Masks and Movement

This advanced-level interdisciplinary class builds upon foundational theories and practices explored in introductory courses in visual arts, ecology and cultural studies. Students examine the historical and contemporary intersections among art, culture and ecology.  Students engage in process-oriented creativity with nature, working with ecosystem energetics and ecological dynamics to create performance productions. Throughout this course, students explore the ways in which art is used as an agent for landscape and cultural interpretation, and as an avenue to stimulate public discourse. Utilizing emergent- based methods, students engage in interdisciplinary research and explore a diversity of collaborative performance techniques to convey their results.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West: Images of Race and Gender in the American West (ST)

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show traveled the country around the turn of the twentieth-century, performing iconic images of the West—from Annie Oakley’s gun tricks to reenactments of Custer’s “last stand” to displays of Native American “warriors.”  In many ways, this show typified the central role that the American West has played in the formation of American cultural identity—frequently through images more mythic than real.

This course explores the ways that popular culture, including fiction and particularly film, has constructed the West as a place where cultural ideologies of race, gender, and the natural world are played out. In examining a range of texts that depict popular images of the American West, we will analyze what different visions of race, gender, and nature suggest about identity and power in American culture.

Introduction to Outdoor Leadership

This Sterling College-Northfield Middle High School dual enrollment course is an experience-based, elective credit that meets every day. It is a semester-long course that uses a series of outdoor adventures to provide the foundation for self-awareness, leadership development, team-building, personal growth, and self reflection. These adventure activities may include, but are not limited to: hiking, canoeing, wilderness survival skills, rock climbing, ropes courses, snowshoeing, winter camping, backpacking, bicycling, trail building, orienteering, and fishing. No previous experience is necessary, but a positive attitude and a willingness to learn are vital.

Students can expect to be outside several days each week, regardless of weather, and each student will be challenged by our different activities in different ways. Some of these outdoor activities will take place locally and during the school day; others will require travel to various locations around New England including the Adirondacks, the White Mountains, the Long Trail, the Breadloaf Wilderness,Lake Champlain, and Green River Reservoir. For this reason,trust is of the utmost importance. Students will be expected to earn the privilege of participating in class activities and expeditions, simply by not violating the trust of the teachers and of their classmates. All school rules apply.