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:

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:

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: Next Level Cheeses

Next Level Cheeses

March 16-20, 2020

Faculty: David Asher


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This second course with David Asher focuses on more challenging cheeses; those that require more careful curd handling like Brie, high temperature cooking like Comte, or more complex ripening like Bleu d’Auvergne.

The class will offer a review of natural methods before entering into the throes of raw milk cheesemaking. In five days we will cover a breadth of makes, including white rinded half-lactic cheeses; stirred curd blue cheeses, washed curd cheeses, milled curd cheeses, and a full alpine make, focusing on styles that are only hinted at in the introductory course.

We will begin by preparing a hand-ladled Brie, learning what makes the cheese as creamy as possible. On the second day, we will make a Bleu D’auvergne, exploring the method to give the cheese its beautiful blue eyes. On day three, we will wash our curds to make both a small & mouldy Saint Nectaire, and a big orange wheel of Gouda. On the fourth day, we will learn about milled curd cheeses, preparing and pressing a truckle that will ripen into a cloth-bound Cheddar or naturally rinded Cantal. And on the final day, we will conceive a traditional full-alpine cheese, cooking the curd to a high temperature before pressing it into a massive wheel of Comté.

“Natural Cheesemaking: Next Level Cheeses” explores how natural methods help evolve the best characteristics in all styles of cheese. This class is for the aspiring home-cheesemaker or farmstead producer wishing to improve their game and make more traditional raw milk cheeses without manufactured cultures. It’s sure to be an ambitious and delicious week!

Not quite ready for Next Level Cheeses? Consider taking Natural Cheesemaking: Raw Milk Cheeses first to get a primed and ready for Next Level Cheeses!




Course Details

Level:  200 / Beginner to Intermediate

Prerequisites:  No specific prerequisites, but it would be helpful for students to have a base knowledge of cheesemaking, or to have completed David’s Natural Cheesemaking course.

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:  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 if you have any questions.

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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.

Images of Race and Gender in the American West

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.

Livestock Systems Management

Livestock Systems Management will provide students with the knowledge and skills to assess housing, and forage production and storage needs, for a wide variety of livestock types. Air quality, special needs handling, manure storage, feed storage, water and fencing systems, construction styles, and environmental regulatory compliance will be covered. Class sessions will be supported by extensive field trips to observe a wide variety of animal housing and feeding systems. Economic implications of various systems will be evaluated. Students will develop a housing and  feeding system for a group of animals of their choosing.

Orienteering Sports (ST)

Experience the thrill of racing through the woods with just your wits and map and compass to guide you.  Whether it is team adventure racing, foot orienteering, or doing it on skis that is your interest, you get the solid navigation skills you need for all of them. Depending on the season the course is taught, one sport will be the main focus each semester.  (Fall 2016 Foot Orienteering) Some running fitness is a plus, but not required.

Learn the standard symbols for competitive orienteering maps both by navigating on existing maps and creating new ones using a digital mapping program.  Early classes focus on particular aspects of map interpretation and decision making. Later classes put all the pieces together.  The skill development progression will mix on terrain travel with on paper map exercises, and digital map drawing.  Several weekends the class will travel to orienteering competitions to test skills and see how events are run. (an individual student would only be required  to attend two weekend events) The end of semester goal for the class is to host a quality orienteering event.  The course will enhance your personal skills and also prepare you to teach orienteering to others.  

Practicum (Yestermorrow Semester)

Students will be introduced to the vernacular architecture of northern New England and the history of the design/build movement of the latter half of the 20th century. Guest lectures, field trips, readings and discussions will provide a survey of shelter types and strategies in Vermont’s difficult climate as well as the evolution of design/build. This course will also examine the historical, social, and economic issues surrounding housing and architecture in the region. Issues such as bioregionalism, historic preservation and land use will also be explored. Students will analyze the climatic responses of vernacular building features to inform their work, as they consider the social, cultural, and economic factors driving the evolution of certain forms, building types, and aesthetic choices. Special interest will also be paid to the Bauhaus teaching philosophy developed by Johannes Itten, its migration to the Unites States, and its ultimate implementation as part of the practical approach applied in the late 60’s and 70’s by Vermont Design/Builders.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Design & Visual Communications Studio (Yestermorrow Semester)

This two-part course will investigate ideas of architectural design process and visual representation through a studio format. We will begin by reading Michael Pollan’s book “A Place of My Own”, using his autobiographical account as a launch pad to explore ideas of shelter. Students will then research and present on various leaders of innovation in the design world and important precedent works, taking note to account for the particular methodological approaches that produced noteworthy outcomes. Drawing from these precedents students will examine various methods for generating a concept, effectively communicating that concept through drawing. Subsequently students will reflect on the outcome a drawing may produce when lifted from the page, or screen, into a fully realized form. Through field trips, additional readings in design theory and phenomenology, and individual research, students will begin to apply these lessons learned to a final semester project. Development of presentation and critical thinking skills will be essential as students will themselves grapple with developing a project all the while addressing key environmental and cultural influences necessary to realize a successful work of architecture. Students will leave with a fundamental understanding of how social, political, performative, and economic factors impact design choices. Particular emphasis will be placed on the process of collaborating as a group, including a variety of perspectives and conceptual approaches, and incorporating the ongoing building process. Students will present their designs for interim and final reviews and will incorporate feedback in an ongoing iterative learning process.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Sustainable Design (Yestermorrow Semester)

This course is an inter-disciplinary seminar designed to allow students to explore the emerging definitions of “sustainability.” Students will be exposed to and required to discuss current theories, methodologies, and best practices related to the creation of our built environments. Topics for consideration may include but are not limited to human health, community engagement, building performance, ecological impact, human relationships to nature, material life cycle, material spirit, affordability, appropriate technology, beauty, ethics, and utility. Students will grapple with these topics as they develop an appreciation of multiple perspectives; including various stakeholders like developers, designers, builders, and clients. Using a case-study approach, readings, discussions, and lectures students will develop and defend various positions, ultimately defining for themselves metrics for how to define the sustainable building movement, beyond just the greening of conventional affordable buildings into the territory of regenerative design and development.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.