We want to share the knowledge we have gained over the years to help others be more self-sufficient. This is at the heart of all we do. We offer these courses for likeminded individuals and families wanting to start or continue on that journey.
We open our home to do these courses and hope that you will appreciate and respect our home and land accordingly. We are living under sovereign reign and expect others to engage with us knowingly and on these same terms. Each is responsible for their own actions and bound by natural law partaking in any of our offered courses or workshops. We believe this is the way we are meant to live. Welcome to this way of being!!
If you are interested in participating in the events below please send an email to smileyo at Xplornet dot ca (written this way to avoid the bots) 😉😁. We will accept your registration (non refundable except in major circumstances) after your etransfer to the above email. We are excited to offer these great topics in 2023. All times are MST if not indicated.
Our courses fill up fast. If you have a group that want to arrange alternate dates for 10 or more participants we will run private courses here or at your location. Contact us if this suits you better.
Our schedule for educational talks and field days is as follows:
What is Organic? Online course covering this topic as it relates to food and gardening. $25 per registrant with reference materials included. Must preregister. February 22, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. MST . Open to anyone
Seed Starting – An online introduction to indoor growing techniques, materials and methods to ensure success and avoid common mistakes. Must preregister $25 per person. Support materials provided. February 28, 2023 7:00 p.m. MST.
Medical herbs and their uses online course – March 1, 2023, 7 PM. $25. This introduction to medicinal plant use and it’s history will precede a practical workshop to follow in the summer. We will highlight common herbs and their use and cultivation. Preregistration is required.
Wild foraging for food intro online – March 6, 2023, 7 PM MST. $25 per participant, register ahead. Foraging means going out in the woods or forest to find what is edible. So for this introduction you can sit in the comfort of your home to learn about some common wild edibles. We will follow this with a practical workshop and hike to follow. We recommend both courses as misidentification can lead to injury or worse. Register with us ahead to ensure your spot.
Dyeing with natural materials online – March 11, 2023, 7PM. $25. This online course will introduce you to the concepts, materials and techniques of dyeing natural materials and fibres using plants, roots, and materials found in nature. We will follow this with a practical workshop in April. It is strongly recommended you take this if you are planning on attending the hands on course.
NEW!! Seed saving workshop– Ft. Assiniboine, Alberta. March 13,2023 – 2 sessions, 9:30-12, or 12:45-3:15. 10 people max per session. We will teach you about seeds and how to grow and save your own. There will also be a tasting event for squashes so come on out! Book by contacting Wild Violet Acres at 780-263-6870.
Wild Violet Acres. 60013 Township Rd 621, Fort Assiniboine, AB T0G 1A0
Building Greenhouses online course. March 14, 2023. 7 PM. Want to learn about building your own low cost greenhouse? We will discuss homemade options using pipe, wood, steel, etc. And plastic covers. We will discuss heating, retention, cooling, and insulation, venting, etc. Kits will not be covered. Preregistration is required. $25. See below for our hands on greenhouse growing workshop.
Growing your own vegetables in Northern climates – what and how much is enough? Online March 16, 2023 @ 7:00 p.m. MST . $25, preregister please. For gardeners in all phases of experience; what should you grow? How much is needed for one or ten people? How do we succeed with common techniques and planning? How to grow vegetables in our climate- We will cover that and more. Resource materials included.
Northern Lights watch party! They say the best night to see Northern lights is March 20, 2023. Is anyone game for a late night adventure? Northern light watching. Have you ever seen them? Listened to the coyotes, communed with nature- we will offer you the space. You just have to make the time. Weather permitting. This is also or may subsequently be a dark sky night of stargazing if there are no northern lights! If you want to see what the etiquette is around dark night events visit
Cold storage design and basics – online. Explore options to build your own cold storage places both low cost and higher. $25.00 per participant, registration required. March 21, 2023, 7 pm MST . Lots of ideas.
Electroculture methods of increasing plant yields and growth – online introduction. March 30, 2023, 7 pm MST, preregister please. Electroculture has been around a long time but not promoted by big business because it allows anyone to grow amazing plants with huge yields without the traditional chemical inputs these businesses make huge profits from. What is it and how do we harness these energies? We will cover this in detail. $25 per person.
Lichens and Mosses – introduction and uses for food, medicine and dyeing. A hands on workshop to gather and prepare commonly used plants in these families for all purposes. April 16, 2023, 9 AM to 2 PM. 10 max participants. Register early! Take home some to start your own dyes! $40 per person.
Dyeing with natural materials practicum at Hill and Dale Farm, April 23, 2023, 9-3 PM. $65 per person, limit 10. Bring your own material or fibre to dye using lichen and plant dyes made here on the farm. We may have time to go harvest some for your own use as well, but if not you may take our summer course as well.
Strawberry Growing for personal or Commercial use – workshop. This one will be weather dependent. So keep your calendar open as it will likely be the last week of April to May 1. Participants will learn strawberry cultures and cultivars, and assist in planting into a commercial setting. You will take a few runners home too! To put your name on the waiting list, email us early. Fee is $50.
Growing in a greenhouse – workshop at Hill and Dale Farm. May 6, 2023, 10-2. This is a hands on workshop for up to 10 participants. Attending the seed starting online course is suggested. We will be observing plants and the greenhouse environment we grow in, and touch on transplanting, in house beds, transitioning plants outside and other topics. Limit 8 participants. Preregistration is required. $45
NEW- Also on May 6,
Beginning Beekeeper course – with Brian Brady. Brian has been tending his hives on our land for many years and knows a thing or two about bees. He is willing to teach 8-10 keen beginners to learn about bees when he gets the queens ready to go in the hives. This is a unique opportunity to view beekeepers at work and learn all about hives, care, troubleshooting and honey production. This course will hopefully run this day but could be anywhere within a week of this date because of the unknown date of queen delivery. Brian would love to accept $65 per person for this course, and recommends that you have a bee suit at minimum. Email to register and it will run from 10-3. Weather dependent. We will also host Brian on another date in July or August TBA to view the hives and look at some full combs!
Garden Planting – practice and assistance to us! Stay tuned but we will have these starting mid May to early June. volunteers will receive plants or seeds for helping out
Mushrooming 101 – how to identify common medicinal and edible mushrooms and where they grow. This online course will begin your journey into mushrooms, and how to identify them using a common key. Participants are required to have the book, “ Mushrooms of Western Canada”, by Schalkwijk-Barendsen or “ The Field Guide to Mushrooms”, by the National Audubon Society for use through the presentation. Nothing takes the place of wandering with an experienced forager or amateur mycologists so we will offer the follow up workshop Mushrooming 101 for that purpose in the spring. This online course runs May 17, 2023 at 7 p.m. $25 per person, support materials provided. The practical course runs as outlined below.
Using what you grow – an introduction to food preservation and recipes for common and uncommon foods we can grow in short season areas. Online June 1, 2023 @ 7p.m. MST, preregistration required. $25 per person
Seed Saving – a starter course online. This will introduce you to saving your own seeds. It is always good to have this in mind when you are growing your garden. We will focus on food plan ya of all kinds but touch on others such as trees and ornamentals. June 14, 2023. 7 PM MST. Preregistration required. $25
Mushrooming 101, Practicum at Hill and Dale Farm. Part two of our mushroom courses. Participants of this hands on walk and talk will have taken the online 101 introduction. Many mushrooms are out by June 17 and we will run out and have a look around. Event starts at Hill and Dale Farm at 8 AM and ends at 3. We will also touch on medicinal mushrooms and their uses. $65 per person.
Wild Foraging for food practicum – Participants should be able to walk in a Bush environment and sign a waiver to participate. We recommend taking the online course first as this is a hands on day of gathering and discussing the use of common wild plants for food and medicine. Workshop runs June 23, 2023 from 9-3 p.m. $65 per person, register in advance. This precedes the weekend off the grid and survival events and if you are registered for any of them price will be waived for this course.
The live off the land challenge weekend. Come with your wits and your knife. You are allowed two matches. Learn about yourself and the world about you. We are running simultaneous workshops this weekend so we will separate groups to different areas of isolation but we are never far away. Depending on the weather, will determine the use of fire for cooking and heating. June 24-25, starts at 10 AM on the 24th but when it ends is up to you on the 25th. Participants can join in the Dark Sky event June 24 at night at no extra cost. $65 per person, couples for $100. Waiver will be required to be signed and accepted by all participants.
Dark sky event – June 24, 2023. Open to all who want to bring a telescope and explore the night skies. Given it’s the middle is summer and close to the Solstice, there will be light except into the wee hours of the night. So bring a tent and set your alarm clock! $30 per person.
A weekend without – basic survival skills, outdoor camping the wild way and star watching. And can you exist without a phone? See our event posting above for June 24. Price is $65 for the weekend per person, $100 per couple.
Weekend of Healing – guests will camp overnight away from harmful EMF radiation sources, explore natural detox and healing techniques and disciplines, enjoy yoga and meditation without interruption and explore the world of healing foods and teas. All food included, you provide your tent and yoga mat. Event starts June 24, 2023 at 9 AM and ends June 25, at 5 PM. Cost is $225 per person. 10 participants max.
Harvesting and prepping trees for use as building materials. This is a full on hands on, working course. Full day in the woods and at the mill, we will show how to harvest wood safely and we will show a working sawmill. You must bring proper PPE and follow all safety precautions and instructions and sign a waiver. Limit 5 participants $50 per person and if we have more registrants we will set another date. July 15, 2023, 8 AM to 4 PM.
Soap making – anyone interested in making their own tallow based soaps? This is a hands-on workshop with participants taking home some soap they made. Limit 15 participants and we will cover all aspects of soap making. Participants will be required to bring their own tallow and essential oils. Register early. August 2, 10-3. $45 per person.
Medicinal Herb Practicum at Hill and Dale Farm. August 5, 2023, 8 AM to 4 PM. Able bodied participants will stroll through our gardens and forests to learn common and uncommon herbs and plants used in making natural medicine and be shown the techniques of drying, cooking with and making of salves and other things of use to humans. Full day and we start early! $65 for the day per person. Register early! Max. 10 participants.
Building with natural materials. This course will give hands on experience and practical theory of using a variety of natural materials to build shelter. We will be focusing on cordwood construction for this workshop but will talk about straw bale construction, Adobe and rammed earth as well as earthen plasters and hempcrete. August 12, 2023. Starts at 8 AM to 7 PM. Limit 8 able bodied people, $60. We may Re offer on another date if we have a waiting list again.
Mushrooming 201 – this is an advanced course ( part 3) for participants that have taken both online and practical 101 events, and wish to know more about medicinal mushrooms, their uses and tincture making. We will start at August 26 or 27th, 8 AM and go all day to 4 PM. $65 per person, limit 20 participants. Registration is required. Please email which day works best for you.
Natural food growing with hands on experience including harvest day in September. Stay tuned!
Honey, honey, honey – a beginner exploration into the world of bees TBA
Watching the sky – dark sky events and maybe some unknown craft sightings too. Scheduled for the day before the new moon in August and September. Overnight camping included. $65 per family. No pets allowed.
Farm stays so you can explore living off grid and away from EMF radiation. See June 24 event details.