for Sustainability & Resilience

September 28, 2016

October 29, 2016 – Cedar Basket Making Class

Category: * General Posts,3. Arts & Crafts – Heartwood admin 6:36 pm

Greetings!  Now Tsawout Elder Skookales is coming back to Pender on October 29.  This is to teach another class on Cedar Bark Basket Making (see here – pre-registration required).

Beginner Cedar basket from previous class

Beginner Cedar basket from previous class

October 29, 2016 – AGM, new Coordinator invited, looking forward

Greetings!  Past Members and any interested folks are warmly invited to the October 29 Annual General Meeting of the non-profit Heartwood Folk School Society.  Special Invitation:  If you become a Member at this AGM ($5 fee), you can receive free entry to the Cedar Basket Making Class that follows.  In any event, Heartwood is at a crossroads, so come help decide and create our future together!


AGM DATE:  Saturday, October 29, 2016  (please read info below & RSVP if you can)

TIME:  9:45 am (no more than an hour), before 11:00 am Cedar Basket Making Class


January 11, 2016

January, 2016: Homeopathy Classes

Category: * General Posts,8. Wellbeing – Heartwood admin 11:59 pm

Have you often wondered about homeopathy as a natural alternative healing practice?  For introductory and follow-up classes by Caroline Dent starting in January, see here.

homoepathy image

September 20, 2015

Class on Building Simple Greenhouses

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 11:25 pm

Heartwood Folk School is now ready to restart in the Fall, beginning with a class on “Building Simple Hoop Greenhouses” (like the one below).  See here for more!

A - GH1

Greenhouse built by Alysha Punnett


Heartwood summer break, Fall AGM & restart

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,2. Energy,9. Community – Heartwood admin 11:16 pm

After a summer break extended by a major challenge (see farewell below), we at Heartwood Folk School are now ready to restart in the fall.  This is to continue our mission of teaching practical, joyful, Earth-caring, and community-strengthening skills – as do other wonderful organizations in our Pender community.  Up next is an October 17 Annual General Meeting, followed by a class on Building Simple Hoop Greenhouses (like the one in the picture below).

Farewell to a Key Heartwood Supporter:  Heartwood Coordinator Zorah Staar is very sad to announce the August 18 passing of her dear partner Colin McLarty, after a heroic battle with cancer.  Colin was the primary, behind-the-scenes supporter of our non-profit educational society, and an inspiration who already knew 90% of the skills that we’ve taught so far. Thanks so much to other community members who have steadfastly supported us for years.  We are also very grateful for your recent donations in Colin’s honour, to the non-profit Heartwood Folk School Society.

Oct 17 Heartwood Annual General Meeting:  We always love to hear your suggestions about exciting new classes that you’d like to attend, coordinate, or teach (email info@heartwoodfolkschool.ca).  The upcoming Heartwood Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an especially good opportunity to help guide our ship. Any interested persons are invited to attend a brief, informal AGM – at 10:30 am on Saturday, October 17 (Community Hall upstairs).  You could check out the Winter Market at the Hall before the AGM, and then stay after the AGM for our 11:00 am Greenhouse class (see below).  Your children/youth are welcome to join us.

Become a Heartwood Director, or Help Coordinate!  Our non-profit Society can have 5 to 8 Directors, and there’s room for 2 more. A lot of Directors’ business is handled by email, and then we meet every few months.  However, Zorah Staar would also love more help with the practical coordinating of Heartwood classes, which involves some compensation from grant monies. Please call Zorah ASAP at 250-629-3825 if being a Director and/or helping to coordinate interests you.


April 22, 2015

June, 2015: Food Preservation Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 12:27 am

Did you know that sometimes you’re not supposed to wash food before you preserve it?  With traditional food fermentation, you’d be washing away the living organisms that preserve the food for you (and make it even healthier too!).  See here for June, 2015 classes on canning, fermenting, and other food preservation methods.


April 18, 2015

May, 2015: D-I-Y Solar Hot Water, Passive Solar, etc.

Category: * General Posts,2. Energy – Heartwood admin 8:50 am

Up next on sustainable energy are May, 2015 classes with a DO-IT-YOURSELF focus.  This includes Do-It-Yourself Solar Hot Water systems, and also Home Passive Solar elements, plus an innovative Home Heat Recovery system.  See here for more, and to pre-register.

Home Passive Solar Elements

Home Passive Solar Elements

March 26, 2015

April, 2015: Wilderness Skills classes

Category: * General Posts,4. Nature Skills – Heartwood admin 10:29 pm

It’s happening!  We’ve now confirmed 19 interested adults and children, for the April 21, 2015 Wilderness Skills classes.  This full day of classes on Pender is being provided by the Thriving Roots Wilderness School.  The skills to be taught include friction fire making (see below), edible/medicinal wild plants, and forest shelter making.  You can see here for more.

Friction fire making, with a bow drill

Friction fire making, with a bow drill


February 19, 2015

March, 2015: Practical Solar Photovoltaics class

Category: * General Posts,2. Energy – Heartwood admin 7:45 pm

Now we’ve captured a Gabriola Island solar expert for our next sustainable energy classes, in March, 2015.  The focus will be “Practical Solar Photovoltaics – Sample Installation & Creating your own Small Solar PV Home Back-Up System”.  Please see here for more, and you too can have a solar panel or two up on the roof…

Solar panels, different watts & prices

Solar panels, different watts & prices

January 26, 2015

February, 2015: First Nations Weaving / Basketry classes

Category: * General Posts,3. Arts & Crafts – Heartwood admin 2:41 pm

We are very grateful that on February 21, 2015, an Elder of the Tsawout First Nation is offering two introductory basketry classes on Pender!  The first class is on cedar bark weaving/basketry, and the second class is on more detailed pine needle basketry.  You can see here to learn more, and also below for an Elder kindly helping one of our beginner basket makers!


Coiled Pine Needle Basket from Class

January 16, 2015

Another Coast Salish Knitting Class

Category: * General Posts,3. Arts & Crafts – Heartwood admin 6:46 am

Following our 2014 Knitting Learning Day, now Sylvia Olsen of the Tsartlip First Nation is offering another traditional Coast Salish knitting class!   This is on Saturday, February 28, 2015, when Sylvia is coming to Pender to introduce her new book “Knitting Stories” – “a gorgeous book of personal essays, with seven Coast Salish-inspired Knitting Patterns.”

The book release is at 2:00 pm at the Community Hall (all welcome, free event).  However, the Knitting Class is earlier at Talisman Books from 10:00 am to about 1:00 pm (cost $25, including materials).  The class is called “Traditional Coast Salish Colourwork Techniques – Make your own West-Coast Toque” and here’s Sylvia’s description:

Coast Salish colourwork is a unique combination of animal motifs and geometric designs.  Learn how to weave two colours into every stitch and achieve the elasticity and interior beauty found in Cowichan knitting.  Sylvia will teach based on traditional knitting methods (including throwing the yarn), and talk about other unique techniques of Cowichan knitting.  She can also go further with colourwork for those interested.  The main class level is intermediate, but other levels can come learn.  Please bring US #10/6mm double pointed needles.  The included materials are a toque knitting kit, with a pattern and west coast lopi-weight wool in natural Cowichan colours.”  PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, by email to admin@talismanbooks.ca or by seeing Melanie at Talisman.  Thanks!

a Knitting Stories book image

January 6, 2015

New Pender Energy Research Report & 2015 Classes

Category: * General Posts,2. Energy – Heartwood admin 1:15 pm

Following up on Heartwood’s November, 2014 energy classes (see here for more), there is now an updated Pender Energy Research Report.  This is an introductory, practical comparison of solar and other renewable energy options for islanders.  Note:  A professional solar thermal install by March 31, 2015 could be eligible for the CRD incentive/rebate.  Start by checking out the above report!

(solar thermal/solar hot water image below, courtesy of www.camosunsolar.ca)camosunsolar.ca solar hot water diagram

December 5, 2014

January, 2015: Composting & Soil Building Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 8:25 am

With the CRD’s January 1, 2015 deadline for “no more kitchen scraps” in the nearest landfill, Heartwood Folk School thinks it’s a key time to offer these two January classes:  Composting Basics” (for homes and small growers) and “Soil & Soil Building – Really Important Tiny Lives”.  We have an expert visiting teacher – see here for more!

Earth Machine composter smaller

November 9, 2014

November, 2014: Beginner & Organic Food Growing Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 7:14 pm

Yes, broccoli looks, tastes, and nourishes you differently when you grow it yourself – especially if it’s purple!   Up next for Heartwood are November 15, 2014 classes on “Your First Pender Food Garden” and “Organic Food Growing – What’s Different”.  See here for more…

purple broccoli cropped smaller

September 20, 2014

November, 2014: Solar & Sustainable Energy Classes

Category: * General Posts,2. Energy – Heartwood admin 4:40 pm

Heartwood is happy to announce November, 2014 energy classes on new options for solar and other forms of renewable energy.  See here to learn about “Solar Thermal & Photovoltaic – Intro to New Options & Incentives“, and “Heat Pump, Wind, Water & Geothermal Energy – Intro to Local Options“.

(solar water heating image below, courtesy of Pacific Solar Smart Homes/Camosun Solar)

camosunsolar.ca solar hot water panels cropped

November, 2014 Food Growing Classes

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 4:33 pm

Heartwood is happy to announce upcoming sustainable food growing classes in November, 2014!  This is especially for beginners, or those who want to learn more about organic food growing.  See here for more…

food growing harvest

August 22, 2014

Carpentry & Woodworking for Beginners

Category: * General Posts,5. Technical / D-I-Y,6. Building – Heartwood admin 5:59 pm

At a Heartwood meeting earlier this year, a handy guy named Barry Nikiforuk suggested a course on “Carpentry and Woodworking for Beginners.”  Immediately, 7 people in the room expressed interest!  See here for a September and October course that’s happening as a result!

Woodworking_tools smaller

July 6, 2014

Heartwood AGM & Old-time Baking

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 6:10 pm

Saturday, July 26: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING for Heartwood Folk School Society (11:30 am, brief, with treats!  at Pender Community Hall upstairs)

Current Members and anyone interested is welcome to attend our upcoming AGM.  This is where we report on the past year, and talk about which classes we can do next to serve our community.  We invite all the local folks who could teach something practical, joyful, Earth-caring, or community-strengthening to just suggest a date, and then Heartwood will help it happen!  For July 26, all AGM’s should have treats, so ours will be CLASS NOTES from the June 14 Herb or Mushroom classes, plus our locally grown rhubarb raspberry cake, from a 100-year-old Mennonite recipe that we could also share.  Please RSVP to info@heartwoodfolkschool.ca with your choice of treat!

rhubarb cake smaller

Demystifying accounting for our community…

Category: * General Posts,9. Community – Heartwood admin 5:39 pm

Here’s an upcoming set of classes from Heartwood (see our home page for more!):

July 26 classes: Practical & Computer Accounting for Local Groups & Enterprises (1:00 pm to 2:45 and 3:00 pm to 5:00, Community Hall upstairs)

Have you ever been in a situation where it would help to understand accounting basics or financial statements a little better?  Or maybe you’d like to try computerized accounting for your local group or enterprise, or wouldn’t mind some financial management tips for non-profit organizations?  You could register for the classes here!  To have a resilient local community, we need Earth-friendly enterprises, that are financially sustainable too!

accounting classes smaller


June 9, 2014

June, 2014 – What’s up (surf’s up?) for Heartwood…

Category: * General Posts,6. Building – Heartwood admin 9:12 am

HEARTWOOD FOLK SCHOOL update: After our June Herbs and Mushrooms classes (see photos here), what’s next on Saturday, July 26 is classes on Practical & Computer ACCOUNTING, for Local Groups & Enterprises (see here).

However, Heartwood is also really keen to offer some Building Classes (e.g. Carpentry for Beginners).  This is once we obtain additional insurance for our non-profit society.

In the meantime, Heartwood Director Everest Lapp has some friends from Lambrecht Surfboards who would love to come to Pender on August 22 to 28, to offer their workshops on Building your own Surfboard or Paddleboard.  They invite registrations ASAP, so please contact them directly through http://www.lambrechtsurfboards.com/workshops.html


May 21, 2014

June, 2014 Classes on Herbs, and Mushroom Gardens

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing,4. Nature Skills,8. Wellbeing – Heartwood admin 11:37 am

We are happy to announce that on Saturday, June 14, 2014, Master Herbalist Don Ollsin of Victoria will be coming to Pender to offer two amazing classes…  Top 20 Herbs to Wildcraft/Gather or Grow for our Health, and Creating a Fungi/Mushroom GardenWe invite you to seen these class descriptions (and now here are photos just in!).
photo - echinacea and mushrooms


April 25, 2014

Heartwood thank you’s

Category: * General Posts – Heartwood admin 6:25 pm

The Directors of the non-profit Heartwood Folk School Society need to review the 30 class suggestions to date…  to decide which practical, joyful, Earth-caring, and community-strengthening skills we could learn together next!  There’s also a bunch of admin and planning work we need to do, to grow the Folk School one solid step at a time.

That’s why we’re so grateful that Heartwood just received the donation of a computer from Pender Island Realty (www.penderislandrealty.com), which was voluntarily zipped into shape by John Coulsen of Island Computer Services (250-999-8691).  Thanks so much to these good island folks, and stay tuned for our next class announcement!

PI Realty photo

March 23, 2014

Knitting & Wool Learning Day – photo glimpses

Category: * General Posts,3. Arts & Crafts – Heartwood admin 7:47 pm

Here’s a glimpse of our March 22 Knitting & Wool Learning Day (see more photos here).  Thanks so much to our teachers…  Sylvia, Joni and Adam Olsen of the Tsartlip First Nation.  You can also see our home page for what’s next for the Heartwood Folk School!

Knitting 2 picture cropped for website smaller


March 4, 2014

March 22, 2014 Knitting & Wool Learning Day

Category: * General Posts,3. Arts & Crafts – Heartwood admin 12:40 pm

In addition to skills like food growing and sustainable energy use, Heartwood intends to include traditional arts and crafts, such as the beautiful and practical art of knitting!  Besides Pender Island experts such as the Knit Wits and others, there are some local Coast Salish folks who remember all about this.

We are honoured that for the very first set of classes under our new Heartwood Folk School name…  Joni, Adam and Sylvia Olsen of the Tsartlip First Nation are coming to Pender!  This is for a special March 22, 2014 Knitting & Wool Learning Day.  See here for more (as well the beautiful creation worn by Joni below).

Knitting Joni Olsen in Salish Fusion Poncho

March 1, 2014

We are the Heartwood Folk School!

Here’s good news…  Of all our activities to date, our practical skills-teaching has had the most powerful community impact and interest.  This is why on February 8, 2014, Members unanimously voted for our non-profit society to become the Heartwood Folk School Society!  We invite everyone to our first classes under our new name – a Knitting & Wool Learning Day on March 22, 2014.

You can see our home page for upcoming classes in various subject areas.  You can also have a peek at our new Heartwood symbol, created by Everest Lapp!a Heartwood Folk School logo 1 uneven hearts

April 13, 2013

June 1 Fruit Tree Workshop & Meeting

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 9:26 am

In a few weeks, we’re hosting two summer events.  Firstly, all interested folk are welcome to attend a Fruit Tree Workshop (see below).  This workshop and also a brief, informal Members Meeting are both on Saturday, June 1, downstairs at the Pender Community Hall.  Feel free to come by during the Farmers Market.

Fruit Tree Workshop (10:30 am): There will be a free Fruit Tree Workshop from 10:30 to about 12:30 (all welcome, including kids!). Visiting experts Bob and Verna Duncan (www.FruitTreesAndMore.com) will begin with a presentation about temperate fruit trees for our area.  Bob Duncan was instrumental in starting BC Fruit Testers, and is a super source of knowledge and actual fruit trees (of many varieties, including citrus).

After our expert’s presentation and slide show, they will go into question and answer with the Penderites who attend, and dialogue with local experts too. This can include fruit tree choices, planting, care, grafting, pruning, preserving, semi-tropical options and more.  Our goal is to increase fruit tree planting on Pender, and also to make more use of the beautiful trees we already have (e.g. more fruit juicing, like the picture below of the amazing apple press lent out by the Pender Farmland Acquisition Project).

fruit pressing smaller


April 5, 2013

the view from Pender Island, looking ahead…

Category: * General Posts – Heartwood admin 9:12 am

…the view from North Pender Island on a foggy April day, seeing our nearby Gulf Islands, looking into the year ahead for our non-profit society…

cliff fog view medium

February 17, 2013

“nettlefest” workshop, community dinner & celebration

Category: * General Posts,4. Nature Skills – Heartwood admin 11:06 am


wild plant workshop & community dinner!

(3:00 pm – “Nettles & Other Wild Plants as Food & Medicine”)
Saturday, March 9, 2013, Community Hall

* click here for more

a nettle close smaller

January 17, 2013

Innovation & Social Enterprise Learning Event

Category: * General Posts,9. Community – Heartwood admin 7:50 pm

Now there’s two new speakers!  See the latest information for the “EXPLORING INNOVATION & SOCIAL ENTERPRISE” learning day, on February 9, 2013.

innovation midsize

December 29, 2012

Poultry Raising Workshop – January 19, 2013

Category: * General Posts,1. Food Growing – Heartwood admin 2:51 pm
The little chicks below (click “more” if you need to) are what you get when you cross an Isa Brown hen with a Barnevelder rooster.  Come out to PCT’s January 19, 2013 Poultry Raising Skill-Building Workshop to find out more!  (SEE POSTER).  It’s on a Saturday from noon to 3 pm at the Community Hall, and then people can tour a South Pender poultry operation.  We plan to start with the theme of getting started on a small scale, raising layer chickens and/or chickens for meat, in sustainable, Earth-friendly ways.   Then one of our Pender experts will cover the big topic of protection from predators.  Next another Pender poultry expert will talk about raising heritage turkeys, and finally we’ll end with the tour.   Any interested person is welcome to attend.  The workshop is free, but we’d like people to register by contacting 250-629-3825 or info@pendercommunitytransition.ca.

It was wonderful to see over 30 Penderites at the January 19 Poultry Workshop!  Here are the Poultry & Chicken Raising Handouts and Turkey Raising Handouts that were offered (courtesy of presenters Zorah Staar and Barb Grimmer).  We also thank our other presenter Tracy Calvert, especially for the tour of her poultry operation.  Now we invite any interested person to email info@pendercommunitytransition.ca if you’re interested in joint purchasing of some automatic poultry doors (for a price saving), or an informal Pender poultry club (including kids) for ongoing info-sharing and cooperation!  See also the Fraser Valley Poultry Fanciers Association website at www.fvpfa.org for a lot of good information and a catalogue of sources.
chicks with mom smaller