Education & Outreach


2014 Reskilling Series

at the Ranch



May 9-11 Bee Guardian Workshops – with Corwin Bell

Friday, May 9, Beginning

Saturday, May 10, Intermediate  

Sunday, May 11 NEW THIS YEAR "Products of the Hive" 

each class is 10am -3pm, COST- $75 
we will have a potluck lunch each day

Corwin & Backyard Hives crew will be back! Join us again this year with an intermediate and a beginner level. Learn about the incredible world of the bee and how to care for bees and produce the multiple benefits of pollination and honey production in our Valley foodshed, right in your own backyard. Last year’s class encouraged over 50 bee hives to be established in the Roaring Fork Valley! Corwin teaches how to use Top Bar bee hives. This Year Corwin will be offering a new class in what to do with all the abundance of wax and honey from your hives. DON"T MISS "Products of the Hive". Our bee courses sell out each year so sigh up early.

CALL 970-963-6107 or email


May 24, No-Till Gardening Workshop

Saturday, 1:00-4:00

More info coming soon

Join us after the workshop for our Community Pot Luck  6:00-8:00



July 5 – July 18 Permaculture Design Certificate Course + Farm/Ranch Practicum

with Scott Pittmen of the Permaculture Institute


Participants are actively involved with a working ranch/organic farm. Unique hands-on and participation opportunities arise every day. There is  making soft cheeses, making fermented foods, working with food plants, harvesting, milking animals, making compost, planting, harvesting eggs, using composting toilets, daily chores managing sheep, cows and poultry; and much more. This site is an active learning center with lots of visitors including children. This class is particularly recommended for educators, homesteaders, ranchers, small scale farmers, teachers, people involved with small scale diverse agricultural settings. In addition to the above, participants attend 72-hr permaculture design certificate course and receive internationally recognized certificate in the subject of permaculture.

Registration Fee: $1800, $1855 w/ paypal

Additional Info Available Here

registration is through the Permaculture Institute, click the link above to get to their site. Or call 505-455-0514



Planning and Management for Animals, Land, & Profit


Cost: $1200 (includes beyond organic lunches)

Join grazing lands consultant, ranch manager, and author of Management-intensive Grazing and Kick the Hay Habit, Jim Gerrish, and Holistic Management® Certified Educator and whole-ranch/farm planning consultant, Owen Hablutzel for a fun-filled four days of learning together optimal and effective ways to plan for and achieve the full power of peak performance grazing on your land.

for more info click here and click here 

to registar Call 970-963-6107 or email



Farm to Table, Bike to Table, and Community

Potlucks Dates, click here to see Events





Date to be determined

TIMBER FRAME WORKSHOP with Sarah Highland and Liz Johndrow

Liz Johndrow works with Sarah Highland of Highland Artisan, who has been designing and building timber frames for over a decade.  We are so excited to welcome Liz and Sarah back to the valley.  They enjoy the rewards of teaching others and the building of community that can come with cutting frame collaboratively and raising it with the help of your friends and family. 
Call for details






Additional Classes TBD:

  • Canning Workshop
  • Slaughter/Butcher Workshop
  • Hide Tanning Workshop
  • Dairy Workshop- How to make Kefir, Yogurt, Soft Cheeses



Join us for lunch at the ranch 1-2:00! – $25 each

you can join us for one of our delicious and thought provoking ranch made lunches. The conversation is always lively and the food always local!

Please call in advance to reserve your spot at the lunch table. Lunch is served at 1:00 Tuesday – Thursday 970-963-6107



 Here is a sample of what we have offered in the past

 Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz  

Fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz has inspired countless thousands to rediscover the ancient art of fermentation, and with The Art of Fermentation he offers the most comprehensive and definitive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.

Katz presents the history, concepts, and processes behind fermentation in ways simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, yet in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced fermentos.

Home Brewing Beer 101 – Beginner and Advanced Methods

With Michael Thompson
Cost: $75  (Take both courses $115 and save). Limited to 15 people.
BYOBrown bag lunch – some sampling may go on.
We will brew an all-grain, 10-gallon batch, and simultaneously a malt-extract, 5-gallon batch of beer.  At the end of the class, we will have three 5-gallon vessels of fermenting beer. All-grain and Malt Extract methods
Then on to our bottling workshop June 12th. Brewing beer, what life skill could be more important?

Homebrew Kegging, Bottling, and Labeling

With Michael Thompson
Cost: $60.  Limited to 15 people
In this half-day workshop Micheal will set you on the road to safely and artfully bottling and labeling your own home brew. A basic life sill and an essential followup to our Home Brew class. 


Peak Performance Grazing: Planning and Management for Animals, Land, and Profit

Instructors: Jim Gerrish (grazing lands consultant, ranch manager, and author of Management-Intensive Grazing and Kick the Hay Habit) and Owen Hablutzel (Holistic Management Certified Educator and whole-ranch planning consultant)

  • Create peak performance for your animals, pastures, soils, finances, land—for the whole ranch
  • Discover the power of stock-density for land improvement
  • Learn to match your forage and livestock resources
  • Reduce or eliminate imputs
  • Get your animals to the right place, at the right time, and for the right reasons
  • Plan your grazing and infrastructure for optimal integration and synergy

Join us for a fun-filled four days of learning together optimal and effective ways to plan for and achieve the full power of peak performance grazing on your land. This four day workshop will include classroom as well as outdoor exercises and pasture walks for a full learning experience.


Course Pricing: $1500

Herbal Workshop: Growing & Making Your Own Medicinal Skin Products! 

With Dawne Vrabel and Stephanie Syson, of Dynamic Roots, LLC

Learn which medicinal herbs will grow beautifully in the Roaring Fork Valley and how to use them at home throughout the year.  Learn the medicinal and nutritive qualities and how to process them at home easily for family home remedies and body care products.  

We Will be Making
First Aid Salve
Facial Cream
Bug Repellent
Anti-Viral Lip Balm

Additional Info Available Here



KEYLINE DESIGN: Whole-Farm Planning for Water Abundance and Soil Fertility w/ Owen Hablutzel



With a focus on effective whole farm planning, this course will lead you through the process of developing a comprehensive land management plan. You will discover Keyline’s Scale of Permanence (Climate, Land Shape, Water Supply, Farm Roads, Trees/Plants, Buildings, Fencing, and Soil), to guide planning decisions and optimally design your farm or ranch infrastructure. Learn how to integrate a variety of tools to maximize the short and long-term fertility of your site.

  • Generate an inspired vision for your landscape
  • Increase yields and resilience of rangelands, pastures, and your whole operation
  • Learn to create and implement a whole farm plan using the insights of Keyline Design
  • Discover the secrets for rapid creation of healthy, biologically active soil
  • Plan for whole landscape water harvesting
  • Learn to connect and integrate farm infrastructure, layout, and functions for improved efficiencies and synergy
  • Reduce costs and dependency on outside imputs, increase profits, and enhance livelihoods while improving your quality of life
  • Position your farm or ranch for adaptive success in changing times

Additonal Info Available Here




Our Mission

Education and outreach is central to Sustainable Setting’s mission to cultivate a more abundant, prosperous and sustainable future, and is recognized as one of the most powerful ways to effect positive change in the world. Essential to Sustainable Settings’ education and outreach is the coupling of theory and technique with immersion and hands-on experience.

Sustainable Settings opens its whole systems learning center at the Thompson Creek Ranch to students of all ages – from pre-kindergarten through university and adult level programs – and makes available our research initiatives, design and implementation processes, and demonstration models for ecologically and economically sound development. These educational programs take many forms, and include Adult Internships, University Partnerships, Mentor/Apprenticeships, Workshops, the Sustainable Settings Lecture Series, Volunteer Opportunities, and, of course, Sustainable Settings for Kids.

Our focus on learning by doing, allows participants to experience first hand the practical systems and activities that form the foundation of sustainable living. We consider the buildings, landscape, agriculture and infrastructure of our whole systems learning center to be integral to our pedagogy, and look to the genius of place and nature’s intelligence to guide all of our learning and teaching endeavors. Thus at Sustainable Settings students of all ages are exposed to tangible and memorable experiences, that anchor their learning and provide them with tools to help create other sustainable settings.

Through civic influence and consulting, Sustainable Settings opens its research and demonstration capacity to policy and decision makers who operate on a variety of scales. Sustainable Settings also offers education and outreach tools via our on-site library, website, newsletter and media campaigns (press, radio, television programming).

Areas of Study

    Botany & Horticulture
    Collaborative Design
    Cradle-to-Cradle Design
    Ecological Literacy
    Green Building
    Holistic Management
    Indigenous Technique
    Integrated Ecology (5 Living Kingdoms)
    Land Stewardship
    Natural Capitalism
    Renewable Energy Systems
    Social Ecology
    Sustainable Community Development
    Whole Systems Thinking

Core Competencies Taught

    Animal Husbandry
    Biological Waste Treatment Systems
    Constructed Wetland Design & Implementation
    Ecologically Appropriate Building Design & Construction
    Efficient Irrigation Methods
    Energy & Resource Efficiency
    Fractal & Non-linear Natural Pattern Recognition
    Greenhouse Design & Construction
    Habitat Restoration & Bio-diversity Preservation
    Herbal Medicine Cultivation & Wild-crafting
    Landscape Assessment & Land-use Planning
    Medicinal & Culinary Mushroom Cultivation
    Nutrient Cycling
    Organic Food Production
    Physical & Intellectual Rigor
    Renewable Energy System Design & Installation
    Soil Building & Fertility Enhancement
    Surveying, Mapping & Site Design
    Sustainable Agriculture
    Sustainable Forestry
    Sustainable Livestock Management
    Water Quality Enhancement & Vitalization
    Zero Waste Systems Design