Well, maybe it’s just me, but Kim and I are finding simple living workshops popping up all over the place. From fermentation to cheese making and just how to live slowly. These are some of the great workshops I have seen advertised lately, which I think is a fantastic thing.
Being avid teachers ourselves, I thought I would take the time to share our simple living workshop experiences over the couple of years.
Increasing in Popularity
It’s going to be a busy November! Who would have thought that our simple living workshops would be so popular? Our Mozzarella & Ricotta workshop is fully booked and has a waiting list. We normally put on one beginner cold processed soap making course, but this term we have three scheduled due to demand. And our soy candle making course is almost full and there are a few spots left on the new Bath, Soak, and Scrub course. But why did we start sharing these skills?
Testing The Water
In all honesty, when Kim and I first started teaching our Little Green Workshops, we had no idea if people would attend them in our local area, but it was a chance that we were willing to take. Initial research indicated (which included feedback from any blog post about the one of these courses) that it was going to be well received in our community, and indeed the Greater Melbourne area. We held a few test workshops with friends and members of the Melton Sustainable Living Group and it turned out that they loved the format and our teaching style.
So now to find a home base. We didn’t particularly want to teach at home due to space issues so we had to find somewhere local with good facilities.
Travelling to venues was always going to be an issue. I have a small hybrid car that has a modest cargo capacity and we were not willing to upgrade to something less economical or carbon emission intensive.
So we decided to anchor ourselves in the Melton South Community Centre which is only five minutes drive away from our home, and close to the train station and access to local buses. If we needed to make more than one trip to transport workshop equipment, then it was no issue, and travel for students who wished to use public transport was then an option for them.
Heck, if we had been able to travel, there are more teaching opportunities than we would ever been able to manage.
Several Factors for Growth
We think that a consistent location is one of the factors that contribute to the popularity of our Little Green Workshops. That and the fact that I believe the subject matter is interesting and people are starting to feel the need to fully understand what goes into the things they eat, use on their skin, or burn around their homes.
Simple/sustainable/minimalist lifestyles are building momentum and more and more folk want to learn the old skills again. With the growing rejection of mass-produced materials on the rise, and consumers wanting become producers again, it is a great sign that we will be able to teach these sorts of skills for a long time to come.
Kim and I have also had glowing feedback from our many returning students that we are friendly, approachable, and have an informative teaching style that keeps them returning and attending our entire range of workshops.
Additional Simple Living Workshops
This year we have seen a rise in popularity of all our courses, so much so, that we have had to put on two additional classes for basic cold processed soap making this term, and add new courses to our growing repertoire. By popular request we added an Advanced soap making course and a Bath, Soak, and Scrub course. We even have plans for a Quick mozzarella and easy Sourdough class next year which we are very excited about.
The wonderful team at the Melton South Community and Learning Centre are a pleasure to work with and always ask us if we have any new courses for the next term. The conversation usually turns to this when Kim calls them to find out student numbers for an upcoming course, and she inevitably tells them about some of the things we’ve just made at home. Predictably, the next sentence is “can you run a course about that?”
We don’t answer yes straight away, because we then go away and do our research to see if it is viable both in both time and has a low-cost for us and our students. Something that will fit into a few hours, that doesn’t have long pauses of little activity, and that the average family can afford it.
And it has to be sustainable. The course materials and hardware should be without using single use plastic but with mostly sustainably produced raw materials. We are Little Green Workshops after all and always stay true to our green values.
Places Still Available
So for every weekend in November and a couple in December, this is where you will find us. Teaching real living skills to full classes of eager students from all over Victoria that are excited to learn and produce their own goods in a sustainable manner.
As I write this there are still a few places open in the extra workshops for soap making, soy candle making, and the Bath, Soak, and Scrub courses. The Mozzarella and Ricotta workshop is fully booked, but will run again in March 2016.
Also the Advanced Soap Making course has a few places available however the Beginners soap making course is a prerequisite.
So if you’re you want to expand your horizons and want to gain a few more simple living skills, click-through using the button below to learn more about what Kim and I have to offer.
Have you attended a simple living workshop lately? What did you learn and have you put your new skills into action? Why do you think simple living workshops are becoming more popular?
farmer liz says
great to hear that the workshops are going well Gav! I just remembered that I signed up for your affiliate program and haven’t done anything with it yet… this post will be perfect to link back to… I better do some advertising for you!
Gavin Webber says
Thanks Liz. You can make any link to littlegreenworkshops.com.au an affiliate link by appending your reference id at the end of any product or page URL. If someone purchases something, you receive a generous 10% commission! Don’t forget to check out the creatives (images) that I made as well. Hopefully it will make you some chook food money! Gav x
Lynda D says
I recently did a workshop at Shoestring Gardening learning to cook Indian foods using traditional spices. I love being part of a community. Its hard when you work full time and spend most weekends addressing house work and family activities to engage with others. Workshops offer the opportunity to learn new skills and also to meet new people. I enjoyed my candle workshop with you guys immensely and so im proud of your achievements. Roll on retirement from full time work for you Gav. Plans are progressing well.
Gavin Webber says
Hi Lynda. Yes, that is one thing I missed out, community. We meet so many amazing people at our workshops who come back again and again. Lovely people like you Lynda! Big post on further downshifting coming soon as well. Watch out for the announcement!
I have so enjoyed following along with your blog from the beginning. You are so inspiring and I wish i lived in the Melbourne area so that I could attend some of your classes. Keep up the good work.
Gavin Webber says
Thanks Gillian! I wished you lived closer so we could meet. I’ll just have to keep reading your blog instead 😉 . In fact I think it would be very cool to have a sustainable living blogger meet-up but the distances are just too vast. Gav x