It's that time of year again! The kids are getting ready to head back to school, why not take a few courses yourself?  

I've just added a whole bunch of classes. In addition to  the usual ones-- like handmade soap, soy candles, sauerkraut, pickling and  kombucha-- I've added  2  brand new courses  that you've been asking for:
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First, there's  Sprouted Grain Bread.  Experienced whole meal  bread bakers who  want to go to the next level will love  this class. If you haven't yet taken my 100%  Whole Wheat Bread class, I highly recommend taking that one as an introduction before trying your hand at sprouted grains. I am teaching that intro class two times  before the  sprouted grain class happens on Sunday, Sept 18th.

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Second, there's my new Vegan Yogurt Making class. I've been experimenting with a few recipes to develop a yummy dairy-free yogurt. We'll try a couple in class, and we'll even make some home made muesli using fresh oats you'll roll in class.

Click  here   for course descriptions, dates, times  and registration.


Click  here  to see the classes in a calendar format. 

See you in class!
 
 

Countless workshops,  classes, and more!

We're finally installed in our new roost on Sunset Blvd, near Sunset Junction  in the heart of Silver Lake. It's a terrific spot-- a  warm and welcoming  environment with a teaching kitchen and creative workshop space.  Please come visit! We stock homesteading supplies  and the inspiration for D.I.Y. adventures of all sorts; plus we're thrilled to announce a mouth-watering schedule of new classes and workshops.
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Ever get the urge to make your own candles, soap, lip balm, body butter, or bath bombs ? How about ferment your own root beer, cider, ginger ale, kombucha, yogurt, vinegar, kefir, or home-brewed beer? Grow your own sprouts or mushrooms or sourdough starter? Pickle stuff? Make cheese? Tofu? Truffles? Keep bees, aquaponic gardens, or chickens in your yard? Mill, bake, and cook with whole grains? Design with succulent plants?  Concoct fancy cocktails? Upcycle old junk in creative ways?

We're now offering classes in all these luscious subjects... and more!  
Classes for adults meet on weekends and sometimes evenings during the week. 
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Our kids' workshop calendar has greatly expanded, as well!  We now provide after-school classes every week on a rotating schedule to make time for each kid's  busy schedule. Young folks can learn to cook (including lots of no-bake recipes), garden, and  recycle things to make cool new stuff and  creative gifts. Most classes are for children aged 6 and up, and parents are encouraged to drop off their kids, although sticking around to watch is always fine, too.

Visit our shop to pick up a calendar, or check out the listings  here.  We're always adding more, so check back regularly to see what's new.

We encourage pre-registration, as some classes fill up fast. Pop into the Roost to register. Tickets to all events and full course descriptions are also available in our online store  right here.

Don't forget! The gift of DIY makes a terrific present! We offer gift certificates for single workshops, series of classes, any item in our store, or  cash-value in any amount.

Thanks for your continued support, and see you soon at The Roost!
 
 
As they say, it's the thought that counts. So who are you thinking about this Valentine's Day? When looking for thoughtful ideas for your sweetheart, look no further than the Roost. We have unique, creative gifts at every price range.  Below are five of our favorites to get you thinking of ideas. Need more inspiration? Come in and check out the shop!
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# 1:  AQUADORABLE 
MINI-AQUAPONIC SYSTEM

 With a tiny footprint and no need for a power supply, this super sweet little symbiotic fish-and-plant set-up can go anyplace. You can grow herbs, flowers, even lettuce in it. A cute little betta or goldfish  feeds the plants; the plants pull nitrates and ammonia out of the water, reducing water changes and eliminating the need for a traditional filter. We have a variety of colors, designs, and sizes  to choose from, starting at $39.95.

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#2: HOMEMADE 
ORGANIC SOAP

We have tons of flavors of our own, handmade soap. We use only the purest natural ingredients. Buy a sweet-smelling bar for your honeypie. Or create a sampler pack of your favorite flavors. Or grab our recipe and supplies to make your own from scratch! $4.75 per bar.

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#3: SPROUT GARDEN

This complete sprout starter kit comes with everything you need to grow a three-tiered sprout garden in less than a week. In a few days, you'll have a bumper crop  variety of fresh, organic sprouts, and all you need to do is add water and follow the directions. You can use and re-use it over and over-- grow sprouted grains, wheat grass, seeds, and beans like lentils, mung and adzuki!  $27.95

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#4: MUSHROOM FARM

Honestly, what could be more romantic than the gift of homegrown pink oyster mushrooms? This little kit  says "I LOVE YOU" in its own unique way, with a bamboo roll of toilet paper and a sexy pack of mushroom spawn to grow your own little mushroom garden. Other mushroom varieties (even glow in the dark ones) and farms also available!  $24.95

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#5: SUCCULENT PLANTER

Why give flowers when you can give a stunning living plant that  will last for years? We have countless varieties of succulent plants, artfully arranged in one-of-a-kind pots, bowls and planters. No plastic nursery cups here-- every plant is in a beautiful container. These guys are easy to grow and maintain. Even if your love has a black thumb, he can keep one of these alive. If not, we'll replace it for free! Starting at $4 each.

No matter how you celebrate this Valentine's Day, hope it's full of love and laughs.  And check out our  blog and youtube channel on DIY Tuesday this week for even MORE gift ideas you can create yourself. 
 
 
Making soap from scratch is one of the most creative, satisfying, and effective projects you can do yourself. It doesn't take long or cost much, and homemade soap feels luxuriously awesome, works like a charm to clean and condition skin, plus makes a terrific gift. Watch my instructional video below, and get going!

All you need for my basic bar soap recipe is organic olive and coconut oils, lye, and water. You can add any essential oils you want to make it exotic, sensuous, and delicious smelling. 

Here's the basic recipe:

Organic olive oil: 1,680 grams
Organic coconut oil: 683 grams
Lye: 337 grams
Ice water: 787 grams

My formula is optimized to create a terrific cleansing lather (thanks to the coconut oil) and moisturize at the same time (that's the olive oil). There are no funky additives or preservatives. It smells divine and is completely organic, all-natural, and highly addictive.

Please take the safety precautions to heart. Finished soap is harmless and family-friendly once it's been mixed and cured, but the process of creating soap involves chemical saponification.  Soap making is easy, exciting, and fun, but potentially dangerous. Lye is a caustic alkali, and can burn, blind, and seriously harm people or pets. 

Children may want to start with melt-and-pour soaps instead of cold process soap making. If they plan to watch or help with your cold process soap-making in any way, they will certainly need to be schooled in the seriousness of safety measures. Soap-making MUST be controlled by a responsible grownup who pays close attention to the details. 

Stick to my EXACT lye/oil ratios, or use a reliable lye calculator to create your recipe. Lye is not a guesstimate-kinda ingredient. Trust me, you don't want a gnarly science project gone wrong at your house when there's a caustic substance involved.

But as long as you're careful and informed, soap making is an excellent project that will gratify you and your loved ones. Once you have a go at the basic recipe, you can add grains and seeds to exfoliate, herbs and flower petals for texture and richness, countless shades of mica for color. The creative possibilities are endless.  

Have a terrific time making soap-- use it and share it, especially in the upcoming holiday season! Luscious homemade soap makes a seriously wonderful gift.

Need supplies or support? We have everything you need to make your first soap batch; just visit us at the shop! 

ENJOY! 

Instructional video:
 

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