Sustainable Food Center unveils fall cooking, gardening classes

Sustainable Food Center has released its new cooking and gardening class schedules, offered through its programs Grow Local and The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre®. All classes take place at SFC’s headquarters, 2921 E. 17th Street, Bldg. C.

From making your own traditional Italian gelato with Marco Silvestrini of Doce Nuve, to cooking quick, healthy Asian-inspired weeknight meals with Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen, SFC’s cooking classes cover a broad range of food preparation methods and topics with something for every skill level, from beginner to master chef.

SFC’s Grow Local food gardening classes are sure to have something for everyone as well: compost techniques, introduction to food gardening, planning a successful fall garden, vegetable gardening in small spaces, caring for fruit trees, and much more.

sfc btc blog post 2015SFC’s fall cooking and gardening class schedule:

Essential Knife Skills— Aug. 27, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Learn how to chop, julienne, dice, and chiffonade like a pro and how to properly select, sharpen, care for, and store knives so they last a lifetime. Plus, go home with a chopped vegetable bounty ready to make dinner. ($35)

Introduction to Food Gardening— Sept. 5 and 12, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
This two-part series provides new to gardening or to gardening in Central Texas with the knowledge and skills needed to start and maintain an organic food garden including choosing a garden site and building a raised bed to composting, pest management, and rainwater harvesting. ($40)

Building Healthy Soil— Sept. 8, 6- 8 p.m.
This class teaches participants how to build rich, living soils that are ideal for growing vegetables and herbs. ($15)

Eating Well in All Stages of Pregnancy— Sept. 15, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Healthy eating during pregnancy benefits your child for life. Join Kate Griffin and Jayme Moore of Tandem Midwifery to learn how to make nutritious, affordable, delicious foods for all stages of pregnancy using locally grown produce and ingredients, manage common pregnancy symptoms, and more. ($40)

Essential Knife Skills— Sept. 17, 6:30- 8:30 p.m. (description above)

Planning a Successful Fall Garden— Sept. 19, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Learn how to transition from a summer to fall garden, and gain the knowledge and tools needed to plan a successful fall garden including which plants are suited to Central Texas fall gardens, how to group plants based on their height/water/nutrient needs, companion planting to control pests, square foot gardening techniques, and succession planting to ensure steady harvests. ($15)

Quick, Healthy Weeknight MealsSept. 22, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Whether you are just getting started in the kitchen or giving your diet a reboot, join SFC for this hands-on class and learn how to make quick, affordable and healthy meals using locally grown ingredients. ($30)

Introduction to Food Gardening— Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (description above)

Meatless Main DishesSept. 29, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Learn how to cook whole grains, beans, and other plant-based foods for maximum flavor, appeal, and nutrition. The class will also review cooking techniques and equipment, discuss how to use leftovers in creative ways so that you can “cook once and eat twice” without having the same dish over and over, and prepare tasty and healthful seasonal recipes that are also vegetarian. ($30)

Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces— Oct. 6, 6- 8 p.m.
Do you want to garden but live in an apartment or a house with little or no yard? Worry not! Attendees will learn the benefits and challenges of container gardening, types of containers, space requirements for different plants, container garden soil mixes, and how to properly water and feed your container gardens. ($15)

Seasonal Soups and Homemade Stock
— Oct. 6, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Using seasonal ingredients from SFC’s Farmers’ Markets, this class will teach attendees how to make stock and broth, as well as soup-making methods that will turn even the simplest ingredients into a bowl full of bliss. ($35)

Cooking with Herbs— Oct. 13, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Learn the art of seasoning your food with herbs and you will know how to transform “so-so” into sublime. Using herbs from SFC’s The Happy Kitchen herb garden, attendees will prepare herb-based sauces, create dishes that feature herbs as main ingredients, and use herbs to finish or balance flavors. Attendees will also discuss handling, storing, and drying fresh herbs for maximum shelf life. ($35)

Seasonal, Healthy Indian Cooking— Oct. 15, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Indian food is famous for its spice-filled flavors, but the variety of spices and techniques used in Indian cooking can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Learn how to fuse traditional Indian flavors with seasonal Central Texas ingredients. Led by guest instructor Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen. ($35)

Introduction to Food Gardening— Oct. 17 and 24, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (description above)

Composting Techniques— Oct. 17, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
This class goes beyond the basics of backyard compost and covers different composting techniques, including hot and cold composting, vermiculture, and no-turn composting. ($15)

Meeting Protein Needs During Pregnancy— Oct. 20, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Getting enough protein throughout your pregnancy is important for you and your baby. Experts recommend 75 to 100 or more grams of healthy, high quality proteins per day. Join Kate Griffin and Jayme Moore of Tandem Midwifery to learn how to supply your body with nutritious and great tasting high protein foods. ($40)

Making Homemade Baby Food— Oct. 24, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Led by Jessica Burleson, founder of BabyTasteBuds, and Angela Fritsch, WIC nutritionist and breastfeeding coordinator, learn how to begin making your own quick, easy, and nutritious foods for babies or toddlers. Parents will also make a healthy weeknight recipe for themselves, using the same ingredients to save time in the kitchen. ($35)

Gardening with Herbs— Oct. 27, 6- 8 p.m.
Join Jenny Perez of the American Botanical Council for an exploration of medicinal herbs that can be planted or harvested and processed in autumn. ($15)

Medicinal Uses of Culinary Herbs— Oct. 28, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Join the American Botanical Council and discover how to utilize basic herbal preparation methods to unlock the healing power of herbal medicines disguised as culinary seasonings. ($40)

The Art of the Egg— Nov. 4, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner— eggs are an ideal choice for creating quick, healthy, inexpensive meals. Join Chef Steve Cruz of Counter Café to learn how to master short order styles, crack with confidence, and transcend the basics with advanced techniques that open the doors to prestige dishes. ($40)

Bees and Beekeeping— Nov. 7, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.a
Learn about bees with SFC and Austin Bees in this interactive class including the role that bees play in pollinating native and food plants, beekeeping basics, and how to support bees and attract them to your garden. This class will take place in SFC’s new Teaching Apiary, where participants will be able to interact with beehives and observe beekeeping techniques. ($15)

Fall Pests and Diseases— Nov. 10, 6- 8 p.m.
Join Grow Local in the Teaching Garden to learn about pests and diseases common to fall food gardens. Topics include pest and disease identification and organic pest management, including biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods of control. ($15)

Seasonal, Healthy Mediterranean Cooking— Nov. 10, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Explore the fresh, delicious flavors of the Mediterranean and learn how these foods benefit your overall health and help prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Recipes in this class will focus on gluten-free, vegetarian, and low glycemic ingredients. Led by guest instructors Dr. Shelly Sethi, an integrative medicine specialist, and Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen. ($40)

Extending the Fall Growing Season— Nov. 21, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Learn how to extend the fall growing season through the use of techniques and tools that enable gardeners to protect their plants from the elements, including row covers, cold frames, hoop houses, and greenhouses. ($15.)

Edible Holiday Gifts— Dec. 5, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Add a personal, heartfelt touch to your gifts this season by giving something you made yourself. Each participant will go home with a small batch of each of the recipes made in the class. ($60)

Seed Saving— Dec. 8, 6- 8 p.m.
This class will teach participants how to save their own seeds. Topics include basic plant biology, different types of seeds, and the seed saving process, including planning, harvesting, processing, and storage. ($15.)

Handmade Tamales— Dec. 12, 9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Learn step-by-step how to make traditional Mexican tamales, plus vegetarian variations and sauces. Attendees will even create their own tamales to take home, ready to freeze or steam and eat. ($70)

Caring for Fruit Trees— Jan. 23, 2016, 10 a.m.- noon
Learn how to plant and care for fruit trees that are adapted to the Central Texas climate including pomegranate, fig, plum, peach, and pecan trees. ($15)

For more information, visit or call 512-236-0074.

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